Cracking the ITIL V3 Foundation exam requires 1 week of dedicated focus.
Importance of ITIL version 3.0
Choosing the right trainer
Your previous experience counts
During the training
The examination format
After the exam
The ITIL service delivery standard has grown to become the most
widely accepted service delivery standard in the world. One of the
major reasons for this is that it is the only standard which closely
links IT strategy to business strategy and provides clear and
predictable processes wherein lasting value is created for business
investments in IT.
The IT landscape has been undergoing a rapid transition over the
last 2 decades which has meant that ITIL processes have also needed to
evolve to account for the current business reality.V3 marks a huge
evolutionary change over V2 which makes it very important to know about
the same. Any IT professional who is “IT responsible” in his job
profile in any way needs to have a firm grounding in ITIL processes and
the Foundation examination helps him do just that. It introduces the
fundamental building blocks of ITIL which once understood will give him
the required impetus and confidence to proceed ahead and understand the
individual areas in greater detail as per his need.
The 1st step in this endeavor is to attend a 2 to 3 day long
training course in which an experienced trainer will explain the entire
standard keeping the Foundation exam in mind. The challenge would be in
finding the right trainer. The ideal trainer should be a senior IT
professional who has loads of practical experience to share. Ideally,
he should have implemented certain ITIL processes from scratch some
time in his career. If you find someone who has had the experience of
implementing a Service Desk from scratch it will serve your purpose.
Usually such people will have held high positions in their respective
organizations and would have practical knowledge to share.
Theoretical trainers who are basically training specialists will
present the concepts well but will not be able to connect the
theoretical concepts with the business reality since they lack the
experience to do so. Moreover, many lesser experienced IT professionals
set up the IT structure as recommended in ITIL only to discover later
on that no “business value” has been generated. This is where
experience, leadership and overall expertise play a major role. Ideally
the trainer should be an Advanced ITIL diploma holder.
If you have prior experience in working in a structured organization
where ITIL processes are already followed to some extent you will be at
an advantage. 2 years of structured experience will score any day over
20 years of unstructured experience in organizations where a structured
service delivery mechanism did not exist. In this scenario, the
concepts being presented have already been validated in practice at
On the other hand, if you come from an unstructured environment,
where adhocism and confusion rules, you will have a tough time
convincing yourself why it makes more sense for an end user to contact
the service desk rather than the actual engineer who is going to work
on the problem he is facing. This is where the experience of the
trainer will play a crucial role.
During the training get a firm grasp of the 5 pillars on which ITIL stands:
Continual Service Improvement
All the other concepts flow down from these pillars. In fact, a good
strategy is to create hierarchical charts starting from one of these
pillars at the top and drilling down to the concepts at each subsequent
level. This will greatly aid in exam preparation. A day prior to the
exam you only need to go through the charts you have built. The 3 day
training followed by your study of the course material basically
completes your theory preparation for the exam.
The examination consists of 40 multiple questions which has to be
completed in a time period of 1 hour. The time available is more than
sufficient to clear the exam. However, do not underestimate the exam. You need to correctly answer 26 of the 40 questions to clear the exam. Whether
you choose the correct answer or not primarily depends on how well you
have understood the concepts. This is an exam which tests your level of
understanding and not your memorizing ability.
If your instructor is good he will conduct some mock tests at the
end of the course on the last day. Your target should be to score at
least 26 out of 40. Doing well in the mock tests will give you the
required confidence to attempt the exam.
At no cost should you delay giving the exam beyond 1 week of the training.
Many people convince themselves that they need to understand the
subject matter better and keep delaying. Months pass on but the golden
hour never comes and for no valid reason, the candidate does not give
the exam. Do not lose the momentum created after attending the
training, finish the job fast.
Enjoy your moment of glory after clearing the exam. Start checking
out the ITIL governing body website and you will soon realize that the
Foundation is just the beginning of a long journey in mastering service
delivery. You need to clear a host of examinations at the Intermediate
level which will eventually lead to getting certified as an Advanced
Service Management Professional.
The links below present a wealth of information: