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ITIL Foundation Exam Study Guide - Tips & Resources

31st Jan, 2024
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    ITIL Foundation Exam Study Guide - Tips & Resources

    As you begin preparing for the ITIL Foundation exam, a few simple yet effective approaches help ensure you don't overlook anything. Many aspiring candidates' study by reading a book, only to be disappointed when they fail the exam. Knowing the exam content is only a small portion of the preparation most individuals must do to crack the ITIL Foundation certification exams. 

    In this ITIL Foundation exam study guide, we will therefore introduce you to all available learning resources. In addition, we will also provide you with tips and strategies to enhance your preparation. 

    Who Should Take the ITIL 4 Foundation Exam?

    The goal of ITIL Foundation certification in IT Service Management is to certify that you have acquired an understanding of ITIL terminology, structure, and the essential concepts of the ITIL approach for Service Management. This certificate is intended primarily for: 

    • Individuals who need a foundational understanding of the ITIL framework and wish to improve their organization's IT service. 
    • The IT service manager, managers, IT directors, CIOs, business managers, service support engineers, business process owners, and technical support engineers will benefit. However, ITIL Foundation level certification is open to anyone interested in the topic and might benefit them. A credit value is assigned to each ITIL-related certification program. Upon passing any ITIL Foundation examination, candidates will receive certification and credits. 

    What to Expect on the ITIL 4 Foundation Exam?

    When taking the ITIL 4 Foundation exam, knowing how to study for the ITIL foundation exam is essential. To obtain the ITIL Foundation certificate, you must adequately answer 26 out of 40 multiple-choice questions on an exam (65 percent ). Each question will have four potential responses from which you should select the best one. For a correct answer, the score increases by one point. 

    The duration of the exam is one hour. Those taking the examination in a language neither their native nor working language might be granted an additional 25 percent of the time or 75 minutes. The examination is a "closed book." Besides the examination materials, no other materials are permitted. In addition, see the table below for additional information. 

    Material allowedNoneThis is a 'closed book' exam. The ITIL Foundation publication, ITIL 4 edition, should be used for study, but is NOT permitted to be used in the exam.
    Exam duration60 minutesCandidates taking the exam in a language that is not their native or working language may be awarded 25% extra time, i.e. 75 minutes in total.
    Number of marks40 marksThere are 40 questions, each worth 1 mark. There is no negative marking.
    Provisional Pass mark26 marksYou will need to get 26 questions correct (65%) to pass the exam.
    Level of thinkingBloom's levels 1 & 2"Bloom's level" describes the type of thinking needed to answer the question. For Bloom's level 1 questions, you need to recall information about the ITIL 4 service management framework. For Bloom's 2 questions, you need to show understanding of these concepts.
    Question typesClassic, Negative, Missing word, & ListThe questions are all 'multiple choice'. For the 'standard' questions, you have a question and four answer options. "Negative' questions are "standard" question in which the stem is negatively worded. For the 'missing word' questions, there is a sentence with a word missing and you have to select the missing word from four options. For the 'list' questions, there is a list of four statements and you have to select two correct statements from the list.

    ITIL Foundation certification doesn't expire and does not require continuing education to maintain. 

    Exam Concepts for ITIL

    Also needed is a summary of ITIL concepts. The five fundamental components of ITIL are based on guiding principles. Listed below are some key ITIL concepts and principles: 

    • Providing the most significant value to consumers. 
    • Maximizing assets and capacities. 
    • Providing services that are beneficial and dependable. 
    • Planning processes with particular objectives in mind. 
    • Clearly define duties for each task. 

    Important ITIL Key Terms 

    How to prepare for ITIL v4 foundation exam is a common question for IT professionals looking forward to taking up this exam. However, if you have a well-defined roadmap and a good understanding of the basics, you can easily crack on the first attempt. While preparing for ITIL certifications, it is essential to recognize critical terms. These are listed below: 

    1. Capabilities: The available talents or abilities that an organization applies to its resources to create value.
    2. Functions: These are autonomous subdivisions of an organization created to accomplish particular tasks. They typically take the form of a group of individuals and their equipment.
    3. Processes: These are structured sequences of activities designed to achieve a particular goal. The four fundamental attributes of processes are:
    • Initially, they convert inputs to outputs. 
    • Second, they deliver results for a particular consumer or stakeholder. 
    • Lastly, they are quantifiable. 

    In addition, they're triggered by particular occurrences. 

    1. Resources: The raw components that contribute to a service, like money, equipment, time, and personnel.
    2. Roles: These are defined groups of responsibilities and rights. Individuals or collectively in groups plays a significant role.
    3. Service Assets: Also known as assets, they are resources and capabilities that a service provider designates to provide a service.
    4. Service ManagementThe specialized capabilities for delivering client value via services.
    5. Services: Offering value to clients without requiring them to assume specific expenses and risks.
    6. Utility, Value, and Warranty: The service's value consists of two aspects: utility and warranty. To have value, services must offer both utility and guarantee.

    Format of ITIL Foundation Exam Questions 

    The questions are 'multiple-choice .' You can see the sample questions listed below: 

    ITIL Foundation Exam Administration

    Candidates who wish to take the examination must attend training before the examination. However, it is not compulsory; you can sit for the exam without additional training and pass. But, if you want to earn higher-level IT service management courses and certifications, you should prepare for the exam with a set of correct and accurate instructions or training. This way, you'll better understand how various components fit together and operate as a unit before taking the ITIL foundation exam. 

    ITIL foundation examination training is required to achieve higher exam scores, and numerous training centers can assist you in this regard. The assessment fee for the test varies from country to country. However, the ITIL foundation test is estimated to cost $300 or more on average. Typically, training organizations bundle the ITIL exam training and test price into a single package and give the exam shortly after the training is done. 

    You may take the examination at any testing location or online without visiting a testing center. If you choose the second option, you will need a webcam and will be accompanied by a proctor who will guide you through the entire process. The proctor also will observe you closely during the duration of the exam. After completing a post-exam survey, your provisional score will be displayed on the screen once you have finished the exam. 

    Your final examination score and e-certificate will be accessible within two days of exam completion. A hard copy of your certificate's transcript will be mailed after an extended length of time or upon request. 

    ATOs: Accredited Training Organizations

    Axelos is the global administrator and provider of resources for numerous certifications and the ITIL Foundation test. Through Axelos, you have access to many resources that will assist you in preparation for the ITIL exam, including books, study materials, past exam papers, and exam apps. PeopleCert is the leading provider and accreditation agency for the ITIL exams, and Axelos collaborates with it. PeopleCert administers or organizes various training programs and ultimately tests for ITIL certification worldwide. 

    It conducts global exams with certified and accredited triage organizations and workplaces on behalf of Axelos. Together, these two organizations offer a variety of tools for the online ITIL certification exams, including actual classrooms and online resources. 

    Talk to us at KnowledgeHut to know more about Axelos subscription and our ITIL foundation certification training services. 

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    General Examination Tips

    While preparing for the ITIL exam or certification, it's vital to be aware of numerous tips or ideas that may facilitate your progress. Therefore, we have compiled the following ITIL study materials and general examination suggestions that will be of great use to you during exam preparation. 

    1. Study the Capability and Lifecycle Modules. Although the advanced level of ITIL certification digs deeper into each capability and lifecycle module, you must demonstrate a solid foundational understanding at the Foundation level. Training in ITIL 4 Foundation focuses on mastering the fundamentals and comprehending each phase of the ITIL Capability and lifecycle and modules. Ensure that you thoroughly understand any particular words, including acronyms and jargon.
    2. Before starting, read around the topic. It will enable you to get a quick start once the course starts. There are numerous sources of relevant and engaging content (such as the Foundation book and AXELOS content hub! ), so delve deeply to discover what works for you.
    3. Ask questions all through the course. Lots of questions. If it is still unclear, re-ask. Understanding the principles will aid you in answering exam questions that might otherwise stump you. Ultimately, you must demonstrate a solid comprehension of the material, not just a great memory!
    4. Take extensive notes, especially on complex concepts. It will allow you to discover your comprehension and identify concepts you haven't fully mastered (so that you can ask additional questions).
    5. Utilize concrete examples. Don't be hesitant to inquire about the relevance of ITIL 4 to your work experience. Your lecturer is likely also to use real-world examples; sharing your own experiences is always appreciated and beneficial to your classmates. But throughout the exam, you must remember to give answers from an ITIL viewpoint, not your own!
    6. You are not required to answer every question on the exam; there're no quality points or even other testing marks. You must answer 26 questions since the exam is pass/fail; extra work will not be rewarded.
    7. You are not punished for incorrect responses; if you have gone blank or have not yet turned in your exam, you may still correct and turn in your response paper.
    8. Before you may submit your test paper for grading, you must follow a specified pattern or set of tips. 
    9. You must read each question carefully to ensure that you have not fallen into any traps regarding these tips.
    10. Count the questions for which you are sure you have provided correct responses, and if there are 26 or more, confidently submit your paper. However, submit the paper when you feel you have more than 28 correct answers if you are uncertain.
    11. Do not become discouraged when you find the exam questions challenging. They are intended to be difficult and target various levels of difficulty. You'll have the opportunity to review complex topics before the exam. However, be mindful of altering answers during the test, as intuition is frequently correct. Change an answer only if you are sure you made an error.

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    Additional Tips for Passing the Examination

    1. Exam preparation is vital to ensure that you do not falter during the exam and pass well. If you do not want to waste time and remove all obstacles to getting your ideal job, then you'll have to give a thorough insight into these additional exam-passing tips;
    2. You must memorize various ITIL-based definitions, as many questions/definitions will be presented with altered wording to confuse you.
    3. It is also best to understand how various words and concepts fit into a framework based on ITIL. To pass the exam, it is essential to understand the relationship.
    4. Leverage ITIL v4 study materials and try to relate ITIL principles and words to real-world situations from your job or previous experience; this will help you tremendously on the exam.
    5. You are strongly recommended to enroll in an online-based ITIL foundation training program to improve your score and pass the exam.
    6. Take a practice test for the ITIL foundation examination to determine whether or not you are prepared for the actual test.

     Key to Success: Avoid the Traps

    High percentages of candidates pass the ITIL Foundation test. Statistics from 2013 indicate a 90% success rate, but many training institutions promise a 98% pass rate. All who avoid the primary pitfalls will pass the examination. 

    Trap #1: Overthinking 

    To avoid the trap, memorize and avoid analysis. 

    The multiple-choice exam tests the fundamental understanding of ITIL's best strategies. Focus solely on high-level terms and concepts that you have committed to memory. Do not explore how your organization executes a given procedure. Do not consider how to improve the procedure. Respond according to the ITIL materials. 

    Example: what's an emergency change? 

    1. A change that requires an expedited risk analysis because it is necessary to resolve an event.
    2. A change for which a risk assessment is not required because the process has been pre-approved.
    3. A change that requires evaluation, approval, and scheduling from a change authority.
    4. A change that has been evaluated, approved, and planned as part of "continuous improvement."

    The answer is A. Three of the four responses relate to different sorts of change, although only answer choice A accurately defines an emergency change. Answer B is a regular change, while Answer C is a standard change. D is not a change type provided by the options. 

    Trap #2: Many choices 

    To avoid this pitfall, memorize groupings. 

    Some questions have two or more potential correct answers. There will be multiple combinations of these alternatives in the replies, but only one will be correct. This question can be posed in its simplest form by presenting two options and four probable answers: #1 only, #2, both, or neither. Frequently, four possibilities and four combinations will be provided. 

    Trap #3: Out of order 

    Learn acronyms to prevent this pitfall. Memorize the correct order of lists. 

    It is not always sufficient to know the contents of a list. It is essential to know the proper order if they're presented in a specific order or symbolized by an acronym. Knowing the sequence distinguishes a simple response from a wild guess. 

    Example: What's the correct order inside the model for continuous improvement? 

    1. Where do we stand? Where would we like to be? Can we get there?
    2. Where would we like to be? Make a move. Can we get there?
    3. What is the objective? Where would we like to be? Can we get there?
    4. How shall we arrive? Make a move. Can we get there?

    The Answer is D. It correctly sequences steps 4, 5, and 6 of a continuous improvement model. 

    Trap #4: Speed reading  

    To avoid the trap, carefully read each question. 

    Some questions are phrased to confuse someone who hasn't read every word. Do not skip over the first words and proceed directly to the answers. Each question contains keywords that either make the correct response evident or swiftly eliminate one or more other answers. 

    Two standard methods for luring in fast readers are: 

    Requesting the best response or the response that comes closest- Some questions provide definitions word-for-word, while others have a slight modification. In rare instances, there could be two almost identical viable responses. You must read the responses to determine the differences between these two options and select the correct answer. 

    For example, the BEST description of an occurrence is: 

    1. A performance limit has been surpassed, and a Service Level has been compromised.
    2. A major occurrence for the control of configuration system or service delivery.
    3. A system flaw that is known to produce repeated incident reports.
    4. A gathering of customers and the IT personnel to announce the launch of a new service or upgrade program.

    The answer is B. The initial response falls under Service Level Management. C is a standard error that Problem Management handles, while D is a Release or Deployment Management component. 

    Applying negative descriptors like NOT and EXCEPT- You will be requested to choose the erroneous response rather than the correct one. 

    Example: Which one of these is NOT an example of a service management exercise? 

    1. Business evaluation
    2. Change management
    3. Release management
    4. Knowledge management

    The answer is D, a general management practice, whereas A, B, and C are service management techniques. 

    As you read many practice questions, you'll become familiar with the terms that indicate the proper response or minimize any distractions. The essential factors in achieving success are memorizing the content in the correct order and comprehending how test questions are framed. 

    What to Study

    In this section, we will walk you through a quick overview on exam questions you need to study for the ITIL Foundation Examination. 

    If it is not included with your study materials, download Foundation Syllabus from Axelos website for a detailed listing. Axelos provides this curriculum to guarantee that ATO training covers the required content. If you are conducting self-study, the recommended training timeframes enable you to choose what content to study and how long to devote to each topic. 

    As of April 2020, the Foundation syllabus divides degrees of understanding into Knowledge and Comprehension per Bloom's Taxonomy of learning, which is used to classify learning objectives and evaluate learning accomplishments. It is sufficient to memorize key terminology to address awareness topics in most circumstances. Understanding comprehension subjects requires a deeper degree of knowledge and comprehension. Beyond knowing definitions, comprehension involves understanding how and why the concept affects the Syllabus. 

    The curriculum is an essential component of any certification. Before beginning preparation, one must be familiar with the course syllabus. The table below summarizes the ITIL exam's tested concepts and the primary sections of the ITIL manual where these are addressed. The book refers to the portion specified but not its subsections unless explicitly stated. The assessment criterion's corresponding verb reveals Bloom's level (BL): 'recall'/Define' implies essential recognition and recall at Level 1, whereas 'Describe'/'Explain' suggests Level 2 comprehension/understanding. 

    To Sum Up

    First, RELAX and take deep breaths. This may all seem a little overwhelming. But never lose faith and make your way by enrolling into knowledgehut ITIL foundation certification training. This ITIL Foundation exam study guide has a great deal to offer. Preparing for a certification exam doesn't have to be difficult if you intend to prepare. As a result, all you have to do is turn your shortcomings into strengths, and you will be able to pass your ITIL exam. Take our recommendations and read through this preparation guide; we're confident you'll be grateful later. 

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1How do I study for the ITIL foundation?

     Practice, and then practice some more. Take your time learning the material and becoming familiar with the Capability and Lifecycle Modules. 

    2Is the ITIL Foundation exam hard?

    Although many exam takers report that it's not too tricky, the ITIL Exam is challenging to pass. ITIL certification should be easy to acquire if you study diligently. 

    3How long does it take to study for ITIL Foundation?

     Before the exam, it is advised that you spend approximately 10 hours studying. 

    4Do ITIL certifications expire?

     ITIL certifications have no expiration date. You will be able to add the ITIL® Foundation certificate to your CV for the rest of your life if you get it. 


    Abhresh Sugandhi


    Abhresh is specialized as a corporate trainer, He has a decade of experience in technical training blended with virtual webinars and instructor-led session created courses, tutorials, and articles for organizations. He is also the founder of Nikasio.com, which offers multiple services in technical training, project consulting, content development, etc.

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