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Complete Guide on PRINCE2® Foundation Examination

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Last updated on
11st Mar, 2021
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12nd Apr, 2019
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Complete Guide on PRINCE2® Foundation Examination

The key to excelling in any examination is to analyse its structure, question-pattern, and most importantly, the syllabus of the subject that you are going to take the examination for. If you prepare for an examination blindly by ignoring any one of the three criteria listed above, then the final outcome of your exam might be something unexpected.

So, in order to pass any examination with flying colours, you must tread carefully and follow a proper procedure to plan your preparation for an examination.

In this article, we will discuss the structure of PRINCE2® Foundation Examination, being certified with which will help you understand how the themes of PRINCE2®, its principles, processes, themes, and terminology are applied towards finishing a project with success and establish you as an informed member of a project management team. It is better if you plan your preparations following a proper procedure.

So, let us begin understanding the PRINCE2® Foundation Examination structure.

At first, let us get a brief overview of what the PRINCE2® Foundation Examination expects you to know.

PRINCE2® Foundation Examination will test your ability to act as an informed member of a project management team using the PRINCE2® method within a project environment supporting PRINCE2®. From your end, you require to demonstrate that you understand the principles, themes, processes, and the terminology of the method.

Once you pass the PRINCE2® Foundation Examination, you should be able to:

  • Explain the purpose and major content of all roles, the seven principles, the seven themes, and the seven processes.
  • State which management products are input to, and output from the seven processes.
  • State the main purpose, and key contents, of the major management products.
  • State the relationships between processes, deliverables, roles and the management dimensions of a project.

The above gives you a brief but clear explanation of what this examination will demand from you in the form of the questions.

Individuals who can go for the PRINCE2® Foundation Certification:

There are no eligibility criteria to appear for the PRINCE2® Foundation Certification Examination. The PRINCE2® Foundation Certification is open for anybody to get accredited with, for ones who want to manage their projects, although it is found to be more useful for IT employees. But whether an individual is a designer, or develops and delivers projects, this certification will prove very effective. Moreover, if you currently are a project manager or planning to become one, then the PRINCE2® certification is the one for you.

What is the examination format of PRINCE2® Foundation?

Structure of PRINCE2® Foundation exam

Now, let’s dive a bit more into the structure of the PRINCE2® Foundation examination. The examination of the PRINCE2® Foundation Level is structured as follows :

  • PRINCE2® Foundation examination will contain objective type testing questions. It will be a closed book examination and conducted by PEOPLECERT, who will give you an hour’s time to complete answering the question paper.
  • This examination includes 60 questions, 5 out of them being trial questions and will not add to your final score.
  • To pass the examination you will need to secure at least 55%, which is answering 33 out of 60 correctly.

PRINCE2® Examination and Certification Info

Info/ Examination typePRINCE2® Foundation Examination
Question typeObjective
Conducted byPEOPLECERT
Certification familyPRINCE2®
Created byAXELOS
Time allocated1 hour
Number of questions60
Passing criteria 55%, i.e, at least 33 out of 60 questions need to be answered correctly


LevelFoundation
Number of Examination Languages6
Re-certificationNot required
Closed/Open bookClosed book

Modes of languages for the examination:

  • Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Norwegian
  • Polish

You can check the PEOPLECERT website for more information.

Which topics are covered in the PRINCE2® Foundation Examination?

Here is the list of the necessary topics that are covered:

  • Overview, Principles and Tailoring PRINCE2® to the Project Environment
  • Business Case (BC) Theme
  • Quality (QU) Theme
  • Plans (PL) Theme
  • Risk (RK) Theme
  • Change (CH) Theme
  • Progress (PG) Theme
  • Starting up a Project (SU) Process
  • Directing a Project (DP) Process
  • Initiating a Project (IP) Process
  • Controlling a Stage (CS) Process
  • Managing Product Delivery (MP) Process
  • Managing a Stage Boundary (SB) Process
  • Closing a Project (CP) Process.

How does one go about opting for the examination?

You can opt for PRINCE2® examinations by either:

  • Being a part of a PRINCE2® accredited training course through your PRINCE2® Training provider
  • Online
  • Or at a public PRINCE2® examination centre.

The standard setup for classroom courses is paper-based. Ones who self-study, or practice eLearning courses, usually appear for the online examinations. The online examinations are invigilated too, and you should be in a quiet room separately with the webcam and microphone recording you.

How difficult is the examination?

There is no penalty for incorrect answers, keeping in mind that the examination is not expected to include every detail and advanced topics like tailoring. The passing score is low as well and you will require to secure at least 50% of the total. Therefore a random answer sheet already has a 25% score on an average. All you need to do is get 50% to pass the examination. The examination is rather simple and about 95% of the examination results are successful. This is stated by the seasonal reports from the examination institutes such as:

  • APMG International
  • BCS, Learning and Development Ltd
  • CSME
  • EXIN
  • PeopleCert.

PRINCE2® Foundation Syllabus:

It is essential for you to have complete knowledge of the PRINCE2® principles, terminology, processes and themes. You must be able to:

  • Describe the purpose and major content of all roles, the seven principles, the seven themes, and the seven processes
  • Mention which management products are to be included as input or output from the seven processes
  • State the main purpose, and key contents, of the major management products
  • Explain how processes, deliverables, roles and the management dimensions of a project are related to each other.

What is the main resource used to pass the examination?

Many training organizations and candidates resort to the official manual by Axelos, Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2® for the main resource. However, the same should be only used when one goes for the PRINCE2® Practitioner Examination.

The reason is, the official manual by Axelos is too long and holds too much information for somebody who is going just for the Foundation examination and can become quite daunting too.

Like many candidates, you should go for simplified resources to prepare for the Foundation examination. You may also practice sample questions and examination questions of previous examinations to increase the chances of scoring more.

Many candidates have set the trend of using the PRINCE2® Foundation Training manual because it is completely focussed on the PRINCE2® Foundation syllabus.

Here is how the above-mentioned training manual different from the official one from Axelos:

  • It is a manual for training purposes, not reference.
  • It offers lots of examples of Management Products and that makes it easier for the candidates to understand.
  • It focuses completely on the PRINCE2® Foundation syllabus and examination.
  • It cites examples to·help explain new PRINCE2® terms.
  • It offers an overview of all the types of questions that the candidates expect to face.
  • It is available in PDF format that makes it easy to navigate to what you need.

What is the procedure to prepare for the examination?

procedure to prepare for the PRINCE2 examination

There are three options:

  1. Take classroom courses: The standard course lasts for 3 days, with the examination to be conducted at the end of the last day
  2. Take eLearning courses
  3. Or self-study.

It depends entirely on your experience and knowledge on how long you will take for self-study or in completing eLearning courses. This might be between 20 to 40 hours.

It is recommended for you to opt for the classroom and eLearning courses from an Accredited Training Organisation. Why? Because the examination institutes reviewed and approved their material and the Accredited Training Organisations do mention the same information in their respective websites.

What are the various types of questions?

There are 3 types of question styles present in the PRINCE2® Foundation Examination, ‘Classic’, ‘List’ and ‘Missing word’. The questions are always presented in multiple-choice format. Therefore,  all you need to do is choose one out of the four given options. Each question in the examination paper has one correct answer.

  • ‘Classic’ style questions: This question style will feature four options. One of them will hold the correct answer to the question. You can select only one. Therefore, you should read the question and the options carefully to make your choice.
  • List’ style questions: This question style will have a question followed by four statements and four options. Every option will have a combination of three statements. You will need to read the statements, relate each option with the question, and choose the correct answer.
  • ‘Missing word’ style questions: This question style will provide you with a statement instead of a question which will have a missing word, the question being followed by four options, with any one of the four being the possible missing word in the statement. But you will go through all the four given options and choose the one which is relatable to the statement.

Paying and appearing for the examination

For classroom training, the examination is usually being conducted by the trainer at the end of the course. The examination fees vary from country to country and you will need to check with the accredited training organisations to check for the correct figures.

The PRINCE2® Foundation Examination fee offer from PEOPLECERT: £236.00 for India.

Some eLearning courses also have the examination bundled with their offered courses, and you will get a voucher from the Accredited Training Organisation, the voucher which you can use when appearing for the examination in one of the examination institutes’ websites. You may buy the examination from the Accredited Training Organisations or examination institutes separately and go through the same process.

Choices are also available to take the examination in certain test centres such as Prometric, but it is not as common as other options.

Choosing the test centre and scheduling/rescheduling/cancelling the examination

Follow these steps in order to register for the examination and choose the examination centre.

  • Via Pearson Vue:

Step 1: Visit the link:

https://www.peoplecert.org/browse-certifications/project-programme-and-portfolio-management/PRINCE2®-2/PRINCE2®-2017-foundation-2232.

Step 2: Scroll to the bottom of the page and look for the header ‘Take the Exam’.

Step 3: At the bottom right corner of the screen, under ‘Approved Test Centre’, click ‘Pearson Vue’.

Step 4: You will be taken to the page of Pearson Vue

Step 5: At the right-hand side of the page, you will see a host of options. You will need to sign in or create an account to schedule, reschedule or cancel an examination.

Step 6: To find a test centre, look just below where you are asked to sign-in and you will need to either  click on ‘Find a Test Center’ or ‘Find a test centre on a military base’ to search  for the test centre according to your choice.

Step 7:  Proceed with the chosen test centre to schedule the examination date that you prefer.

  • Via Prometric:

Step 1: Repeat step 1 from above.

Step 2: Scroll to the bottom of the page and look for the header ‘Take the Exam’.

Step 3: At the bottom right corner of the screen, under ‘Approved Test Centre’ click‘ Prometric’.

Step 4: You will be taken to the page of Prometric:

https://www.prometric.com/test-takers/search/pcert
Step 5: At the top of the page you will find four options:

  • ‘Schedule My Test’: Click this option if you want to schedule the day and date of your examination.
  • ‘Locate A Test Center’: Click this option if you want to find the test centre according to your choice.
  • ‘Reschedule/Cancel My Test’: Click this option if you want to reschedule the day of your examinations or cancel it.
  • ‘Confirm My Test’: Click this option if you want to get a confirmation on the test centre, the day and date when your examination will be held.

Conclusion

So that was the discussion of the PRINCE2® Foundation Examination structure. This blog will help you to get a deep understanding of the core details of the system, structure, criteria, and nature of the examination. After this, you surely would have a clearer idea about how the entire examination system works and what you need to apply for the same. Not only that, but you will also be better positioned to move ahead in understanding the further details regarding PRINCE2®.

All the best!

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