11 Tips to pass ITIL v3 Foundation exam

Are you planning to get through the ITIL Foundation examination in your first attempt?. Then, let me share a few tips based on my experience. Motivation is the key for your success and planning will drive you, towards it. I followed a unique way of preparing my self for the examination, in just 6 days.

As I mentioned above, motivation is the key aspect in achieving most of our goals in life. If you are motivated enough to set up a goal in your life, you can plan well ahead to achieve it within a short period of time. Remember, everything has an allocated time by nature. Therefore your objectives must be SMART enough to reach your goal effectively, so don’t target for six days, be practical.

You have two options. i.e. either self-study or attend a classroom. I recommend you to attend a classroom if you are not a senior person as ITIL recommends. We assume that you are experienced in IT Service Management (ITSM).


  • You should be experienced enough in the field of ITSM.
  • You have purchased either the hard copy or the digital format of the ITIL Foundation Exam Guide by Hellen Morris & Liz Gallacher from Sybex. Follow this link to purchase.
  • You have installed the Sybex Test Engine tool (for testing your knowledge). You can find this tool at this link. Please register to access these free materials and adhere to Terms of Use of Sybex.

11 Techniques for your success

So how does one can achieve this goal more efficiently? either he is experienced or a beginner. Here are 11 techniques that I’ve found helpful, and of course succeeded.

1. Select a good resource as a GUIDE

Well, we are referring to ITIL Foundation Exam Guide by Hellen Morris & Liz Gallacher from Sybex. I found this as a well-structured material for passing the exam. Not only it provides the concepts of ITIL framework, but also a summary of each chapter, an exam essential guide and an assessment test to test your knowledge. A good resource will always guide you through till the end.

2. Do the pre-assessment test

The ITIL Foundation Exam Guide by Hellen Morris & Liz Gallacher from Sybex provides you an assessment before you begin your journey. This will help you to find out where you are standing and identify the knowledge gaps that you really required to insist on during your effort.

3. Read and summarize

You must READ the ITIL Foundation Exam Guide carefully to understand the concepts and its logical relationships to each process throughout the Service Life Cycle Stages. Use a mind-mapping technique to summarize each chapter in your own way.

Also, read the SUMMARY of each chapter carefully and try to understand what you have learned already what you have missed. You may require to refer the same chapter again and again until you satisfy your self. Reading the EXAM ESSENTIALS at this time is not a must (I will reveal later).

4. Do chapter tests

Again, you have two options. Either you can refer the installed Sybex Test Engine or you can follow the traditional method by referring the book itself. Remember to make a note of the areas you already knew at the time of the assessment. This will enable you to identify the areas that you should put more weight.

Repeat steps 3 & 4 for each chapter.

5. Study the mind-maps carefully

Find the relationship with each process under each stage of the Service Life Cycle. You don’t need to bi-hard anything for the exam, except few concepts such as the Demin Cycle (also known as PDCA Cycle) and Seven-Step Improvement Process under Continual Service Improvement (CSI) stage.

Fix a date for the exam. Leave a few days for the balance work.

6. READ exam essentials of each chapter

Compare your knowledge and refer the mind-maps to fill the knowledge gap. If required you may revisit respective knowledge areas to refresh yourself.

7. Repeat the pre-assessment test

This will let you know your strengths and the outcome of your valuable effort.

8. Test your knowledge, do mock exams

The ITIL Foundation Exam Guide provides you with two mock exams free. Test your knowledge with timing pretending that you are at the final examination. Keep a gap between two exams.

9. Read all answers carefully

Yes, now you will feel that you are possessing a good knowledge in all five stages of the Service Life Cycle. Refer all answers of each chapter tests, assessments, and the mock exams.

10. Final Test

Do the mock exam provided by ITIL Official site. Till now, you have done more than 280 questions so far.

Check the exam center to confirm your exam date.

11 Repeat step 5 once more.

Congratulation! now you are ready to take the examination. Good Luck!!!

Will you share your opinion and experience?

Click here to participate in our forum to share your experience of what you have done that has worked to be a great success. That will help us to improve these tips further, to make them more efficient and effective. Or simply post your comments below to share your views about this article.


  • Visit the ITIL Official Site to obtain the glossaries of terms, free mock exam paper, and more information about ITIL v3 Foundation examination.
  • Register and log-in to www.sybex.com in order to access free downloadable study tools from Sybex.

Disclosure of Material Connection:
I have no relationship with the entities in the links or references neither I am an employee. I only recommend products or services which I use personally and believe it will add value to my readers.
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