Is ITIL® Foundation too easy to pass?

Any budding IT professional will know that, much like the basic certifications from the likes of Microsoft and CISCO, that ITIL® Foundation is the must-have entry level qualification for anyone looking to develop a career in IT support or service management. Our Training Sales team often hears the cry, “The ITIL Foundation exam is easy to pass. Why would I want to come on a training course when I can buy a low-cost study guide, book the exam and only study for a few hours?”

It is my view that when the good folks at the OGC/Cabinet Office released the ITIL 2011 Foundation syllabus, it was ‘dumbed down’ to increase its marketability and access to a global audience. While slightly harsh, there is no doubt that the overall cost and time required to obtain ITIL Foundation has been significantly reduced in the last five years. It’s also worth noting that the success of ITIL marketing has resulted in the Foundation qualification becoming one of the most ubiquitous IT certificates in the world.

How much does it cost?

An ITIL Foundation exam costs around £180 ($225), depending on which country you are in. Most delegates attend an exam centre and take an invigilated online exam that lasts 60 minutes. The pass mark is 65%, and successful candidates are awarded their certificates by an approved examination institute such as EXIN, APMG or PeopleCert.

Study guides vary in price but books from respected publishers (including IT Governance Publishing) can be purchased anywhere from £10 – £50.

And then there is your study time. This will depend on your ability to study on your own at home, but is estimated by AXELOS (current ITIL rights owner) as requiring a minimum of 10-15 hours.

What about those training courses?

Classroom courses usually last two or three days and have the advantage of condensing the study time, exam preparation and the exam itself into a defined time-period delivered at a set cost. They are more expensive than self-study but have been shown to significantly increase pass rates and have the distinct advantage of not requiring the delegate to have prepared or studied before attending.

Success in the ITIL Foundation exam relies on the delegate understanding the concepts, principles and, most importantly, the unique ITIL vocabulary. I had worked for three years in an IT technical role (programmer/analyst) before I first saw an ITIL exam paper and was surprised at how many new words I had to learn in a very short period! I was glad to attend a classroom training course where I could ask my trainer exactly which ones I needed to know and what they actually meant.

Our ITIL Foundation (2-day) training course runs as a classroom session and is next available on 17-18 January 2017. It includes a copy of the ITIL® Foundation Essentials textbook and the ITIL Foundation exam, and costs just £375 + VAT.