2019, Jul 17    

Before you get  too excited seeing the title of this post, let me tell you that I have years of experience in IT Service Management. However, like almost all the certifications or standardized tests, in order to pass the exam, we need to familiarize ourselves with the exact terminologies and format used in that exam; even if we possess a decent level of experience and skill in that particular domain. So, if you have experience working in IT service management/solution architect/Business IT analyst type of roles and are thinking about obtaining the ITIL 4 certification in a short time, this post is for you!

Study material

After doing some serious online research on ITIL preparation, I signed up for the ITIL 4 Foundation: Complete Course & 2 Practice Exams Udemy course (created by Jason Dion) on a discounted price (only 1300 JPY which is approx. 12 USD) and now I can tell you (with evidence) that it was a very good decision and purchase! Speaking of discounts on Udemy, I bought the course at a 95% discounted price! So, the original price for this course is quite costly. That being said, Udemy offers these massive discounts on a regular basis, so make sure you are purchasing your course at the right time 😛

This course has 6 hours of video lectures and comes with a 44 page pdf study guide. These are the only two resources I used for my preparation and passed with 95% score after just one week of study!

How to best  utilize the study materials

This is not a new trick but let me repeat it here. Before watching the video about a particular section, first read that section in the pdf guide, which  will make it easy for you to follow the video lecture. The instructor in that course gives very specific instructions about which part of the lecture is more important for the exam and which parts are mainly for your professional knowledge only. For some topics, you need to memorize word by word definitions and for some topics, you need to comprehend the concept. The instructor makes this distinction crystal clear when he explains the topics.

Practice exams

The above course comes with two practice exams. Although I got passing scores in both of those exams, I still wanted to practice more, just to be on the safe side. After all, the exam fee would cost me USD 250 to USD 400 (more on that later). So, I spent another 1300 JPY (approx. 12 USD) and bought Jason Dion’s another Udemy course, ITIL 4 Foundation: Practice Certification Exams (6 Exams). Once I started scoring 90%+ in the practice exams, I knew I was ready to take the official test!

Buying the exam voucher

After looking into all the available alternatives, I decided to sit for the exam via Peoplecert, which is AXELOS’  official exam institute. I could buy Peoplecert’s online proctored exam directly from their website which would cost me 39,900 JPY (almost 370 USD). But instead of doing that, I started looking for an ITIL 4 exam voucher from third party training providers. These third party training providers buy the exam vouchers from Peoplecert in bulk and then resell them to the examinees at a discounted rate than the retail price listed in Peoplecert’s website. To give you a real life example, I bought the exam voucher from PassionIT Group for USD 255 which is significantly cheaper than the price in Peoplecert. The only downside was that after paying to PassionIT Group for my exam voucher, I had to wait a full day to receive the exam voucher by email! I hope in the future they can automate this voucher issuing process so that an examinee can obtain the voucher shortly after the purchase.

Reserving an online proctored exam in Peoplecert

Around 4 PM, I went to the Peoplecert website to sign up for an account and book my online proctored exam on the same day. But the reservation system showed that no slots were available for the day! Although I am not 100% sure but I think that you need to reserve an exam slot before 4 PM if you want to take it that day. So, I contacted their customer service (by chat) and asked if it would be possible to reserve an exam for me at 6:30 PM on the same day and the representative said YES!

Sitting for the exam

I had to install a software in my laptop prior to the exam. Some of the key rules for the online proctored exam are – 1. you have to keep your microphone and camera ON for the entire duration of the exam, 2. you should be the only person present in the room during the exam, and 3. there should be nothing on your desk besides the computer you will be using of course. The online proctor appeared at 6:20 PM and asked me to show around the room which I did (using my built-in laptop camera). Once he made sure there was no one else in the room and I met all the other requirements, he asked me to start the exam using the pre-installed software.

Finishing the exam and obtaining the results

After answering all the questions and submitting the exam, I instantly got a provisional score of 95%! However, I had to wait 2 business days to get the official score and certificate in my Peoplecert account.

What’s next?

One of my main motivation to attempt the ITIL 4 exam was to get myITL subscription from AXELOS, which is free for the first year once you pass the ITIL 4 Foundation exam. However, it turned out that after passing the exam, I have to wait 2 – 4 weeks to get myITIL subscription so now I am in this waiting stage! Once I receive the subscription, I will try to add to this post about myITIL subscription experience.

Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions regarding the ITIL 4 Foundation exam. I might be able to help 😊

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