Is there an official PRINCE2 Foundation Exam study guide?


The question is both yes and no. Yes — there are not just 1 but 3 PRINCE2® Study Guides published by the official sponsoring body of the PRINCE2® Exams; No — the official guides are not *very* exam oriented, meaning that the guides are written either with a general purpose not aiming at helping readers to take and pass the PRINCE2® Foundation and Practitioner Exams.

AXELOS, the owner of PRINCE2®, in fact has published a number of “official” PRINCE2® reference books aiming to provide the study materials for PRINCE2® Aspirantsfor the PRINCE2® Certification Exam. These titles include the following:

  • Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2® 2009 Edition Manual
  • An Introduction to PRINCE2®: Managing and Directing Successful Projects
  • Passing your PRINCE2® Examinations 2009 Edition

Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2® 2009 Edition Manual

The first official PRINCE2® book: “Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2® 2009 Edition Manual”, aka PRINCE2® Manual, is the official document for the PRINCE2® project management methodology. Most of the PRINCE2® reference books on the market are based on the content and even the organization of the topics in this manual. It is also the only book that can be used during the PRINCE2® Practitioner Certification Exam (i.e. PRINCE2® Candidates are allowed to bring this study guide into the exam centre). Every PRINCE2® Practitioner Aspirants should buy 1 for themselves.

However, just like the PMBOK® Guide published by PMI, this PRINCE2® Manual is a dry read and is difficult to comprehend on one’s own reading. Many even expressed that they cannot understand PRINCE2® based on this manual alone. If you have just started out on PRINCE2® or would like to tackle the Foundation or Practitioner Exam, you will need to purchase other PRINCE2® study guides or training courses in addition to this book which cannot really help you to pass the PRINCE2® exams.

As a reminder, if you are to bring this PRINCE2® Manual to your PRINCE2® Practitioner Exam, you would need to keep this book very clean. Tabs, marks, labels, written words, etc. are forbidden. If you carry a manual with some study notes on it, you will not be allowed to bring the PRINCE2® Manual into the exam room. Do take note!

An Introduction to PRINCE2®: Managing and Directing Successful Projects

The second one “An Introduction to PRINCE2®: Managing and Directing Successful Projects” is also published by AXELOS. It is targeting senior managers responsible for a project as an executive role for the first time. Many consider this publication as a high level introduction and overview of the PRINCE2® Manual which introduces the principles, processes and key themes, and gives practical examples of applying them. It is aimed to help executives to decide whether their organizations would like to adopt PRINCE2® or not at a high level. And the actual working details would be left to PRINCE2® Certification holders to resolve.

Considering that this guide is just an overview of PRINCE2®, this book alone would NOT be sufficient for preparing for the PRINCE 2 Foundation / Practitioner Certification Exam. PRINCE2® Aspirants are advised not to spend their hard earned money on this not so useful PRINCE2® guide for their certification studies.

Passing your PRINCE2® Examinations 2009 Edition

The third one “Passing your PRINCE2® Examinations 2009 Edition” is an examination preparation guide for the PRINCE2® Certifications. It provides checklists on what are required in the Foundation and Practitioner Exams and sample exam question papers for both PRINCE2® Foundation and Practitioner Exams. This official PRINCE2® guide seems to perfectly match the requirements of PRINCE2® Aspirants, but you should note that no updated has been made for this book in 2013 following a change of question numbers / marks for the Practitioner Exam. It seems that AXELOS does not think that this PRINCE2® guide is popular and useful enough to deserve an update to the important facts of the PRINCE2® Exam.

Therefore, this book is now considered obsolete and PRINCE2® Aspirants should not waste money on purchasing it. However, if you can gain access to it for free, the mock exams there are is quite relevant and useful.

Then, any Recommended PRINCE2® Study Guides?

Aside from the official study guides for the PRINCE2® Foundation and Practitioner Exam, many training institutes have published far more useful PRINCE2® study guides that can really help PRINCE2® Aspirants to prepare well for their certification exams as the instructors are experienced in helping candidate to study and pass the PRINCE2® exams.

My recommendation is PRINCE2® Study Guide by David Hinde which explains the PRINCE2® knowledge in much clarity with many practical application examples. I personally made use of this study guide to help me prepare for the PRINCE2® Foundation Exam (it contains enough details to help PRINCE2® Practitioner Aspirants too).

FAQ Category: PRINCE2 Foundation Exam

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Edward Chung

Edward Chung aspires to become a full-stack web developer and project manager. In the quest to become a more competent professional, Edward studied for and passed the PMP Certification, ITIL v3 Foundation Certification, PMI-ACP Certification and Zend PHP Certification. Edward shares his certification experience and resources here in the hope of helping others who are pursuing these certification exams to achieve exam success.

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