All ITIL Foundation Aspirants Need to Know About the Exam

itil v3 foundation exam

Introduction: The ITIL® 4 Foundation Certification is the entry level certification of the ITIL® qualification scheme. It aims at certifying that the holder of certificate has gained knowledge of the terminology, structure and basic concepts of the ITIL® framework and has an understanding of the core principles of ITIL® service management. One can get training and exam online through accredited education for the ITIL® Foundation Exam.

What is ITIL®?

ITIL® stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library, it is a collection of best practice in IT service management. The core component of ITIL® consists of five books featuring service strategy, service design, service transition, service operation and continual service improvement. The ITIL® forms the framework for IT governance within the organizations.

ITIL® has been widely adopted by the public and private sectors around the world, reaping benefits of improved quality, cost saving and better governance.

Why getting ITIL® Foundation Certification?

(Note: ITIL® 4 Foundation Certification is the most current version of the exam.)

  • You are working in a company practicing ITIL® IT Service Management methodology
  • You want to apply for jobs to companies practicing ITIL®
  • You want to have an understanding of ITIL®
  • You want to earn PDU for your PMP Certification renewal
  • You want to advance in your career in IT
  • You want to become a know-it-all IT developer (that’s me, I want to know all the best practices in IT so that I can apply these in my work)

About ITIL® Foundation Examination

  • No training or work experience required – anyone wishing to get the ITIL® foundation certificate can apply to sit for the exam with self-study, however, most of the exam vouchers for ITIL® foundation must be purchased in a bundle with exam prep materials
  • A must for people intending to get ITIL® Intermediate Certification or above
  • Is a close book examination
  • Can be taken online (in a proctored environment) or in paper
  • Answer 40 multiple choice questions (only 1 correct answer) within an hour (if your mother tongue is not English, you will get an extra 15 minutes) – according to most ITIL® foundation exam takers, an hour is way more than enough
  • The passing mark is 65% (i.e. 26 correct answers out of 40)

ITIL® Foundation Examination Syllabus

(the exam syllabus for the latest ITIL® v4 Foundation Exam will be updated once annouced)

Candidates will be tested on the following components of the ITIL® framework. Important topics appear in bold. (The words in the brackets indicate the depth of the of the knowledge required for that component, comprehension means a high level understanding of what it is and how it works while awareness means knowing its existence and functions.)

  • Service management as a practice (comprehension)
  • The ITIL® service lifecycle (comprehension)
  • Generic concepts and definitions (awareness)
  • Key principles and models (comprehension)
  • Selected processes (awareness)
  • Selected functions (awareness)
  • Selected roles (awareness)
  • Technology and architecture (awareness)
  • Competence and training (awareness)

For the ITIL® service lifecycle, there are 5 stages and a total of 26 process and 4 functions.

Service Lifecycle Stage Processes & Functions
Service Strategy
  • Strategy Management For IT Services, Service Portfolio Management
  • Business Relationship Management
  • Financial Management For IT Services
  • Demand Management
Service Design
  • Design Coordination
  • Service Catalog Management
  • Service Level Management
  • Availability Management
  • Capacity Management
  • IT Service Continuity Management
  • Information Security Management
  • Supplier Management
Service Transition
  • Transition Planning and Support
  • Change Management
  • Service Asset & Configuration Management
  • Release & Deployment Management
  • Service Validation and Testing
  • Change Evaluation
  • Knowledge Management
Service Operation
  • Event Management
  • Incident Management
  • Request Fulfillment
  • Problem Management
  • Access Management
  • Functions: IT Operations, Technical Management, Application Management, Service Desk
Continual Service Improvement
  • Seven-Step Improvement Process

Sample ITIL® Foundation Examination

ITIL® website has released a sample paper for the ITIL® 4 Foundation Examination which can be used as practice questions to assess your level of understanding of the subject matters.

Applying for and Taking the ITIL® Foundation Examination

The ITIL® website is not responsible for taking care of the application and administration for the ITIL® examination. The owner of the ITIL® has delegated the examination administration to Accredited Training Organizations (ATO) or one of the Examination Institutes. Candidates for the ITIL® 4 Foundation Certification would need to contact the ATO or Examination Institutes by themselves and arrange for the examination.

There are some online training institutes providing training and examination packages for the ITIL® Foundation Certification in which candidates can take proctored ITIL® examination right in their home.

I have documented my ITIL® 4 Foundation Certification journey in details, including the study notes, in the hope of helping other ITIL® Foundation aspirants.

Cost of ITIL® Foundation Examination

Unlike most other popular certification examination, there is no official cost for the ITIL® Foundation examination as ITIL® has left the examination administration to the ATO or Examination Institutes. According to my searches through the internet, it seems that the exam fee is around US$250 at the time of writing. This fee will be adjusted annually (means increase every year). It is advisable to take the ITIL® Foundation exam as early as possible once you are ready as the certification qualification never expires.


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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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46 Responses

  1. Ashrith Olety says:

    Hi, I had couple of questions.
    1. What is the study material for ITIL. I googled thru and found too many and confusion.
    2. I recently got certified with PMI-ACP, does any PDU get added for my renewal, if I pass ITIL

    • Edward Chung says:

      Hi Ashrith,

      1. You can purchase ITIL study guides/enrol in ITIL courses which will include all the necessary materials for your to study.
      2. Yes, the time you spent on learning the materials may count towards PDUs.

      Wish you ITIL success!

  2. Sunny says:

    Hi Edward,

    Seems like shows the exam as “ITIL® 2011 Foundation”. I am confused if this is v3 or v4.

    I was also preparing for this exam on – Course “IT Service Management Certification Training”. Do you think this course covers v4 as well ?

    Can you please let me know.


    • Edward Chung says:

      On the Pearsonvue website there is the ITIL 4 Foundation Exam which is for the most current version.

      As for the Master of Project course, I am sorry I don’t know actually.

      Anyway, wish you ITIL success!

  3. Odette Hernandez says:

    I am interested on ITIL Foundation Course + Exam Fee. Can you please send me more details about it? I am a PMP and CSM professional…

  4. Bob says:

    You sir, ROCK! Thanks for your site and effort! Studying to get back into the industry.

  5. Lianamelissa says:

    HI,this blog is really useful and it is very interesting thanks for sharing.

  6. JOY says:

    Hi Edward,
    please what is the exam code for the latest ITIL EXAM,Is it EX0-100?

  7. billi says:

    Hi Edward,

    I want to write the ITIL Exam,i am in Atlanta Georgia.I want to buy practice questions,but I am seeing different exams with different codes.Please which one can i buy and which one is applicable in the US.

    • Edward Chung says:

      Dear Billi and Joy,

      There should be only one version of ITIL Foundation (2011) Exam. The exam codes are not the same for different exam administrators (e.g. I took the ITIL Foundation Exam from PeopleCert and there is NO exam code for this exam).

      Sorry that I cannot provide more assistance in that aspect. Wish you ITIL success!

  8. GRV says:

    HI Edward,
    First of all 3 cheers to you, your blog is really helpful in many ways, I used it to refer for the PMP based clarifications, and you surely have done a commanding job with that plus keeping it up-to-date in the comments section. I am replying here in the ITIL page of your blog, cz after completing PMP this year, I am planning to do ITIL foundation but read on the pearsonvue website that “ITIL Foundation, MOPF, MORF, MOVF, MSPF, PR2F. These exams will be discontinued from 1 January 2018. ”
    So thought of throwing the question to you to understand what exactly it means, does it mean ITIL foundation certification will no longer exist i.e. no value of it in the market or does it simply mean pearsonvue will stop conducting these cert. examinations.
    Pls throw some light on it.


    • Edward Chung says:

      Oh, that’s really strange. I do not receive any news from the owner of ITIL: AXELOS over the discontinuation of ITIL Foundation. ITIL Foundation is such a useful certification that it should have its place in the ITIL certification framework. I will look into the matter seriously!


    • Edward Chung says:

      Phew… it is found that Pearsonvue will NO LONGER hold ITIL Foundation Exams. Axelos has appointed PEOPLECERT as the sole provider of ITIL exams from 1st January 2018.


      • GAURAV SINGHAL says:

        Ok, so ITIL V3 Foundation is still in the reckoning, right? Its just the change of hands from Pearsonvue to Peoplecert.
        I was just worried about the future of this Foundation certification.

      • Edward Chung says:

        Yes, you are right! ITIL Foundation is such a useful certification that should be kept in the ITIL Certification Framework.

        Wish you ITIL success!

  9. Siddharth says:

    hi Edward,
    I already have Exam coupon, I just want to know the best option of online elearning course.
    All the options already mentioned at your site, include exam coupon combined as part of their overall fee.
    I only need session, as I already have coupon.
    Please advise


    • Edward Chung says:

      Yes, there is no need to purchase the bundle of ITIL online training course with exam coupon. There is an option of purchase the GreyCampus online ITIL Foundation course WITHOUT exam coupon for the current price of US$200 with the discount coupon “PCSOFFPM” (purchase here: )

      For Thought Rock, there is not an option to purchase without exam coupon.

      Wish you ITIL success!

  10. Anupama says:

    Hi Edward, i am planning to take itil foundation exam. i found thoughtrock and mountainview cheapest. I live in Canada. Do you know how is thoughtrock material for itil foundation? It seems i can only take exam from home/office etc. and not book it in some official training center through throughtrock. Any idea how easy it is to take this exam at home?
    I also have the itil book you have suggested. i can do self study but in that case, how can i book the exam?

  11. Piyalee says:

    Hi Edward,
    Thank you for posting all the information. It really is helpful for aspirants like us .
    I am planning to take up the ITIL Foundation . Can I just go through the Study guide by Liz Gallacher & Helen Morris and register ? I always have done self study for my other Networking Certificates. Is it essential to enrol through any official course provider ?

    Please share your views.
    Thanks much,

    • Edward Chung says:

      Hi Piyalee,

      Thanks for your email. It is absolutely possible to go through the ITIL Foundation Study Guide to take and pass the exam. That’s the cheapest way if you have got your exam fee covered by your boss. Otherwise, it make sense to purchase the GreyCampus ITIL Foundation course + exam package as this package includes the ITIL Exam fee plus the course, study guide, mock exams, etc. that would help you pass the exam easier at roughly the same cost of the ITIL Exam:

      Wish you ITIL success!

      • Piyalee says:

        Hi Edward,

        Thanks a lot for your response !
        Once again, your site is very helpful .


  12. Psheth says:

    Hi Edward,
    What would you recommend? Self paced course or online classroom with Simplilearn

    • Edward Chung says:

      Hi Psheth,

      I would highly recommend self paced courses if you do great with self study. I did all my certifications (PMP, PMI-ACP, ITIL and PRINCE2) through self paced online courses. It is cheaper and offers more flexibility.

      Hope this help. Wish you ITIL success!

  13. anil kumar says:

    i am in Bangalore, India..How to take ITIL V3 Foundation..How much it costs include all….is it sure 100% pass ? do we need to study any dumps…

  14. wemimo says:

    hi Edward,
    I am in Nigeria and i will like to take the ITIL exam, how do I go about it please?

    • Edward Chung says:

      Hi Wemimo,

      The ITIL Foundation exam can be taken online through a proctored exam, meaning that if you have a computer with a cam and internet collection, you can take the exam anywhere anytime.

      Wish you ITIL success!

  15. Leo says:

    Hi Edward,

    Do you have any valid discount code? Seems both “OSL30” and “ONLINE25” is no longer valid anymore.

    • Edward Chung says:

      Sorry it seems Simplilearn is not currently holding any sale at the moment. Will update once coupon codes are found.

      • Edward Chung says:

        I was updated by Simplilearn that they no longer offer discount coupon codes for ITIL Foundation Exam course as the course includes the ITIL Foundation Certification exam fee (which they will need to pay to the exam administrator without discounts).

  16. Peter says:

    Hi Edward,

    Thanks for your valuable information sharing. It helps a lot!

    Seems the online Simplilearn ITIL 2011 Foundation Training course increased to USD 399 recently. Even after “OSL30” 30% discount code, it costs USD 279.30.

    Besides, how does it include the exam? As I know, we may need to go either “Prometric” or “VUE” to take the exam and settle the payment?


    • Edward Chung says:

      Hi Peter,

      The Simplilearn ITIL course is still USD 399 as far as I remember, just that they *sometimes* offer 50% discount (perhaps once a year/ two year). The 30% discount seems to be the best deal for now.

      After purchasing the online ITIL course, you will be given an exam coupon code for you to take the ITIL Foundation exam in a proctored environment (e.g. in your office or home). You will not need to pay for the ITIL exam fee again.



  17. Jeric Carbonell says:

    Is there a new coupon code? OSL30 is already unavailable.

  18. Jeric Carbonell says:

    Once I pass the exam, How can I know that I am truly certified, is there a website where I can see my name that I am certified ITIL passer? Just curious how the exam voucher works. Can you inform me if there is a promo, I plan to avail for this training and exam by October. Thank you very much.

    • Edward Chung says:

      Hi Jeric,

      Once passed the ITIL v3 Foundation Exam, you will be able to get a certificate (either electronic or printed or both, depending on the exam administrator).

      Please use the promo code “OSL30” to get 30% off. The exam included in the Simplilearn package will be taken online, you will just need to enter the exam voucher code in order to book an exam session. Just turn on your computer and log in the exam website at the scheduled time to begin the exam, the proctor will guide you through the exam process.

  19. Rhea says:

    How long did you study -Start to finish? 2 weeks, 2 months?

  20. Guillem says:

    Hi Edward,

    Thanks for your post, is helping me a lot since there is too much information that it’s not well explained. I would like to know if the Simplilearn ITIL 2011 Foundation Training includes also the exam certification or just the learning part and I will have to pay by myself for taking the exam also.

    Thank you very much!


    • Edward Chung says:

      Yes, the Simplilearn ITIL 2011 Foundation Training includes the exam fee. After going through the course, you will be able to make use of the exam voucher included in the purchase to take the ITIL exam (which is an online exam). Hope this helps. Wish you ITIL success!

  21. Agustinus Ratno Chiu Sen says:


    Could you give me download material book for ITIL Foundation Exam ? Where is the location for ITIL Foundation Exam at Perth in Australia ?
    How much for that exam ?

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you

    • Edward Chung says:

      Hi Agustinus,
      If you are looking for training material together with exam voucher, the Simplilearn ITIL 2011 Foundation Training (USD$231 with the coupon code: SPRING50) mentioned in the post above should suit your needs. The ITIL exam included can be tackled online in your room, provided that you have an internet connection.