Passing the ITIL Foundation Certification Exam

I passed with 95% correct. Here are the secrets of how and what I did to pass the ITIL v3 Foundation 2011 Exam.

itil v3 certification

I recently passed the ITIL® Foundation Exam with a score of 95% (38 correct answers out of 40 questions). In this post, I share my experience of studying and passing the ITIL® Foundation Exam, detailing the study plan, resources and materials used and the exam logistics. It is hoped that my sharing would be able to help fellow ITIL® candidates to get ITIL® Foundation certified.

You may wish to hear that getting ITIL® Foundation certified is NOT that difficult — with 2 months or less of learning, studying and doing practice exams, you will also be able to pass the ITIL® Foundation Exam with high scores even if you are working full-time and have family obligations. I have to work full-time while taking care of my kids during my ITIL® Exam preparation. Wish you ITIL® success!


ITIL® Foundation Study Materials and Resources

Since the ITIL® Foundation exam doesn’t have any pre-requisites in terms of experience and education, I originally wanted to minimize the expense through self-study by paying for the exam fee only. However, after searching through the internet, it was found that ITIL® Foundation exam could not be registered on the ITIL® official site, the exams are to be administrated by 3rd party exam administration bodies.


ITIL® Foundation Online Course + Official Exam Voucher

Most of the ITIL® exam administration bodies have agreements with the ITIL® training organization to only offer exams to students enrolled in their training courses only. This means that I could only purchase an ITIL® Foundation exam voucher in a bundled training+exam package — GreyCampus accreditated ITIL® v4 Foundation Online Course is my recommendation. After discount, it is possibly the lowest ITIL® Foundation Training + Exam Fee on market, this course package includes online video training, ITIL® Foundation practice exams, study aids and the ITIL® Foundation Exam voucher which allows you to take the ITIL® Exam on your own computer (you can also request to book an exam in a local exam centre). Read here for more details.

Discount Tips: 10% discount offer for GreyCampus ITIL® v4 Foundation Training + Official Exam Fee! (with coupon code) Please click here to find my first-hand review.

Upon the purchase of this course, you will almost have ALL YOU NEED to get the official ITIL® Foundation Certificate!


ITIL® Foundation Exam Prep Book

In order to play safe (who want to pay the ITIL® Foundation re-xxam fee?), I also purchased the ITIL® Foundation Exam Study Guide by Liz Gallacher and Helen Morris which helps me to understand the ITIL® Exam topics in a structured way and pass the ITIL® exam in first try. I highly recommend this ITIL® Foundation Study Guide for ITIL® Exam candidates.


ITIL® Foundation Sample Exams

On the official website of ITIL®, there is one sample exam paper available for download for free. And if you have purchase the ITIL® Foundation Exam Study Guide by Liz Gallacher and Helen Morris, you can find this sample ITIL® exam (Sample Paper A) together with another exam (Sample Paper B) near the end of the book. Also, in the free downloadable online resources included in the purchase of the book, you can also find two additional mock exams in a simulated environment. There are also more ITIL® sample exams included in the GreyCampus ITIL® Foundation CourseThese practice exams should be sufficient to help you get familiar with the ITIL® Exam question pattern and pass the real ITIL® Exam.


ITIL® Foundation Exam Strategy

  1. Answer the questions according to what you have read in the ITIL® study guides, not based on your common sense. After all, the questions and answers are prepared by ITIL®, you can only score point if you follow what ITIL® tells you. It is perfectly okay if you are able to tweak the ITIL® best practices to suit your organization to achieve great success. But save that for your organization, when attending the ITIL® exam, do as what ITIL® suggest you to do.
  2. Don’t under-estimate the difficulty of the ITIL® Foundation exam. Don’t take others words that the exam is easy. You have to be well prepared in order to guarantee a pass. It’s true that many of the questions are quite direct, asking only for definitions. However, you may also encounter some more tricky questions. Learn all the required materials and prepare for it just like any professional exam.
  3. Learn the official definitions for terms/processes. The ITIL® Foundation exam focuses on one’s understanding and awareness of the ITIL® knowledge. Selecting the definitions of terms would surely be a popular question type you would encounter on the real ITIL® exam.
  4. Read the questions carefully. The exam time is more than enough, many students can finish the exam in under 30 minutes. Don’t rush through the questions in case you would miss an important word like ‘not’, ‘no’, etc.
  5. Schedule the exam day just after you have finished all the study courses/materials. Strike iron while it is hot. Don’t wait, don’t procrastinate. Take the ITIL® Foundation exam while you have the best memory of the ITIL® materials.


Difficulty of the ITIL® Foundation Exam

On the whole, the difficulty of the ITIL® Foundation exam depends very much on which 40 questions you have been given for your exam. Some candidates claimed that the exam is extremely easy, achieving nearly 100% of correct answers. I got over 90% in the official Sample Paper A and B for the first try and got 95% in the real ITIL® Foundation exam despite the fact that I got some more difficult questions in the real ITIL® Exam paper.

It is safe to say that the score of the sample papers do reflect your readiness for the exam. If you get over 80% in the sample papers, you can ready for the real ITIL® 4 Foundation exam.

But never under-estimate the difficulty of any exams, including ITIL® v3 Foundation. Fortunately, since it requires only 65% correct answers to pass the exam, there is still a comfortable margin for us to pass with ease.


Is ITIL® Foundation Exam Worthwhile?

The ITIL® contains the knowledge helping an IT management staff to manage IT service to deliver maximum values to the organization. If you have assumed a management role in a IT department, this is the must-have certification for you. The ITIL® breaks down the many practices you might have been practicing and provides you with the theoretical and structural background, helping you to improve the IT service management of your organization. The best part of ITIL® is that one can adopt and adapt the best practices suggested in the volumes to suit the individual needs of each organization.

Obtaining a pass in ITIL® Foundation Exam will require one to study seriously for around 2 weeks. And as the ITIL® Foundation Certificate will never expire and organizations around the world are adopting ITIL®, this certification exam is ideal for IT management staff. If you are a PMP, you can even claim PDU for the number of hours you have taken to study ITIL® Foundation (of course, the ultimate amount of PDU depends on how many PMI approves, usually around 20 to 30 PDUs).

I sincerely encourage you to go for the ITIL® Foundation Certification if that interests you. Use my free ITIL® study notes if you find them useful.

Wish you ITIL® success!


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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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50 Responses

  1. Jamal says:

    Hi,thanks alot for sharing your experience on studying for ITIL4 Foundation exam.Really helpful material as l prepare to do the same exam.

  2. Oladapo Adewole says:

    Is ITIL v4 Certification available now. I am very interested.

  3. GOPINADHAN A says:

    Hi Edward,
    Could you guide me to schedule the ITIL exam. I have purchased the GreyCampus ‘ITIL Foundation Certification Training & Certification exam –
    Online Self Learning’ package and feel ready for the exam. When I click the link you provided(prometric), the page not found error appears. Can I appear for the exam at prometric without paying anything extra? How to write it at home and what is the difference.

    Thanks and regards

    • Edward Chung says:

      If you have purchased the ITIL training with EXAM, you will be able to raise a ticket from within your learning portal for the ITIL Foundation Exam Voucher. Simply follow the instructions and you will be able to schedule and write the exam.

      Wish you ITIL success!

      • GOPINADHAN A says:

        Hi Edward,
        Thanks loads. I have passed my ITIL exam on 11th Nov 2018. Now extension of my name looks slightly similar to yours :).. PMP,ITIL for both I took your advise and did PMP last year using PMprepcast(mainly) and now ITIL with GreyCampus. Although there is no comparison on difficulty between these two exams ITIL is also very good for me as it is very relevant to my job. I claimed 25 PDUs as well for PMP. Learned a lot during last one and half years. Thanks again and keep up the good work.

      • Edward Chung says:

        Great! So thrilled to learn of your success!

  4. flex says:

    Hi Edward

    I’m new to ITIL and I want to ask one thing,if I pass the exam how do I receive my certificate? I’m going to do self study,and go write my exam when I’m how do I receive my hard copy Certificate?

    How long does it take to get the results and certificate?

    • Edward Chung says:

      That would depend on whether you paid for a hardcopy of the cert or not. If not, you can retrieve a digital copy of the cert from the exam vendor’s website (PeopleCert in my case). You will get the result immediately after the exam and the cert in a few days.

      Wish you ITIL success!

  5. Andre says:

    Hi Edward,
    what are the differences between itil v3 and itil 2011?
    I want to do a Itil foundation exam without a course.
    I want only buy Itil foundation study guide.
    Exam that I want to do is for itil v3 and study guide is 2011 syllabus.
    Is so different?
    Thank you for your help.

    • Edward Chung says:

      Hi Andre,

      ITIL v3 2011 is the most updated version of ITIL. So if you are currently preparing for the ITIL exams, you should be sitting for the ITIL v3 2011 version. So your study guide should be compatible with your ITIL Foundation exam.

      Wish you ITIL success!

  6. Sam says:

    Hi Edward, Is the GreyCampus ITIL foundation a version 3? Because i visited the site and read all the details but they don’t include the word “v3”.

    • Edward Chung says:

      Yes, the GreyCampus ITIL foundation course and exam is based on the version ITIL v3 2011 (meaning that it is version 3 of ITIL which was revised in 2011) and this is the latest and only version available now.

      Wish you ITIL success!

  7. Masis Manukyan says:

    Dear Edward,
    I am going to pass the ITIL foundation certification and would like to say thanks for qualified description and supportive notes on your webpage. NOte that I am in your condition prior to exams preparation- full work time and small 2 years baby.
    Hope that your recommendations help me to pass it at once, as the fee is really expensive.

    Best regards

    Masis from Yerevan, Armenia

    • Edward Chung says:

      HI Masis,

      Wish you all the best. It is really not easy to work full-time while having to take care of babies. I am sure your hard efforts will pay off! Can’t wait to hear your good news!

      Wish you ITIL success!

  8. vasanth kumar d says:

    Thank you Edward

  9. Al says:

    Hi Edward – thanks for the post. I’m interested in this certification and I have the study materials needed to prep for it, so can I simply register for the exam and take it? Or do I need to pay for formal training at an approved training facility first?

    • Edward Chung says:

      Hi Al,

      Yes, there is no formal training or experience requirements for the ITIL Foundation Exam, you can simply purchase the exam coupon and schedule your ITIL exam right away.

      Wish you ITIL success!

      • Web says:

        THX Edward!!!

        Studied your Last Minute Notes for two days and took practice exams until I fell asleep…lol.

        Passed the ITIL exam today with an 83%

  10. Sanchita says:

    Hi Edward,

    Took my ITIL V3 Foundation last week and cleared it with 95%
    Your notes have helped a lot. Thankyou so much..


  11. Trung says:

    Hi Edward, I have just passed the ITIL Foundation exam on 4 March with 83% and I would like to thank you for sharing your ITIL Certification journey with all of us. Before reading your notes, I found all the ITIL materials I got are too dry to digest, but soon after try reading a book recommended by you, I suddenly realized how easy they are! Your study notes were also a great help though I still recommend everyone to create his/her own notes for better understanding of the covered subjects. Thanks again and wish you all the best!

    • Edward Chung says:

      Congratulations on passing the ITIL Foundation Exam!

      Me too, originally I did feel that the ITIL materials were quite dry, not until I found the ITIL reference book that I just “got” it!

  12. ARMEL DJANGONE says:

    Hi Edward,
    Thanks for your making your notes availabe. I have only use your note and the ITIL Foundation Exam Study Guide by
    Gallacher, Liz. I have successfully passed the exam after 2 months self study. Thanks again.
    I have a question though. I took the exam through Pearson Cert on 1/06/2016 and since I did not receive my certification or any other type of communication. Is there a way for verifying my result through regardless of the exam provider? Is there any community for ITIL certified to get together and share experiences or thoughs?


    • Edward Chung says:

      Congratulations on passing the ITIL Foundation v3 exam! I took the exam through PeopleCert and am able to log in my online account to download the ITIL Foundation Cert. I suppose you can check with Pearson to clear your doubts. Thanks!

  13. Lydia Loh says:

    Many thanks Edward for sharing your experiences and well-documented guidance and study note! I have made used of your ITIL study notes and passed the exam (84%) yesterday! Thanks again!

    • Edward Chung says:

      Congratulations on passing the ITIL Foundation Exam! Your efforts paid off!

    • ARMEL DJANGONE says:

      Hi Linda,
      Congratulation on passing your exam. Did you receive your License number yet? I have taken and passed the exam with a score of 84% on 1/06/2016. But still now I did not receive my license number.

  14. Imran Dawood says:

    Hello Edward,

    Does it make any difference if I choose simplilearn or any local approved training vendor (whose prices are much higher than simplilearn)? Any pros or cons of both?


    • Edward Chung says:

      Hi Imran,

      If you just want to pass the ITIL Foundation Exam and get ITIL certified, the Simplilearn online course is more than sufficient. But if you are working in an ITIL organization and would like to have someone to answer your queries in practising ITIL, local training courses are much better. However, the training materials for the ITIL Foundation Exam would be pretty much the same.

      Hope this would answer your queries. Wish you ITIL success!


      • keerthi says:

        Hi edward,
        am new for ITIL i want to do ITIL foundation exam.baut i saw lot of things about itil.ITIL/ITILF/ITIL Foundation/ITIL-F/ITIL V3.what is the new vertion?what is the exam code?

      • Edward Chung says:

        Hi Keerthi,

        For ITIL Foundation Certification Exam, there are 3 historic versions (ITIL Foundation v1, ITIL Foundation v2 and ITIL Foundation v3), the most current version is ITIL Foundation v3 2011 (there is an update to the ITIL Foundation v3 in 2011 — which is not considered v4). So if you are preparing for the ITIL Foundation Certification, do try to ask the education providers if their study materials are for the ITIL Foundation v3 2011 (I am certified based on the most current version and so my study notes and materials here are for the latest version).

        Hope this helps!

  15. Nikhil says:

    Hey Thanks a lot Edward for that information.
    Just wanted to confirm which certification is more recognised exin or axelos?

  16. Karen says:

    Hi Edward!

    Thank you for the use of your notes. These will help me tremendously in studying for the exam 🙂

    Kind Regards,
    Karen Stokkeland

  17. Hi Edward,
    Just wanted to to say thank you. The notes you have on your website is awesome. I passed my ITIL V3 2011 certification today with 89%. I did my self study for about 2 weeks part time and did few prep. and mock exams online.

    Your last minute revision note was the best part of my preparation.

    Harsha Mogatala

  18. Anuradha Kumar says:

    Hi Edward,

    The ITIL foundation level exam insights and the prep notes (including the exam revision notes) you have shared is simply fabulous that I would like to attribute my success in the ITIL foundation exam that I wrote today. Passed with a score of 97%. Thanks a lot for your great contribution on this…!!! The prep book you suggested (Liz Gallacher) is also very good, that I am very glad that your blog has helped me immensely to complete my ITIL exam with a great score…!! Keep your great work, and wishing you all the best for all your endeavors..! Would also go through your PMP exam notes, as am planning to give my exam shortly. Thanks again..!!


    • Edward Chung says:

      Congratulations on your excellent results. It is my pleasure to be able to offer some assistances in helping others to achieve ITIL and PMP certifications by sharing my experience. This blog began with this humble hope and the results are well beyond my imagination as people from all over the world, including you, do find my blog useful!

      Wish you PMP success in future!

  19. Gladys Maina says:

    Dear Edward

    I want to thank you so much for the notes and the guide regarding passing of ITIL exam. I sat for the exam on 29th June 2015 and I passed with a score of 83%. Thank you very much and keep doing what you do. A lot of us are learning a lot from you. I’ll be using more of your notes and guidance once I start on PMP Certification.


  20. Abhishek Kumar says:

    Hi Edward,

    Could you please tell me the current version of ITIL, I mean is it still V3 and also, who is the real vendor of this certification ? When I search this online i get Exin, Axelos etc. I am kind of confused about, where should I be booking my exam?

    Please provide me the link for exam scheduling and test center booking. I have been to one of the Pearson VUE center but they said don’t have any idea about this test. Please help.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Edward Chung says:

      Hi Abhishek,

      The current edition is ITIL v3 Foundation 2011 (which is an “updated” version of the ITIL v3). Since July 2013, ITIL is owned by AXELOS (which is a joint venture between HM Cabinet Office of the UK Government and private company). You can still get certified through a number of vendors including Exin.

      One way to book the ITIL exam online is through Prometric (

      Hope this helps.

      Wish you ITIL success!

  21. Dave says:

    Got my ITIL V3 Foundation result today, 31/40 which was slightly better than my pre exam scores. I looked at resources on Safari which has access for 10 days free and lots of ITIL stuff. Enjoyed the study and made sure I read through the question thoroughly on he test papers and on exam day.

  22. Johanna says:

    Hi Edward,

    Would you recommend an online course or an instructor led course in person? Most of my friends have taken a 2-3 day course and then took the exam. However, I know that when I was studying for the PMP, I benefited the most from my own studying and practice questions. The instructor led course I took didn’t help much and was very expensive and as you know, the PMP exam is difficult and exhausting. What do you recommend for someone with no IT foundation background? I am also trying to leverage the opportunity to qualify for PMI PDUs.

    Please help me with this dilemma. Many thanks!

  23. novaguy84 says:

    Your link to the “one sample exam paper” is no good. Can you post an updated URL?

  24. Tendayi says:

    Hi there,

    Just want to say thank you for your guide, I wrote the Foundation exam and got 92%. All I used were your study notes and the Sybex practise Exams over the past week. Although I must add that the whole entire week I was just focused on ITIL and nothing else. Just a tip for everyone else, I wrote down all the study notes on paper trying to understand the concepts. Once I was done doing this I created Mind Maps for the various Lifecycle phases on Paper as well. Once I had completed the mind maps I did all the chapter tests from the study guide and then the two practise tests (got 80% and 72%). I also downloaded the windows store itil app, did all 100 questions and got abot 70% although some of the questions and answers were dodgy. Thank you so much! God Bless you.