Thoughts on ITIL Practitioner

ITIL-PractitionerITIL-Practitioner Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
I hope this post helps those on the journey to Practitioner. There is a lack of resources on this test. It is also difficult. Do not underestimate it.

The book is packed full of wisdom. It has become one of my favorites. Not because it's a good prep book... but because it's a fantastic resource.

Unfortunately, you are not tested on wisdom. You are tested on how specific statements in the book match a given scenario. You must read a given sentence and recall (for example) that "communication is two way" or that we must "design for experience" ... and so on. What makes this challenging are the vague and often invisible assumptions. I hate to say this, but I will say it anyway. You must study hard, because the Practitioner exam is so poorly written.

Here are my tips:

For CSI, memorize the specific outputs of each step. Also know the tools in each step. The book is NOT explicit here. Know that some questions will work backward from the tool. For example, you might have to infer that 1) the business case is used to obtain agreement; 2) stakeholder agreement is cemented in "where do we want to be?"; 3) ...and so on. You must map out CSI in your head. Here is my outline:

For OCM, be aware of the order within the Stakeholder Management (Identify; Prioritize; Understand; Plan) and Empowerment (Identify (TNA); Plan (Plan); Do (Train); Measure). Again, the book is not explicit here. Here is my outline:

Know your metrics well. The book could have been more visual with these. Here is my outline:

Know the meaning of "adopt and adapt". Know the difference between outputs and outcomes. Know how it ties in with VOCR. Be able to identify the specific V, O, C and R given a sentence containing these elements. You will be tested on detail.

Know the tools in Chapter 7. I recommend filling out EVERY template, using your current work situation as a basis. Then do it AGAIN, using Axelos' case study as a basis. Use your imagination to fill an blanks. By the way. The case study in the sample paper is the same as on the test, so memorize it!

What do you NOT need to know? Items that won't appear include the Stages of Grief, Gartner Hype Cycle, COBIT, etc. They are inside the book but outside the syllabus.

For prep material, you need the official book and free sample papers. That's it. I do not recommend instructor-led training. The book is clear and concise enough that none is needed. In fact, I couldn't find a course that truly complemented the book. It only wasted time and muddied the waters. Of the courses I surveyed for my company (both online and offline), all were dismal.

In short... Practitioner is a good product. The book in particular is fantastic. The test is tough, but for the wrong reasons. Read the book carefully. Read it at least twice and do the practice exams. If you're doing this with a group, scheduling a few chapters per week and using each tool (as they come up) on a real problem works wonderfully. My group read "Phoenix Project" in parallel which made the experience more enriching.

Good luck future Practitioners,


  • Claire AgutterClaire Agutter Member Posts: 772 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Great feedback, thank you!
  • Remi_Remi_ Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for your feedback, I completely agree. I sat the exam to today and failed by 1 question, got 27/40. That was extremely frustrating because it is such a poor exam quality. I read a lot of posts about it but I couldn't believe that it's that bad. Sometimes I wasn't even sure what they exactly want from me. I studied the book and took the Sample Paper No2 which I passed with 32/40 after one hour.

    I will not re-take the exam, the content is really good and helpfull but the exams are so poorly written which makes them hard because if of a wrong reason. ITIL exams should not test your ability to decipher hidden information or messages so you actually understand what the question is. Even after studying it is mostely coincidence if you pass the exam based on the questions you get.
  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youMod Posts: 2,781 Mod
    That is how I felt about ITILv3 Foundation.
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • Remi_Remi_ Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Sorry to hear that - at least you didn't spend about 400,- € on these poor quality exams.
  • aloezealoeze Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the input, I took my practioner exam today and failed. But vague questions is an understatement. I was on a two day course with Global Knowledge and during the two days of training I was no nearer to being prepared to answer the questions than I was when i went in.

    It seems so hit and miss if you get the answers right and the whole class was getting things wrong all the time with the sample questions. Really appreciate the time you took to provide the information, and points of study, i will just use your notes as a reference point for study if I re-take the exam.
  • it_newcomerit_newcomer Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank's everybody for your insights and especially ITIL PRACTIONER ! I was wondering what online course is recommended, you answer my question and more.
    Could the problem with the badly written exam comes from a poor translation ? You all took it in english ? I'm wondering if someone took it in french ? Of course i'll need the french book, which is available.

    By the way, I found in this course (in french): IT CERTIFICATION - GUIDE POUR RÉUSSIR, on It contain tips on how pass certification rapidly and efficiently. And most interesting, what are the top paying certification (you could also simply make a google search and also find a lot stuff). contains cheap and good IT (and others subjects) online training. Really take the time to read the short presentation of the course, the content and comments from customers. Some courses are so so.

    Nice community to be in, i'm very grateful :)
  • it_newcomerit_newcomer Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I found a few helpful comments from the Axelos blog regarding Practitioner exam

    Hope it helps !

    I'm still studying for Foundation exam but thinking about the next step.
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