Achieving the ITIL Service Managers Certificate is a big challenge that should not be under estimated.
Let me tell you why...
1. It's usually delivered in two parts by training providers; week one for service support, then a few gaps weeks (varies by training provider) and then week two for service delivery. By week, I mean five solid days education and sample questions.
2. There is also a lot of content delivered during the two weeks and to commit to memory.
3. The actual exams consist of two written papers, each three hours long. Therefore exam technique and actually being able to write coherently for six hours is essential!
Therefore my tips for success if you are taking the certification soon are these:-
* Review and re-learn the ITIL essentials BEFORE you even start the course. Go there fully revised and prepared! This head start is critical!!
* Use the actual two course weeks to learn about the "interfaces" between the different processes and to soak up the more advanced material – not the basics. You should know these ‘going in’.
* Practice learning and writing from memory the core essentials of all processes:- definition, benefits, challenges, core process steps, metrics, reporting, people roles, interfaces with other processes.
* Also try to get hold of some sample questions from your training provider in advance of the course (or from EXIN). Get a feel for the types of questions asked.
* In advance of your exams - practice writing each day. It sounds a bit daft - but when was the last time you actually wrote anything for more than a few minutes!? I know I type nearly everything these days! Get your writing hand used to working, and use muscle relaxation techniques to warm-up and warm-down. I promise you - this will make the difference when you actually do the exams.
* Think through how best to use the time in between the two weeks of education. Should you revise what you've learnt - or - focus more on what's coming up?
* When you're actually doing the course - set yourself some basic disciplines like getting up in time for breakfast and doing some light revision of the previous days activities. Set aside some reading time before you go to sleep to maximize the time that information is flowing around your brain overnight.
* Some of your marks are based on an in course assessment these days. It's wise to maximize the points you get on this to give you the very best chance of success.
* Exam technique is also worth remembering. Know the difference between exam questions like: "Contrast", "Explain", "Compare", "Highlight" and so on. Each has slightly different and subtle meaning.
To close, what do the people who mark our papers think?
Did you know - examiners most commented statements when marking papers are:-
- The Hand writing is impossible to read
- The student did not answer the question asked (but answered what they 'thought' was asked)
- The student re-gurgitated a lot of information - but it was not asked for!
I hope these tips provide some advance ‘food for thought’ and if you are sitting your papers soon – I wish you the very best of success!
PS - Looking for ITIL Guides and Revision Materials? Visit the IT Service Blog Now!