Why You’re Failing at ITIL certification exam

IT service management has become a pivotal part of workflow in any organizations dealing with IT related services.


The Information Technology Infrastructure Library is now followed as a set of guidelines or framework pivotal for handling nuances of ITSM.


That explains why a large number of organizations are resorting to ITIL for handling IT service management.


The demand for professionals with ITIL certifications are high and thousands of applicants sit for this exam worldwide.


There are 5 levels of ITIL exams




those are managed by AXELOS- and the UK OGC.


Nuances of ITIL certification exams

Candidates seeking a career in realms of IT services management sit for the ITIL certification exams. However, the success rate dwindles as you step up the levels in ITIL certification.


As it is, a majority of applicants clear the foundation level but the same is not true for the Intermediate and next two levels.


You can sit for the exams online and conventional way. The questions are multiple choice type and you get 60- 120 minutes based on which level of certification you choose.


Understanding the reasons for failure in the ITIL certification exams:

There are a number of reasons for which a majority of candidates fail at the ITIL certification exams, more so at the intermediate level.


If you analyze and understand the reasons, it will be easier for you to evade the pitfalls and enhance your chance of clearing the exams:


  • Excessive stress and resultant anxiety

This is not new for anyone sitting for a highly competitive exam, as it is. Given the fact ITIL is a much sought after IT certification exam, you will undergo stress while preparing.


However, the candidates who fail to cope with the stress- end up faring poorly at the exam.


Stress can also be caused when the candidates come across a particularly difficult question and the fear of messing up takes toll on them.


  • Poor time management at the exam

Whether you prepare for the ITIL Foundation exam or any of the subsequent levels- time management is of utmost importance.


For the foundation exam, you get a time frame of 60 minutes and for most of the other levels it is 90 minutes.


Within this stipulated time, candidates need to answer all the questions. Sometimes, the candidates sitting for the ITIL exams fail to manage time frame well.


In the Practitioner examination for example, they need to read a scenario and answer a set of question.


So, time must be kept for reading, analysis and answering questions.


  • Poor preparation

A section of candidates sitting for the ITIL certification exam take it too lightly and as a result their preparations turn out to be less than adequate.


If you think you can clear the exam, even the Foundation level one, by just keeping a week or so- you are mistaken.


Clearing any level of ITIL exam requires preparation in a well planned manner. Consistency is the key to success here and you should not forget that.


It is a mistake to think you can score well by studying all over the day before a week of the exam or so.


Consistent practice is required for good ITIL certification preparation but you should plan the schedule in a practical way.


For example, it would be better to keep a few hours every day for practice and then increase the time as exam time approaches.


Some candidates also fare poorly at the exam as they do not practice in a time bound manner.


You should not forget you will have to clear all levels within a preset time and so setting a timer while practicing is absolutely necessary.


  • Failure in understanding the keywords thoroughly and analyzing apt context

This is particularly applicable for candidates appearing for the ITIL Foundation exam.


It is necessary to memorize certain keywords but where many candidates falter is in understanding their significance and applying them in the right context.


Otherwise, you will find it tedious to pick the right answer from multiple choice alternatives in any ITIL exam level.


  • Ignoring the need to relax

While it is necessary to practice hard for any of the ITIL certification exams- you should not ignore the need to relax once in a while.


If you stay tense all through the time before the exam and overlook the need to relax- it will affect your mind adversely.


So, it is better you find a means to relax when preparing for the exam. It would be necessary to get adequate sleep at this stage as well.


  • Overlooking importance of mock exam sessions

No matter how much you study for ITIL certification exams, it would be wrong to overlook the importance of the mock exam sessions.


Without solving such sample papers you will find it hard to adhere to timing requirements of the exam, as it is.


  • Not selecting right resource for preparation

A section of the candidates fail to choose the right online resources for preparing for ITIL exams. You will find a lot of ITIL exam related resources online.


However, not all of these will be relevant for you.


Whether it is an e book that you are about to download or other type of web resource for exam preparation, ensure it is not aimed at an outdated version of the framework.


  • Not reading the exam questions with care

This may sound simple but a majority of ITIL certification aspirants fail because of this reason! Not all questions in the exam will be very easy- as it is.


In almost all levels of this exam, you will come across tricky questions.


Some candidates fail to grasp the real meaning of the questions and end up choosing the wrong answer! Sometimes, in hurry and anxiety you may skip a simple word like ‘NOT’ in a question and get a different meaning than what is intended.


This actually happens as a result of poor time management during the exam, apart from tension.


  • Not thinking and analyzing from the ITIL perspective

Some of the applicants appearing for various levels of ITIL certification exams make the grave mistake of thinking from personal perspective while answering the questions.


You have to remember that for analyzing and answering every single question in the exam, you must think from the ITIL framework perspective.


Resist the urge to think from ether your personal point of view or use the experience of workplace while answering ITIL exam questions.


You have to give answers by the book in these exams.


Summing it all up

The complexity and competitiveness of ITIL certification exams are there but it is not impossible to evade the common pitfalls made by the aspirants either!


A proper planning and scheduling is important.


Without that, your preparation is bound to be half baked.


Skipping the mock exam session will be a big mistake too. Coping with stress will be unavoidable and so you must find means to tackle it.


Even when you are taking the exams, it will be necessary to evade certain pitfalls including reading questions in hurry and misinterpreting them.


Losing the cool during the exam will be equivalent of messing up the outcome.

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