How Do I Prepare for the ITIL® Certification Exam?

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  • Written By: Page Coleman
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 18 November 2019
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A student who is preparing for the Information Technology Information Library (ITIL®) certification exam has a number of factors to consider. He or she must consider which ITIL® certification exam to take. The student can then assess payment options, the study materials he or she will need, the type of training that is available, the locations and dates that the exams are offered and the time required to prepare.

Available ITIL® certification levels include the ITIL® Foundation in IT Service Management, ITIL® Intermediate Level, ITIL® Expert and ITIL® Master Qualification, along with bridging options between exam versions. From these types of ITIL® certification, the student will choose what he or she needs to take. This decision will affect the student’s options as far as the availability of training and examinations.

The ITIL® certification exam study materials, classes and examination represent a financial investment. Many employers pay for these items as a part of employee training programs, and the student might need to request assistance. If the employer doesn’t pay, the student will need to pay for them himself or herself.

To prepare for the ITIL® certification exam itself, a student can choose among several training options. One option is to study on one’s own. The student can buy the ITIL® books and other training materials, then use practice tests that are available on the Internet. For students paying for their own materials and exams, this might be the most affordable option.


Authorized training centers offer ITIL® certification classes that are led by an instructor at a physical location. This is more expensive than self-study, and the classes' times and locations might be less convenient for the student. These programs, however, might help ensure that the student is studying the topics most likely to be included on the exam and meeting all of the ITIL® certification requirements. As another benefit, an instructor is available to provide guidance and answer questions.

Some larger employers might have a number of employees who’d like take the ITIL® certification exam. It might be more economical to hire an authorized trainer to hold classes at the employer’s site. This option can be very convenient for the students, and again, they have the benefit of an instructor.

Online classes provide another training option for ITIL® certification programs. These classes might be more self-paced compared with attending on-site training. In addition, online classes provide structure to the training, and an instructor can help answer questions. A student might need to take the training on his or her own time rather than during the workday.

Another important part of preparing for the ITIL® certification exam is to schedule it. The student will need to determine the locations and dates that the exam will be held. He or she will need to determine how much time is needed to prepare for the exam and be sure to allow himself or herself sufficient preparation time before the exam date.


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