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ITIL :: View topic - Post-Foundation Certification: Gurus, please advise
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Post-Foundation Certification: Gurus, please advise
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JoePearson
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Joined: Oct 13, 2006
Posts: 116
Location: South Africa

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

40 pages? I don't remember writing that much. But I do remember it being the most hand-writing I'd done in any 3 hours for a very long time.
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LizGallacher
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Joined: Aug 31, 2005
Posts: 550
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The number of people who pass both managers exams at the same sitting is around 55%. People get scared because they believe that they have to write huge essays. They don't!!. Many questions ask for lists of bullet points, or difficulties in implementing something, and how to deal with them - which can be done as a 2 column table with difficultiy in column 1 and action in column 2. Those who fail have either not read the books, or, more often have not read the question! Brain dumping the benefits of a CMDB, when asked about what steps you would need to undertake to implement one is not answering the question, and will not score marks!!
As to the amount of writing - when you consider that we advise double spaced writing - and bullet points or tables take up a lot of space, 40 pages is not actually that much. I always say that you have about 5 questions in 3 hours - after reading time, that is about 30-35 minutes per question for a maximum of 20 marks. So - 1 1/2 minutes per mark. So for a 4 mark section - ow much can you write in 6 minutes? 6-9 sentences probably. It is hard work, and your hand will ache, but it is do-able.
To get a distinction you would only need to get 13 marks in each question, to pass, only 10 - so can you write 10 reasonable points in 30 minutes?

Time management is important, answering ALL parts of the question but most importantly answering what is asked!! If it is a case-study question, you will be limited to hakf marks if you do not refer in detail to the case study (ie not saying "in xxxx a CMDB would give the following benefits, followed by a generic list" instead you would say "xxxx's issue regarding xxx would be helped by having a CMDB because....."

The manager's certificate wil be ending in a year - I suspect it will still be very highly regarded after that, because of the rigour of the exams.
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Liz Gallacher,
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Trevor
Newbie
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Joined: Sep 06, 2007
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 12:35 am    Post subject: Pass rate on SM exams Reply with quote

I would suggest that the pass rate is much less, likely 60% and most people fail at least one of the exams. I would let this sway your decision. It's just an exam, if you fail either just re-write.

I coached a friend through his exams recently, I had him read the two Service Delivery and Service Support books right through, then take the class, then he re-read them and we did some group study together. He was very well prepared. He only passed one exam. He's preparing to re-write the one exam again (Service Support). The cost of writing a second time is minimal, so your investment in the training isn't lost.

If you can memorize and have a good understanding of the material, you'll do fine. It does take about 300hrs of independent study, so be prepared.

As far as paying yourself, I would do you best to see if you can get sponsored by your company. If they aren’t willing to sponsor you then they may see little value in ITIL, hence the course may not get much use after your done, unless you intend to use this cert as leverage into another job. If they do see value in ITIL and are just cheap get creative, split the course over two budget years. I took mine in Dec and Feb.

BTW, I did 35 pages hand written for each exam. Very common, but don't forget it was double spaced. I wrote a computer based "pilot" exam (basically it was exactly the same, we just got to use MS Word) and it came out at about 11-12 pages. I too failed Service Support along with everyone else that wrote with me. Myself and one other passed Service Delivery, the rest failed. I rewrote SS and got a great mark, it was much easier only doing one exam, as opposed to two, one each morning back to back.
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LizGallacher
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Joined: Aug 31, 2005
Posts: 550
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you check the BCS website, look for ISEB, IT Service management, then Your Exam, you will find the pass rates for the exam, which, as I say show about 55% pass (Pass+distinction candidates). Pass here means both papers.
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Roger
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Joined: Aug 02, 2004
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 6:48 pm    Post subject: Hand writing Reply with quote

All this talk of hand writing, 35 to 40 pages...

Find a training vendor that has the gumption to tell ISEB that you want to type the exam... if ISEB don't accept, find an EXIN accredited vendor where you can type the exam...

Who hand writes for 3 hours anymore.. !!
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UKVIKING
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Joined: Sep 16, 2006
Posts: 3292
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roger,

You are in a room with umpteen # of people. Each who is sitting at a desk 3 feet apart from the next person.

They wont let you use type writers because of the noise.

They wont let you use a PC because the exam is supposed to be taken with out anything other than your brain.

And a dictionary for the non-native english speakers.

30 to 40 pages does sound like a lot but double spaced.

I put about 8 words per line 25 lines per page

It is double spaced so that the grader can comment on each section

It is single sided because there are 2 graders and each gets a scanned copy of your paper

It is designed to be hard. Because you have to do the following

read the question
think
read the question
think
think again
prepare to write the answer.
think again
read the question
write the answer in your mind before writing it down

The test not only tests your knowledge of ITIL but your ability to explain things in a level of detail in a fixed period of time.

In other words - be a master of the subject matter.
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John Hardesty
ITSM Manager's Certificate (Red Badge)

Change Management is POWER & CONTROL. /....evil laughter
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Roger
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Joined: Aug 02, 2004
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 1:54 pm    Post subject: Typed !! Reply with quote

John. I know how hard it is...

The point is, having to handwrite the exam is a ridiculous idea. And you point that there are lots of people in a room all typing and it would be a distraction !! Come on !

We all work in environments where there are many distractions. In the exam environment everyone is focussed on what they are doing and wouldn't be worried about the pitter patter of fingers on keyboards around them. If they are bothered by it, then they shouldn't be sitting there in the first place.

Also if you play the "you can cheat if you have a PC!". Well that is what the supervisor is there for and the guidelines are strict when it comes to ensuring clean PCs.

Final point... I don't know about you, but if I didn't work in Service Management then I would be a Doctor... that is how bad my hand writing is. I wonder how many candidates fail the exam because we live in an age where the art of the written word is lost and keyboards dominate. If I was an examiner I want to focus on what the candidate had to say in their answer, not get frustrated and annoyed at untidy handwriting.


(Oh and if you think when I put down "typed" you thought I meant a classic typewriter - where in the heck would anyone get their hands on one of those - I meant typing on a PC!!)
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LizGallacher
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Joined: Aug 31, 2005
Posts: 550
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was worried about my handwriting when i sat the exam, and I certainly had to take care when writing. As a marker, I do find the odd paper to be very hard to read - we do try to decipher it, but it can be hard work for us (and you do not want your marker to be struggling to understand what you have said). But it is honestly not that bad!! Even poor writing is usually ok as long as it is spaced out. Take your time, and try and write as neatly as you can. Best advice - practice writing in the weeks before the exam (I had not written for that long for 23 years - my last University exam). Write at leat a page a day - writing out notes from the books is both a useful writing practice exam, and revision. Typing or cutting and pasting does not get it into your brain nearly as effectively. Try out different pens (black ink) until you find a type that suits. Take in several pens, of different thicknesses, and change after every answer, to stop yout hand from being in exactly te same grip for hours. Whilst thinking about the next answer (and you should be taking at least five minutes for each one -see above), then flex your hand , massage it etc.
It is hard, but do-able, as I have said before. Typing answers would be great in many ways, especially for the markers, but there are huge practical issues in ensuring that there could be 3-400 Clean PC's available in each location.
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Roger
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Joined: Aug 02, 2004
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 8:39 am    Post subject: I guess it is a mute point anyway... Reply with quote

after all is said and done....

it would appear that multiple choice exams are going to be the way of the future for ITIL certification.

Liz, what are your thoughts on that, as it would seem that the days of external markers could be drawing to a close.
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UKVIKING
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Joined: Sep 16, 2006
Posts: 3292
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roger

Multiple choice exams are multiple guess exams.

These kinds of exams do not measure knowledge of a subject but knowledge of the question set.

Look at the exam cram books... etc

I can go in and take any IT oriented exam with a cursory knowledge of the subject and score 40-60 % just guessing the questions.

I think if the ISEB/EXIN etc decide that the Manager's certificate becomes a multiple guess exam.. it makes the certification pointless.

The foundation exam ....yes

The practitioners exam is 1/2 essay 1/2 multiple guess.

The manager's should stay as an essay exam like it is now
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John Hardesty
ITSM Manager's Certificate (Red Badge)

Change Management is POWER & CONTROL. /....evil laughter
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Roger
Itiler


Joined: Aug 02, 2004
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

.... well that is APMG's decision...

John, you and I and lots of others worked hard to get the red badge and now it would appear that it will get easier to earn the equivalent level qualification under v3... so perhaps you're annoyed that the Managers level is now almost to the point where it is trivialized.

Personally, I don't agree and as long as the rules continue to say that for the advanced levels of certification you have to attend an accredited course, then I believe there is 'hope for the future'.

Regarding multiple choice exams - "such is life" - I guess you can complain to APMG about the inequality - but I am not sure that they will change the strategy on the basis of that.
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LizGallacher
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Joined: Aug 31, 2005
Posts: 550
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with John, that a multiple choice (no matter how "complex") can never have the value of a written exam. Whilst accepting that there is not much anyone can do (at least as far as these qualifications are concerned), I don't think that the new qualification will be as valued as the current one. Obviously from apmg's point of view, it is much cheaper to run multiple choice exams (the workload involved in setting and double-marking written exams is considerable). Results will also be available much quicker. However it does mean that people will pass who have learnt what the books say, but could not write a proposal, argue the benefits, estimate the costs, or outline the project steps involved in implementing service management.

I hate to be a dinosaur, rejecting the new ways of doing things, (and there is a lot in V3 which I like), but the change to the examinations is something which I think has been done for the wrong reasons, and dilutes the value of what was a highly-valued qualification.
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itiltrainer
Itiler


Joined: Aug 13, 2006
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All,

Maybe one last short comment on this.

As I agree 100% with Liz that the new qualification (the Diploma) will carry nowhere near the weight and kudos of the Mgr qualification, all of you out there who do not yet have a Red Badge might want to seriously consider doing everything you can to get on a course before Q4 2008.

After all…it will not be available much longer, and it will increase even more in value when it is no longer available.

Oh - and multiple choice test your ability to remember a few facts...the written examination tests your understanding and application of these facts...which is what a Mgr actually does!
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