Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 9:02 pm Post subject: Managers Exam
Start by taking the foundation as it is a pre-requisite for the managers certifcate.
Then select a course provider, as attending the relevant courses are also a pre-requisite, on the course you should also get the books and all the course material.
Once you have been on the courses then and only then can you apply to do the exams, entry to the exams requires confirmation from the course provider that you have attended the course.
Having the courses booked and knowing which exams you are going to try to get entry to (they are only held every quarter) will give you a timetable to structure your revision around.
- Answer your questions in the ITIL way - not the way you necessarily do it in real life. The examiner does not know your organisation but (s)he DOES know the syllabus for the ISEB examinations.
- Learn the benefits and advantages of each process
- Learn the disadvantages/challenges of each process
- Learn how to implement all of the processes
- Learn those generic items that are pretty much standard whichever process you implement, there is a pattern
- Learn the interface points, the outputs of one process to the inputs of another. Learn how - when implemented together - they generate further benefits for the organisation
- Learn the "desired results" that organisations/management are looking to achieve with ITIL processes
- Leave some space in your answers where you can fill it in later with additional supporting points
- Leave yourself some time before the end of the exam to re-read your answers - but do it from an ITIL examiners perspective
- Know the boundaries of ITIL, where ITIL effectively ends and another (e.g. COBIT, Six Sigma) begins. You don't need to know the other process in ANY detail, but simply understanding how far you can take ITIL before you need to employ the methodologies of another process is beneficial.
You can e-mail me for answers to sepcific questions - but please come back here and let others know what you thought of them and if they 'sparked' anymore tips that you can share here with everyone.
Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 7:29 pm Post subject: Re: ITIL Managers Exam
I've just been volunteered by my company to do the managers exam. Does anyone out there have any advice - apart from run and hide!
If anyone has any mock exams with answers or could give me an idea where to find them that would be great.
First best wishes, I'm taking my Managers exam next Wednesday and Thusday. Advice - don't try unless you really want to! Next, forget any relaxation during the 2 weeks training. Warn your family that you will be extremely busy until your exam.
Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 11:24 am Post subject: My Master's Exam Experience
First of all, I had the best training, by the best instructors, I could have possibly found. The Masters course has raised my level of competency five fold in my level of ITIL consulting (Service Support for many years) and it was money well spent.
During the course, we had open book (Blue and Red book) sample exam questions at night. I would walk in the class the next day and get good marks on sample questions I felt totally uncomfortable with, and get bad marks on sample questions I thought I understood totally. If you expect to walk in and take an exam with the thinking that you know your ITIL subjects, you will fail the exam. Dr. ITIL is giving the best advice and is on the mark.
Prepare for walking in to take the exams, totally confident after studying religiously for weeks, to shockingly find out that you don't understand one or two of the questions that are asked, and finding yourself struggling for a simple mark on each of those 20 mark questions. You now have to get 50 marks out of the remaining 60 marks that you have remaining.
Dr. ITIL tells you 10 different examples of questions, which you can also include writing reports, writing job descriptions, and writing letters for each of the processes. That means, you better be ready to answer over 50 possibilities of questions, for each 5 question exam. You also better understand as Dr. ITIL states, all of the other nine processes as they relate to the process you are answering a question. Each question may be split by 20, 15-5, 10-10, 8-7-7,4-5's, etc; that ask you each of these question variations. While each exam states there is only five questions, each exam has about 15 total questions and many of those include multiple process knowledge to answer each of those questions. The answers are free writing and many write over 25 pages for each exam. Bring multiple pens of different sizes to keep your hand from cramping.
To summarize all of this and to make my point, I just missed passing the Service Support exam (so, so, close) which has been my career for many years, including many ITIL implementations. I was fresh, awake and comfortable walking in to take that exam and felt that I did well enough to pass when I left. I did not feel I was ready to take the Service Delivery exam the next morning, stayed up all night studying in a panic (No practical experience in Service Delivery), walked in with the thought of just walking out because I felt I had no chance of passing. I was physically and mentally out of it. I did the exam only because I spent so much personal money and invested so much time to walk away. I passed that exam with distinction. How could that happen? Listen to Dr. ITIL.
To add insult to injury, be ready to wait a long time to get your exam results. I took the exams in June. I got the results last week. The results arrived by air mail, stated that I could retake as long as I signed up, one day before the results letter was written and dated. So, be prepared for how to deal with that, when you just want it to be over if you don't pass one or both of the exams. This is like no exam you have ever taken.
Joined: Mar 12, 2005 Posts: 255 Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 1:27 pm Post subject:
I can back up everything JrITIL said. A very accurate summary of the examinations - and the experience of taking them. Be prepared to commit (especially if it's your own money), and don't assume you are halfway there regardless of your experience levels. The scope of the material is so large they can always hit you with something you don't know.
It like kindey stones - until you've passed one - you really don't know how painful it can be
What I have noticed in my neck of the woods though. The people I meet who are certified are damned proud of it, and other people respect it.
Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 1:41 am Post subject: Sitting/passing the ITIL Managers exam.
As someone who passed my Manager's certificate a few years ago, and now is an accredited lecturer at all levels of ITIL, I would back up most of what has been said above.
1.Ask around to find out who are the best training organisations. The prices do not vary much, but the quality can.
2. Personally, I think the more exam practice you do, the better, so choose a training company who set mock questions every day, and a full 3 hour mock at the end of the week. Its hard work, but really worth it.
3. Even though it is expensive, try and choose a residential course. The total immersion that you get really helps (when you are not commuting home and making the tea, looking after the kids etc.) It also helps build up a camaraderie amongst the group (see below)
4.Come with an open mind - at Manager's level you are encouraged to critically evaluate ITIL, not just parrot it back. I disagree with the comment that you should just tell the examiner the theory. A well-argued disagreement with ITIL, with examples can score highly.
5. Make use of the group. Listen to other people's practical experiences, good or bad, and store them up to use in your answers. Keep in contact with them between the course and the exam. My group shared out the processes between us, and each person wrote notes showing how "our" process related to each of the others, then exchanged the notes between us. Even if not explicitly asked, showing the interfaces with other processes will always pick up a couple of points. Deivide up the case-study in a similar way - one person identifying SLA issues, one ITSCM ones, etc.
6. Write legibly (I foulnd thid the hardest!) Leave plenty of white space, double space you anwsers,, draw a line down the middle and put Pros and Cons opposite one another, for example. Use as much paper as you need, don't cram your ansers onto a few sheets.
7. Finally PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE answer the question asked!! This is an incredibly common fault.So often when marking I find that I have to give a really poor score because someone has not answered the question. Keep checking the question to keep you on track. Remember if it says COMPARE 2 processes, you should be starting sentences with "BOTH..." or "NEITHER...". If is says CONTRAST, use the word WHEREAS " Incident management is reactive WHEREAS Problem Mangement is procative"
It IS worth the effort, and it is a great feeling when you pass - or even get a Distinction!!
Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 1:04 am Post subject: Hot Tip for Passing Managers/Masters Exam...
One of the most under-rated and little known tips for passing the managers exam has nothing to do with ITIL whatsoever.
It's about physical stamina and endurance.
Specifically, how long (and fast) you can physically write with a pen for.
This may surprise you - but those of us that have passed already will tell you that this is one of the most over looked areas of exam technique.
Think about it - you have two 3 hour papers to physically hand write, probably over two days. Excluding thinking and reading time - that's probably going to be about 2 to 2.5 hours physical writing per paper!
Points to ponder pre-exam:-
- When was the last time that you wrote for more than 5 minutes let alone 2.5 hours?!
- How legible will your writing be after, say an hour?
- Will an aching hand influence which questions you answer? (For example - will you steer away from an essay type question in favour of one of those 'split / multi-part' questions.
- What can you do to prepare yourself and overcome this often overlooked obstacle?
- Yeah sure you can write for three hours, no problem. But what about the following day when you come to sit the second exam? How's your writing hand feeling now?
OK, I've got to 'hand' it to you...here are some thoughts on what to do...
1. Stating the obvious first - please choose a pen (or several pens) that best matches your preferences. Some people prefer lightweight biros, others heavier gel pens. It's your personal choice - but make sure that you have written with that type of pen previously (for a couple of hours!) and you know it works for you!
2. In the build up to your Managers/Masters - do some writing every day to get those little used tendons moving and exercising again (typings quite a different thing!) Practice writing out some acronyms and set pieces to help you committ key points to memory. Try to build yourself up (like a marathon!) by doing a little more each day. Use your training 'mock' exam questions wisely to also introduce a mock test for your ability to write for long periods. Time how long you can write before needing a 'rest'. Know your own stamina levels.
3. As you begin the exam, make notes on the type of questions you will be answering, in terms of how much 'pen power' you will require. Try to alternate between questions that require a lot of writing and one's that do not - to alleviate the stress on your writing hand.
4. Throughout the exam, do simple hand stretches/flexes during your "thinking" time to help your muscles out.
5. After the exam, warm down occassionally over the next several hours, doing regular flexes to alleviate tension and prevent cramp.
6. If your second exam is the next day - make sure you relax your writing hand. You can buy sprays and ointments etc - whatever works for you.
In summary, you can be an ITIL expert in everything, but unless you can get pen to paper and write the actual words - you won't answer the questions in enough depth - and you will not pass the exam.
Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 11:18 pm Post subject: ...and now the other side of the story...
Dr ITIL and others that support Dr ITILs view would appear to be speaking from an expert point of view with regard to the ISEB exams... BUT now I'd like to give you the complete picture.
The first point to make is that there are two global accreditation agencies in the world. ISEB and EXIN.
Based entirely on Dr ITILs comments, it appears that ISEB still require that all ITIL Managers exams are hand written (I am sure that if this is not the case, someone will make a post to the contrary very soon after this post).
Perhaps ISEB are making moves to allow typed exam answers - so my comments here are based entirely on what Dr ITIL is telling you. I am fully aware of EXIN requirements and at the time of posting this message it would seem that they are in touch with modern requirements, rather than insisting on reverting to hand written exams - which are simply not reflective of modern day working practices.
EXIN moved away from compulsory hand written exams a long time ago. EXIN will allow you to hand write your exams - but I say - why bother - when they also allow you to type them - under strict independant supervision guidelines.
So if you like the idea of typing your ITIL Managers exam answers - then seek out a vendor that is EXIN accredited.
(both ISEB and EXIN are credible organizations - but you do need to ask your education vendor which body they are accredited with in order to fully understand your options for exams).
Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 11:25 pm Post subject: ... oh and by the way!!!"
Dr ITILs point about stamina is entirely accurate IF YOU HAVE TO HAND WRITE YOUR EXAM ANSWERS.
BUT... even if you have to hand write and before you sign your hand writing hand up to multiple aerobic classes to develop the stamina, remember this basic fact.
The ITIL Managers Examiners have full time jobs, they work hard and at the end of a long day, they get home in the rain - it's cold and they are generally NOT looking forward to marking a series of ITIL Managers exam papers.
So - it's not about stamina - it's about WHAT YOUR ANSWERS LOOK LIKE!
You only have ONE CHANCE TO CREATE A FIRST IMPRESSION. Would YOU feel happier about looking at a nicely laid out document, with tables, bullet points, underlines and white space.. OR.. would you rather see a large chunk of text that makes finding the answers really hard. Put yourself in the examiners shoes and you can answer that question easily.
The Golden Rule therefore is:
THE FIRST IMPRESSION THE EXAMINERS HAVE OF YOUR ANSWERS IS NOT WHAT THEY READ; IT IS WHAT THEY SEE !!
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