PRINCE2 Foundation Exam
The PRINCE2 Foundation exam is the first of two PRINCE2 exams: PRINCE2 Foundation and PRINCE2 Practitioner. There are no initial requirements in order to take the PRINCE2 Foundation Exam. The exam is designed to measure whether you would be able to act as an informed member of a project team using the PRINCE2 method within a PRINCE2 project environment.
- Multiple choice (choose from A, B, C, D)
- 75 multiple choice questions, of which 5 are considered practice questions and do not count towards the final score
- 50% passing score (35 correct answers out of the maximum 70 possible)
- 60 minutes duration (see note below)
- Closed book (cannot use the PRINCE2 manual)
- No prerequisite
- Computer-based (>60%), or paper-based
Note: 15 minutes extra time is available when the candidate is not taking the exam in their mother tongue, or the language they use in their business daily.
Besides that fact that the exam is not supposed to cover all the details, and advanced topics such as tailoring, the passing score is also low (50%), and there's no penalty for wrong answers. So, a random answer sheet already has 25% score on average and you just need to get to 50% to pass.
The exam is rather simple. Based on seasonal reports from the Examination Institutes, about 95% of the exams are successful.
Exam Delivery Format
There are three formats available:
- Online (scheduled at your desired time and date with APMG, EXIN or PeopleCert)
- Computer-based, with an invigilator in the same location
- Paper-based, with an invigilator in the same location
The common format for classroom courses is the paper-based. Those who self-study, or use eLearning courses, usually take online exams. The online exams are also invigilated, and the candidates should stay in a quite room alone, with the webcam and microphone recording them.
Candidates receive their electronic certificates as soon as their results are finalized (usually takes a few hours to a few days). Hard copy certifications are also available for an extra fee but most candidates now accept the electronics certifications.
Certificates are issued from the Examination Institutes, and therefore, they are different in formatting and presentation. However, all of them are approved by AXELOS.
Candidates can allow the Examination Institutes to publish their information. In that case, their name will be added to AXELOS' successful candidates register. The Examination Institutes also have their own directories of certified candidates. This candidate register is public.
This certification does not expire and no renewal process is required like the PRINCE2 Practitioner certification which has to be renewed each 5 years.
The main resource used by many training organizations and candidates if the official manual, Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 but this manual should only be used for the PRINCE2 Practitioner Exam. Using the official manual is a bit like training for a marathon (42K) when you just wish to participate in a 15k race.
Most candidates use simplified resources to prepare for the exam, since not all details of the manual is necessary for this exam. Practicing sample questions also help candidates increase their score.
Many candidate use the PRINCE2 Foundation Training manual as this is 100% focused on the PRINCE2 Foundation syllabus.
How is this Training Manual different from the official PRINCE2 manual from AXELOS?
- It is a training manual and not a reference manual
- It provides lots of examples of Management Products (so it is easier to understand)
- It is 100% focused on the PRINCE2 Foundation syllabus and Exam
- It use examples to·help explain new PRINCE2 terms
- It provides an overview of the type of questions to expect (chapter by chapter)
- It is available in PDF format making it easy to search and find what you need.
Preparation for the Exam
There are three normal choices:
- Taking classroom courses: the standard course is 3 days, with the exam at the end of the last day.
- Taking eLearning courses
The amount of time needed for self-study or completing eLearning courses depends on the experience and prior knowledge of the candidate; usually ranging between 20 and 40 hours.
It's preferred to take the classroom courses and eLearning courses from an Accredited Training Organization, because their material had been reviewed and approved by the Examination Institutes. ATOs usually mention this in the websites, and one can check it in the ATOs directories of the Examination Institutes.
Paying for and Taking the Exam
In case of classroom training, the exam is usually included and the trainer will take the exam at the end of the course.
Some eLearning courses are also bundled with the exam, and the ATO provides a voucher to the candidate, using which they can take the exam in one of the Examination Institutes website. Others can buy the exam from the ATOs or Examination Institutes separately and have the same process.
Options are also available to take the exam in certain test centers such as Prometric; but it's not as common as other options.
The Examination Institutes have to pay a certain fee to AXELOS. They can set their own prices for Accredited Training Organizations. Different ATOs have different agreements and prices, and consider different margins. So, at the end, prices really vary for the end users. There are sometimes hidden costs too. Some ATOs may provide low prices on exams, but do not sell them without eLearning courses; usually highly priced ones.
The end user price from EXIN -as an example of Examination Institutes- is €171, excluding VAT. ATOs usually offer the exam between €200 and €350 (including VAT). Candidates can expect a higher level of support when they buy the exam from an ATO instead of one of the Examination Institutes.
- You can read more about the online exam in PRINCE2 Foundation online Exam.
- You can read more about online courses in the PRINCE2 Foundation online Course.
To get a better understanding of how PRINCE2 online exam works you can click here.
To test your knowledge, try these PRINCE2 Foundation sample questions.
What can be done next?
After taking your PRINCE2 Foundation Certification, you can continue your training with the [PRINCE2 Practitioner] certification or alternatively you may want to consider Professional Scrum Master Certification Preparation Program (PSM I) or Agile Scrum Foundation Certification Program (ASF).