Sign in
  • Training & Exam Resources
  • Examinations
  • Project management

Author  Craig Smith, Axelos Commissioning Editor

June 27, 2016 |

 4 min read

  • Training & Exam Resources
  • Examinations
  • Project management

Being “match-fit” for any examination takes plenty of advanced planning and preparation.

By the time you’re taking your PRINCE2® 5th Edition Foundation exams, you should already be a veteran of exam techniques from experience at school, college and university. But even if you’ve been a straight-A student up to now, it’s always worth refreshing your approach to exams, especially if it’s been some time since you entered an examination hall.

Here’s a tried and tested collection of tips to help you study for the PRINCE2 Foundation exam.

Exam Preparation Tips

  • Do lots of preparation work before your course. There is plenty of pre-course reading which can really help your understanding
  • Read the manual so you’re familiar with the content before undertaking formal training.
  • The Foundation exam is an hour long, with 75 multiple-choice questions and a 50% pass mark. It is closed book, meaning you have to leave the manual outside
  • Before your exam, you are invited to be part of AXELOS' online Successful Candidates Register. Make sure you sign up to show employers and recruiters that you’re certified
  • If you have the option, take the Foundation and Practitioner certifications one after the other, while the information is fresh in your mind. There are a number of options to suit your learning style: formal classroom-based training, e-learning packages, self-study and examinations at an open exam centre.

Course Study Tips

  • Sit a sample paper or two. It will give you confidence that you know your stuff and can help identify areas to improve on, plus you get used to the format of the questions. You can download a Foundation sample exam paper from our website
  • For questions you got wrong, study the answer until you understand where you made your mistake. There are rationales for each answer available
  • If you do a sample paper at the end of the first day, don’t be disheartened if you don’t score enough marks to pass the exam. The answers to some of the questions will be covered during subsequent days
  • The Foundation exam tests your knowledge and understanding of the PRINCE2 method, so don’t be influenced by any different project management practices you might use in your organization.
  • Ask questions. Ask further questions. Make sure you understand the ‘why’ as well as the ‘what’ and ‘how’.

Exam Technique

  • You have about 45 seconds per question. Don’t get bogged down with any one question. If you’re struggling for an answer, move on. You can always come back to it if you have time.
  • Answer every question. It’s multiple-choice – even if you don’t know the answer, you have a one-in-four chance of getting it right
  • Place your answer on your answer sheet as you go. Don’t wait until the end, or you might run out of time
  • It is often best to trust your first response to a question. Have confidence in your gut instinct. Sometimes, however, a later question will suggest the answer to an earlier question. Don’t be afraid to go back to a question if you need to
  • Have a pencil sharpener and eraser to hand
  • Everyone is in the same boat. Everyone has the same time allocation, the same number of questions, the same pass mark to attain. You’re not the only person going through it. Have faith in the work you did in preparing for the exam
  • If English is not your first language, you can ask your invigilator for more time to complete the exam. Make sure you clear this before the exam begins.

See our PRINCE2 Best Practice and PRINCE2 5th Edition Certification sections for more information.

Read the second and third posts in the series:

PRINCE2 5th Edition Foundation Key Facts: “the Magnificent Sevens”

Preparing for the PRINCE2 5th Edition Practitioner exam while studying for Foundation

Read our ITIL Foundation Top Tips

ITIL® Foundation Exam Top Tips - Part 1 - How to Prepare

ITIL® Foundation Exam Top Tips - Part 2: During the Exam

ITIL® Foundation Exam Top Tips - Part 3: After the Exam

Do you have any tips of your own for how to ace the PRINCE2 Foundation exam? Please share them in the comments section below.