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Book Review: Passing Your ITIL Foundation Exam

Feb 27, 2008

Rob England


As far as I can tell, the affected areas have not been announced or documented officially anywhere. But the following information was posted on the itSMF Forum:

“…a number of sections in the Study Aid are no longer covered by the syllabus. I have identified the following sections that may be excluded from the reading/training:

2.5.2 Service Level Package

2.6.1 Service Model

4.3.1 Value Creation

4.5.1 Strategy generation Basic concepts (Service Portfolio Management) Roles (Service Portfolio Management) Basic concepts (Demand Management) - the paragraph about differentiated offerings and service levels Roles (Demand Management) Basic concepts (Financial Management) - the paragraphs about Service valuation, Demand modelling, Compliance and Variable cost dynamics analysis Roles (Financial Management) Basic concepts - the paragraphs about Service Provider

8.3 Business Value - all paragraphs except Return on Investment (ROI)”

In Short

So, the first edition of the book contains wrong answers, extra-hard questions and more material than necessary to pass the exam. Other than that, it is a good little book and not overly expensive for a change.

Here you will find a more cogent summary of the qualification scheme than you can find anywhere else in one place, though as we can see from the third problem described above, the ITIL v3 certification scheme is still in such a state of flux that chapter 1 of the book will be outdated soon enough.

The subsequent chapters contain a brief summation of some general ITIL topics, and of each of the five ITIL v3 books, followed by sample questions. It ends with basic preparation advice and a sample exam. These summations are very brief but they may well be adequate study notes (time will tell).

Many people feel one has to delve deeper into a topic than just the bare bones in order for understanding of those bare bones to stick. Readers may also want to refer to their training course notes; to the very good ITIL v3 introduction book, The Official introduction to the ITIL Service Lifecycle; and possibly to the five core books themselves, in order to thoroughly “swat” the exam.

Most interestingly, the study notes in this book form a competitive ITIL v3 introduction to that provided by The Official introduction to the ITIL Service Lifecycle, and at half the price. Passing your ITIL Foundation Exam is exactly the same size book. It covers the five core books in less depth, but it spreads wider to cover the certification scheme and technology considerations.

So, cash-strapped ITIL-ers should consider this book not just as a study aid, but as a good budget-priced introduction to ITIL v3 that just happens to include study questions to ensure you are grasping the principles. Just wait for the second edition.

Rob England, better known as the IT Skeptic, is an IT commentator, consultant and entrepreneur living in a little house in a little village in a little country far away.