Top Tips for Passing the PRINCE2 Foundation Exam

top tips

We often get students who are studying for their PRINCE2 foundation exam asking for extra exam hints and tips.  We have created this article to pull together some of the general advice so here you go!

1. This might sound pretty obvious, but firstly make sure you know what you need to know for the exam!  I would advise anyone taking any exam to look at the syllabus.  You can find this within our course resource centre (links just below media player within the course).  You can then be totally clear on what you need to know for Foundation level, against Practitioner.  There is no point in repeating the entire syllabus here, but to summarise, here are some of the key things you will need to know:

  • Definitions of things (shown in square boxes within the course videos) – things like the definition of a project/project management
  • The 7 principles
  • Minimum requirements for the 7 themes
  • Purpose/objectives of the 7 processes.
  • Purpose of the 26 management products (documents) used to run the project – as listed in Appendix A of the manual & in the resource centre too.

2. You are not expected to memorise the entire official manual, but details of things like the recommended contents of management products/documents and also the recommended actions within the processes are examined at Practitioner level, which is an open-book exam.

3. Students are strongly advised to make the fullest use of the practice papers provided.  By this, we mean that you need to unpick and understand every single question provided.  Read the question feedback/rationale provided within the course.  If necessary, go back and re-watch associated course units and read the right part of the official manual of any questions you don’t quite understand. If a question still doesn’t make sense, then message the tutor for a deeper explanation.  Balance Global are one of the few ATO’s that provide full tutor support for students.

4. We do not recommend searching the internet for additional practice papers/questions – have a read of this separate article to find out why:  Caution-with-exam-practice-questions

5. We have revision cards that you might find helpful to aid you with your learning.  They are delivered in PDF format so you can download them immediately.  If you do print them off you can write your own notes on the back, but of course do not use them in the official exam.  Here’s a link: Revision e-cards . They contain some extra topic specific hints and tips.

6. With regards to exam questions, we often use the mnemonic – ‘RTFQ’, which stands for –  Read The Flipping Question.   Not just the question, but all of the potential answers too, very carefully.  If you miss or miss-read a single word it can lead you to select the wrong answer.

7. Finally, we often get questions asking about tailoring of the method too, so we will make a few comments about this specific topic. There is a bit about tailoring in the manual, and of course, it’s the 7th principle.  Dotted throughout the course there are units providing information on this, and we advise looking at section 4.4.2 in the manual.

In general, a few points to make about tailoring:

  • You can change the names of things (e.g. the Executive role is often called a Sponsor)
  • You can change the specific templates of documents (maybe the contents or terminology to fit in with your organisation’s pre-existing document standards or even industry specific standards). As long as the purpose of the document(s) remains clear, you can even combine documents.
  • How PRINCE2 is tailored for any specific project needs to be documented in the project PID
  • Regarding tailoring processes – there is clear guidance in the manual, for example for SU have a look at 14.5.2. there is a bit like that for every process.

A final word re tailoring!  Remember that one of the benefits of PRINCE2 is that it provides a ‘common language’, so anyone joining a new project or who is familiar with PRINCE2 will have a head-start in getting up to speed, and knowing what’s going on with the project.  So, if you deviate too far away from PRINCE2 terminology, then you might lose some of the benefits that adopting PRINCE provides.

We hope this helps your studies & let us know if there are any other specific PRINCE2 topics you’d like us to cover in the comments below 🙂

06/10/2021

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