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6 PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner Exam Tips

PRINCE2 is the most popular and widely adopted project management framework in the world (Project Smart, 2015). Constructed from experience of thousands of academics, trainers and contractors this framework is formed by best practice guidelines any PRINCE2 certified project manager can understand and implement.

Passing your PRINCE2 certification requires extensive knowledge of the framework, how to implement it and its implications to your projects. You may find these PRINCE2 2017 exam tips invaluable:

  • Learn what’s new with PRINCE2 2017
  • Read the exam questions carefully
  • Study the official PRINCE2 manual inside out
  • The only way is the PRINCE2 way
  • Test your knowledge with practice questions
  • Train with an official training provider

Read on for a list of top tips to accelerate your exam preparation and help you get PRINCE2 certified – fast

1. Learn what’s new with PRINCE2 2017

Since the last update eight years ago, AXELOS have taken on board expert feedback from PRINCE2 practitioners, introducing a new and improved version – PRINCE2 2017.

Understanding updates to PRINCE2 is the first step to succeeding in the exams; here’s what you need to know about PRINCE2 2017:

  • There’s more flexibility to the framework, which means you’ll be better able to tailor PRINCE2 principles to your business’ projects
  • More integration of agile project management to PRINCE2 means you’ll complete your projects fast and more efficiently
  • There are better links between themes and principles, providing more useful hints and tips throughout the curriculum


2. Read the exam questions carefully

Both PRINCE2 2017 Foundation and Practitioner exam questions are known for their somewhat intentionally ambiguous questions.

Especially in PRINCE2 Practitioner exam questions, look out for definitive words like ‘must’ or ‘always’, as these terms tend to imply that there is more flexibility in the answer than the question suggests.

A question stating “according to PRINCE2” requires that your answer is strictly theoretical, as it only relates to what is described in the PRINCE2 manual, without referring to any scenarios.

3. Study the official PRINCE2 manual inside out

AXELOS offer an updated version of the official PRINCE2 2017 manual: Managing successful projects with PRINCE2.

The Practitioner exam is open book, which means that you should make detailed notes in your official PRINCE2 2017 manual to refer to during the exam.

Due to time pressure in the exam, take the time to read the study guide, ensuring you know exactly where your notes are and create colour-coded tabs to immediately identify useful pages. Create tabs for each Theme Chapter, Process Chapter as well as Appendix A, C and the Glossary (in case you forget crucial terminology).

Although you can only take the official PRINCE2 2017 manual into the Practitioner exam with you, IT consultant, Ian Lawton’s PRINCE2 Made Simple may be useful in understanding terminology and concepts prior to the exam. 

4. The only way is the PRINCE2 way

At least to succeed in the exams you should consider it the only way. For this certification, using personal project management experience could hinder your performance in the exams, as experience contradicting PRINCE2 principles will not gain you points.

These exams don’t look to challenge your common sense or experience, they test your competency of and ability to implement PRINCE2 in a variety of situations. Read this article from ByteStart for an introduction to the principles of this project management methodology.

5. Test your knowledge with practice questions

Test the knowledge you’ve gained and areas you’re struggling with by taking PRINCE2 2017 practice exam questions.

Attempting practice questions is critical in familiarising yourself with the structure and wording of the questions. It’ll also help you test how long it takes for you to finish the exam in a simulated exam environment.

AXELOS provide sample exam papers for both the Foundation and Practitioner exams. These practice exams are designed to prepare you for the exam and should be taken once you have completed your course or self-study.

6. Train with an official training provider

Training with an official provider makes your route to getting PRINCE2 2017 certified simpler. You’ll gain access to official curriculum, practice materials and expert trainers. You’ll also benefit from fewer distractions, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the material.

Train with Firebrand, an APMG accredited training provider, and the only training provider in the world to offer both accelerated Foundation and Practitioner courses and exams on site in just 3 days - 40% faster than traditional training.