Preparing for ITIL 4 exams

Preparing for the ITIL 4 Exams

Published: January 12, 2021
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ITIL, previously called the ‘IT Infrastructure Library’, is one of the world’s leading qualifications for IT service management (ITSM). It offers a standardized framework with a range of focus points to reflect the diversity of the priorities, tools, and environmental factors found in modern IT, giving practitioners a significant edge when it comes to optimizing the value created by IT services.

For career-minded IT staff and managers, studying ITIL 4 can be an excellent springboard for success. The certification path suits the needs of students in varying positions and even acknowledges the intrinsic connection between IT governance and long-term program and project management. Becoming certified in ITIL can help to unlock new roles and responsibilities, as well as higher-paying managerial positions.


Getting certified in ITIL, whether at a basic, intermediate, or ‘Master’ level, requires passing at least one exam:

  • ITIL 4 Foundation – An introductory module that covers the basics of ITIL, including the Service Value System (SVS), Service Value Chain, and the framework’s guiding principles

Following on from this point, the exams fall into one of three categories.


ITIL 4 Specialist

These modules make up most of the ‘ITIL 4 Managing Professional (MP)’ stream

Create, Deliver & Support (CDS) – This module builds on ITIL Foundation by examining the most common challenges faced by businesses that rely on creating, delivering, and continually supporting IT services. These include the need for collaboration, professionalism, outsourcing, and managing multiple suppliers

Drive Stakeholder Value (DSV) – Stakeholders such as users, suppliers, customers, and partners play a huge role in ITSM. This module focuses on how to engage and interact with stakeholders as well as how to convert demand into value

High Velocity IT (HVIT) – In modern digital and IT management, companies have to deal with complex and fast-paced systems and environments. The best organizations are always looking to innovate while retaining a strict focus on customer demand. ITIL HVIT demonstrates how to survive and thrive in these conditions

ITIL 4 Leader

This module makes up half of the ‘ITIL Strategic Leader (SL)’ stream

Digital & IT Strategy (DITS) – These days, digital and IT strategy are intrinsically connected with business strategy. This module looks at how to develop and implement strategies that cover business, digital, and IT elements simultaneously

Additional intermediate modules

ITIL 4 Strategist: Direct, Plan & Improve (DPI) – This module can be found in both streams. It covers processes and best practices on directing and carrying out actions based on a well-defined strategy as part of a process of continuous improvement. Unlike ITIL DITS, this module can be applied at all levels of an organization

The final ITIL module exam is ‘ITIL 4 Managing Professional (MP) Transition’. This is designed for ITIL v3 students and practitioners who want to transition over to the latest version of ITIL. Passing the exam is the equivalent of earning the ITIL 4 Foundation module, as well as all of the modules in the ‘ITIL 4 Managing Professional’ stream, all at once. 

It is worth keeping in mind that the ITIL 4 MPT exams are set to be discontinued by AXELOS in July 2022. As such, those wishing to qualify for and take the exam will need to do so before this point.

ITIL 4 Certification Exams: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I qualify for the ITIL 4 exams?

There are no prerequisites for the ITIL Foundation exam. Passing this exam is a requirement for sitting any of the intermediate exams numbered above.

To qualify for the ITIL 4 MPT exam, a candidate must have proof that:

  • They hold the rank of ‘ITIL Expert’ in ITIL V3 OR
  • They have collected a minimum of 17 credits

Passing all of the intermediate ITIL modules will qualify a candidate for the process of becoming an ITIL 4 Master. However, AXELOS has not yet specified exactly what this will involve.

What is ITIL 4 MPT?

ITIL 4 Managing Professional (MP) Transition is a module designed for students and practitioners of ITIL v3. It gives them the chance to upskill themselves in ITIL 4 without having to start the new certification path from scratch.

The module is intended for those who have already made significant headway into studying ITIL v3. For prospective students who have not yet started or will not be able to meet the prerequisites listed above before the MPT exam is discontinued, it will be better to start learning ITIL 4 at Foundation level.

How long before ITIL 4 MPT is discontinued?

AXELOS recently announced that the MPT exam would be discontinued on 1 July 2022

Can I still take the exams for ITIL v3?

AXELOS has stated that the certification exams for ITIL v3 will be discontinued over the next year:

  • ITIL v3 Foundation (English) to be discontinued as of 1 July 2021
  • ITIL v3 Intermediates (English) to be discontinued as of 1 January 2022

Until this happens, candidates can still take the exams and become certified. However, they are advised to consider how long it will take to accrue the 17 credits required to transfer over. If the announced time frame is not realistic, it will be better to start over with studying ITIL 4 Foundation.

How long does it take to study for the ITIL 4 exams?

Exactly how long it takes to prepare for the ITIL exams depends on each individual student. 

The ITIL courses offered by Good e-Learning come with between six and 12 months of access and between 14 and 16 hours’ worth of training materials (or over 200 hours’ worth for collected training suites). Students have access to a variety of materials, such as interactive videos and regular knowledge checks. The courses can also be accessed via mobile devices if necessary, making it easy for students to space training around their own schedules.

ITILv4 Foundation

How difficult are the ITIL 4 exams?

The exams are by no means difficult. The Foundation module is an introduction to the essential elements of the framework, while intermediate modules focus on different elements of the syllabus that require an understanding of the basics. 

The most difficult exam may well be for the ITIL 4 MPT certification, as this covers the contents of five other modules. However, with the amount of course access offered by training providers, students should have more than enough time to familiarise themselves with, and check their knowledge on, training materials before taking the exam.

How do I prepare for the exams?

To give yourself the best chance of passing the exams, you will need to go beyond the contents of your training course. While verified ITIL training courses will usually contain case studies, reading lists, knowledge checks, and so on, you will often be able to find a wealth of additional materials for free online. Remember, ITIL has practitioners all over the world – many of whom are eager to share insight on how to pass the exams and apply the framework in practice.

It will also be absolutely imperative that you take the time to use practice examinations. These will be provided with your course and will help you get used to the conditions of the real thing, such as how to frame your knowledge to suit specific answers.

Remember, the support team at Good e-Learning is fully qualified to answer questions relating to course content. The Good e-Learning support team can also provide feedback on answers to practice exam questions.

How do I take the ITIL 4 exams?

The exams can be taken online via a service provided by PeopleCert. Please be sure to check that your hardware meets the requirements for the exam by taking this online test

Every Good e-Learning ITIL online training course comes with a FREE exam voucher, as well as free resits via Exam Pledge.

What do I need to know about the ITIL 4 Foundation exam?

  • This is a multiple-choice ‘Objective Test Question’ (OTQ) exam consisting of 40 questions
  • There is a time limit of 60 minutes to complete the exam
  • The exam is closed book, with only the provided materials being permitted for use
  • The pass mark for the exam is 65%: you must get 26 out of 40 questions correct
  • In countries where English is a second language, the time allocated for the exam is extended to 75 minutes

What do I need to know about the intermediate ITIL 4 exams?

Most intermediate ITIL 4 exams follow the same structure:

  • A multiple-choice ‘Objective Test Question’ (OTQ) exam consisting of 40 questions
  • Time limit of 90 minutes to complete the exam
  • Closed book, with only the provided materials being permitted for use
  • Pass mark of 70% (you must get at least 28 out of 40 questions correct)
  • In countries where English is a second language, the time allocated for the exam is extended to 113 minutes

The conditions for the ITIL 4 Digital & IT Strategy (DITS) exam are distinct. This certification exam has two phases:

  1. Case study assessments – Students will complete case-study based assignments throughout the course. Each lasts 60 minutes, has a pass mark of 75%, and is graded according to the assessment matrix. The assignments are also open-book. If candidates fail an assessment, they may be able to take an additional written assignment using the same case study
  2. Multiple-choice questions – Once they finish the course, students will then need to complete a multiple-choice exam. Passing the case study assessments is a prerequisite for sitting this exam. The exam lasts 60 minutes and is closed-book (only the provided materials are permitted for use). To pass, students must score at least 70% of the available marks (21/30)

What do I need to know about the ITIL 4 Managing Professional (MP) Transition module exam?

  • This is a multiple-choice exam consisting of 40 Objective Test Questions (OTQs)
  • There is a time limit of 90 minutes to complete the exam
  • The exam is closed-book, with only the provided materials being permitted for use
  • The pass mark for the exam is 70%: you must get at least 28 out of 40 questions correct
  • In countries where English is a second language, the time allocated for the exam is extended to 113 minutes

Why study for the ITIL 4 exams with Good e-Learning?

Good e-Learning is an award-winning online training provider, as well as an accredited Market Leader for ITIL online training. We work with a number of subject matter experts to deliver top-tier courses that not only prepare candidates to pass their exams but also give them a strong working knowledge of how to apply their training in practice.

Each of our courses comes with a variety of engaging training assets, such as instructor-led videos, knowledge checks, and practice exam simulators. Our support team is fully qualified to answer questions on course content, and students can even access courses via the free Go.Learn mobile and tablet app. When a student feels ready to sit an exam, they can also contact us to receive a free exam voucher.

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Want to find out more? Visit the Good e-Learning website, or contact a member of our team today!