What is the ITIL 4 Foundation Exam Format in the United States?

ITIL 4 Foundation Exam Format

Are you interested in taking the ITIL® exam by Swirl logo™ and PeopleCert®? If so, it’s important to know what to expect on the day of the test. Here’s everything you need to know about the exam format and length, scoring, and more.

The New Format for ITIL

By now, you’ve probably heard that ITIL Training in Warsaw is going through some big changes in its fourth version. But what does that mean for you? Fortunately, not much! Most of these changes are quite welcome and should simplify your certification process.

Although there have been some minor tweaks here and there, the core exam format remains similar to previous versions—in other words, it’s business as usual. Here’s a quick breakdown of everything you need to know about how it works.

The Importance of Structure

Structuring your study plan is important because it keeps you on track and helps you make consistent progress. But it’s also critical that you choose a study plan that matches your learning style. For example, if you learn best by listening to lectures, opt for audio courses rather than just reading textbooks or watching videos.

Or if you tend to be more of a hands-on learner, try an online course that includes simulations and activities. The good news is there are plenty of resources out there—you just have to know where (and how) to look.

How Does Structure Help Candidates Prepare?

Service Strategy is one of three exam components in level 1. This element evaluates candidates on their understanding of concepts such as business strategy, service management lifecycle, and portfolio management.

Candidates also demonstrate competence in identifying customer needs, creating a business case for change, and determining how technology can support these changes. The Service Strategy exam includes 70 questions that must be completed within 75 minutes. Candidates receive 10 points for every correct answer.

A Breakdown of Structure – Service Strategy

To align with the value proposition provided by service providers, Service Strategy is where organizations can gain an initial understanding of their customer’s pain points and develop service offerings that will offer immediate value. For organizations to meet end-user demands for ease of use, reliability, agility, and support for new technologies sustainably, they must be able to understand their customers’ needs from a business standpoint as well as from an operations and technology perspective.

Service Strategy enables service providers to define these needs through Value Management activities which enable them to capture key stakeholder requirements that are aligned with business strategy. This information can then be used throughout all life cycle phases of service design and delivery.

Is the ITIL 4 Foundation Exam Hard?

The ITIL 4 foundation training exam is a four-hour exam and it’s comprised of 120 multiple-choice questions. So, the exam itself is quite long! However, there are no fill-in-the-blank essay questions.

There are also no trick questions. The foundation level is considered entry-level as far as the ITIL certification scheme goes, so the material covered in the test won’t be exceedingly difficult. Instead, you’ll have to identify concepts from within a few pages of information with an associated case study that provides an overview of the concepts at hand.

How Do I Pass ITIL 4 Foundation Exam?

The ITIL 4 foundation training exam is a multiple-choice, 60-minute test with 40 questions in total. Each question on your exam is worth one mark, so no partial credit is given. The best strategy for passing your ITIL 4 foundation training exam is to take your time and carefully consider each answer. Make sure you read through all of your answers before checking them off.

Pacing yourself is also crucial; there’s no reason to hurry through a test when it’s only made up of 40 questions. For example, if you finish 18 of those questions in 20 minutes (perhaps using a 15-second per question pace), there’s no need to rush—you just need to make sure you use every remaining minute wisely.


If you’re thinking about signing up for the ITIL training course, it’s important to understand exactly what that means and what you can expect during the test process. While it’s impossible to predict your experience with the ITIL 4 Foundation exam, by learning more about how the test works you can make sure you are as prepared as possible on exam day.

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