Our Top Tips for gaining your PRINCE2® Foundation Accreditation

Our Top Tips for gaining your PRINCE2® Foundation Accreditation

Insights | 09 February 2016

PRINCE2® accreditations are highly recognised and sought after in the project management community. For many project roles PRINCE2 Foundation is the expected minimum to even be considered as a contender.

PRINCE2 Foundation is a closed book 1-hour multiple choice examination with 75 questions, 5 of which do not count towards the final score. The pass mark is 35/70 (50%). A pass in Foundation is the pre-requisite for the higher accreditation of Practitioner.

Internationally over 95% of candidates pass the Foundation – this however does not come without appropriate preparation and understanding of PRINCE2. PRINCE2 may be applied to any project; however, in different types of projects (think private, public sector, not-for-profit, and IT, services, construction, pharmaceutical, engineering, financial, even personal projects) it is still a specific methodology with its own terminology and definitions.

5 Tips for PRINCE2® Foundation

1 . Do not approach the exam ‘cold’. Nor is it a case of just reading the textbook cover to cover. Preparation is the key, as reflected in the popularity of PRINCE2 Foundation workshops which guide you through the methodology, helping bring it to life.

2.Understand the integrated elements of PRINCE2® and the flow of the key documents. In particular recognise the 7 processes, 7 themes and 7 principles, how they inter-relate and work to provide the setting for project success.

3.Ensure you have a ‘big picture’ of the PRINCE2® processes in a project. And be able to understand the activities in each process, including again inter-relationships.

4.Think ‘vanilla’ PRINCE2®. Yes, there is a lot of information in the textbook as it contains the complete methodology. Recognise that in many organisations and projects we tailor the use of PRINCE2 accordingly and you may in real life only use a sub-set of ‘vanilla’ or ‘pure’ PRINCE2. However, for the Foundation accreditation you are intended to have a fundamental understanding of all the processes, themes, principles, techniques and management products.

5.Be comfortable with your exam technique. Some questions will be straight forward and even obvious. Others will really test your knowledge and understanding of PRINCE2. Do consider:

  •  Process of elimination. You can usually eliminate 2 answers. Then get down to the right answer by thinking what PRINCE2 would do.
  • Watch out for ‘negative’ questions (which of the following is NOT…).
  • Underline/highlight key words in the question which can help you focus on the answer.
  • Don’t be tempted to change your answer unless you really misread the question. Experience shows that around 60-70% of people change their answer from the correct to the incorrect one!
  • Don’t get bogged down on a question. Are you over-analysing the question? Remember this is Foundation level. If you are spending too much time on a question, put down an answer and mark the question paper to     return to it at the end if you have time.
  • Answer each question. There is no negative marking so be in the running by answering each question.
  • Watch the time. Be aware that you have less than 1 minute per question.

‘The challenge that faces all organisations…is to deliver change through managing projects successfully and consistently. This is where the PRINCE2 project management method adds real value, as the globally recognised standard for delivering successful projects.’


PRINCE2 is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited

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