How To Become an ITIL Expert
The ITIL Expert certification is one of the hardest IT related certifications to obtain. It requires months of dedication and a passion for IT Service Management. To become an ITIL Expert you need to first pass the ITIL Foundations exam and then obtain 22 credits from either a Lifecycle stream or an Capability stream and then pass the daunting Managing Across the Lifecycle (MALC) exam. I am going to take you briefly through my journey and what I did to final obtain my ITIL Expert certification.
As I am in a management role I decided that the Lifecycle steam was the one I would follow. I would ideally have like to follow the sequence of Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operations and then Continual Service Improvement but the establishment I completed my training were not so good as scheduling courses so I had to mix them up a bit.
I started on schedule with the Service Strategy and this course I found extremely interesting. Although the venue was shocking I do have a passion for strategy so I put that in the back of my mind and focused on absorbing as much information as possible. The course is 3 days in length and you need every minute of it. I decided that I would do the course and then write the exam the following Friday which would give me a week to study and revise what I had learn’t.
My learning plan as such paid off and I managed to get 100% for the Strategy Exam, talk about getting a big head!! I will let you in on my study secret at the end. After the strategy module I completed the Service Transition module which for me is the most interesting but is 3 days of death by PowerPoint. From my experience Service Transition is overlooked in most organizations and yet is the most important. I managed to get 77% for this exam which was good as it bought me down to earth after the 100% for strategy.
Next was Service Design which was also an interesting course and a slight bit of PowerPoint numbness but overall interesting. Again not many organizations apply Design and the benefits can be seen when completing the course. The Design exam was extremely difficult and I scraped through with 70% (the pass mark). That said the venue where we were writing the exam was shocking. The exam is online and their Internet connection was so slow it took 20 minutes just to open the exam! The connection kept dropping and we couldn’t save our answers. I finally got a decent connection through a 3G card and then just rushed through the exam without checking anything as the last thing I wanted to do was postpone as this would mess up my whole schedule. Anyway I passed and that was the main thing.
I managed to arrange onsite training for Continual Service Improvement (CSI) so I managed to complete this course in one and a half days compared to the three days. This is course is more a summary of the all the others modules. The exam was tough but fair and I passed easily with 80%.
The last module I completed was Service Operations which I found extremely easy. Service Operations seemed to be ITIL v2 in one and as I have been exposed to ITIL this was a walk in the park. To be honest I hardly opened a book for the exam and managed 90%.
Last was the BIG beast, Managing Across the Lifecycle (MALC). This is a five day course and the exam covers all the previous modules. I gave myself two months gap before doing MALC and this I found was the perfect time frame, not too long to forget everything and not too short to be burnt out. MALC was tough indeed and I was given some advice to skim all the modules but really focus on Service Strategy and CSI. I followed this advice but decided to also do Service Transition in a bit more detail.
Finally, after 6 months (a record I hope) I passed the MALC exam with 75% on my first attempt. As MALC has only a 55% pass rate I was very pleased with this result. So after 6 months I had completed my ITIL Expert Certification and I am now happily applying what I learnt in my current working environment. With commitment you to can obtain your ITIL Expert certification, make it a goal, put your nose down and go for it!
Oh yes what is my study secret? Use the Van Haren summaries for the exams. These are condensed versions that you can read through in an hour or two and are great to revise just before the exam. Use your class notes and the textbooks to go in detail and then use the summaries to tie everything together.
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