Key factors for successful PRINCE2 certification

The Prince2 certification entails two levels of exams – foundation level and practitioner. The foundation level tests the candidate on facts and concepts of Prince2. Straightforward multiple choice questions are a part of this test. However, Practitioner is the ultimate test of a candidate’s understanding of Prince2 concepts. The questions are scenario based and they delve deep into the crux of Prince2 philosophy and its enabling principles and underlying themes. Mastery over the English language is a key to getting Prince2 certified since the course is very intense in terms of content and the style of questions asked.

Format of the PRINCE2 Practitioner Exam

  • ObjectiveQuestions
  • Total questions: 80 (8 main questions with 10 sub parts each
  • Total Marks: 80
  • Pass marks: 44 or more (55%)
  • Open Book Exam (PRINCE2 Manual only).

Key to exam success:

1)Know your Foundation well

Having sound knowledge of the fundamental concepts of Prince2 is essential for a commendable performance in the Practitioner exam. Hence a pass score in the Foundation exam is not sufficient, you need to score well in the Foundation exam to give yourself confidence to take on the Practitioner exam since you need to apply these concepts to scenarios. The Foundation exam tests your time management skills and also equips you to handle indirect questions. It is important to read the questions and given options carefully before answering.

2)Prepare for your training

Most candidates tend to ignore the pre-course material which is given to them before the course begins. Spending time and reading through this pre-course material goes a long way in helping you clear the final exam. They give you a summary of the concepts and thereby help you derive the respective principles and themes and hence apply them to scenarios in the Practitioner exam.

3)Effective Time Management

Spending too much time on a question which you are not sure of is amajor mistake during the Prince2 practitioner exam. The Practitioner exam consist of eight main questions each having ten sub questions. With 150 minutes to complete the whole exam it is best to allocate equal time to each question (approximately 15 minutes per question).

4)Learn how to use your PRINCE2 manual

As this is an open book exam you will be allowed to keep your PRINCE2 manual with you. It is important to know where you can find the right answer. Focus should be on knowing the manual well instead of learning everything on the manual. You can find the same answer at multiple places in the manual. Remember you can have tabs or sticky notes to mark out titles of the pages for quicker access during the exam.


Understanding the course content is very important. For example: you may clearly remember all terminologies in the manual owing to your memory but you might fail to get your head around the questions ‘why’ and ‘how’, hence understanding the concepts is indispensable. Comprehension skill is key to get a grasp of the case study and apply the concepts which you have already understood.

There is no negative marking, so it is advised to answer all questions.

All the best!

Risk Management Strategy in your projects

Risk management something which is being buzzed about a lot among the project management community but most people don’t act on it efficiently enough resulting in failed or financially unfeasible projects.

Prince2 explains the whole risk management approach through the risk management strategy. It talks about an organization’s attitude towards risk, risk appetite of an organization and the necessary control actions necessary.

Prince2 defines Early Warning Indicators as a set of events which if occur, then the project manager needs to prepare for the respective risk events to materialise. These events need to be monitored consistently to determine how the project is performing. For example, if the number of defective items is identified during early inspections, huge financial losses can be avoided at a later stage when defective products are out in the market and customers start returning them.

The PRINCE2 manual classifies risk into 3 types – inherent risk, residual risk and secondary risk. Inherent risk is the risk which is primarily a part of the project under question. Residual risk is the risk which is left over after risk management techniques have been undertaken. Secondary risk is the new risk which arises as a result of the risk management techniques.

When the possible risks are identified, the next step is to estimate possible risk in  terms of probability, proximity and impact. Probability estimates the chances of the risk occurring, proximity tells you how soon or later might the risk occur and impact analysis will give you a picture of how the risk will affect the project and its products. Finally, the cost of these risk management techniques needs to be assessed. The opportunity cost of implementing a risk management technique costing more than the money that the risk in itself would have cost needs to also be determined. After this analysis, a risk budget needs to set aside to help execute these activities in case of the risk materialising during the project.

Risk is an uncertain event, which could be either a threat or an opportunity. The Project Manager should always be working to identify opportunities to improve the project.

Learn how to master risks by attending our PRINCE2 Training classes.