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The 6 best answers to ITIL Service Manager exam questions

As I am going through some mock exams today, I notice that most people make the same mistakes so I wanted to give an overview with hints and tips on how to create the BEST answers to the Service exam questions:

    This is my first hint… when you answer the questions, keep the reader in mind! The examiner has to be your friend – your answers have to be easy to read, easy to comprehend and easy to follow. Use formatting, use ITIL technology and use the case study but above all… use your common sense! 
  2. “JUST BECAUSE” is not an acceptable answer! (neither is ‘because it’s in the ITIL book’)
     Very often I see answers that are among the lines of… It is A. No explanation, no argument, no background to the reasons why it is A and not B. Especially when the question seems to ask for straight ITIL theory people step into this pitfall. ALWAYS support your answer with reasons that are specific for the company/case study
  3.  Get in – do your thing and get out!
     At the opposite side of the scale there are the people that continue to ‘waffle’… it just doesn’t stop! The answer doesn’t seem to have heads or tails.. it just goes on and on and on… 
    When the question asks for 1 technique and 2 advantages of said technique – stick with simply answering this question! Don’t start a debate on the benefits of the process… sometimes the answers are simple and can be short.
  4. Do your sums…
    You know how many points are allocated to each question. So you can do your sums on how to achieve the 51 points or more to pass for your exam.
    Example – the question asks for 2 techniques and 2 benefits of each technique and the total number of points is 10 you can do your calculations:
    1 point for simply naming the techniques
    2 points for each benefit (WITH suitable explanation!!!)
    Total points 10
    Based on this calculation you can start answering your questions the best way possible.
  5. What was the question again?
    OK –  now this is a biggie… this is where most people lose points in their exam. BY NOT ANSWERING THE QUESTION!! Read the question, re-read it again so you know for sure what it is that they are asking. 
    Example from mock exam:
    ” State two problem areas that ITC can expect to encounter in guaranteeing the availability of this new  service.  (4 points)”
    What is being asked? You need to come up with TWO problem areas specific to the ITC case study. But these problem areas only score you points when the problem areas are problems for guaranteeing availability of the new service! So stating problems with the current service desk or redundancy of systems between the current head offices is NOT an acceptable answer. It will be an issue for some of the current services – but it has nothing to do with the new service! 
    Simply regurgitating availability challenges won’t make you any points here. You need to specify why the problems relate to the new service…
  6. How low should you go??
    Remember – you are answering a MANAGER level exam question. The best way to answer these questions is to think like a Service Manager, a Process Manager or a Line Manager. You don’t necessarily physically have to do all the nitty gritty dirty work in the processes (so why would you study all that stuff?? After all – you pay people to do this work for you!). What you DO need to know is WHY these processes are important, WHAT is involved in selling and setting up these processes, WHO will be the best person/function to perform this role and WHAT type of plans, reports and documentation is required to set it up and manage the process…. Stick to your level, don’t go too deep into the details as you’ll run out of time. On the other hand, don’t stay too high level as you will need to show that you understand the framework and its positive impact on the organisation.

Practice these hints & tips and you will be able to answer the questions a lot better!

Good luck!

6 thoughts on “The 6 best answers to ITIL Service Manager exam questions”

  1. Pingback: Now you can sit for your ITIL V2 Exams and pass the first time.. without breaking a sweat | Ivanka Menken

  2. Thanks for your help, a penny dropped when I read your reply and I won’t give my answer here but I think I can work on the Service Desk being a function and Incident Management being a process – I think I can find enough conflicts and also benefits if the roles are combined.
    I really appreciate your help – thank you.

    1. No problem – you are welcome. Glad to hear the penny dropped! 🙂
      Don’t hesitate to contact me again, I enjoy these questions – makes me think!

  3. Hi Ivanka,
    I am taking my IT SS exam again soon. There is one question that I really find hard to work out and I would appreciate some guidance if possible please – not an answer, but guidance please. The question is:
    What are the challenges and benefits in letting the Service Desk Manager also be the Incident Manager. My case study if CMJ Apparels.

    Thanks for your help.

    1. Hi Chris,

      Thank you for your question, and I promise I won’t give the answer away…
      The answer however lies in the different roles that you describe. What are the Responsibilities and accountability for each role?
      Where would a conflict of interest (if any) arise when you combine these two roles in the same person?

      I hope this has given you some food for thought.. good luck and please stay in touch, I would like to know how you go with the exam!

  4. Pingback: ITIL Service Management exam with ITC case study « Ivanka Menken

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