Feedback on the ITIL V3 manager's bridge exam

The ITIL V3 examinations are seriously flawed. "Subjective" and "multi-choice" don't go together.

Private correspondence from someone who just did the ITIL V3 manager's bridge (or is that "Expert's bridge"?):

It was 20 'complex' multiple choice questions meaning that they give you a nice long scenario to read and you then have to choose from four answers all of which are very similar. The killer is that more than one answer could be right and they ask you for the 'best' answer. The downside of this of course is that with multiple choice you get no chance to explain your thinking so you are either right or wrong depending on their definition of 'best'.

Exactly aligns with what we are saying about the ITIL V3 Intermediate exams.

The marking scheme is (for multi-choice) bizarre in the extreme. When will APMG and the ITIL Qualifications Board grasp the seemingly obvious concept that "subjective" and "multi-choice" don't go together? The day there is no financial advantage to the examination industry in having it that way I guess.


Anonymous correspondent

Anonymous correspondent wrote: "The downside of this of course is that with multiple choice you get no chance to explain your thinking so you are either right or wrong depending on their definition of 'best'."
I have also recently written this exam. I have to disagree that any of the answers are subjective. The exam very obviously [and take this comment lightly as you only get 20 questions from a huge database I assume - so my experience is related from my 20 questions] based on the ITIL V2-V3 training material. If you are doing as I did, trying to apply your years of knowledge as a certified V2 ITSM consultant you will fail. You are required to sift through the provided answers and pick the answer that best relates to the training material. In fact, you should not read the case studies first and then look at the questions this will only serve to confuse. You should read the questions first, eliminate the obvious ones that do not relate to ITIL, then go back and pick the best one of the usually 2 remaining that best relates to the question.

My complaint is slightly different. - you get 20 questions. This in my opinion is way to small a sample to adequately test your knowledge. Having recently written [and passed] my CISSP exam which was 250 multiple choice questions, I believe this method to be the correct approach. It is a meaningful mechanism that properly tests a broad base of knowledge pertaining to the subject. Quite frankly to have only 20 questions on a topic as large and complex as ITIL V3 is somewhat insulting and cheapens the qualification.

ITIL v3 Bridge exam

I just recently passed this exam.

I think as an exam it solely tests the entrants ability to remember the course / book material. Therefore, is not a good preparation for the real world.
Certainly in my current organisation I am seeing 'ITIL pedants': people who have V3 qualifications in ITSM roles who have very little real world experience. Like the exam, it results in a sort of tick-box, theoretical approach to ITIL.

I just passed the ITIL V3

I just passed the ITIL V3 Managers Bridge Exam. In my view, this exam was designed for those who already possess a V2 manager’s certificate (Red Badge), which in my view from a V2 perspective you are an expert but for the introduction of V3 required certification to transition your V2 expertise to V3. Exin thinking in my view, was rather than expect a long-winded approach to those otherwise would not have been required to re-test, they provided a 20 question objective approach for already experts to pass to acquire rightly so, the V3 expertise. Now, in my view the thinking is right, but you can imagine telling someone who has already a driver license with x amount of years of driving to re-test, perhaps, on new criteria, hmmm hard to get rid of known habits...

That’s exactly what this V3 MB exam requires, forget completely about V2 approach when you choose your answers...

Keep reading (there are no short-cuts) and have a good go at the exam no matter how many times before the end of June 2011, you would get it!


I am totally disatisifed

I am totally disatisifed with the whole v3 Managers' Bridge malarky.
I'm not embarrassed to say that I've taken the exam twice now and failed both times. I'm almost proud of the fact as it proves my point.

In my opinion if I had passed the exam I would hate to be considered an ITIL Expert because of it.
Where on Earth did that the term 'ITIL Expert' come from? Isn't ITIL v3 all about working with other methodologies?
Shouldn't it at least be 'IT Service Management Expert'?

In no way does the exam test your knowledge of ITIL v3- all it tests is the candidate's abiltity to recount what was in the course notes. It doesn't matter if you have a case for questioning the examiner's answer - as long as your answer is the same as the examiners - you're ok. At least in v2 you could give your own interpretation and be rewarded for it. Isn't being an expert all about questioning 'the Correct way'?

To be called an 'Expert' I would like to be able to contest 'the books' and give an explanation that I know works and would be accepted by an adopter of ITIL. I don't want to be told that I am wrong irrespective of my reasoning.

And then on top of all this you get questions about resourcing levels on the Service Desk that could be applied to v1, let alone v2 of ITIL?!!?


Sour grapes

OK, I understand where you are coming from,- I wrote and passed.

Yes they test the books, but that is the key, the new books are about ITSM, and although the V3 Bridge is just that, we formed an independant study group on the books before we did the course and exam, I think they are 200% better than the old stuff, and hughly more applicable.

am I an Expert - mmm if they want to call me that - fine, the essence of V3 is about understanding that what you know and do, can be improved on, and if that is what an expert is I am cool with the idea.


Exam mock ups


Have anybody any resources or sample exam mock ups for ITIL Expert - bridge from ITSM V2?


Manager's Bridge book.


You might find this book useful.

It was written specifically to as an extra resource for those taking a v2 to v3 Manager's Bridge training course and exam.

Matthew Flynn
Book Publisher - BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

Used this book as a study

Used this book as a study guide for my Managers bridge, got the pass on my 3rd attempt. Pethetic exam which make referances to specific vage statements in the core books. Found the V2 managers exam more worthy as you get the opportunity to explain your answers based on your experiance / logic and best practice, afterall ITIl doesnt specifically tell you how to do something thats more of an iso20K area.

As above, I'm

As above, I'm more than slightly...hugely perturbed by a failure which is based on the fact that 18 of the questions in the live exam were similar if not the same as example questions during the course. Obviously I answered all of these the same (as marked correctly by the instructor) so where did I go wrong?

As with previous practitioner courses, trying to get any feedback is impossible, so I am left with thinking maybe I didn't get it....despite all the evidence to the contrary.

Any One else concerned about the need to submit case studies

To reach the pinnacle you now will have to demonstrate your expertise. By submitting case studies. to APMG.

What is done with them, who reviews them, how they are managed is unclear.
So I will stick with my expert title for V3 and use my red badge to provie I can structure a solution.

Not happy, but resigned. ISO 20000 looks so much more appealing to my clients.

Has anyone heard any news on whether EXIN will be offering a version of ISO2000 based certifications?

ISO 20k Foundation

I'm busy training the ISO20k Foundation course with certification exam by EXIN. Check here

Br Aale

Case studies is a start

Case studies is a start - better than multi-choice :-D One hopes the process will be transparent.

Anyone who wants to leak to me the details I'd be grateful :-D

University/Higher Education Examples

True points regarding the focus on cattle-herding the masses through the exam process. To change topic slightly, has anyone attended or heard good feedback regarding any post-graduate programs with a large ITSM (ITIL or otherwise) focus?

University Higher Education Examples


I am the course leader for the MSc in ITSM at my university (Bolton). I am more than happy to discuss what I consider to be an important issue for the ITSM industry. Taking on board this thread about the ITIL V3 Qualifications it was a key driver for me to bring a more considered approach to explore the material in depth. Having taken the V3 Manager's Bridge I was left cold. Designing the MSc in ITSM built on V3, it was interesting to see what was missing from the Bridge approach.

I also think much of this depends on whether students/candidates study ITSM practices or pure ITIL. We feel that ITIL on its own is quite restrictive.

To be honest (like all things) there are good and not so good aspects of what we do, but as we work with sector quality standards we constantly seek to reflect, review and improve, and this year we have improved some aspects which didn't work so well during our initial launch. A huge plus this year is that we have ITSM industry mentors helping the students, which puts a practical (field-based) element to study - it has made a huge difference. The course at Bolton is currently a taught masters but we are bringing on a fully on-line work-based masters built on organisational issues agreed with the student and their employer. We feel this will have a more direct affect on learning and motivation. This is still going through validation processes but we hope to have it sorted to deliver in September this year.

Having spent the past five years planning and now delivering (since 2009), I realise just how tricky all this is to get right. There is no easy answer especially as the courses run and managed by APM Group are embedded into the psyche and academia has its own ways of doing things.

Good luck whichever path you chose, as I say happy to chat on here or by other means.


EXIN - who are they

I am surprised in all the discussion around certification that no one has bothered to mention The Examination Institute for Information Science (EXIN).
Just in case you don't look at your ITIL certificate, they are the body that endorses your ITIL certification.

Directly from the EXIN website:

"EXIN establishes educational requirements and develops and organizes examinations and learning tracks in the field of IT, giving IT professionals the ability to prove appropriate competencies and skills for improved job performance."

Just who are these EXIN folks anyway, does anybody know?

And does any university care to recognize the certification that they provide?

Who is behind ITIL certification?

Citizen, see this new post

I think some academic institutions recognises ITIL certification for ITSM degrees.

EXIN developed most of the ITIL exams

EXIN is an examination institute in the Neherlands that has been around as a professional organization for decades. They provide a wide series of exams on management and information technology. It was EXIN that developed the ITIL Essentials exam (now widely known as ITIL Foundation) in 1994. I was part of that team, so I remember it well. Actually this project was the reason we installed the Dutch ITSMF later that year.

That first ITIL foundation exam was licensed to ISEB in the following years. ISEB didn't start developing any exam questions of their own till years later.
It was also EXIN that developed the ITIL Practitioner exams - which were then copied by ISEB.

The large majority of the ITIL certified folk have been certified through an EXIN exam - maybe without knowing it, but they have. And I bet the number of ITIL certificates has exceeded the total of 1.000.000 this year.

EXIN is now offering the ITIL exams that are outsourced by OGC to APMG (and we've all seen the result of that), but they also developed a series of exams on ISO 20000. Maybe you should take notice of that....

As fas as I know, EXIN certificates carry no weigt for universities, but neither do other business trainings or exams. ITIL Foundation certificates (an original EXIN product) however are among the minimum requirements for most Dutch IT jobs.

Not all of us

I don't fully understand the current system, on more levels than I care to admit, but I'm glad to say Exin doesn't appear anywhere on my certification, which was under the original ISEB/BCS scheme. I used to have to administer Exin Foundation exams and the quality was appalling - badly translated into something resembling Emglish and on some papers the same question appeared twice.

totally agree. Written by

totally agree. Written by someone whose native language is Dutch but speaks English. By the time it got to us in the US (where we don't speak English), the Denglish was sometimes indecipherable.

Pay for the training... and check your experience at the door

Yup, the exam is absolutely all about the ITIL content and not about ITSM practice. The training I had was instructive in how to properly read and answer the exam questions... no answers were given and the guidance wasn't improper, but I was better able to concentrate my study and focus on how to answer the questions. You need to think about ITIL as written and trained to, not ITSM, not real-world experience beyond basic business/IT logic. To pass... you study and memorize, drink the kool-aid... do not overthink.

Presumably the written exam for v2 Managers Certification was supposed to require a demonstration of real-world experience and understanding. This would then in turn increase the value of the certification. Judging by the a few of the people in my v3 bridge class... the bar was not nearly high enough. When asked about whether the 20-question multiple choice exam would lower the bar the trainer suggested that the bridge exam required previous ITIL certification and therefore didn't lower the bar, and that someone seeking v3 Expert Certification for the first time was required to take a series of classes and tests that would generally take 3 years to complete (based on class scheduling and typical corporate training funding) and so this person would most likely have experience and couldn't simply study for the test. I'm not entirely sure this is true, but I am certain that this will generate increased revenues for training providers.

just how deficient their new low-cost exams are

They realise just how deficient their new low-cost exams are, so that (along with the additional revenue) is why everyone is being gated through training courses


I had a very interesting conversation yesterday with a very well regarded founding figure of ITIL. His view, which once he said it made obvious sense, is that the new exams are about ITIL, not about ITSM. I looked at the sample managers bridge paper with his comments in mind and he is 100% right - they appear to be asking questions about diagrams that only appear in the ITIL 3 books. In other words the only knowledge they are testing is about what is in the book. The funny thing here is when he and I first crossed swords was when he was an examiner and I was a delegate who took issue with an exam question that was patently wrong and said so in my exam answer, earning a distinctionn in the process. You can't imagine that happening today,

exams are marked by a machine

You are dead right about the exams testing what is in the book. Adn equally about how challenging the questions is impossible ... because they are marked by a machine!. APMG have automated the marking as a cost-cutting measure which is why all the multi-choice

instant gratification

Along with cost cutting I fogot another point: fulfilling the modern world's desire for instant gratification. ooh you can't ask people to wait weeks for results while a human marks the papers. We can't have ITIL certification being solemn or important. It's a product and people want it snap snap snappy: short courses, multi-choice, instant results...

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