Prince2 2017 Exam is Tough

Firstly, let me introduce myself.  I’m the in-house Prince2 trainer for Quanta and I’ve been delivering Prince2 training for just shy of ten years.  And boy was the new exam hard!


I took the exam recently so that I am ready to deliver our new Prince2 2017 offering kicking off this month. For the first time, I did a web-proctored exam that I found OK, but it would have been nice to be able to turn the scenario back and forth without having to click with the mouse; a minor inconvenience but an inconvenience nonetheless. Quanta will be delivering the exam with trusty paper and pen for the foreseeable future I am pleased to say.


With relief, I passed. It was much, much more difficult than what we are used to. To provide context I did the Prince2 re-registration paper recently and achieved 97%. I didn’t expect to do quite as well because the exam is new, and a slightly different, perhaps less contentious format (gone are those dreaded assertion reason style questions, and the multiple answers). This was a straightforward, select one of four answers and should have been a walk in the park, bearing in mind I have been teaching project and programme management forever and I live and breathe the method. 


The level of detail required was eye opening. This is good, because it really tests in-depth knowledge and application of Prince2, which is what the Practitioner qualification should be about. Also tested was where Prince2 sits with reference to other methods such as programme management and Agile, which does make it feel much more relevant to real life. I was, I felt, prepared.


There might be a temptation to self-study this exam. My view would be, although it wouldn’t be impossible to achieve the required standard, you might be compromising your chances. I feel it would be even more important to attend a structured course where we can argue the rationale as to why the answer is the answer, thereby developing the deeper understanding of Prince2 necessary to achieve the standard; and as a result, be much more at ease with the method to use back in the workplace. The ability to argue the point with other people of similar views on courses cannot be replaced by simply reading the book.


The exam focusses on three main areas: the themes, the processes and the principles each with an element of tailoring, and it was a fairly equal split between themes and principles. There were 68 questions in total, with each question worth one mark. This is an extensive test of all of the topic areas and no stone was left unturned. To be honest, the exam felt like a bit of a mental workout, but don’t let that put you off.  I’m confident that your Quanta trainers are now going into Prince2 2017 with their eyes wide open and we can help get you through the exam.  Most importantly, we’ll discuss application too, making a successful exam pass an effect of the course, rather than its core focus.