(This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)
I remember studying for my PRINCE2® exam and taking plenty of sample papers and mock tests. They were all on paper back then, and learning to deal with the style of questions and the time management required to get through the exam was as important as knowing your way around the manual.
These days, the best exam prep I can suggest for PRINCE2® certification is to use online exam simulators. They replicate what you will see on the real test on your big day.
In this article:
TL;DR: The exam simulators I recommend are from Management Plaza, an AXELOS accredited training organization that specializes in PRINCE2® training materials, led by experienced project management trainer, Frank Turley.
Important Features of a PRINCE2® Exam Simulator
There aren’t that many PRINCE2® simulators on the market but it is worth making a careful choice. Here are some decision-making factors to take into account when choosing an exam simulator for your PRINCE2® test:
- Fully updated to the latest PRINCE2® materials (obviously)
- Detailed explanations for each question so you can see what to revise next
- Lots of questions so you can test yourself and track your progress
- Price: the exam fee and training is expensive enough without having to pay a lot for additional study materials
PRINCE2® Foundation Exam Simulator
The Foundation exam is tough but not impossible. It tests your knowledge of the PRINCE2® method to a standard that allows you to work with (or as) a member of the project team in a PRINCE2® environment. If you know the manual well, you won’t find the exam too tricky. Having said that, I do know people who have failed it because they got overwhelmed by the exam experience.
(Yes, really, I do know someone who failed the Foundation!)
That’s why exam prep is important at all levels: don’t kid yourself that the Foundation is easy because panic can set in. Doing a practice exam or several is good prep to help avoid that because it trains you in what is to come.
There are 860+ PRINCE2® Foundation Exam questions in the simulator which is a huge bank from which to test yourself.
What I like about it is that you get an explanation per question at the end of each exam, so you can see what topics you need to revise.
The real exam at Foundation level is:
- Multiple choice
- 60 questions
- 33 marks required (so a pass mark of 55%)
- 60 minutes long
- Closed book – no notes allowed!
The Foundation mock exam simulator mirrors all of that – you’ll have to be conscious of not looking at your notes but you’ll get the same exam experience and pass mark in the simulator so it’s a true test of what you can achieve in the time.
Management Plaza has a free trial of the simulator available, which gives you 12 questions to work through in 12 minutes. That’s enough to see the format and style of the PRINCE2® Foundation mock exam. You can use the free trial to test the questions (I managed 83%, can you beat me?). It’s a good way to check this is the right product for you.
Want to look into online course options? Check our how-to here to choose the right PRINCE2® course for you.
PRINCE2® Practitioner Exam Simulator
The Practitioner Exam is aimed at project managers and you need to meet certain educational prerequisites before you can take it. The easiest way to tick that box is to take the Foundation certificate first.
The exam is:
- Objective testing format (i.e. super hard multiple choice questions)
- 68 questions long split between principles, themes and processes
- 150 minutes long (no breaks)
- 38 marks required (so a c.55% pass mark)
- Open book (i.e. you can take your official manual in but no other notes)
The fact that the pass mark is so low – 55% – for each of the exams shows that it’s tough to pass. But it is good that they publish the pass mark (something PMI does not do for their exams).
The PRINCE2® Practitioner Exam Simulator has been created to meet the same standards. The questions mimic what you can expect to see in terms of format and difficulty. There are 270 questions which is equivalent to 4 exam papers. That should give you plenty to work through.
You can also flag questions for review so you can come back to them at the end of your test if you have time.
There is also a free trial so you can test out some PRINCE2® Practitioner practice exam questions. However, it doesn’t have the coaching feature so you don’t benefit from the full power of this product. The main benefit I think is the helpful commentary for each question so you can see what you should be studying next.
How the simulators work
The simulators for both Foundation and Practitioner certification are online tools. Click to start the exam and watch the time count down. This is unnerving, but useful – I got a shock when the timer turned orange as a warning I was in my last few minutes. I managed to finish before the timer bar turned red though.
The practice tests have a simple, user-friendly interface where you click the correct answer. When you finish the test, you get to see your exam result straightaway on the screen.
You get 12 months access, so that should be plenty of time to complete your studies and sit the exam.
How to use them for your studies
The simulators are designed to sit alongside classroom courses, although you can buy a package of training with the simulator included (which makes it even better value).
Do a mock exam, then note the correct answers where you weren’t 100% sure, and make sure you understand why those were correct. We all guess sometimes, and sometimes we get lucky. Just take a bit of time to review why your guess was correct.
Then take a look at the PRINCE2® example exam questions that you got wrong and review the answers. Read the explanations and make a note to study those topics further before you take the next test.
- Will definitely help with time management during exam day and a great way to boost your confidence
- Explanations to point you in the direction of topics to revise when you get questions wrong
- Loads of positive student reviews in the private Facebook group
- Fully compatible with Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2® 6th Edition and current exam specifications
- They have a free online PRINCE2® Practitioner exam simulator you can test
- Really cheap in comparison to the value you get!
- There are no exam modes: you can’t test yourself only on the principles, for example. It’s a full exam or nothing.
- Not enough to pass the exam alone: you will also need a course or formal training of some kind to help you get through the test
- Is 4 exams enough for you? It definitely is if you are doing the 5-day course variant of PRINCE2® (like I did) but you might feel like it isn’t enough if you are self-studying via distance learning over several months
- Only 12 months access. I found a simulator on Udemy with only 300 questions but lifetime access. Frankly, I don’t think this is much of a drawback. If you can’t study for and pass the test in a year, it’s not a priority for you.
These are a good, robust PRINCE2® exam simulators that will help you prepare for the test. I have met the knowledgeable team behind them and I know they are keen to offer students the best possible learning experience.
If you want to get through the exam on the first attempt, I would highly recommend using a simulator and taking practice questions as part of your prep.
Try a demo to give yourself first-hand experience of the environment and let you see how the various features of the simulator come together.
The Best PRINCE2 Exam Simulators
Studying for PRINCE2 exams? An exam simulator can help you prepare. Here's what to look for and the product I recommend.
Course Provider: Organization
Course Provider Name: Management Plaza
Course Provider URL: https://mplaza.training/exam-simulators/prince2-practitioner/?CP=Z2lybHMK