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Choosing a PRINCE2 Credential course

How To Choose a PRINCE2® Exam Preparation Training Course

There is no shortage of availability of PRINCE2 exam courses. How do you make the choice about which to invest in?

Here is some guidance that will help you identify factors relevant to your decision.

  • Class-room or eLearning?

    • Class room is generally, comparatively expensive, generally a 4 or 5 day event.
      • Your study pace is generally dictated by the instructor and rest of the class because the exams are scheduled in the class time.

      PRINCE2Agile ATO LogoPRINCE2Agile ATO

      PRINCE2® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. The Swirl logo™ is a trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved. The PRINCE2 Accredited Training Organization logo is a trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of   AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.

      • Your week is going to be intensive with evening work required to cover the volume of material in the time available.
      • A fixed time-frame and a lot of content with a very focused target on an exam pass means there is unlikely to be much non-syllabus content.
      • The syllabus explicitly excludes planning tools and techniques, excludes how to create progress tracking information and excludes the analysis required for creating project business cases. All these topics are noted as important but rarely trained in exam classes as they are not examined. (Its a strength in use; PRINCE2 is a control structure that is happy for you to use your own local choice of tools and techniques – those of the agile movement and or those described in PMI’s PMBoK-Guide or IPMA sources such as the APMBoK).
    • Quality of different courses even different events from the same vendor are variable week-to-week.
      • Do they give you a practical way to confirm that the course materials and instructor are a supplement or better yet a complete  substitute or just a distraction from reading the official manual. Many courses are insufficiently detailed to be a substitute for also having to read the whole manual to absorb the rigor the exam demands. Reading the manual as well as attending an all-day class is a large task and for P2 exams you’ll be reading a  book whose primary purpose is not training aid. A class-based-preparation course is to an exam deadline so your book reading will be too!
    • The major advantage(?) is that you are committed to time out of the day job
      • (or will the instant messages and phone calls continue through the study day as if you never left the office? – Don’t think you can easily catch-up in the evenings – you need them for study).
    • A possible advantage is your questions to the instructor are asked and answered as you discover them – if the event turns out to be sufficiently interactive.
  • eLearning

    • eLearning is generally much cheaper than class-room, definitely avoids travel and accommodation and subsistence overhead cost and is generally self-paced; you dictate when you take the online exam.
      • You can drive a very intensive study sprint or a less intense marathon or something in between – your choice.
      • You can speed-up, slow-down and repeat (or skip) course content when its video and audio.
    PRINCE2 ATO Logo

    PRINCE2 ATO Logo

    • Quality of different events from the same supplier is generally identical!
      • If you have access to the materials on a trial basis you can get a full and realistic impression about whether the materials are sound and the style suits your preferences.
      • BEWARE though of money back guarantees – they are often “if you haven’t consumed (much/ any) content” and the real issue is you cannot get your time back. Will you be one of the many who say “If I’d known at the start I wouldn’t have subscribed but now I’ve invested enough of my time to know this course isn’t as solid, detailed, suited to me etc I really don’t want to start again elsewhere”?
    • The major disadvantage over a classroom course is it is up to you to define and stick to a time commitment.
      • Perhaps an Instructor Led virtual class then suits – but that is back to variable quality (unless they share recorded classes so you can see what a vClass looks and feels like)
      • For eLearning you do need to set yourself a target progress rate and stick to it. Do you have a gym membership you rarely use? Perhaps a classroom course is best for you! If your gym (etc) membership is well used then eLearning is probably be right for you.
      • Maybe work will give you a half-day study leave every day for a couple of weeks so the discipline is easy to generate?
    • Passing the two PRINCE2 exams IS about what_does_the_book_say?
      • Realistically this is not where there is a compelling need for an interactive, case-study rich training experience with an entertaining and inspiring instructor. That is vital for project management application skills but not exam credential passes and P2 is a control framework to make the admin happen correctly. Save the training budget for the softer PM skills that absolutely need classroom sessions with other learners.
      • Split your PM journey into mechanics and real-world skills and spend the real money on the real skills.
  • Independent of Delivery Mode

    • Great materials say “We are detailed enough that the course is enough to get you through the exam” Poor materials say “Here’s a topic now go read the book”. In this case I always wonder why they bothered creating a course because the orientation you need to read the book for your-self is about 10 minutes worth of overview per topic.
    • Great materials present the content of the syllabus (rather than being oriented to the manual) in multiple modes such as instructor delivered explanations, Comprehensive summarised Graphics, Quizzes and Flash-Cards, Exercise and Case-Study applications and crucially for exam passes practice exam questions carefully analysed and mapped to the syllabus.
    • Great courses are led by a responsive and knowledgeable instructor who has skills to transfer knowledge not just who knows it themselves – Personal PM expertise is not guarantee of training ability. Of course responsive eLearing has time delay over inClass (or does it – can you ask the question as soon as it occurs to you or do you wait for a break?) In eLearning often the community reply immediately.
    • BEWARE guaranteed pass promises. The small print always says “after you’ve passed our internal test”. To be realistic that should be comforting. If you can consistently pass the trainer’s mock exams then the live exam should be easy as no one offers a guarantee that puts them self at high risk! Maybe you should just look for a course that gives the official mock exams plus extra questions and apply your own “Am I ready?” test!?

Obviously Logical Model Ltd’s eLearning does meet all the “Great Materials…” tests and we make extensive portions available before you commit. Mmore than enough is free-access that you can get the orientation then read the manual for yourself BUT our materials ARE sufficient to pass the exam without having to read the manual – that saves you time. Our materials consolidate and summarise topics from across the manual which will save you frustration and confusion compared to a first read of the manual.

So why buy a course at all? Well to sit the exam you need a sponsoring ATO – Axelos’ somewhat unenforced rules say you cannot buy an exam on its own except from PeopleCert – the only authorised Examining Institute – We buy the exam from them too but we sell it to you cheaper than they will! and then we give you the course for free in the discounted exam cost!!

Classroom? vLearing or eLearning? If your on your own we offer the last two options. If you’ve half a dozen people or more we can do the first option but it is not the best use of our training budget. In those circumstances a blended approach is still superior and cheaper.

Our prince2 Foundation and Practitioner Exam Bundle is here(NewTab)

Our prince2agile foundation is here(NewTab) and the p2a Practitioner is here(NewTab)

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