What is a PRINCE2® course like?
There’s no better way for you to get a feel for a PRINCE2 course than to hear it from the students themselves. Lara Hindley, one of our previous PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner students, kindly agreed to share her story for your benefit. Discover in detail what it’s like to spend 5 days in a PRINCE2 classroom.
After navigating the sea of PRINCE2 training providers out there, I decided to pick Knowledge Train. The course was well-priced, but I could also see from their website that they provided a first-rate experience. Apart from just a good price, Knowledge Train were offering small class sizes, experienced trainers, colourful training materials and high exam pass rates. Oh, and the classes are held in central London - definitely an added bonus!
To book the course online, all I had to do was click ‘Book now’ next to my preferred course date, enter both my personal details and card details, and that was all. It was a very stress-free experience. Within an hour, I had received an email confirming my place on the course and instructing me how to login to the pre-course study.
I spent Sunday afternoon before the course reading the pre-course study. It only took me about 3 hours to read through, which is certainly helpful when you have a busy schedule. The pre-course work really helped me grasp the basic idea of PRINCE2, and consisted of videos, beautifully colourful eBooks, exam tips and an actual sample Foundation exam. Some companies were advertising their pre-course study as 16+ hours of reading, so I felt incredibly happy that the Knowledge Train pre-course work was short, sweet, interesting and relevant.
On Monday morning, I got to the venue at about 9am. The courses take place in Charterhouse Square, very close to Barbican and Farringdon stations, so it is very convenient to travel to. The venue is a nice old Victorian house in a surprisingly quiet location, even though it is so centrally located in London, and the training room itself had lovely big windows with views over the square. There were also very helpful Knowledge Train staff on-site to assist with any questions.
The PRINCE2 manual ‘Managing Successful Projects’, a colour course guide and a wallchart were all available on arrival. The trainer for the week was Kobus Scheepers, a friendly guy with a knack for keeping PRINCE2 interesting. He certainly had the room roaring with laughter on more than one occasion!
The class was small, at roughly 16 students, and we started off by learning the PRINCE2 life-cycle and all about the Business Case, before learning about the Organization theme. Kobus told us exactly where to look in the PRINCE2 manual to read about the PRINCE2 concepts he was describing, and instructed us which parts to highlight. His superhuman knowledge of the hefty 327 page PRINCE2 manual was incredible.
Courses picked for you
I must add that there are a number of tempting cafes in the area at lunchtime. The venue also has tea, coffee and biscuits to keep you going through the day.
Something I noticed was how people warmed to Kobus, and how he had the ability to provide relevant examples to illustrate his points. People didn’t hesitate to ask questions, and he answered every single one. At the end of Monday (about 4.15pm) Kobus gave us homework in the form of a sample Foundation exam, which we could access via the pre-course study.
Day two of the course came around, and Kobus was on top form again. We learned about the Quality and Plans themes in the morning, before moving onto the Risk, Change and Progress themes in the afternoon. It was a very busy day, but Kobus kept the mood light-hearted and fun.
The first big challenge to overcome on a PRINCE2 course is the Foundation exam, and this was held on Wednesday. We started the day by going over the sample questions completed for homework, and discussed the Process Model. Kobus put us at ease about the exam with some tips, and we started the exam at noon. It is a 1 hour exam consisting of 75 multiple choice questions.
After completing the exam, Kobus marked the papers and gave us a score. We all passed and had a well-earned lunch.
In the afternoon, it was time to begin learning the Practitioner part of the course. Kobus taught us about tailoring and embedding PRINCE2, and we completed some sample Practitioner exam questions. Kobus went through the questions with us, and there was a lot of discussion. As the Practitioner exam is a lot more challenging than Foundation, Kobus was on hand with a lot of tips and suggestions.
On Thursday, we went through more Practitioner sample exam questions. The Practitioner exam is a multiple choice exam, with questions based on a provided project scenario. To pass, you need a solid understanding of PRINCE2, as well as knowing how the examiner is trying to catch you out. Unlike the Foundation exam, you are allowed to take in the PRINCE2 manual, so Kobus helped us in highlighting more key sentences in there. Kobus was patient with our questions and got us through the day.
We all arrived on Friday morning for the final challenge – the Practitioner exam. It takes place between 9.30am and 12pm. Things were a lot quieter than they had been throughout the week, and I felt a bit sad that this was our final day.
The invigilator did some exam administration, and then it was time to begin. At 12pm, it was time to hand our papers in to the Knowledge Train team, who would then go on to scan the papers, enabling us to get our results via email.
My result came through on that same Friday evening – I passed! Now that I hold PRINCE2 certification, I can follow my dream of becoming a project manager. I even have an interview soon, and I feel my life is changing for the better. I want to say that I could not have done this without Knowledge Train and Kobus. The course was lively and enjoyable, thanks to Kobus’ excellent teaching style and the colourful course materials. I also felt relaxed and at ease, and I feel this is down to the professionalism of Knowledge Train. Thank you!