COBIT 5 Foundation Exam – Get ready for the latest release from ISACA

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COBIT 5 Foundation Exam – Get ready for the latest release from ISACA

Like This Blog 43 Mark Thomas
Added by January 11, 2013

I recently finished my COBIT 5 Foundation certification exam (yes, I passed) and wanted to share with you my thoughts on it. But first, it makes sense to give you a little background on the latest COBIT release from ISACA.

Background on COBIT.

COBIT is internationally recognized as the “go to” solution for IT governance, with aspects in security, quality and compliance. Its focus is not necessarily on how to execute a process, rather what should be done to ensure proper control of that process. Therefore, you won’t technically implement COBIT from the bottom up, but use it as a tool to help you control processes from top down as a part of a larger governance initiative. Through its 16-year history, COBIT has been used by enterprises around the world to improve management and governance. Starting out as a tool designed for IT auditors to assist in the control of IT, it has grown into a model to assist with compliance and statutory requirements as well. It helps you understand IT systems, and guides decisions around the level of security, risk and control that is necessary to protect assets through the leverage of an IT governance model.

Why COBIT 5?

COBIT 5 is the only business framework for the governance and management of enterprise IT. Launched in April 2012, COBIT 5 helps maximize the value of information by incorporating the latest thinking in enterprise governance and management techniques, and provides globally accepted principles, practices, analytical tools and models to help increase the trust in, and value from, information systems.

COBIT 5 builds and expands on COBIT 4.1 by integrating other major frameworks, standards and resources, including ISACA’s Val IT and Risk IT, Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL®) and related standards from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). COBIT 5 helps enterprises of all sizes:

  • Maintain high-quality information to support business decisions
  • Achieve strategic goals and realize business benefits through the effective and innovative use of IT
  • Achieve operational excellence through reliable, efficient application of technology
  • Maintain IT-related risk at an acceptable level
  • Optimize the cost of IT services and technology
  • Support compliance with relevant laws, regulations, contractual agreements and policies

COBIT Training and Exams

To meet the expected demand, ISACA partnered with APMG-International to offer the COBIT 5 Foundation Course and exam. Passing the exam will earn you the COBIT Foundation Certificate, which demonstrates your knowledge and understanding of the COBIT 5 framework. Training and examinations are available through accredited training organizations (ATOs) and individual trainers, who have met applicable assessment standards. The exam is much different than I expected. Actually, it’s a bit harder than I expected. It is a 50 question, multiple choice exam. You have 40 minutes to complete the test and must get 25 or more to pass. It can be taken online or paper-based.

Suggestions for exam candidates

Let me offer a bit of advice to anyone planning to take this exam:

  1. This is a faster paced exam than the previous COBIT 4.1 exam. Prepare yourself to spend less time than you think to get through the exam.
  2. If you have a choice, online is the way to go. It’s easy to use and navigate, and you get your results instantly.
  3. Pay attention to the answer rationales that come with the sample exam, they are extremely valuable and will be a good starting point for your preparations.
  4. Read the full question! Sometimes, one word can change the entire meaning of the question.
  5. If you get stuck on a question, try eliminating possible answers to get you closer to the correct one. You can also flag the question and come back to it later.
  6. COBIT 5 Principles (five of them) should be seriously understood. Each principle has a lot of rich information that you don’t want to overlook.
  7. Knowing the Enterprise Enablers is key. There are seven of them. Don’t just know what they are, dig into the details and truly understand them. I wish I had done a better job of this.
  8. There are a lot of processes (37 to be exact) to remember from the process reference model; they are well organized into Governance and Management domains. The best way to remember these is to get a solid understanding of the overall objectives for each area (i.e. EDM, APO, BAI, DSS, and MEA), then figuring out where the processes fit becomes a bit more manageable.
  9. The COBIT 5 Implementation model is very solid. There are seven phases, each including details regarding program management, change enablement, and continual improvement. Break these down and get a solid understanding of what takes place in each.
  10. A new process capability model based on ISO 15504 has replaced the former COBIT maturity model. Take some extra time understanding this model! You will certainly need to be able to recall capability levels, attributes, and assessment details.

I hope this information is helpful. As always, please feel free to share your thoughts.

If you are looking for a good set of sample questions to the COBIT5 exam, go directly to the APMG site.  There is an online exam that will give you a sample of the questions from the exam.


Mark Thomas – Director of Business Services
Interface Technical Training

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See what people are saying...

  1. Avatar Srinivas

    Could you please let me know if COBIT 5 Foundation certificate is valid Life time or do we need to renew this every 2-3 yrs ?

  2. Avatar Mporo

    Can anyone advise on exam cost or estimation

  3. Avatar thokozile

    @ Sulaiman Fredericks,do you perhaps have question papers?planning to write the exam next month .
    i would appreciate it.

  4. Avatar Sulaiman Fredericks
  5. Avatar Danish

    I want to know the difference between ITIL FOUNDATION & COBIT 5. Could anyone help me to figure out this and please also share the COBIT 5 FOUNDATION exam fee.

  6. Avatar D'Gratius

    Hi Mark;

    I don’t seem to find the sample exam on the APMG site. All I can see is the purchase of an the actual exam. Am I missing something?

    Also, is it true that I have 6 months from when I purchase the exam to to do it? That is, my exam voucher expires in 6 months from the purchase date?


  7. Avatar D'Gratius

    Hi Mark,

    I wish I had seen your post earlier. I must say this is the most helpful information I have been able to obtain since when I started preparing for this exam a couple of months ago. I feel I am not ready and I still have very limited time before doing the exam.

    As many have asked you, I too would appreciate if I can get a set of the exam questions so that I can test myself before sitting for the exam.

    Kind Regards;

  8. Avatar Interface

    If you are looking for a good set of sample questions to the COBIT5 exam, go directly to the APMG site ( There is an online exam that will give you a sample of the questions from the exam.

  9. Avatar Matthias

    Hi Mark and everyone, can I be assisted with Cobit 5 Foundations practice question. I’m on self reading. Thanks

  10. Avatar blackman

    Hi mark,
    please can you assist me with study materials

  11. Avatar Erika

    i Mark,
    Thanks for the very informative advice. Can you send me a sample exam question?
    Thanks in advance!

  12. Avatar Sunny

    Spot on. Please can I have the sample questions? Will be writing very soon. Thanks.

  13. Avatar Mohammed Hossain

    Hi Marks, Thanks for good suggestion. I am planning to sit for COBIT 5 foundation exam soon.Can you please provide sample exam?

  14. Avatar Aj

    Hi Mark,
    Thanks for the information. appreciate if you can send me the sample questions. I will be taking the exams within the next two days.

  15. Avatar Tariro

    thank you for the tips. Please may you forward sample exam questions

  16. Avatar Tariro

    Hi Mark,

    thank you for the tips. May you kindly send sample exams

  17. Avatar Aqil

    Hi thanks for the wonderful tips. Can u please sent me the sample exam too as it will be very helpful for me to prepare.


  18. Avatar diaa

    first thanks for all the information that you provide us it is really helpful
    as i am preparing to start need more of sample test question to know better the kind of question that i will face
    thanks again

  19. Avatar Kiran

    I am preparing for COBIT5 implementation exam. Looking forward tips and advice for preparing the same.

  20. Avatar Narasimham

    Very informative. Preparing to take the COBIT 5 Foundation exam.

    1. The APMG site for Online Exam booking does not accept US dollars. Is there any alternative (want to pay only in USD)?

    2. Please help with sample questions.

    Thanks. Narasimham.

  21. Avatar Homer

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the very informative advice. Can you send me a sample exam question?

    Thanks in advance!

  22. Avatar Altamira

    Hi everyone,
    I passed he exam yesterday! I scored 28/50 after a two-days course in the UK.
    All I have to tell you is that half of the questions were on enables, so please DO read Appendix G thoroughly. One question that I remember was about the generic process capability attributes. Also another one was asking how many processes in the Process Reference model are under Build, Acquire and I mplement (10). also you can find a mock exam in the APMG site.

    Hope this helped.

  23. Avatar Richard

    Hi Mark, I will be sitting the exam soon and would be very grateful for some sample exam questions. TY! 🙂

  24. Avatar Kathy

    I noticed that alot of people have asked you for sample exam questions. Are you able to provide any so that I can get an idea of what to expect?

  25. Avatar Khan

    Hi Mark, Planning to write for exam by next week, appriciate if u share some sample questions.


  26. Avatar Mahsud

    Any has CoBIT5 practices questions? I am in trouble. Not getting any idea about exam format!

  27. Avatar Greg

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for all the tips in your blog. Can you please send me the Sample questions so I have a sense of what to expect.

  28. Avatar B

    Hi Mark,thanks for the information. Could you send me some sample questions for preparation?

  29. Avatar Emile

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the tips,
    I’m writing the Exam in 12 hours. lol

    Only came across this page a minute ago. I have some mock exam questions. But if you could send me the question too, I would be beyond grateful.


  30. Avatar Emad

    Hi Mark, thanks for the shared information.
    Would be great if you send me the exam sample.
    Thanks in advance.

  31. Avatar Mokete Alfred Seala

    Thanks Mark for the tips.

    I am doing self study and I am looking for sample questions.

    Can you help?


  32. Avatar Yvla

    Would be great if u could send me the exam eaxample. Thanks in advance

  33. Avatar Interface Technical Training

    Great question…yes, I would definitely understand the appendices. In fact, I’ve found they are very rich with useful information!


  34. Avatar kassia

    hi , mark thanks for the information was very helpful by the way the appendices are important ????? do i have to understand them???
    i hope you can answer me , thanks !!!!

  35. Avatar Alex

    Thanks for the information it is very helpful. Where can I download the practice exam, I’m planning to take the test in 10 days.

    Thanks again


  36. Avatar Valery TEZP

    Thanks for your advice,

    Can you share samples Cobit 5 exam for


  37. Avatar Maria

    Hi Mark, thanks for the info.
    I am planning to take the exam, could you send me the sample questions?

    Thanks in advance.

  38. Avatar Interested in Cobit

    Hi Mark, thanks for sharing.
    Could you send me the sample questions?

    Thanks in advance.

  39. Avatar zerkses

    Just read and understand the COBIT 5 FRAMEWORK… especially APPENDIX G

  40. Avatar Ullas

    Can you share the sample Cobit 5 exam as I am preparing by doing the self-study.

  41. Avatar Joe

    Hi Mark,

    Which of the ISACA textbook do I need to purchase, to prepare for the COBIT 5 foundation exam.

  42. Avatar Zemeer


    Any way you could send me the sample exam questions and answers…I want to prepare for my exam.

  43. Avatar Don Caniglia

    Hi Mark and thanks for the insights to the exam.  i am goinng to take it fainally in the next douple of weeks.  Hope you had a great holiday season and have a Happy New Year.  It was good seeing you last fall and hope to see you again soon. 



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