ISTQB® Certified Tester Foundation Level 4.0 (CTFL)

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ISTQB® Certified Tester Foundation Level 4.0 (CTFL)

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Please note:

CTFL 4.0 is the latest released syllabus version for the ISTQB® Certified Tester Foundation Level!

If you are seeking to take an exam on Syllabus Version 3.1 (2018) please click here. Training courses and exams (including re-takes) may continue for the 3.1 syllabus in English only until May 09th 2024 and in other languages until November 09th 2024.


The ISTQB® Certified Tester Foundation Level 4.0 (CTFL 4.0) certification provides essential testing knowledge that can be put to practical use as well as the terminology and concepts used worldwide in the testing domain. The CTFL 4.0 certification is relevant across software delivery approaches and practices whether Agile, Waterfall or DevOps with continuous integration, continuous delivery and continuous testing.

How do I obtain the ISTQB® certification?

To be certified, you must pass the ISTQB® Certified Tester Foundation Level 4.0 (CTFL 4.0) exam.

You can prepare for the exam by attending an accredited training course for CTFL 4.0; participants will have relevant content and topics clearly explained and taught to them.

You can also self-study using the syllabus that covers important topics in the field of software testing, starting with the fundamentals of software testing, testing throughout the software development lifestyle, and static testing, to test design procedures, management, and tools. 

Official ISTQB® CTFL 4.0 Sample exams (A, B, C, and D) are available (you can find the samples, syllabus, and exam rules for download in the "Attachments" tab on this page).

ISTQB® CTFL 4.0 Sample A and Sample B are also available online: 

You can take the ISTQB® CTFL 4.0 exam via remote proctor or via Pearson Vue as well as after training. 

Which topics are covered in the Syllabus?

The Foundation Level certificate exam is based on the syllabus (available in attachments). Answers to exam questions may require the use of material based on more than one section of this syllabus. All sections of the syllabus are examinable, except for the Introduction and Appendices. Standards and books are included as references (Chapter 7), but their content is not examinable, beyond what is summarized in the syllabus itself from such standards and books. Refer to the document Foundation Level Examination Structures and Rule (available in attachments).

Chapter 1: Fundamentals of Testing (180 minutes)

  • The student learns the basic principles related to testing, the reasons why testing is required, and what the test objectives are.
  • The student understands the test process, the major test activities, and testware.
  • The student understands the essential skills for testing.

Chapter 2: Testing Throughout the Software Development Lifecycle (130 minutes)

  • The student learns how testing is incorporated into different development approaches.
  • The student learns the concepts of test-first approaches, as well as DevOps.
  • The student learns about the different test levels, test types, and maintenance testing.

Chapter 3: Static Testing (80 minutes)

  • The student learns about the static testing basics, the feedback and review process.

Chapter 4: Test Analysis and Design (390 minutes)

  • The student learns how to apply black-box, white-box, and experience-based test techniques to derive test cases from various software work products.
  • The student learns about the collaboration-based test approach.

Chapter 5: Managing the Test Activities (335 minutes)

  • The student learns how to plan tests in general, and how to estimate test effort.
  • The student learns how risks can influence the scope of testing.
  • The student learns how to monitor and control test activities.
  • The student learns how configuration management supports testing.
  • The student learns how to report defects in a clear and understandable way.

Chapter 6: Test Tools (20 minutes)

  • The student learns to classify tools and to understand the risks and benefits of test automation.

What are the entry requirements?

There are no specific requirements or required pre-certifications.

How does this certification benefit me?

The ISTQB® Certified Tester Foundation Level 4.0 (CTFL 4.0) supports skills development for anyone interested or pursuing a career in testing or who is supporting testing in within their organization. CTFL 4.0 is an internationally recognized certificate; holders should be able to:

  • Understand what testing is and why it is beneficial
  • Understand fundamental concepts of software testing
  • Identify the test approach and activities to be implemented depending on the context of testing
  • Assess and improve the quality of documentation
  • Increase the effectiveness and efficiency of testing
  • Align the test process with the software development lifecycle
  • Understand test management principles
  • Write and communicate clear and understandable defect reports
  • Understand the factors that influence the priorities and efforts related to testing
  • Work as part of a cross-functional team
  • Know risks and benefits related to test automation
  • Identify essential skills required for testing
  • Understand the impact of risk on testing
  • Effectively report on test progress and quality

Holders of the Foundation Certificate will have the necessary pre-requisite needed to be eligible for other industry-recognized ISTQB® software testing qualifications including the Advanced and Specialist modules.

Who is this certification for?

The Foundation Level qualification is aimed at anyone involved in software testing. This includes people in roles such as testers, test analysts, test engineers, test consultants, test managers, software developers and development team members.It is also appropriate for anyone who wants a basic understanding of software testing, such as project managers, quality managers, product owners, software development managers, business analysts, IT directors and management consultants.Holders of the Foundation certificate will be able to go on to higher-level of ISTQB® software testing qualifications.

What other certifications can you recommend?

The ISTQB® Certified Tester Foundation Level qualification is a prerequisite for going on to study the following ISTQB® certificates:

ISTQB® Specialist Certifications:

ISTQB® Agile Certifications:

ISTQB® Advanced Level:

ISTQB® Expert Level:

If you are seeking to extend your knowledge of test automation, we recommend:

What is software testing?

Software testing is a set of activities to discover defects and evaluate the quality of software artifacts. These artifacts, when being tested, are known as test objects. A common misconception about testing is that it only consists of executing tests (i.e., running the software and checking the test results). However, software testing also includes other activities and must be aligned with the software development lifecycle (Chapter 2 of the CTFL 4,0 syllabus).Another common misconception about testing is that testing focuses entirely on verifying the test object. Whilst testing involves verification, i.e., checking whether the system meets specified requirements, it also involves validation, which means checking whether the system meets users’ and other stakeholders’ needs in its operational environment.Testing may be dynamic or static. Dynamic testing involves the execution of software, while static testing does not. Static testing includes reviews (see chapter 3 of the CTFL 4.0 syllabus) and static analysis. Dynamic testing uses different types of test techniques and test approaches to derive test cases (see chapter 4 of the CTFL 4.0 syllabus).Testing is not only a technical activity. It also needs to be properly planned, managed, estimated, monitored and controlled (see chapter 5 of the CTFL 4.0 syllabus).Testers use tools (see chapter 6 of the CTFL 4.0 syllabus), but it is important to remember that testing is largely an intellectual activity, requiring the testers to have specialized knowledge, use analytical skills and apply critical thinking and systems thinking.The ISO/IEC/IEEE 29119-1 standard provides further information about software testing concepts.

Why is software testing so important?

Testing provides a cost-effective means of detecting defects. These defects can then be removed (by debugging – a non-testing activity), so testing indirectly contributes to higher quality test objects.Testing provides a means of directly evaluating the quality of a test object at various stages in the SDLC. These measures are used as part of a larger project management activity, contributing to decisions to move to the next stage of the SDLC, such as the release decision.Testing provides users with indirect representation on the development project. Testers ensure that their understanding of users’ needs are considered throughout the development lifecycle. The alternative is to involve a representative set of users as part of the development project, which is not usually possible due to the high costs and lack of availability of suitable users.Testing may also be required to meet contractual or legal requirements, or to comply with regulatory standards (Source: ISTQB® CTFL 4.0 Syllabus).

CT-FL 4

Data sheet

Board
ISTQB® - International Software Testing Qualifications Board
Exam questions
40
Minimum score
65 %
Examination Time
60 min
Requirements
There are no specific requirements or required pre-certifications. Programming knowledge is an advantage.
Product Type
Exam
Training
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