ISTQB® Certified Tester: 

The ISTQB® (International Software Testing Qualifications Board) is a not-for-profit association legally registered in Belgium. ISTQB® has defined the “ISTQB® Certified Tester” scheme that has become the world-wide leader in the certification of competences in software testing. With more than 1 million exams taken and 750,000 certified testing professionals, ISTQB® is the current standard in software testing qualification. The scheme relies on a Body of Knowledge (in the ISTQB® syllabuses and ISTQB® Glossary). Other initiatives from ISTQB® include the ISTQB® Partner Program, the Academia Research Compendium, the Effectiveness Survey and the International Software Testing Excellence Award.

iSQI is a fully authorized global exam provider able to deliver ISTQB® certification exams including through Pearson VUE test centers and our remote proctor platforms. As well as being a global exam provider,  iSQI is a chosen partner to many ISTQB® Member Boards including the Austrian Testing Board (ATB), the Australian and New Zealand Testing Board (ANZTB), the Belgium and Netherlands Testing Qualifications Board (BNTQB), the Brazilian Software Testing Qualifications Board (BSTQB), the Bangladesh Software Testing Board (BSTB), the Canadian Software Testing Board (CSTB), Cuban Software Testing Board (CuTB), the Finnish Software Testing Board (FiSTB), the German Testing Board (GTB), the Latvian Software Testing Qualification Board (LSTQB), the Nigerian Software Testing and Qualifications Board (NGSTQB), theSwiss Testing Board (STB), the UK and Ireland Testing Board (UKITB). 

ISTQB® training is available from a global network of ISTQB® accredited training providers. iSQI are proud to be an exam provider to ISTQB® accredited training providers around the globe (contact us at exam@isqi.org if you are a training provider interested in working with us!).

ISTQB® Portfolio/Roadmap:

A summary of the ISTQB® portfolio, which comprises Core, Agile and Specialist streams, is shown below.

istqb-program.png

ISTQB® Certified Tester Foundation Level (CTFL) is the starting point and prerequisite for all other ISTQB® Foundation and Advanced level exams in the Core, Agile and Specialist stream. 

ISTQB® Agile Foundation is a prerequisite for the ISTQB® Agile Advanced Levels.

Each syllabus includes defined Learning Objectives which are statements that describe what the candidate is expected to know or be able to do in respect to the syllabus content. Each Learning Objective (and exam question) is classified according to a cognitive level, these cognitive levels are known as K-Levels. 

  • Foundation level exams cover 3 different K-levels (K1 to K3)
  • Advanced level exams cover 3 different K-Levels (K2 to K4)
  • Expert level exams cover 5 different K-Levels (K2 to K6) 

Each syllabus will also typically include Business Outcomes which are statements of what can be expected from a person who achieves certification in a particular subject area. This is useful as a benchmark for employers and recruiters.  

Exams for all ISTQB® certification levels – ISTQB® Foundation, ISTQB® Advanced and ISTQB® Expert across the ISTQB® Core, ISTQB® Agile and ISTQB® Specialist streams - are available from iSQI globally!

 

ISTQB® Certified Tester Foundation Level (CTFL) Certification

ISTQB® Foundation Level is relevant across software delivery practices including Waterfall, Agile, DevOps and Continuous Delivery. The 2018 syllabus covers six sections: The Fundamentals of Software Testing, Testing Throughout the Software Development Lifecycle, Static Testing, Test Techniques, Test Management, and Tools Support for Testing.

      Certified Tester Foundation Level (CTFL)

The Foundation Level qualification is suitable for anyone who needs to demonstrate practical knowledge of the fundamental concepts of software testing including people in roles such as testers, test analysts, test engineers, test consultants, test managers, user acceptance testers and software developers.It is also appropriate for individuals who need a basic understanding of software testing including project managers, quality managers, software development managers, business analysts, IT directors and management consultants.

ISTQB® Core Advanced Level Certifications

The ISTQB® Core Advanced Level certifications support career progression for testing professionals. To achieve Advanced Level certification, candidates must hold the Certified Tester Foundation Level (CTFL) certificate (and have sufficient practical experience as may be defined). Core Advanced Level includes three Syllabi: Test ManagerTest Analyst and Technical Test Analyst.

The Core Advanced Level qualifications are suitable for people who want to establish their careers further in software testing, such as testers, test analysts, test engineers, test consultants, test managers, user acceptance testers and software developers. This Level is also suitable for anyone who is not a software tester but wants a deeper understanding of software testing, such as project managers, quality managers, software development managers, business analysts, IT directors and management consultants.

All ISTQB® Core Advanced Level certification exams are available from iSQI: 

      Certified Tester Advanced Level – Test Manager (CTAL-TM) 

      Certified Tester Advanced Level – Test Analyst (CTAL-TA) 

      Certified Tester Advanced Level – Technical Test Analyst (CTAL-TTA

 

ISTQB® Core Expert Level Certifications

The ISTQB® Expert Level is designed for professional software testers or managers who are highly experienced in the discipline. This Level provides in-depth, practically-oriented certifications in a range of different testing subjects. To obtain Expert Level certification, potential candidates must have: 

      the Foundation Certificate

      an Advanced Certificate depending on the Expert Module desired

      passed the Expert Level Exam

      at least 5 years of practical testing experience

      at least 2 years of industry experience in the specific Expert Level topic

There are two Expert Level certifications: Improving the Testing Process (CTEL- ITP) and Test Management (CTEL-TM). Both are available from iSQI. Each certification consists of modules; there is an exam for each module.

      Certified Tester Expert Level – Test Management (CTEL-TM) 

Comprises three modules:

          ■      Strategic Test Management

          ■      Operational Test Management

          ■      Managing the Test Team

      Certified Tester Expert Level – Improving the Testing Process (CTEL-ITP)

Comprised two modules:

          ■      Assessing Test Processes

          ■      Implementing Test Process Improvement

ISTQB® Agile Certifications

A tester on an Agile project will work differently than one working on a traditional project. Testers must understand the values and principles that underpin Agile projects, and how testers are an integral part of a whole-team approach together with developers and business representatives. 

The ISTQB® Agile stream covers testing practices specifically for the Agile methodology and includes the following certifications, exams for all are available from iSQI:  

      Certified Tester Foundation Level- Agile Tester (CTFL-AT)

      Certified Tester Advanced Level – Agile Technical Tester (CTAL-ATT)

      Certified Tester Advanced Level - Agile Test Leadership at Scale (CTAL-ATLaS) - this certification is currently in development (exam to follow). Chapter 1 “Quality Assistance” has been launched.

ISTQB® Specialist Certifications

ISTQB® Specialist certifications provide a deep dive into areas which may be based on quality characteristics, specific test approaches and test activities, or which cluster testing know-how for certain industry domains.

All ISTQB® Specialist Level certification  exams are available from iSQI: 

      Certified Tester Model Based Tester (CTFL-MBT)

      Certified Tester Performance Testing (CTFL-PT)

      Certified Tester  Automotive Tester (CTFL-AuT)

      Certified Tester Usability Testing (CTFL-UT)

      Certified Tester Mobile Application Testing (CTFL-MAT)

      Certified Tester Acceptance Testing (CTFL-AcT)

      Certified Tester Foundation Level – Gambling Industry Tester (CTFL-GT)

      Certified Tester Security Tester (CTAL-SEC)

      Certified Tester Test Automation Engineer (CTAL-TAE)

ISTQB® Exam Format

Foundation Level exams consist of 40 multiple choice questions (MCQ). In MCQ exams candidates need to select only the correct answer(s) from the choices offered as a list. Each question is worth 1 mark for Foundation Level exams.

Advanced Level exams consist of 40 – 65 multiple choice questions, depending on the exam. The marks per question may vary – the point value could be 1,2 or 3 points. All iSQI ISTQB® Foundation and Advanced Level exams will indicate the point value per question in your exam. In the Advanced Level exams there may be scenarios on which questions are based. Expert Level exams are 40 multiple choice questions and 3 essay questions.

Each exam consists of questions that are based on the Learning Objectives for the respective ISTQB® syllabus (this is important – always keep in mind only what the syllabus sets out when answering exam questions!). For each syllabus there are exam rules that define the level of coverage and distribution of questions in the exam based on these Learning Objectives, their K-levels, and their level of importance as evaluated by the ISTQB®.

As a guide:

      Exam takers are expected to allocate 1 minute to K1 level questions

      Exam takers are expected to allocate 1 to 2 minutes to K2 level questions

      Exam takers are expected to allocate 3 minutes to K3 level questions

      Exam takers are expected to allocate 4 minutes to K4 level questions

Foundation, Advanced Level, Agile and Specialist exam structure and rules information can be found in the Exam Structure and Rules document and the exam structure table

Expert Level exam structure and rules information can be found here

ISTQB® Exam Time & Time Extension

Most ISTQB® Foundation and Specialist Level exams are 60 minutes with the exception of Certified Tester Performance Testing which is a 90 minute exam.

ISTQB® Advanced Level exams are either 90 minutes, 120 minutes or 180 minutes (depending on the exam). 

ISTQB® Expert Level exams are 135 minutes.

If you take any ISTQB® exam in a language that is not your native language, you will be given extra time as displayed in the below table. 

ISTQB Exam Pass Score

All ISTQB® Foundation, Specialist, Advanced and Expert Level exams require a minimum achievement of 65% to pass (meaning 65% of the total points available in the exam) and as specified in the respective syllabus and “Exam Structure and Rules” table for Foundation, Specialist and Advanced.

If you have passed your ISTQB® certification exam, iSQI will include a link in the result email where you can give your permission for your information to be included on the ISTQB Successful Candidate Register. This is the official ISTQB® register globally.

ISTQB® Exam Options with iSQI

  1. FLEX[1]  (Remote Proctored Exams)

Our flexible solution for taking ISTQB® exams from home or another location of your choice at a date and time that suits you. The exam is supervised online, with a remote proctor (invigilator) through the webcam and microphone of your computer. You can find more information on ISTQB FLEX exams here.

All Foundation, Specialist and Advanced Level ISTQB® certification exams can be taken from home, online with a remote invigilator! 

  1.  Test Center (Pearson VUE)

There are over 5,200 Pearson Vue test centers in over 175 countries. You can choose your preferred location in your country and a date and time to suit you. All Foundation, Specialist and Advanced Level ISTQB® certification exams can be taken at Pearson Test Centers!

  1. Paper

Exams on-site after accredited training or for an organization with a group of exam candidates, supervised by a trained iSQI invigilator. iSQI also offers public exam sessions in several locations on specified dates.

  1. SMEX

On-line exam on-site after accredited training or for an organization with a group of exam candidates, supervised by a trained iSQI invigilator. iSQI also offers public exam sessions in several locations on specified dates. All Foundation, Specialist and Advanced Level ISTQB® certification exams can be taken as paper or SMEX! (Expert Level is currently paper only). 

ISTQB® Exam Preparation - ISTQB® Syllabi & Sample Exams

If you are considering training then it is recommended that you take a course with an ISTQB® Accredited Training Provider.

If you are thinking of self-studying for an ISTQB® certification exam then the starting point is the ISTQB® syllabus. All ISTQB® syllabi include recommended reading material (usually listed at the end) and these publications can be useful additional resources. We cannot stress enough that a strong understanding of the syllabus is essential and we would suggest that you review the syllabus in depth – also try to understand K Levels as it will help your preparation.

You can download the ISTQB® syllabi for all ISTQB® certification exams here

We also recommend that you understand the exam rules for the certification exam you are taking (Foundation, Specialist and AdvancedExpert) - take a look how the questions are distributed per chapter. Remember not to skip any chapter when studying. 

Sample/mock exams are a very useful resource to test your knowledge, as an example, there are 3 ISTQB® sample exams for ISTQB® Certified Tester Foundation Level (CTFL) and all are available on the iSQI website. Focus on understanding where you get questions wrong in the ISTQB® mock exam and refer back to the specific learning objectives in the ISTQB® syllabus. You can download the official ISTQB sample exams and ISTQB® answer keys for all ISTQB® certification exams here.

The ISTQB® Glossary is also available as a resource. Glossary quiz cards, that can help with your preparation for the exam, are available from the iOS App Store and Android App Store.

Tip - book your exam so you have a target date and plan your study towards that date!

ISTQB® Certification with iSQI - your benefits

Benefits for Testing Professionals

  • iSQI supports professionals at all stages of their careers with the full range of internationally recognized ISTQB® certifications providing whole career path support, from Foundation to Expert level. 
  • iSQI is accredited with international standards ISO 17024 assuring candidates of the highest quality and security. An iSQI certificate is recognized globally for its validity in ISTQB certification.You can also request an iSQI Digital Badge.
  • With ISTQB® Foundation, Advanced, Specialist and Expert certifications, iSQI helps professionals maximise their career goals and maintain international recognition of acquired competencies and skills
  • Holders of an ISTQB®  certificate from iSQI are authorized to use the “Certified Tester” logo (specifying the level of certification).
  • We provide maximum flexibility with our exam delivery options with the choice of test center (Pearson VUE), public or FLEX (remote proctored) exams. Registration is easy and results are issued quickly!
  • iSQI works with a global network of accredited training providers whose expertise in education assists professionals in enhancing their knowledge and skills.

 

Benefits for Organizations

  • iSQI offers group ISTQB® exams at your preferred location, after self-study or in house training. 
  • Exams can be taken on paper or online (SMEX) with a fully trained iSQI invigilator on site.
  • We can also offer you Pearson VUE testing vouchers and FLEX remote proctored exams as bulk orders for your team.
  • If your company plans to take exams on a regular basis we can offer a partner contract with potential preferred pricing and an account manager to support you.
  • ISTQB®  certification can provide a competitive advantage for companies, promising a higher level of reliability of the applications being developed due to efficient and cost effective testing practices derived from certified team members. 
  •  Consulting companies with certified staff can offer higher-level services to customers, increasing revenues and brand value.
  • ISTQB® has defined a “Partner Program” for companies that engage a large number of certified testers. Contact iSQI for more information.

Benefits for Training Providers

  • iSQI is the preferred partner of training providers, universities and educational institutions around the world.
  • Collaboration with iSQI offers both individuals and organisations reassurance of the highest standards in assessment, with globally recognized certifications and flexible exam options.
  • Paper, on-line (SMEX), Test center (Pearson VUE), public or FLEX (remote proctored) exams are available
  • We have an uncomplicated ordering system, easy registration, efficient fulfilment and quick results.
  • iSQI invigilators are fully trained to ensure that your candidates are in capable hands.
  • Training providers can offer their courses in our Marketplace on www.isqi.org,guaranteeing global visibility and multiple booking options for their customers.
  • Accredited Training Providers will also be listed on the ISTQB® website
  • Our account managers will provide support to assist the launch of your iSQI certification training. Let us know if you need information on ISTQB® training materials and ISTQB® accreditation.

FAQs:

How do I buy an ISTQB® exam at www.isqi.org?

All you need to do is visit www.isqi.org and create an account.

      Select your country with the drop down arrow (top left of the page).

      Select the ISTQB® exam you would like to take from our Software Testing portfolio

      Select the language and exam method of choice with the drop down arrows on the page of your chosen ISTQB® certification exam.

      Add the exam to your cart and proceed to payment!

If you are an accredited ISTQB® training provider or an organization looking for exams for your testing team you can order from www.isqi.org or contact exam@isqi.org.

What is the cost of an ISTQB® exam?

The exam cost will depend on the ISTQB® certification exam you want to buy. If you visit our shop at www.isqi.org – select your country, your currency, your exam and the exam type (paper, test center, remote proctored) to find your cost.

Accredited ISTQB® training providers or organizations visit www.isqi.org or contact exam@isqi.org.

What languages are the ISTQB® exams available in?

iSQI offers exams in English, German, Spanish, French, Dutch and Russian depending on the exam. Please check on the page for the certification you are interested in at www.isqi.org.

How do I register for my ISTQB® exam?

Depending on how you choose to take your exam, iSQI will guide you through the registration process. Our aim is to make this as easy as possible. Importantly you must register with the name you want used on your ISTQB certificate. You should also ensure that you have the necessary prerequisites.

Should I use ISTQB® “Exam Dumps” available online?

We recommend that you avoid these completely and do not waste your time! We have outlined the official and most effective study options above. Please note, we closely monitor exam activity and we will ensure that anyone who has achieved a fraudulent certificate will have this withdrawn and be reported to ISTQB.

Can I get a Digital Badge for ISTQB® certificates from iSQI?

Yes! A digital badge is an online standard for recognizing and verifying achievement of certification; you can apply for a badge if you have an ISTQB certificate awarded by iSQI (read more here).

Our badges are secured by Blockchain which cryptographically seals a record of the credential when it’s created so that anyone seeking verification of your certificate can be absolutely certain that a record hasn’t been altered since being issued by iSQI. You can add an ISTQB digital badge when you buy an ISTQB exam in the iSQI shop or you can apply for a badge if you are already a certificate holder (also via the shop).

Are iSQI issued ISTQB® certificates valid globally?

Yes! iSQI is a global exam provider for ISTQB® exams as well as a partner of choice to many ISTQB® Member Boards. 

How long is an ISTQB® exam? 

Exam lengths vary - please see the table above or check here the exam structure and rules for Foundation, Specialist and Advanced and Expert.

How long is an ISTQB® exam valid for?

All current Foundation, Specialist and Advanced Level exams are valid for life. Expert Level is valid for 5 years. At the end of this period the certification must be renewed. This may be achieved either by re-taking the exam or by demonstrating that particular activities have been performed during that period (e.g. performing relevant professional testing tasks, attending conferences, writing articles etc. ). The rules and criteria which govern this process are defines in the Expert Level Certification Extension Program (CEP) which is overseen by the ISTQB® and may be tailored by Member Boards.

Can I take an ISTQB® exam from home?

Yes! iSQI is fully authorized to offer remote proctor exams which can be taken from home (currently ISTQB® have authorized remote exams until the end of 2021 - contact us for more information). iSQI offers all exams in the ISTQB® portfolio as remote proctor exams (except Expert Level currently). If you take a remote proctor exam you will not be allowed pen and paper  - a clean wipeable whiteboard or chalkboard will be acceptable. And don’t forget you will need you official photo ID.

Can I take an ISTQB® exam at a test center?

Yes, iSQI offers ISTQB® exams at Pearson VUE test centers around the world - you can purchase a voucher at the iSQI shop. Vouchers can also be used for Pearson On Vue remote proctor (where available).

What other testing certifications from iSQI may be useful for me?

In addition to ISTQB® certification, iSQI offers several areas of certification that you could consider, e.g. the A4Q Selenium Tester Foundation, to extend your depth and breadth of knowledge. TMAP is the body of knowledge for quality engineering in IT delivery - find out more here!

Agile and DevOps are prominent across organizations these days and iSQI offers certification in both to support career development.

Requirements engineering skills may be of interest (ISTQB® and IREB® formed an alliance in 2020 and have signed glossaries to reflect the close relationship). Check out the Certified Professional Requirements Engineering(CPRE)! 

If you are a developer the A4Q Testing Foundations for Developers (TF4D) will help you to hone your testing skills. 

Need more help? Contact exam@isqi.org!