ISTQB Certified Tester is a standardized qualification for software testers and the certification is offered by the ISTQB (International Software Testing Qualifications Board). The qualifications are based on a syllabus, and there is a hierarchy of qualifications and guidelines for accreditation and examination.
Currently ISTQB provides 3 levels of certification:
- ISTQB Foundation Level (CTFL)
- ISTQB Advanced Level (CTAL)
- Test Manager
- Test Analyst
- Technical Test Analyst
- Advanced Level (CTAL) – Full Advanced Level (after passing the above exams of Advanced Level)
- Expert Level
- Improving the Test Process
- Test Management
- Test Automation (planned to be deployed in 2012)
- Security Testing (planned to be deployed in 2012)
1. ISTQB Certified Tester, Foundation Level (CTFL)
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, user acceptance testers and software developers. This Foundation Level qualification is also appropriate for anyone who wants a basic understanding of software testing, such as project managers, quality managers, software development managers, business analysts, IT directors and management consultants. Holders of the Foundation Certificate will be able to go on to a higher level software testing qualification.
- Understanding concepts for general types of applications
- Experience Requirement: None
- Certification Prerequisite: None
- Fee: US $250. Re-examination fee, if needed, is the same
- Ensure a broad understanding of fundamental and key concepts in software testing
- Provide a foundation for professional growth
- Ensure an understanding of key concepts in software testing by committed test professionals
Syllabus/body of knowledge covers
- Fundamentals of testing, test management, testing tools, test planning approaches, and basic
- Syllabus-based training courses are typically 3-5 days
- Written exam of 40 multiple-choice questions, each worth one point
- Score of 65% or more is passing
- One hour is allowed to take the exam
- May be taken as a scheduled public exam, an electronic exam at select test centers, or onsite at one’s company
Sample Foundation Exam
ASTQB is pleased to offer a sample CTFL exam for study purposes. To illustrate the knowledge levels tested, ISTQB has provided sample questions from the 3 types of K-values found on the exam.
Sample ISTQB CTFL Exam
Sample ISTQB CTFL Exam Answers
2. ISTQB Certified Tester, Advanced Level (CTAL)
The Advanced Level qualification is aimed at people who have achieved an advanced point in their careers in software testing. This includes people in roles such as testers, test analysts, test engineers, test consultants, test managers, user acceptance testers and software developers. This Advanced Level qualification is also appropriate for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of software testing, such as project managers, quality managers, software development managers, business analysts, IT directors and management consultants. To receive Advanced Level certification, candidates must hold the Foundation Certificate and satisfy the Exam Board which examines them that they have sufficient practical experience to be considered Advanced Level qualified.
- Experience Requirement: 3 years of verifiable full-time experience in software or systems testing, development, quality assurance, engineering or a related field
- Certification Prerequisite: ISTQB Certified Tester, Foundation Level (CTFL)
- Fees: US $200.00 per exam, with a US $100.00 qualification fee
- Advanced Level Test Analyst
- Advanced Level Test Manager
- Advanced Level Technical Test Analyst
- Ensure consistent understanding and execution of proven cutting-edge techniques by seasoned test professionals
- Support on-going professional growth
- Lead the software testing profession
Syllabus/body of knowledge covers
- Advanced behavioral and structural test techniques for testers and programmers, sophisticated test management concepts, test process improvement, test automation, and advanced performance, usability, and other non-functional test types.
- Syllabus-based training courses for all three exams are between 15-20 days.
- Written exam of 65 multiple-choice questions, each worth one to two points depending upon difficulty
- Score of 65% or more is passing at present
- One hundred eighty minutes is allowed to take the exam
- May be taken as a scheduled public exam at any time when a Foundation exam is given, or onsite at one’s company
Examinee is encouraged to apply ten days or more in advance of the projected exam date to allow time for the qualification to be processed. Examinee will submit an application, paying the US $100 qualification fee, and submitting proof of CTFL certification and a resume and/or employer verification of 3 years experience
Once qualification has been determined, the examinee will be informed of his/her acceptance and confirmed as to exam site and location if registered. If the examinee is taking training, the Training Provider will be notified.
Once qualified, the examinee’s permanent record with ASTQB will reflect the approval, whether or not the examinee carries through with the examination at that time.
If the above process for qualification is not completed by the exam date, the examinee will be allowed to take the exam as long as the qualification fee and exam fee have been paid, or payment arranged through a Training Provider. No results, however, will be issued until the examinee has been determined to be qualified.
If the examinee is determined not to be qualified, no refund of the US $100 qualification fee will be issued. If, however, the examinee becomes qualified at a later date, the original fee will be credited to any future Advanced Level exams.
ISTQB software tester certification exams are available at convenient locations throughout the year. Choose from:
Link of ASTQB organization: