What is ISTQB Certification Exam?
ISTQB or International Software Testing Qualification Board exam is an exam conducted to test software tester’s knowledge about testing. The exam is divided into Foundation, Advanced and Expert levels. There is an intermediate level in some countries but this is not very popular and is not mandatory. Any aspirant who wish to take ISTQB certification exam has to start with Foundation Level first, the advanced level (3 parts) and then Expert level. There are some eligibility criteria which must be met to take the exam. You can read the required qualification from the ISTQB Website in India or from the Official ISTQB website. Or you can read below.
Who conducts the ISTQB Certification Exam?
ISTQB Certification Exam is conducted by various national boards under the ISTQB umbrella. The national boards such as Indian Testing Board, ASTQB (American Software Testing Qualification Board), UK Testing Board, Canada Testing Board, Vietnam Testing Board and Australia Testing Board etc. Every country has its own national board that administers the ISTQB Certification Exam. There are other exam proctors such as Prometric and Pearson Vue exam centres who conduct the exams on behalf of the ISTQB. Prometric and Pearson Vue exam centres are very popular for they are flexible in registering the exams online and available in all major cities around the world with same exam code.
Are the ISTQB Exams conducted by various national boards different from each other?
Technically there is no difference. The follow the same syllabus and exam pattern. Individual certificates are issued by national board under which exam was taken. The value and acceptability of the certificate is same everywhere in the world. The certificates might look little different but will carry ISTQB logo and a verifiable certificate number. An ISTQB Certification Exam taken from UKTB is valid in India, USA and elsewhere and vice versa. That means if you are an Indian tester currently working in Australia, taking the exam from UKTB via Prometric Center is absolutely ok. It is like buying an iPad from different retail super market. You get the same device. But your cash receipt may look different based on where you purchased it from.
Who can attempt the ISTQB exam? Or what are ISTQB eligibility criteria?
Foundation Level: There are no eligibility criteria for ISTQB Foundation Level exam. This exam is aimed at anyone who is a tester or who wants to be a tester and acquire the basic knowledge of foundation of software testing.
Once you have taken the Foundation Level exam, you can go for Agile Tester Certification and Model Based Testing Certification extension on top of Foundation Level certificate.
For Bachelor’s Degree (or higher) Holders in Computer Science or related fields
Must have passed Foundation Level exam
At least 2 years of Software Testing Experience in IT, Testing, Development, QA, Engineering or related fields (For any 2 sub-levels)
Must have at least 3 years of experience mandatory for Advanced Complete Certification (For all 3 sub-levels)
For Non Bachelor’s Degree Holders in Computer Science or related fields
Must have passed Foundation Level exam
At least 5 years of Software Testing Experience in IT, Testing, Development, QA, Engineering or related fields
Expert level can be taken after Advanced Level is completed.
The below diagram illustrates all 3 levels of ISTQB certificate exam currently available.
Is it important to have ISTQB Certification?
ISTQB Certification Exam is one of the most popular qualification exams for software testers. This certificate is accepted worldwide. It is also used as basic screening criteria in many of the tester’s recruitment processes by multinational companies. For testers who come from a non-computer science background, this certificate will display they have acquired the basic knowledge in software testing. It is better to have an ISTQB Certification than to not have it.
How to prepare for ISTQB Certification?
You have to two choices –
- Self-study using recommended books and methods and attempt the exam.
- Join a training provider to get yourself familiarize with the ISTQB Process and learn.
Should I join a training provider of ISTQB Certification Exam?
Many of the ISTQB training providers charge a very hefty amount for few hours of testing. We at ISTQB.Guru believe that for at least Foundation Level, you can pass the exam with self-study method. Spending thousands of bucks on few hours of training is not very cost effective. If you can get the best study materials for preparation, you should be good to go for the foundation level exam.
Which Book to read for ISTQB Certification Exam?
For Foundation Level exam there is a good book by Rex Black, Erik Van Veenendaal, Isabel Evans, Dorothy Graham called Foundation of Software Testing: ISTQB Certification. The newest edition is the 3rd edition. We have written an article on this book.
Step by Step Guide for ISTQB Certification Exam:
- Decide where to take the exam from – Your current location National Board such as ASTQB, ITB, UKTB or via Prometric/Pearson Vue centers. Remember you can take the exam from any exam provider. It has no effect on your certificate. ISTQB Certification Exam fee slightly differs from one exam provider to another but they do not differ by much.
- Mentally prepare for a target exam date and center location – Decide when to take the exam. A good enough preparation for Foundation level will be anywhere between 2 weeks to 6 weeks depending on how much time you can devote for preparation of the exam. Do check the ISTQB Certification Exam dates from the provider’s website. Choose an exam center nearer to your home.
- Read the syllabus – Download the ISTQB syllabus from the ISTQB official website. Read it completely. This is very important. You will know lots about the exam from the syllabus.
- Buy an ISTQB book we have already recommended and read it completely. Highlight the important points that you had encountered while reading the syllabus.
- Solve ISTQB Certification Exam sample papers available in the internet or ISTQB.guru website. Compare your answers with the correct ones.
- Revisit, reread the book. This time you will be able to apply and understand the concepts clearly after you have solved the sample dumps.
- Now go for timed mock exam. 40 questions in 70 minutes. 5 minutes to prepare for the exam.
- Visit the exam center one or two days before the actual exam date. Believe me this helps a lot, psychologically. You will save lots of brain effort trying to find the building on the day of the exam.
- Revise important chapters on the day of the exam.
- Relax and good luck.
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