What Is ISTQB Certification In Software Testing And How To Obtain It?


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For career advancement and better chances at employment, it’s important to have the right certification and specializations. If you are looking for employment as a software tester, then ISTQB Certification is what you need to possess.

We will explain this by delving deeper into the realms of testing and begin your career in the area. We’ll try to explain it briefly.

What is ISTQB certification in software testing?

Certification in software testing began in the United Kingdom with the British Computer Society’s Information Systems Examination Board (ISEB) when a software testing commission was established in 1998. (www.bcs.org.uk/iseb). In 2002, ASQF in Germany began supporting a tester qualification scheme. This gave a further impetus to the software testing certification. (www.asqf.de).

The ISTQB certificate is the most renowned and wholesome testing certification in the industry of software testing. The ISTQB issues more than 600,000 certifications in more than 100 countries, gathering more than 10,000 new certifications per quarter.

There are some steps to get the ISTQB certification for software testing. You have to prepare for a test that is organized by the Board. The exam can be taken online anywhere in the word if you register through ASTQB and AT*SQA. Study materials are available for download from the certification website. The exam is available in other languages too and follows certain rules consistently and incessantly.

This evaluation primarily focuses on the quality of tests and the presentation of the tests in an organized and neat way. They are presented in modules so that it becomes easy for the person appearing for the test to take it. Thus, this makes the certification exam easier to take. It also makes it easier to obtain the certificate faster and with more agility, without overlooking the essential subjects required for success in the Information Technology market.

The new ISTQB product portfolio follows an approach characterized by Levels (Foundation, Advanced, Expert) and Flows (Core, Agile, Specialist). Levels symbolize the increase in the course of applied content and the learning objective (LOs) and the Streams identify the groupings of the certification modules.

Important ISTQB flows

Here are some important ISTQB flows to focus on:

Core — These modules correspond to ISTQB’s “historical” certifications:

They are valid for any technology domain, methodology, or application and they allow a common understanding.

Agile — These modules address testing practices specifically for Agile SDLC.

The ISTQB recognizes the importance of agile practices that have become a de facto standard in many contexts. It also takes into account the remarkable success of the Agile Tester Foundation certification module. ISTQB has also decided to highlight a separate ad-hoc flow in which significant investments were planned to complement the existing module with new advanced modules, covering organizational specificities and testing techniques in the context of Agile.

Specialist — These modules are new to the ISTQB product portfolio and are also address specific.

Here are some characteristics of the specialist module of the ISTQB certification:

  1. They are built using a deep-dive, drill-down approach. They can address specific quality characteristics. For example, usability and performance etc.
  2. It can address technologies that involve specific test approaches (for example, model-based testing, mobile testing, etc.).
  3. It may be related to specific test activities (for example, test automation, test metrics management, etc.)
  4. They can group test knowledge into application domains that deserve or require a specific approach (e.g., automotive, pharmaceutical, and medical, gambling; etc.)

Preconditions between certifications

There are preconditions related to certification exams, which provide a natural progression through the ISTQB Certification scheme. These preconditions help people choose the right certification for themselves, according to their requirements.

The ISTQB Core Foundation is a precondition for any other certification.

Additional rules for ISTQB preconditions

Core-Foundation is a pre-requisite for Core-Advanced.

Core-Foundation is the standard prerequisite for Specialist-Foundation certifications unless specified differently in the specific module. From now on, all Specialist-Foundation certifications require Core-Foundation as a prerequisite. Any Specialist-Advanced or Specialist-Expert module that is linked to a lower-level Specialist module must apply for lower-level certification. Expert modules require certification at the corresponding Advanced level.

Any Specialist-Advanced module that is not linked to a lower-level Specialist module requires Core-Foundation as a prerequisite.

Benefits for certified software testers

Here are some of the benefits of this certification for software testers:

  1. Potential to gain knowledge and skill independently;
  2. Increase in chances and opportunities for better jobs, as most software trainers do not have this prestigious certification in their resumes;
  3. Get a recognized certificate in your curriculum which adds credibility to your portfolio;
  4. Get recognized and guided by a code of ethics in this industry;

Benefits for employers

Here are some of the benefits of hiring people who have an ISTQB certification:

  1. You can count on them as a professional qualified for performing any type of test in the industry
  2. Leading results in quality and knowledge
  3. Less expenditure for uncovered tests
  4. Immense knowledge of theory and practice, which raises the credibility and working level of the company, resulting in large and intellectually-enriching projects

BSTQB certificate differences

Here are some BSTQB certificate differences:

1. Common Language: The content offers a language that is easy to understand for people who are not even involved in this industry

2. Global Recognition: The  ISTQB certification cost includes a policy consistent with the procedures of Boards of BSTQB members;

3. Professional Situation: The professional who holds this certificate will be recognized in companies, which increases the chance of effective hiring;


Knowledge Base for Software

Test Certification Syllabus forms the knowledge base for International Software Testing Qualification, both for the fundamental level (CTFL) and for the advanced level (CTAL).

Fundamental Level Certification is available to anyone involved in software testing.

This includes people in roles such as testers, test analysts, test engineers, test consultants, test manager, the user who performs acceptance testing, and software developers.

This level of certification is also appropriate for anyone who wants to acquire a foundation of understanding about software testing. This can include professionals such as project managers, quality managers, software development managers, business analysts, IT directors, and consultants.

Those who achieve certification will be able to seek a higher level of software testing qualification.


Training providers who use the syllabus as a reference in their courses can be authorized by a national committee (board) recognized by ISTQB.

The Advance Level Certification is solely intended for the person who, in addition to being certified at the fundamental level, has considerable and substantial practical experience in the area of software testing.

Certification levels:

Fundamental Level

This is a set of fundamental level certifications that aim to involve anyone in software testing. This includes people in roles such as:

  1. Testers
  2. ISTQB advanced level test analyst
  3. Test Engineers
  4. Test Consultants

This certification is also suitable for those who want a basic understanding of software testing, such as:

  1. Project Managers
  2. Quality Managers
  3. Software Development Managers
  4. Business Analysts
  5. IT Directors
  6. Managers.

This certification is a prerequisite for all other certifications in the BSTQB/ISTQB

Certifications available

  1. CTFL — Certified
  2. Tester Foundation Level
  3. CTFL-AT — Agile Tester CTFL-MBT — Model-Based Test
  4. CTFL Model-Based Test
  5. CTFL-MBT stands for Certified Tester Foundation

Level — Model-Based Test. This is an innovative test proposal to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the testing process.

A tester with this certification uses models to conduct test analysis and modeling, maintaining the advantages of models for other test activities, such as implementation and reporting.

CTFL-AT Agile Tester

CTFL-AT stands for Certified Tester Foundation Level — Agile Tester.

This is a relatively new proposal for software testing that follows the principles of agile software development, as described in the Agile Manifesto.

The site also has advanced levels of certificates like these below:

  1. CTAL-TM
  2. CTAL-TA
  3. CTAL-ST

The exam:

All exams are based on multiple-choice questions in English.

The minimum duration of the examination is 30 minutes.

Extra time is given to candidates whose native language is not English. This extra time is only allowed to students who have proof of such claims and have informed the Board before the examination and secured their approval.

Exam Locations:

BSTQB has a partnership with several Academic Institutions in the country (Exam Partners). These partners provide the appropriate place to perform the exams.

The disclosure of the final list of registrants and selected partners take place within one week of the end of registrations on the BSTQB website.

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