software testing certification

5 Easy Steps to Software Testing Certification

Here are 5 easy steps to getting software testing jobs and promotions:

  1. Start by learning about ISTQB Foundation Level Certification.
  2. Then study for the ISTQB exam using the free ISTQB syllabus (what you need to know to pass the exam), sample exam questions & answers, and glossary of software testing terms. Or you can choose the easier, faster route of taking an accredited (proven) software testing training course.
  3. Next, register for your exam through ASTQB (this site, astqb.org). Note: American companies check with us, ASTQB, to see if you are certified, so you must register through this site for ASTQB’s ISTQB exam! (Managers want you to take ASTQB’s version of the ISTQB exam to show you can communicate with the rest of the American team.)
  4. Finally, pass the exam. Excellent! Now you can appear on the official list of ISTQB Certified testers that American companies check. You will also be able to proudly display your software testing certificate and include your certification on your resume. Only ASTQB lets you retake your ISTQB Advanced Level exam for free when you meet the criteria!
  5. Don’t let you career stop there. Look at the Software Testing Career Path to see where you should take your career. Hint: Mobile and Agile certifications are relatively easy next steps you can do right away.

What is software testing certification?

Software testing certification demonstrates your knowledge and skill. The leading software testing standards are ISTQB software testing certification and ASTQB mobile testing certification.

That’s why ISTQB software testing certification is used in more than 100 countries with 570,000+ software testing certificates issued, making it by far the #1 software testing certification in the world.

Important: US companies check with us, ASTQB, to see if you are certified, so you MUST register through ASTQB (this site, astqb.org) to appear on our Official U.S. List of ISTQB Certified Testers!

or watch the video below

Software Testing Career Path

Software testing career path: Get testing jobs and promotions. ISTQB testing certification from ASTQB proves your testing knowledge and skills.

It’s easy to build your career with new software testing skills – just follow the testing certification path below. ASTQB and ISTQB software testing certifications are designed to build your career by proving your software testing skills.
Software Testing Career Path

The Easy Way to Get Ready for the ISTQB Exam

Note that ASTQB recommends that you prepare for the ISTQB exam by utilizing an ASTQB-accredited training provider or by using self-study materials such as the ISTQB syllabi and glossary. We cannot confirm the accuracy or authenticity of other, non-accredited online test preparation sites or materials. You may also find these software testing books and publications to be useful.

The exam costs are as follows:

  • The ISTQB Foundation Level exam is US $250
  • The ISTQB Agile Tester exam is US $150
  • The ASTQB Certified Mobile Tester exam is US $150
  • The ASTQB Usability Tester exam is US $150
  • The ASTQB Performance Testing exam is US $150
  • Each of the ISTQB Advanced Level exams is US $200
  • Each of the ISTQB Expert Level exams is US $375

Of course, great pricing isn’t the only reason testers choose ISTQB Certification from ASTQB, the U.S. country board for ISTQB. Testers love ASTQB-built tests because they are of the highest quality: each question is fair, with no misleading or easily mistaken wording. See a full list of reasons you take your ISTQB Certification exam from ASTQB. As an added bonus, taking your ISTQB Certification exam through ASTQB gives you exclusive access to the ASTQB Career Center, among other great certified tester benefits. Start today so you can pass your exam and show your boss your software testing certificate.

ISTQB Foundation Level (CTFL) Testing Certification

Prerequisite

Minimum
Recommended
Experience
None
Basic to Mid-Level

Preparation

Minimum
Recommended
ISTQB books
Magazines
Standards
Learning
Self Study
Self Study

Examination

Minimum
Recommended
Exam Fee Option
Single Exam
Volume Purchase Plan
Exam Venue
Exam Center
or
Training Course
or
At Your Company
or
At Your College

ISTQB Foundation Level – Agile Testing Certification

Note: If you wish to take the Agile exam, you must first submit proof of CTFL certification to info@astqb.org in order to be granted access to register for the exam at a test center.

Prerequisite

Minimum
Recommended
Experience
None
Basic to Mid-Level
Certification
ISTQB CTFL
Basic to Intermediate

Preparation

Minimum
Recommended
ISTQB books
Magazines
Standards
Learning
Self Study
Self Study

Examination

Minimum
Recommended
Exam Fee Option
Single Exam
Single Exam
Exam Venue
Exam Center
or
Training Course
or
At Your Company
or
At Your College

ASTQB Certified Mobile Tester

Prerequisite

Minimum
Recommended
Experience
None
Basic to Mid-Level
Certification
None
ISTQB CTFL

Preparation

Minimum
Recommended
Resources
ASTQB Mobile Syllabus
ASTQB Sample Exam
Books
Magazines
Standards
Learning
Self Study
Self Study

Examination

Minimum
Recommended
Exam Fee Option
Single Exam
Single Exam
Exam Venue
Exam Center
or
Training Course
or
At Your Company
or
At Your College

ASTQB Certified Performance Tester

Prerequisite

Minimum
Recommended
Experience
None
Basic to Mid-Level
Certification
None
ISTQB CTFL

Preparation

Minimum
Recommended
Books
Magazines
Standards
Learning
Self Study
Self Study

Examination

Minimum
Recommended
Exam Fee Option
Single Exam
Single Exam
Exam Venue
Exam Center
or
Training Course
or
At Your Company
or
At Your College

ASTQB Certified Usability Tester

Prerequisite

Minimum
Recommended
Experience
None
Basic to Mid-Level
Certification
None
ISTQB CTFL

Preparation

Minimum
Recommended
Books
Magazines
Standards
Learning
Self Study
Self Study

Examination

Minimum
Recommended
Exam Fee Option
Single Exam
Single Exam
Exam Venue
Exam Center
or
Training Course
or
At Your Company
or
At Your College

Advanced Level (CTAL) Testing Certification

Note:
– Advanced Level certifications are considered either “Core” or “Specialist” certifications as noted above. Core certifications are more testing career focused, while specialist items are great skill building additions for anyone who does testing.
– If you wish to take an Advanced Level exam, you must first submit proof of CTFL certification and a resume and/or employer verification of 3 years experience to info@astqb.org. In the cover email, the examinee must state that the information contained in the resume or employer verification is accurate and complete to the best of his/her ability.

Prerequisite

Minimum
Recommended
Experience
3 Years
3+ Years
Certification
ISTQB CTFL
Basic to Intermediate

Preparation

Minimum
Recommended
Resources
ISTQB CTAL Syllabus
ISTQB books
Magazines
Standards
Learning
Self Study
Self Study

Examination

Minimum
Recommended
Exam Fee Option
Single Exam
Volume Purchase Plan (Core only)
Exam Venue
Exam Center
or
Training Course
or
At Your Company
or
At Your College

Expert Level (CTEL)

  • Test Manager
    – Strategic Test Manager
    – Operational Test Manager
    – Managing the Test Team

Note: If you wish to take any of the three Expert Level Test Manager exams, you must first submit proof of the appropriate CTAL-TM certification and a resume and/or employer verification of 5 years experience as a test manager to info@astqb.org. In the cover email, the examinee must state that the information contained in the resume or employer verification is accurate and complete to the best of his/her ability.

Prerequisite

Minimum
Recommended
Experience
5 Years
5+ Years
Certification
ISTQB CTAL
Advanced

Preparation

Minimum
Recommended
Resources
ISTQB CTEL Syllabus
Books
Magazines
Standards
Learning
Self Study
Self Study

Examination

Minimum
Recommended
Exam Fee Option
Single Exam
Single Exam
Exam Venue
Exam Center
or
Training Course
or
At Your Company
or
At Your College

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the ISTQB Certification Exams

Why are ASTQB-created exams better than other ISTQB exam options?

American companies check our ASTQB list of ISTQB certified testers. If you want to work for an American company as an employee or contractor, regardless of which country you live in, you want to be in the ASTQB database. American companies check with ASTQB, not ISTQB.

Creation of the ISTQB exams is the responsibility of the individual member country boards, so that they best reflect the specific country’s language, usage and terms. Unlike other English-language based ISTQB exams that you might stumble upon, ASTQB exams are created as original exams for those who speak English, not translated from some other language.

Our globally-recognized subject matter experts have worked very hard to create the ASTQB versions of the ISTQB exams, and we believe our exams are of a superior quality, with no trick questions. This makes for a better exam-taking experience for you.

In addition, don’t forget about all of ASTQB-only benefits such as the searchable directory of certified testers, the ASTQB Career Center, ASTQB webinars, ASTQB white papers, ASTQB local group sponsorships, and so many other benefits that are exclusive to those who have taken their exam via ASTQB.

Bottom line, you can’t make a better choice than the ASTQB exams if you seek a U.S.-English exam. Register for the ASTQB version of the ISTQB exam here.

See even more reasons why you should choose ASTQB for your software testing certification exams.


What is the exam format?

Foundation: The Foundation Level exams consists of 40 multiple choice questions designed to evaluate a candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the entire Foundation syllabus. A grade of 65% or better must be attained in order to pass. The exam is a closed book exam. You have 60 minutes to finish.

ISTQB Agile Tester – Foundation Level: The Agile exam consists of 40 multiple choice questions designed to evaluate a candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the Agile syllabus. A grade of 65% or better must be attained in order to pass. The exam is a closed book exam. You have 60 minutes to finish. Proof of CTFL certification is required in order to be granted access to register for the exam at a test center. An email to info@astqb.org containing the exact name on the CTFL certificate will accomplish this.

Advanced: Each of the Advanced Level exams is composed of multiple-choice questions that vary in points awarded by knowledge level. They correspond to the three different subject areas: “Technical Test Analyst,” “Test Analyst,” and “Test Manager.”

  • Advanced Level “Test Analyst” has 60 questions to be completed in three hours.
  • Advanced Level “Test Manager” has 65 questions to be completed in three hours.
  • Advanced Level “Technical Test Analyst” has 45 questions to be completed in two hours.
  • Advanced Level “Security Tester” has 45 questions to be completed in two hours.
  • Advanced Level “Test Automation Engineer” has 40 questions to be completed in 1.5 hours (90 minutes).

All three areas must be passed with a grade of 65% or better in order to receive the full Advanced Level certification. You may sit for only one Advanced Level Exam at a time. See the webinar on the Advanced Level syllabi on the syllabi page for more information.

Expert: The Expert Level is quickly evolving and adding new modules. See the Expert Level Syllabi for a full listing of available or upcoming Expert Level certifications.Expert Level Test Management consists of three exams:

  • Expert Test Management – Strategic
  • Expert Test Management – Operational
  • Expert Test Management – Managing the Test Team

In order to achieve “CTEL-TM Full” (Certified Tester Expert Level – Test Management Full) all three exams must be passed with a 65% passing score. And one must first qualify by passing the the CTAL-TM (Certified Tester Advanced Level – Test Manager) and submitting proof that you have five years of full-time experience in test management.

Each of the exams consists of multiple choice and essay questions, and examinees must choose to answer two of the three essay questions provided.

Scoring: Your score is determined as follows:

  • 35 points possible for multiple choice questions
  • 50 points possible for each of the two essay questions
  • 135 total points

When you take any of the exams at a test center, you will not receive your score at the end, since your essays need to be graded by our team of experts. This can take three to four weeks.

See the Expert Level Syllabi for additional information.


Does everybody take the exact same exam?

No. The questions come from a pool of questions and are being combined differently so that the exam itself changes constantly while the level of difficulty remains comparable. New questions are constantly being developed by the ASTQB’s subject matter experts.

How much does the software testing certification exam cost?

The Foundation Level exam is US $250

The Agile Tester – Foundation Level exam is US $150
The ASTQB Certified Mobile Tester exam is US $150

Each of the Advanced Level exams is US $200
Each of the Expert Level exams is US $375
Most options are eligible for discounts through ASTQB’s Volume Purchase Program.


When is payment of the exam fee due?

Upon registration for a specific exam and venue.

May I take the exam again if I do not pass?

Yes, you may take the exam as many times as desired. Full payment is required for each attempt unless you meet the criteria for a free retake of an Advanced Level exam.

Are ASTQB’s ISTQB exams approved for student reimbursement for veterans?

Yes! “Approval to offer test for licensing and certification needed to enter, maintain or advance into employment in a civilian vocation or profession under Chapter 36 for the purposes of that chapter and Chapters 30, 32 and 35 of Title 38, U.S.C. and Chapter 1606 of Title 10, U.S.C. whichever is applicable, is granted” for ASTQB’s CTFL, CTAL-TA, CTAL-TM, CTAL-TTA, CTAL-TAE, CTAL-SEC, Agile and Mobile exams plus Expert Management at their applicable fees. Contact us at info@astqb.org for more information and to confirm the certifications covered, as we will continue to apply for approval for new certifications as they become available. ASTQB will be happy to provide proof of payment and exam results to any student veterans who need this paperwork to apply for the reimbursement. See the GI Bill page for more information. If you need to search the GI Bill system to see the certifications and ASTQB contact information for proof of the ISTQB certification eligibility, here are a few tips: Search the entire country (USA), choose “Certification” or “Both” as the category, and “tester” as the L&C name. Click on the certification name, then at the top of the page, the “Institution Profile” link.

Do I have to take a course in order to take the exam?

No, you don’t have to take a course in order to take the exam. That is one of the characteristics that makes ISTQB software tester certification unique: you may self study, study with colleagues, or take a course. That said, many people find the courses very helpful, particularly if they would like to prepare quickly, or are taking a higher level exam. See the list of ASTQB Accredited ISTQB Software Testing Training Providers.

Is there a software testing certification exam center in my part of the United States?

Yes, with hundreds of exam centers throughout the United States, there is almost certainly one near you. See the “Register Now” page for more information.

Can I take the exam via ASTQB even if I’m not in the United States? Is there an exam center in my country?

Yes, you can utilize Kryterion exam centers not only throughout the United States but also worldwide to take the ASTQB-based exams. See the “Register Now” page for more information. There is a Kryterion exam center in most countries, often throughout the country.

Do you have a document that explains everything about ISTQB Certification?

Yes, we have everything you need to know about ISTQB Certification in the “ISTQB in a Nutshell” presentation. You will also find additional information about each of the levels on the ISTQB certification syllabi / body of knowledge page.

What is the ASTQB Reasonable Accommodations Policy?

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, individuals with disabilities needing a reasonable accommodation to take the ISTQB Foundation or Advanced Level exam should provide written notice to Lois Kostroski, Executive Director, at American Software Testing Qualifications Board, 15619 Premiere Drive, Suite 101, Tampa, FL 33624 USA at least 14 days prior to the exam. Individuals requesting a reasonable accommodation may be required to provide certification of their disability or need for reasonable accommodation so that ASTQB can determine what accommodation, if any, will be provided.

What if American English is my second language? Can I get additional time to take the exam?

For a paper-based exam, you can apply to ASTQB at least a week in advance of your exam to receive extra time to take the exam, if you will be using a translation dictionary. For electronic exams at test centers, there is no mechanism to grant extra time.


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