How to Pass ISTQB Foundation Level Certification Exam?

ctflISTQB Foundation Level Certification (CTFL) exam is conducted by the (International Software Testing Qualifications Board) ISTQB, the software testing certification authority based in Belgium, established in 2002. It was formulated as a non-profit organization which offers ISTQB certifications world over based on a universal syllabus pattern. ISTQB certified tester is a qualification for software testers which provide them recognition and validate their testing skills in the software testing domain.

Different Levels of Certifications:

  1. ISTQB Foundation Level (CTFL)
  2. ISTQB Advanced Level (CTAL) – (The exam has 3 sub modules)
    • Technical Test Analyst
    • Test Analyst
    • Test Manager
  3. Expert Level (CTEL)

Many of my students and friends are asking me how to pass the ISTQB Foundation Level Certification exam.

ISTQB Foundation Level Certification exam needs one month of preparation, which is enough for clearing this paper even if you are a newbie. One thing I have learnt and realized is that cracking ISTQB exam is not that easy and as well that difficult. I have seen and met numerous testing professionals having many years of job experience could not able to success in ISTQB certification exam.

Yes, having an ISTQB certification definitely helps you enter the software testing field with ease and confidence. Plus, few companies do prefer a person with certifications if the total years of experience are less or not as per their job requirements.

So let’s move on to the cracking ISTQB Foundation Level Certification….!!! 🙂 

About the Exam

  1. MCQ based exam where you have to answer 40 questions (4 answers per question)
  2. 1 hour time provided to finish it
  3. Each question carried 1 mark each
  4. To clear it you have to score minimum 65% (Score 26 out of 40) in this exam
  5. No negative marking
  6. ISTQB Foundation Level Certification is valid for life time

How much time is required for preparation of ISTQB Foundation Level Exam?

I would like all of you to spend at least 25 to 30 calendar days for preparation assuming you will at least spend 50-60 hours for the study. It is not just about the spending the time, you should learn and understand the concept and should try to relate with your practical testing experience. I am sure if you do so you will never have to worry about how to pass ISTQB Exam foundation certification.

Tips and Resources

Some tips and resources which I consider are very important and should help you crack the foundation level for sure:

  1. The best book available for CTFL exam which covers the complete syllabus and terminology is “Foundations of Software Testing” by Dorothy Graham / Erik Van Veenendaal / Isabel Evans & Rex Black. Finish it once and then go for 2 thorough revisions of this book rather than getting lost in the maze of books and resources available online or at your nearest book store.
  2. The second important step after reading the above mentioned book is to go through the ISTQB dumps and practice as many MCQ questions as you can. The dumps cover almost every part of the syllabus and it will give you a very good oversight to what’s going to happen on the exam day plus you will get acquainted with the format and level of difficulty of questions you will face. Solving the MCQ dumps boosts up your confidence and provides you an opportunity to self-analyse your level of preparation. Gather some actual questions, practice sample papers and try to solve them within the exam stipulated time. 40 questions in 60 minutes for each ISTQB Foundation mock exam.
  3. Go through the specific ISTQB foundation level exam guidelines. It covers and clarifies all the crucial things you must know before appearing or even making up your mind to go for this certification. It’s a must read document for all the candidates.
  4. Going through the syllabus in detail is a MUST for this exam. The ISTQB foundation level syllabus itself makes lot of points clear for you, all the major topics covered under the syllabus and their sub topics are neatly arranged in it. Like testing fundamentals, principles, test process, SDLC models, test levels, test types, techniques, test tools and the other topics under the syllabus can be memorized very easily by going through the syllabus multiple times. To remember the information as written in the syllabus along with the sub topics in your mind will help you very much in the exams for answering basic K1 questions. The Syllabus as well as the MCQ questions which will come in the exam are categorized under different learning objectives as listed below: K1: Remember, K2: Understand, K3: Apply, K4: Analyse
  5. Do go through the testing GLOSSARY as well before the exam as there are few questions based on testing terms also. Being aware of different testing terms and definitions will help you to understand and analyse the questions better and solve few of them too.
  6. So here I thought of listing all those steps which you can follow for your preparation.
  7. Read the latest ISTQB Foundation Level Syllabus from ISTQB official site.
  8. The best ISTQB book “Foundation of Software Testing: ISTQB Certification” by Rex Black, Dorothy Graham. This is the best book for certified tester foundation level exam.
  9. Once you read the syllabus and the recommended book, test your knowledge by attempting some ISTQB mock exams from sample papers available in the internet.
  10. Go through the “Foundation of Software Testing: ISTQB Certification” book again. Yes, you need to read the book twice. Do not ignore it.
  11. Read and solve special section like branch, path, and statement coverage questions. Try to understand the concept and you will be easily able to attempt the questions correctly.
  12. Make a list of useful glossary, frequently used definitions. Make some cards and print the glossaries on them. Keep them handy for frequent reading and while solving ISTQB Certification Exam sample papers.

So guys, here is all that I did to clear this exam and I wanted to share it with you. Trust me if you follow these tips and resources properly and smartly then ISTQB is not a very hard to crack. If you need any guidance or help relating to ISTQB foundation level or related to testing in general, then do comment below.

Follow the above golden rules on how to pass ISTQB exam and I am sure you surely pass this exam in your next attempt easily.

Best of Luck and keep going strong!

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