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How Much Does the ISTQB Foundation Exam Cost?

If you’re interested in a career in software testing, the bottom line is you’re going to need an ISTQB Foundation level-certificate. Whether you test software all day or you’re just getting into the field, the exam is something that will aid you on your journey.

There’s plenty of free resources that can help you prepare and revise your body of knowledge to make sure you’re fully prepared. You can even access sample questions and answers to give yourself a head start.

The cost of the exam can vary but in the UK it costs around £145, and in the US around $250. This is something though you’ll only need to do once if you put the work in now! 

How Long Is The ISTQB Foundation Exam?

The exam usually takes 60 minutes to compete, and has a number of multiple choice questions, so don’t worry it won’t take up too much of your day. The research you do to prepare is up to you, but we recommend you take all the time you can to learn up on the questions you might be asked.

The more time you put in now the easier it will be in the future!
If the exam is not in your first language, you’ll be given an extra fifteen minutes to complete the tasks to make sure you fully understand what’s being asked.

You can learn all about the timing and process of the exam here.
But to give you a brief outline of what to expect, the exams include 40 questions-all multiple choice, which are scored at one point per answer.

The questions are devised to help you with your software testing future, but we recommend getting in as much revision as you can to have the best chance at success!

What Is The ISTQB Foundation Pass Rate?

The pass mark starts at 65%. Given that the questions are all scored on a one point system, which means you’ll need 25+ points to pass the test.

That’s more than half the questions so be prepared and give yourself the best possible chance.  The statistics for passing have risen every year so far, you can check out the results here.

As of 2014, almost 75% of people would took the foundation level exam managed to pass on their first try, so the odds are stacked in your favour.

That statistic isn’t just for one country either, that’s the global average! So the majority of people who do take the test, pass, which might help put your mind at ease.

Your chances of success are greatly increased if you read an a study book or get hold of some ISTQB sample papers.

Can You Do The ISTQB Foundation As An Online Exam?

The short answer is, yes you can. You can find an exam provider by using this link. But if you own a business, and you want your employees to benefit from taking the exam in larger numbers, you can use the option of having an in house, or in office, test.

The ITSBQ exam can be done locally as well as online, which offers you the choice that can work best around your lifestyle.  The member’s board work internationally as well as locally so if you would prefer to sit the exam in a more traditional setting, there are options available to suit everyone.

Can I Download The ISTQB certificate Once I Pass?

Again, the short answer is yes. This makes life all the easier knowing you can print the certificate from home.

Your local ISTBQ member’s board or exam provider will provide you with an email with your certificate attached once you have successfully passed the foundation level.

There are a further two levels of ITSBQ certificates that you can obtain: Advanced level and Expert level, and these can be emailed to you in the same way.

You can also have your certificate posted if you prefer a copy to be directly sent rather than emailed or don’t have easy access to printing facilities.

Once you’ve got the certificate to hand, you’re ready to show it to potential employers, which can offer you a competitive edge against those who have yet to take and pass the exam.

What Countries Can Take The ISTQB Foundation-Exam?

Global exam providers make it easy to obtain an ISTBQ exam in a variety in countries.

Countries that are covered by both the members board and Global exam providers include:

  • United States of America​
  • Countries in South America​
  • United Kingdom​
  • Gautama​
  • Honduras​
  • Ireland​
  • Mexico​
  • Nicaragua​
  • Morocco​
  • Europe​
  • Iceland​
  • Tunisia​
  • Russia​
  • Turkey​
  • Madagascar​
  • Egypt​
  • Ethiopia​
  • South Africa​
  • Jordan​
  • Australia​
  • Kenya​
  • Israel​
  • New Zealand​
  • China​
  • Iran​
  • India​
  • Thailand​
  • South Korea​
  • Japan​
  • Philippines​
  • Malaysia​
  • Vietnam​
  • Taiwan.


Countries that are covered solely by Global exams providers include:

  • Greenland
  • The majority of Africa
  • Parts of Asia.

You can check out the map of each country here.

Why Should You Even Bother To Get an ISTQB Foundation Certificate? 

Remember, many employers now like to see their employees with at least a foundation level certificate in the ITSQB exam, so it’s worth getting your hands on one! The effort you put in now will pay off later, giving you better knowledge of the field and potentially opening up new job opportunities for you in the future.

As the certificate is recognised on a global scale, your employability rating goes up automatically after passing the exam. The certificate can provide you with a strong competitive advantage for the company you work for, or one you aim to work for at a later date. By gaining the qualification, you are more or less promising a higher level of reliability to your employer than a candidate who has not passed the exam.

It has been noted that consulting companies whose team members are all certified with ISTQB offer high levels of service to customers and clients which in turn increases revenue and the value of the brand itself. Not only this, ITSQB has now created a partner programme, which benefits companies who have a larger number of certified testers working in their facility.

Whether you are a business owner, or a worker in the field, there is a long list of benefits that comes with gaining your qualification, and it’s only a small cost for something that could make a huge improvement to your career, and potentially your lifestyle!

What did you think to the article? Was it helpful? Let us know and feel free to share it with any other tech savvy people you may know. Help to spread the word!

How many questions are in the ISTQB foundation exam?

I remember when I was back at uni, my most pressured and unproductive sessions were the last minute, unprepared all nighters. In my opinion, being prepared is the best way.

To cut a long story short, you want to know how many questions are in the ISTQB Foundation exam? The Foundation level exam consists of 40 multiple choice questions which carry one point each.

After completing the exam successfully, you will be issued with an ISTQB Foundation Level Certificate which has a worldwide recognition. The major aim of the exam is to verify the your competence and understanding of the detail in the ISTQB foundation syllabus.

To some people, finding out how many questions are in the ISTQB foundation exam has been a serious challenge.

How long does the Exam Take?

The ISTQB Certified Tester examination has a typical duration of 60 minutes (or 75 for candidates not taking the exam in their local or native language). As stated earlier, the Foundation level exam consists of 40 multiple choice questions which carry one point each.

What is the minimum Passing Score Required?

The pass mark is set at 65% (scoring 26 or more points). As an option, candidates who are not conversant with the syllabus can take a 3-day course to enable become abreast with the Foundation's examination procedures and methods.

Where Can I Find ISTQB Foundation Level Study Material?

A good number of candidates who book the exam my never end up actually taking the exam, due to the lack of preparation. This could be down to not knowing where to find good study material. Most of them spend their time on the internet searching for the best materials to prepare them for the exam.

To be successful in any exam, getting the correct study materials is very important. The internet is inundated with mediocre study material and past questions which promise heaven on earth and at the end of the day are nothing but empty promises with no substance. Getting hold of some reliable study material is key. One of the reasons we done a review on the best ISTQB foundation Test Analyst books.

What Kind of Study Material Can I Get?

The study materials come in three categories as discussed below:

Where Can I Find the ISTQB Foundation Exam Dates?

The dates for ISTQB Foundation Level exams are set by the exam providers. These exam providers are a group of bodies who have been licensed by the Member Boards to administer the exam both locally and internationally at their own convenience. Getting the exact date for the ISTQB Foundation exam depends on your location as the dates differ from region to region. It is therefore advisable that you get acquainted with the local ISTQB exam provider in your location to know the exact date for the examination.


Who are the ISTQB Exam Providers?

Here is an example of some of the exam providers are listed below in no particular order:

How much time do you need to prepare for the ISTQB foundation exam?

In preparing for the exam, you will need as much time as you can be able to afford. I don’t think your success in the exam depends on the amount of time you studied but how well you were able to study.

You will need all the time you can get to prepare for the exam. A lot of people believe one month is enough to prepare for the exam. This may be true for some people, maybe even many people, but I think it all boils down to your personality and schedule.

If you can commit to it and study the syllabus in one week, it’s all good. Just make sure you are prepared for the examination. 

What are the benefits of the ISTQB?

The ISTQB foundation certification comes with a number of benefits for you. Here are a few of the top of my head:

  • Authorized to use the “Certified Tester” logo, which displays the level of your certification.
  • International recognition of your competencies and skills
  • Career path support up to the expert level.
  • Prepared for difficult Test Analyst apprenticeship interview questions,

Can I Take the Exam Directly or Do I need to take classes to learn ISTQB fundamentals?

The choice is totally yours. You can take a class to learn the ISTQB fundamentals if you have the time but you are not obligated by the board to do so. You can also take the exams directly as long as you are well prepared and study for it.

The aim of making the syllabus publicly available is for you to be ready for the exam when the date arrives. A lot of people prefer to practice on their own but there are also some classes which you can enrol in if you find it hard to concentrate.

The class can last between a few days, but really depends on the organizers and your time schedule.

Conclusion

Taking the ISTQB exam is very simple if you are prepared for it. During the examination, all you need to do is to relax and choose the right answer as many times as possible. Remember the exam lasts for just 60 or 75 minutes as the case may be.

Try to learn some time management skills while preparing for the exam so that it can come in handy when sitting in the exam hall. In your preparation, seek help as often as you can and be committed to your cause. You can lay hands on some past questions and answers to assist you in your preparation. You can also consult with professionals to tap from their pool of knowledge before writing for the exam.


Thanks for reading, your success is my concern. I hope this article was useful to you. Please drop your questions and comments in the comment box and share this article with family and friends.

Best ISTQB Foundation Test Analyst Study Book

Back in 2006 I studied for the ISTQB Foundation Level testing certificate. Fortunately the company I was working for at that time paid for my course, which included some instructor led training. This training included ISTQB mock exam questions that helped me prepare.

Back then it would of been good to read a few books to help me prepare. There are now quite a few good books available on this topic, which I will review for you today. 

Quick Comparison of ISTQB Study Books


Nowadays, we live in a world where everyone has a tight schedule and we have forgotten to dedicate some time for personal growth, whether you are a working professional or seeking a testing apprenticeship. Just like a healthy balanced diet and exercise are important to our bodies, reading and acquiring knowledge is crucial to our profession.

Therefore, find some time and improve your skills; it will take you to the next level. Don't say you don't have time. Everyone has 24 hours; the difference is how we manage it.

What is the ISTQB Foundation Certification?

ISTQB stands for the International Software Testing Qualification Board.  It is an international software testing organisation with local exam providers.

Each local testing examiner is licensed to issue exams both locally and internationally. A candidate who passes the exam receives an ISTQB certified tester certificate.

ISTQB is found in seventy nations but the names of each Member Board changes from one country to another. For instance, the member board in the United States is known as the American Software Testing Qualification Board (ASTQB) while in India it is Indian Testing Board (ITB). Nevertheless, the exam syllabus, pattern, questions among other details are the same.


Why I Chose ISTQB Certification over other Software Testing Certifications?

Here are some benefits of the ISTQB testing certification:

  • It is an online certification and can be done by anyone
  • It is widely accepted and one of the world's fast-growing software test certifications
  • It improves one's creativity in tackling daily tasks to enhance your testing process
  • You become more marketable; this is because you can demonstrate good mastery of practices and concept in software testing. This sets you apart from others hence increasing the opportunities for better employment or even promotion
  • This certification does not expire like CSTP certification which is valid for only 3 years.
  • It is available online; this means one does not have to take a QA course or attend another software testing training so that they can get the certification. You can also take the exam when in college or in between jobs
  • The exam is easy to follow, intuitive and practical. The questions are in multiple choices
  • There is no experience or requirement needed to sit for the Foundation Level exam

How is the ISTQB Structured?

ISTQB is classified into three levels, as follows:

  1. Foundation level certification
  2. Advance level certification
  3. Expert certification

Note: our interest here is foundation level certification

What Is the Foundation level certification?

It is an entry-level certification and it is designed for individuals who wish to move up the ladder of software testing certification. The main goal of this certification is to ensure you understand key software testing concepts and practices.

Its syllabus covers 6 major topics namely: static techniques such as reviews, black box and white box, test management and testing tools, testing fundamentals, software testing lifecycle.

How to enrol for ISTQB Foundation Certification exam

This is how to enrol for the ISTQB Foundation Certification exam. You will agree with me it is an intuitive, simple and short procedure:

  • Visit ISTQB official website and click the 'Enrolment'' tab
  • Choose Foundation exam level
  • This will lead you to the Login page. You can either sign in or sign up. If you are registering for the first time, click the "New Registration" link. You will be required to provide basic information such as your name, postal address, and permanent address
  • After you are done with registration, you will receive an email with details about your username, password, and registration number
  • Then pay using demand drafts (DD). To know where to send the DD hit the ''Contact Us'' link. Also, make sure you keep a photocopy of the DD for future reference
  • Then you will be given information about the examination dates after one week.

How to Prepare for ISTQB Foundation Certification exam: Tips

  1. The first thing is get the latest syllabus on the ISTQB website and read it. Make sure you take the information written in this material as it is. Most of us have experience in software testing and have learnt where specific terminologies are used
  2. Attempt mock exams from sample papers. Do as many tests as possible and be keen on frequently used definitions and terms
    Also, try to see the number of correct answers you have given in the mock tests. You have to get at least 26 questions correct out of 40 question in order to pass the exam.
  3. Prepare in groups: Below is a video on ISTQB exam preparation.
    The purpose of the video is to help viewers understand what it takes to pass an ISTQB Foundation exam. It has 6 sections; there are questions at the end each section. These questions are similar to those found in an actual exam.

    The Certified software tester tells about his experience. According to him, the ISTQB certification has helped him move up the ladder in his career. It also gives both you and your employee confidence.
    There are no minimum requirements to become a tester. As long as you are open-minded and have good communication skills, and the ability to read and write well you are good to go. 


My Best ISTQB Foundation Test Analyst Book Choices:

01.Foundation of Software Testing ISTQB Certification


Foundation of Software Testing ISTQB Certification is a good guide to software testing and qualification. This is because covers the fundamental principles as well as syllabus in depth. It also comes with many learning aids.

Pros 

  • It is very easy to read and it supports ISTQB Foundation Syllabus 2011 which is the backbone of CTFL,
  • This book is completely updated (now in the 3rd edition) and includes all the 2011 syllabus changes like the learning objectives
  • The book is well structured; divided into 7 seven chapters. The first 6 chapters cover a chapter each and have sample exam questions. The seventh chapter, on the other hand, offers general advice on how to go about the exam and comes with a 40-question mock paper (just like the real exam)
  • This text is also an important reference book for anyone studying general software testing
  • Comes with other pedagogical features such as a new and updated glossary, several worked examples, pointers and references that are crucial for further reading
    Cons
  • The only problem I have with this book is the definition of terms. For instance, the term functionality testing is defined as the testing process that determines software functionality. I remember back in the day in Grade 2 being taught you cannot define a term with the same word.

2.An ISTQB-BCS certified Foundation Guide, Third Edition


The Software Testing: An ISTQB-BCS Certified Tester Foundation guide is another ISTQB foundation test analyst study book with basic steps of software testing. It also explains how to do tests effectively. This is because offers an overview of several dynamic and static techniques.

Pros 

  • It is the first official ISTQB-BSC certified tester foundation level textbook that comes with guidance notes, self-assessment exercises and sample exam questions
  • The 3rd edition has exercise and examples that reflect the latest technology and applications like open source software, mobile devices application building, and component-based as well as agile development
  • It is ideal for individuals with little software testing knowledge and testing
  • Its authors (Angelina Samaroo and Geoff Thompson) are BSC exam setters and markets who are very knowledgeable about ISTQB syllabus. The editor, Brain Hambling also has a 30-year software development experience where he has been a developer, project manager, and quality manager
  • All chapters are well written and have a test at the end that checks whether you have understood what you have been reading
  • Its final mock (which is found at the end of the book) is useful because it helps you know whether you are ready for the real exam or not.

Cons 

  • One thing that caught me by surprise is the fact that the book has not included learning objectives in all exam questions in the book as per the real exam. I understand there are learning objectives at the beginning of each chapter but it does not include the real learning objective number. This makes verifying whether all the objectives are covered difficult.

03. Software Testing Foundation, 4th Edition by Andreas Spiller, Hans Schaefer and Tilo Linz

Approximately 300,000 people have done the ISTQB certification examinations. Thanks to contributions of experienced authors like Andreas Spiller, Hans Schaefer, and Tilo Linz with the Software Testing Foundation book

Andreas Spiller is a computer science professor at Hochschule University where he teaches programming, software engineering, and quality assurance. Tito Linz is the founder and chairman of imbus AG, a big player in the software quality assurance industry. While Hans Schaefer is a consultant who has been teaching and consulting software testing techniques since 1984.

This revised edition covers the entry-level and important software testing techniques. It covers topics like fundamentals of testing, test tools, test management, static and dynamic testing techniques, and testing and software lifecycle. 

Pros

  • This book is designed for independent study and is easy to read
  • In the latest and revised edition, technical terms have been stated as per the updated 2015 ISTQB glossary

Cons 

  • Does not have sample test questions
  • Although it has exercises, they don't have corresponding answers

4.Agile Testing Foundations Guide: An ISTQB 

The Agile Testing Foundations: An ISTQB Foundation Level Agile Tester guide is specifically for the Agile extended certification. It is a simple software development approach that is quickly gaining popularity in the information technology industry. It has many benefits such as offering a wider flexibility scope and enhancing the overall product quality. Back to the ISTQB Foundation level syllabus, this book covers Agile basic principles, techniques, and tools crucial in software testing. 

Rex Black, the editor has more than 30 years of software and system engineering experience. He is the former president of ASTQB and ISTQB and a co-author of numerous ISTQB syllabi. 

Pros

  • Ideal for software testers with interest in Agile testing or those taking the ISTQB Foundation level Agile tester examination
  • The concepts in the syllabus are well explained and have good related samples

Cons 

  • Expensive

ISTQB Foundation Exam Sample Question Papers Book by Katie Graner 

The ISTQB Foundation Exam Sample Question Papers by Katie Graner is another important study tool, it has very many challenging questions.

Pros

  • This book comes with tips on how to solve questions based on boundary value and equivalence partitioning analysis. This means by the time you are done completing the sample questions you will be confident enough to take the real exam
  • It has 5 sample question papers with over 200 questions that highlight the exam's difficult parts
  • Highlights easy tips to pass the exam
  • There are regular question updates
  • The book also has additional questions in all chapters as required by the ISTQB syllabus

Cons 

  • I was really disappointed by the fact that there no explanations for answers given in this book. For instance, in question 36 of the sample question paper 1: Which of the following gives the order in which tests should be done? A) Test B) test design specification C) test procedure specification D) test case specification. I choose "A'' but the answer is "C''. I was certain the test procedure specification is the order of actions for performing a test. This is just one of the many questions where the answer given is questionable and does not have an explanation. 

Conclusion 

I have researched many books on software testing and for an entry-level person, I found some too hard to read and with a lot of jargon. This was not until a good friend of mine recommended Foundation of Software Testing. This book covers all software testing areas without using hard language that would make reading hard.

Foundation of Software Testing is a very important book in both software testing and qualification. Currently, in the third edition, the book is completely updated and it includes the latest changes in the ISTQB Foundation syllabus. It also adopts a hand-on and practical approach and covers all important topics that you should know as a software and system tester. 

Its authors are developers of the syllabus. They are also renowned and experienced international authors, teachers, authorities and exam setters and markets in software testing field.

All the best in your exams! 

5 Software Test Analyst Apprenticeship Interview Questions

I remember my grandad explaining how he worked from an apprenticeship up to a working professional in his trade. In his day that was the norm. Nowadays these apprenticeships are quite rare.

Therefore, if you are lucky enough to be considered for an apprentiship role, you need to absolutly nail the interview!

The best way to do that, is to be 100% prepared, so to help you get prepared I have created an article to help you identify the 5 common questions asked in these interviews. This will be beyond generic questions like what is route cause analysis? and what is software quality? These are real word questions that can help you.

01. Why Are You Looking To Be A Test Analyst?

This is a fairly general and basic question that most apprenticeship interviews will begin with. Mainly because interviewers prefer, contrary to what we may believe, to make sure you are comfortable and this is a safe question to ask.

But more importantly, they ask this question to determine your level of interest in the job because as a test analyst your biggest asset is your ability to think critically and have a sharp eye for detail . And neither of these traits will reflect from your work if you don’t enjoy the work you do.

Now that we’ve established why you may come across this question, it is now time to contemplate over how you’ll answer it. You need to be honest. Your answer must show your love and enthusiasm for software testing. I would suggest you narrate an anecdote that pushed you towards this field. And as long as your answer reiterates that becoming a testing analyst was your true calling, you’re good!

02. What Is Your Experience With The Company’s Projects?

This is effectively a question that is judging how badly you want to work with this certain company as well as your expertise in their area of operations. Since, companies prefer hiring people who they’re a first priority for, it’s integral for your research on the company and its projects to be very thorough.  This will make you come across as an asset rather than a potential candidate.

Also, your work experiences will come in handy because they will elevate your value by showing that not only are you interested in pursuing data analysis in the future but you also enjoy it. This sort of consistency in a candidate works as a positive signal to the company. Thus, make sure you have a spreadsheet with data about the projects you’ve worked on. This leaves a great impression on the interviewer as you come across as an organised and methodical worker.

03. Can You Discuss Your Previous Experience Working With Others?

This is your window to prove that you can work well in a team. It is a quality truly valued by companies and it would be in your advantage to relate a situation where you participated maturely within a group, any leadership position you took or how you collectively as a group tackled a certain problem.

Make sure you’re not making yourself sound dominating towards the rest of the group. Instead, show how you’re a team player. You can also talk about how much fun you had in your experience, what you learnt from your fellow team members and how you grew from working with them. Finally, express your hope and excitement at the prospect of getting a similar opportunity in the future.


04. Can You Talk About Your Typical Testing Approach

To tackle this sort of question, you must have a strong grip on your basic testing knowledge. It would help to know the various kinds of testing approaches available and how each approach differs from in the other and thus, makes one suitable over the other in different situations.

You must also be aware of the importance of each kind of testing methodology. Moreover, you should be able to pick the one you’re most comfortable using, as well as why you prefer it over the others. It would strengthen your case if you can provide relevant examples or work experience to prove your familiarity with the subject at hand.

Along with this, knowing about the domain and memorizing various data analysis terminologies along with their functions can come in very handy because there will definitely be a question testing your knowledge.

05. Can You Make Up A Fictional Scenario Where You Are Experiencing A Major Problem In Your Work And Devise A Solution To This Problem?

Generally, interviews end with the interviewer presenting a scenario which you will be asked to figure out. You need to understand that as long as your concepts of testing knowledge are clear, you’re in a relatively safe zone. The test here isn’t about your knowledge but about how fast you can think on your feet. So stay calm because if you panic, you’ll cause yourself more harm than good. Therefore, pause for a few minutes and take your time to think.

Don’t rush into it because the answer is never too simple. After you’ve formulated what you have to say, say it with confidence because your outward demeanor speaks volumes about your character especially in stressful situations.

Worse scenario: you’re completely stumped and have no idea. In such situations, it’s essential to remember to not give up without trying. Usually when they see you trying, they tend to help you reach the conclusion. So, don’t lose hope and keep pushing.

FINAL ADVICE

In the end, you need to remember to stride in with confidence, trust your instincts, get enough sleep before your interview and keep your CV handy.

These were my five most important interview questions that you can come across at your data analyst apprenticeship interview. Not only will they help you ace the interview with your knowledge about the subject matter but will allow the interviewers a glance into your personality.

For most interviewers, it is the character of an employee that holds most value. Hence, go through this article for when you prep for that interview- which shouldn’t scare you so much anymore. And let me know if these questions helped you in any way. If you liked this article then don’t forget to like, comment and share! Good Luck!

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