Category Archives for "ISTQB"

CSTE vs ISTQB – What Should You Choose?

In my early days of testing I got my ISTQB foundation certificate. It was very important to my career because a lot of recruitment agents tend to filter for keywords such ISTQB and CSTE. But what are the difference between these certifications? In this article we will focus on two in particular.

What is difference between the ISTQB foundation & CSTE? The ISTQB foundation is an entry level testing certification that does not require any prior experience. The CSTE is a higher level testing certification that requires experience before you can apply. The former has become very popular and almost a required prerequisite into testing, whilst the later is more established and still very respected.

Now that you understand at a high level what these certifications are, lets delve a bit deeper and look into the differences at a more granular level.

What is the CSTE?

The Certified Software Tester (CSTE) certification is a qualification provided by the Quality Assurance Institute (QAI). Once you are certified you become a member of a professional collective, which has the potential to increase your chances of commercial recognition and potentially speed up your chances of getting a job.


What is the ISTQB?

The International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) certification is an internationally recognised standard that is quite sort after when looking for jobs in software testing.

There are a number of different member boards around the world that conduct their examinations online of face to face with an exam provider. These exam providers get a licence from the member board to authorise them to examine their students.

There are different levels of the ISTQB, but for the purposes f this article we will focus on the ISTQB foundation level.

What are the advantages of the CSTE?

The CSTE has a bigger barrier to entry. Meaning that you need some testing experience before you can qualify for it. If you have some testing experience this can be a real advantage.

On top of this, there are other requisites that need to be satisfied before you can be accepted.

This exam focuses more on the practical side rather than being theoretical. It is also good to have on your CV. This is because recruiters tend to filter applications based on core entry level skills regardless of your other experience and skills.

How is the CSTE exam structured?

In total the exam takes four and a half hours. However it is broken up into four sections. The first two has a limit of up to 50 minutes. The last two have a time limit of up to 75 mins. There are breaks in between these sections as you can imagine.

How is the ISTQB exam structured?

The ISTQB foundation level exam total exam takes up to 75 minutes. In this time you have 40 questions to answer. The minimum passing rate is sixty five percent. The questions are multiple choice, which allows you to get you results faster because it is either right or wrong.

What are the Advantages of the ISTQB Foundation?

One of the biggest benefits is the fact that anyone, without any prior experience in testing, can take the exam and qualify. Which means there is no barrier to entry.

The certificate is internationally recognised, meaning that you have the flexibility to work in another country if this is the direction that you wish to take with your career.

For a company, in particular a testing consultancy, if they have certified testers they are more marketable and can demand a higher day rate. This can also help to provide a quantifiable target for a companies employees.

Another benefit is no recertification is required. Meaning once you have done the exam and passed, you can don’t need to sit the exam again.

What are the disadvantages of the ISTQB?

The main disadvantage is the cost. Although some would argue that the cost is negligible for the potential value it can add to your career.

You can pay for the exam directly or do a course that trains you for a couple days first, then you sit the exam. The later is what I done and worked well for me. The course helps you prepare for the exam and increase your chances of success.


What are  the disadvantages of the CSTE?

The first disadvantage is the fact that you need to re-certify every 3 years, as appose to the ISTQB. Meaning that in the long term it is more costly. Secondly is the fact that you have to wait until you have experience before you can apply.

The later can be seen as a an advantage if you are already established. But for a newbie, this is a disadvantage.

How Much Does The CSTE Cost?

The CSTE will be approx $350. This comes with a PDF version of their curriculum which is called “The Software Testing Body of Knowledge” (STBOK). If you are not a fan of PDF books, you can opt to pay a higher premium of $420. This will give you access to the CD and a hard copy.

What is the Software Testing Book of Knowledge (STBOK)?

Essentially this is a curriculum for the exam that you will tested against. The high level topics of this book are principles of testing, Managing the test project, Risk analysis, Test planning, Reporting, Test case designs and execution.

How Much Does The ISTQB Foundation Cost?

According to the ASTQB the cost is US $250. However this cost can vary from country to country because it has international exam boards. You are advised to visit you national board or an official ISTQB exam provider in your country.

What is the Best Way to Prepare for the ISTQB Foundation?

In my opinion, the best preparation is a course that that includes the exam. This is what I used  and is very effective. Essentially you have a couple days preparation on the course curriculum, followed by the actual exam taken on the final day. Bare in mind this is the most expensive way, but effective.

If you are not able to afford the course, the next best thing is sample exam papers. This will prepare you on what is required for the exam without the expense of an in person course.

What is the Best Way to Prepare for the CSTE Exam?

As discussed earlier, the CSTE comes with the CBOK PDF, or hard copy if you have opted for the upgrade. This contains all the information you need to pass. It just comes down to studying and digesting the content.

If you are looking for something else to assist you, you can get example samples and mock exams to aid you.

Related Questions:

What is the CAST certification? The Certified Associate in Software Testing (CAST) is a foundation level certification offered by the QAI. The examination cost is approximately $100. To qualify for this application you need to pass one of the following prerequisites: 3 or 4 year degree but has to be an accredited organisation, two year degree from an accredited organisation + one year IT experience or 3 years IT experience.

What is the CSQA? The Certified Software Quality Analyst (CSQA) is a software testing certification for testers that are at a more experienced level. It is more targeted for experienced testers, project mangers or leaders that want a better grasp of the testing on their projects.

Similar to the CSTE, the cost id $350 or $420 with more materials. The exam is separated into two sections and is multiple choice based. The entire examination process will take up to two and a half hours.

Integration Testing vs Unit Testing – Whats the Difference?

If you are new to testing the different types of testing can be confusing. During my career I have done unit testing as a developer, but primarily system and integration testing as a tester. Today we are going to focus on Unit and Integration testing in particular.

What’s the difference between integration testing & unit testing? Unit testing is typically performed by developers and focusses on one particular function or code module. Integration testing focusses on the communication of one or many code modules or functions to prove that the inputs and outputs work as designed.

What is a Unit Test?

A unit test, or white box test as it is also known, is typically done by developers. An entire application consists of many individual cod modules or functions. Typically this is created by a team of developers working together on a tight timeline.

Each developer is responsible for testing that their allocated code module meets the expected design. For example, if the application was a calculator. One developer might work on the addition function and another on multiplication.

The developer working on the addition function would need to prove that this function worked in isolation, before it is integrated into the “calculator” application.

What is an Integration Test?

If we extend the calculator example above. An integration test, in this context, would prove that the calculator application modules talk to each other. This testing is typically done by test analysts and can also be referred to as Black box testing.

The reason for this name “Black Box”, is because the tester does not need to have intricate knowledge of the individual code module, they just need to insure the modules talk to each other and the “calculator” application hangs together.

What are the types of Integration test?

There are two main types of integrations testing: Incremental and non-incremental. Firstly we will focus on Incremental. With incremental the developer will test out integrations earlier in the development process.

This is done by using stubs and drivers to simulate inputs and outputs for incomplete code modules. The most important advantage is that issues can be identified very early. This will in turn reduce costs by delivering a more quality product to the dedicated Test analysts.

Types of Incremental Integration Approaches

Within the Incremental integration approach, there are two variations: “Top-Down” and “Bottom-Up”. Both of these types are named after the flow of the testing.

The Top-Down Method

In the Top-down method, if you can picture a pyramid split up into different levels. This defines the functionality, with the main function at the top, and the minor functionality at the bottom.

With the Top-Down approach, you start with the top level code modules and substitute the lower level modules with stubs to prove they work ahead of time.

What is a stub? A stub is placeholder program that will take an expected input and output an expected result. This allows the developer to code a function and test its inputs and outputs work, before the actual module intended to integrate is ready.

E.g. You have an application called calculator, and within this application you have a function called brackets, addition and subtraction. The brackets function works out the calculation when you have addition and subtraction in brackets.

However, to test the “Brackets” function you need addition and subtraction ready. So, to gut around this problem, you use a “Stub” called “addition” and another one called “subtraction”.

This way you can test “Brackets” function without waiting for the other modules being ready to test.

The Bottom Up Method

As you can imagine, this is opposite to the Top-Down method. In this method, the lower level code modules are completed and tested without the parent or higher level modules being available.

For this to be possible drivers are used are used to provide the necessary inputs. One of the biggest disadvantages of this method is the order of the development. Unfortunately because the priority high level code modules are developed last, there could be major issues with these key inputs down the line.

All in One Go or “Big Bang” Approach

The incremental model is preferred because you can gradually bring in each nodule and deal with issues in manageable chunks. However, if it is unclear exactly how these modules will communicate you can use the “Big-Bang” approach.

Effectively taking a number of modules and integrating them all in one go and seeing what happens. As you can imagine it very rarely works straight away and is likely to be a panful process.

The biggest issue is identifying exactly what module is at fault when the integration fails. The large amount of integrations can make the process very complex.

When is integration testing performed?

Integration testing is performed after Unit testing but before UAT. In my experience of testing a System testing phase tends to happen first to prove the main system is functioning correctly, then integrations are tested after.

Related Questions?

When Is Unit Testing Performed? Unit testing is performed after each module of code is developed. The idea is to improve the quality of code that is delivered to the system testers.

Stubs and drivers can be used in the absence of other required code modules. For example, if a developer was creating a “brackets” function in a calculator app. He may be waiting for the other “Multiply” and “addition” code modules to be complete, before he can unit test his function.

Instead of waiting he can use stubs and drivers to provide the expected inputs/outputs to prove that his function works, once the other modules are complete.

Can JUnit be used for integration testing? The short answer is yes, it can be used. But it depends on what you want to test with it. Essentially it is not the ideal job for this task, but you can adapt it to work for some integration tasks.

What is a Black Box Test? A black box test is basically a method of testing that does not require the tester to see or understand the inner workings of the code functions. For example a System test phase may have a selection of functional tests.

The tester does not need to know how to code to run the test, in fact they just need to know the expected result from a successful functional test.

What is a White Box Test? As appose to Black box, this test expects you to have knowledge of the inner workings of the code function. Unit testing is an example of White box testing. With this level of testing you are expected to understand the code level inputs and outputs required to complete the test.

What is a QA Sign Off?

The ultimate goal in testing is proving that the system in question is ready and fit for purpose. The official way to do this is via a formal process called a QA Sign off.

What is a QA sign off? It’s the test team’s, or quality assurance (QA) in this instance, method for formally declaring the completion of testing. This declaration is recorded and referred to if required after testing has completed.

What is a QA sign off criteria?

To make the decision that testing is complete, obviously you’ll need some kind of criteria to make sure that you’re confident that the sign off has been completed. This criteria is the agreed exit gate definition that governs when testing is complete.

Is this usually documented in the Test Plan?

The answer is, yes. The exit criteria is typically listed as one of the main headings in the Test Plan, as well as the entry criteria.

So effectively, the QA sign off is the actual declaration of testing completion. And the criteria of this is typically documented in the Test Plan.

How does this relate to the Test Entry and Test Exit Criteria?

The Test Entry criteria is effectively the list of requirements to govern when testing can start.

For example:

  • Is the test environment ready for testing?
  • Are all of the prerequisites needed to test been done?
  • Has the data setup been prepared?
  • Has the Test Plan being formally signed off?
  • Test scripts available in your test management tool of choice? (for example ALM or whatever you may be using, JIRA or whatever the case may be.)

With regards to the exit criteria, we spoke about this in greater length earlier

What is an example of a QA sign off criteria item?

Following on from what we discussed earlier, when I explained the different types of exit criteria. One other example of a QA sign off criteria item is:

are all of the priority tests being executed?

I say, “Priority,” because in some cases where you have really been time-pressed to complete a test phase, you may agree that you can perform the top priority tests and the lower priority ones.

For example it might be a test that focusses on a more cosmetic test, for example checking the labels on an e-commerce order form.

Another example is:

No P1 or P2 criteria defects are in the system at the time of completion.

And maybe another example, one that i’ve used in my experience is,

Minimum of 5 P3 defects with documented and agreed plan to fix after go-live.

This sign off criteria definitely needs to be agreed upfront. It can’t be an afterthought once you started testing. Because the worst case, there’ll be an argument about when you can actually finish testing, because one party may feel that you haven’t done enough.

So , to avoid this, it’s essential that this exit criteria is agreed upfront, and documented. And the document is signed off. Now in reality, getting the Test Plant signed off before testing starts, believe it or not, doesn’t always happen.

And sometimes there’s a battle to do this, because for some unknown reasons there’s people within a project team that are frightened, in a way, to sign off a document, because they don’t want to admit any liability in case anything goes wrong down the line.

But theoretically in testing, you’d want the sign off criteria out of the way and signed off at the beginning. The agreement of the criteria is a collaboration of team members.

Who is responsible for agreeing the QA sign off?

The responsibility is a collaboration of all interested parties. And these parties usually will be the Business Analyst (BA), the Test Manager if you were the test lead in this instance. And the Program manager or Project Manager

How Do You Actually do the Sign off?

This is subjective, depending on where you work and how your company works. But effectively the most common way is in the form of an email that is sent out.

And who this email goes to depends on your company. For example, it might go to the project manager, and it may come from the test manager.

Whoever gets it, ultimately it is basically a simple email.

How do you approach writing a sign off email?

Really and truly this doesn’t have to be War And Peace. This has to be very basic and simple, and get to the point. So a very simple email just explaining that you’re happy that the testing has met the exit criteria is fine.

It’s important that you explained the exit criteria, because you don’t want to this be a subjective statement. You want it to be based on facts. So you want to relay it and relate it to the exit criteria that was agreed.

So for example you might say, “The testing has met the exit criteria as documented in the Test Plan section. Blah, blah, blah.” And then you may relist the items in the exit criteria, and then you will just explain how you’ve met that.

For example if you had 300 test cases to run, and 200 of those test cases were priority one’s. And the agreement was that you had to at least complete the priority test cases, then you would state that 200 test cases of priority one have been done as per the exit criteria.

So it’s just listing out how you have come to the conclusion that the testing has actually complete, and keep it as simple as that.

What happens if you do not meet all of the criteria?

qa sign off

This happens quite a lot of time. Like for example, you may have a very strict deadline to meet. But then once you meet the deadline, you may find that you don’t actually complete all the tests.

You haven’t actually met all of the test exit criteria, and you have to make a call as to what happens next. And this is typically in a form of a conditional sign off. And a conditional sign off is effectively a way of agreeing that the testing will be accepted for completion, but with some conditions as in certain functionality will have to be tested at a later date.

Or you’d have an agreement for a workaround for a problem that you’ve discovered in testing, and therefore it will be accepted with those conditions.

So what is a checklist in testing?

A checklist is a catalog of items that are typically recorded for tracking. This list is ordered in a sequence. You may or may not be ordered in a sequence. But it’s effectively just the way to work out exactly what needs to be done for testing.

And it’s a checklist much the same as anything that could be used outside of the context of testing. But that effectively is what it is.

What is a conditional sign off?

As briefly discussed earlier, the conditional sign off is ultimately a way for you to have acceptance of exiting the testing, but with a list of agreed conditions to move forward.

Related Questions

Why do you really need a QA sign off? Why not just stop testing and then just go into production?The sign off is quite important, because it is a formal process which is recorded and can be looked back to if there are any issues in the future.

Also, it’s a way to get buy-in that everyone accepts that testing has completed in case there are any issues. And it’s the way to prove that you’ve met the actual exit criteria.

Basically its a way to cover your back and get something documented. As projects go into production and issues crop up in the future, then there may be a need to have some traceability about how things were tested. And you may be challenged on these in the future. So it’s always good to have an agreed sign off.

Is there a sign off required for UAT testing? In the same way as you have the QA sign off, UAT testing definitely is required to be signed off.

This is quite critical as well, because this is the acceptance from the actual stakeholders or the customers that are gonna use the software in production.

For this reason it’s important to get their buy-in. This proves that they’re actually happy with what they seen. Believe me,  this is critical. When things go into production, if things don’t go correct, if you’ve got QA sign off andUAT sign off, it makes your life a whole lot easier.

Who Signs off the UAT testing you may be asking?

So as I said before, the UAT testing it typically signed off by a nominated product owner. And this might be someone who is very skilled in that particular function of not necessarily testing, but actually uses the product day-in, day-out.

For example, if you were working on a finance system, and it was an invoice inventory system and you had someone who’s day job was to use that every day. Then they would be the perfect candidate to actually do UAT testing. This is Because they know how the system should work. After they they are informed about the new functionality, they can make a decision if it meets their criteria.

The Ultimate Guide: ISTQB Foundation Test Design Techniques

What is a Test Design Technique?

For any software development lifecycle to be effective, complete and accurate information is a very essential element. These two elements are what enable your test teams to work together cohesively in a systematic manner.

This, in turn, ensures that your end product matches the expectations of your customers as well as your business in general. The goal of a test design technique is the testing of features and functionalities using effective test case scenarios.

The process of analyzing your organizations requirements from a business point of view goes hand in hand with proper testing. Determining the accuracy of completed information can be done using ambiguity testing techniques, which happens to be one of the top testing design techniques.

Basically, a test design technique's main goal is to determine a proper series of tests from a pool of all the possible tests for a particular system. There are numerous types of software testing techniques. 

Each one of them has their own weaknesses and strengths. Each technique has it's own way of identifying different types of defects.

What Are the Main Categories

So what are the Test Design Techniques covered in the ISTQB exam? Coincidentally, the two main categories covered by the ISTQB exam are the same categories we're going to cover in this article herein below:

01. Dynamic Test Techniques

Dynamic techniques are divided into another three major categories. These are:-

Black Box Techniques: 

This technique is also referred to as specification based or behavioural techniques. This technique uses the software's external descriptions such as customer requirements, design, technical specifications and so on.

In this technique, when the tester doesn't fully understand the software's code or its internal structure they can perform tests using methods such as Boundary Value Analysis (input values are tested at the boundaries), Decision Table Testing, State Transition Testing, Equivalence Class Partitioning and Use Case Testing.

White Box Techniques: 

This type of technique is based on the software code as well as the program's internal structure, testing each of them individually, one after the other. In this type of technique, testers and developers usually have a proper understanding of the internal structure and the program's software code.

Experience Based Testing: 

This test-design technique doesn't concentrate on external or internal structures. The testing is based on experience and the following test methods are usually adopted when it comes to scenarios such as; Fault attack (here errors are anticipated by testers) and Exploratory Testing (application testing without test case documentation).

02. Static Techniques

This technique is all about manually testing your software product. This process is usually started in the early stages of the software development process. This means that it is most likely going to happen during the verification stage. 

The fact that the testing is done without the need to execute the program means that you will not have any need for a computer. These testing techniques can be applied to several forms of documents. These include design documents, source code etc.

What is Boundary Value Analysis?

In the input values' extreme ends is where errors, for the most part , are observed. These extreme values like lower/upper or start/end values are known as Boundary Values

Boundary Value Analysis is the analysing of these Boundary Values. It's sometimes also referred to as Range Checking. Boundary Value Analysis is based on black box testing technique principles and it's main objectives are to locate errors at input domain boundaries rather than finding the errors at the input's center.

Boundary value analysis and Equivalence partitioning are kind of intertwined and can both be used together at different levels of testing. Test cases are derived for the equivalence classes edges.

Each individual boundary contains invalid boundary values as well as valid boundary values. Normally, each boundary will contribute one test case each. Finding defects using this technique can be quite effective and it has the capability of functioning at most levels.

Your previous experiences or needs are what will determine your choice from the multiple test case applicable from invalid and valid input domains, however, you must remember that you will still be required, from each input domain, to select one test case.

This testing technique is quick, easy and a fantastic way to catch input anomalies that may play a major role in interrupting the programs functionality. So, to cut short testing procedures and save time, experts delivering quality management services as well as software testing heavily rely on this method.

Equivalence Partitioning

Equivalence Partitioning is basically selecting single input values from every range from a range of values that is made up of divided test input data. It also happens to be a black box based testing technique and its main objective is the calculation of the effectiveness of certain test cases. 

This technique also has the ability to function at all testing levels from integration, unit, system testing etc.

In this technique, input is split into several different classes. The equivalence class input criteria represented by each individual class. One input is then chosen from each class.

What this method does is it reduces the number of test cases from an infinite number to a finite one. All this while still securing the effectiveness of each selected test case that has been assigned to monitor all the possible scenarios.

A basic Equivalence Partitioning concept is if a range from one to hundred is being accepted by one application, then those inputs can be divided into classes using Equivalence Partitioning principles. Example, design, invalid as well as valid input all get each class to provide them with one test case each.

Final Words On Test Design Techniques

One of the most vital components in the testing phase is Test Case. These are basically the predefined variables and conditions that are used to check whether your application and software is working like it's supposed to.

For a testing process to be successful, then as a competent software developer you will have to learn and understand how to use some of these techniques. Understanding some of these testing methods will make your work so much easier.

Digging Deeper Into Static Testing

Secret Static Testing Techniques that appear in the ISTQB Exam Questions?

Secret Static Testing Techniques ISTQB Questions

What Is Static Testing?

Static testing involves the testing of documents and software without actually running the code. Static testing is the opposite to dynamic testing, which requires the code to be ran. 

According to Guru99, this can be in the form of walkthroughs, peer reviews, informal reviews and inspections.

What Are The Main Uses Of Static Testing?

Testing the software in the initial phase leads to greater efficiency of the code. Static testing offers just that. During the early development phase, the code undergoes various tests and makes sure that the changes in the current part of the code do not affect the other parts.

The main uses of static testing is that it is tested keeping the work environment in mind. During a review process, the software tester engineer can debate whether a certain form of code is applicable in the real world environment or not.

Testing the software at the early stage before implementing it at a large scale saves a lot of time and more impotantly for any project, is the cost saving.

The outputs from this exercise are typically uncovering deviations from code standards, code that will be hard to maintain in the future, design issues and potentially missing requirements.

How Is It Different From System Testing?

System testing requires the code to be ran, whereas static testing does not. It is effectively an offline method to uncover defects early on in the development process.

What Are The Different Roles And Responsibilities?

According to Guru99, there are five major roles in static testing:

  • Moderator
  • Author
  • Scribe
  • Reviewer
  • Manager


The moderator coordinates the activities and tracks the progress of these tasks, to ensure a timely completion.


This person, for example a developer, takes the responsibility of fixing the error that has been identified. This does not have to be a developer, the defect could be a design document, for example. In this situation, an architect may be the author in this context.


This person will keep notes and minutes of meetings. They are typically members of the Project Management Office (PMO), but does not have to be.


As the name suggests, responsible for reviewing defects and providing feedback, to maintain quality.


Manages the process and each individual involved in the static testing activities.

What Are The Different Types Of Reviews Involved?

The foremost step of static testing is the review. It is carried out in four stages depending upon its level of formality. The four types of reviews are

  • Informal review - This kind of review includes a single person or two persons who just conduct a top down review of the code. There is no restriction on the number of persons reviewing the code at the informal review level.
  • Walkthrough review - This review consists of a group of engineers who collectively conduct a thorough review of the code before passing it to the next level.
  • Peer review: This includes a review by a person of similar knowledge and caliber who spots the errors and corrects them.
  • Inspection - The inspection is the final level of review in the static testing. It is conducted by some senior software testing engineer who is well proficient in the product requirement and corrects the code accordingly if any flaws are to be spotted.

These four levels of reviews are inter-connected and intertwined, and work in liaison to collectively bring out an error free code.

Final Words on Static Testing

All in all, static testing is the most important part of the software testing process which builds the foundation for a flawless software.

Its importance is based on the fact that it is done manually where there is a greater probability of spotting an error and before executing the code itself.

The early stage of the development of a software product lies heavily with the static testing where each bit of error code is identified and rectified making the software error free.

Is White Box Testing also Called Unit Testing?

white box testing is also called as unit testing

What is White Box Testing?

White Box Testing, which is also commonly referred to as Glass Box, Clear Box, Open Box or Structural Testing, is basically all about testing software solution's internal infrastructure and coding.

Its main objectives are to strengthen security, improving usability and design, as well as strengthening the flow of outputs and inputs. This type of testing examines outputs using a particular knowledge of programming code.

The "box testing" approach often used in software testing has two parts to it. One of them is what we're here to discuss, White Box Testing. It's counterpart is known as Black Box testing and this, unlike Clear Box testing, involves the testing of software from an end user type or external perspective.

In White Box testing, the process is concentrated on internal testing and is all about the inner workings of a certain applications.

The concept of a see through box was what was used when coming up with the term "white box". The white box, glass box or clear box name represents the ability to effectively see through the developed software's outer shell right through to its inner workings. Similarly, the "black box" terms used in Black Box testing represents the lack of ability to be able to see the software's inner workings. This approaches main goal is the testing of end user experiences.

Difference Between White Box Testing and Unit Testing?

So, is White Box testing also called Unit testing? Let's find out. First of all, Unit testing, in computer programming, is a process whereby source-code's individual units are tested to determine whether they are okay for use. An application's smallest testable part is known as a unit. 

A unit, in procedural programming, may be an individual procedure or function. Unit tests are occasionally created by testers that use the white box approach or regular programmers.

Each individual test case is, ideally, independent from one another. Substitutes such as mock objects, method stubs, test harnesses and fakes can be used to help test modules in isolation. Software developers are the ones that typically write and run unit tests with the goal of ensuring the code meet the behaviour and design it was intended for.

In White Box testing, if you want to effectively design test cases, you will require adequate programming skills as well as an internal perspective of how the said system works.

For the tester to determine the appropriate output levels, they will need to choose exercise path inputs through the code. It is quite similar to the testing of nodes within a circuit as is experienced in the In-Circuit Testing process (ICT). Clear box testing is normally done at unit level. 

It is used to test paths between as well as within units. Hopefully now you can see the difference between the two. The two testing approaches are somewhat different in the few ways explained above.

Advantages of White Box Testing

  1. Ability to Automate
    Knowledge of the internal perspectives of the application will in turn allow for unit testing. As was explained earlier, unit tests are all about testing small pieces of units or code with the goal of seeing whether they function and operate as expected.

    The simplicity of these tests makes it possible for programmers and developers to run these tests automatically, to see whether there's anything wrong. Unit tests are actually a very effective way of catching errors in the system.
  2. Its Thoroughness
    White box testing's main tenant is its complete code coverage. The idea here is to basically test as much code as you possible can, which happens to be way more thorough and effective compared to your traditional black box test approach.

    Its thorough nature also gives you a clear testing structure to rely on. Testing must have a clearly defined set of rules and must be engineering based as well.
  3. Time
    Software development will always have deadlines you'll have to meet. This means that during the development process, time is a priority. White box testing helps significantly speeds up testing processes.

    Most often than not, developers can see the bugs early, instantly have a slight idea of what the problem is and how to rectify the situation. It also eliminates the cost of communication between the QA and developer.
  4. Optimisation
    When developers go through the system's code on section after the other, it allows them the ability to condense existing code as well as remove superfluous code sections. Also, removing hidden errors that may have been missed during normal testing will help optimize the code.

Disadvantages of White Box Testing

  1. Expensive
    Due its thorough nature, the cost and time it will take to conduct proper white box testing will usually prove to be very expensive. Even though unit tests may somewhat alleviate this issue, writing the unit tests give rise to an initial investment which will inevitably increase the procedures overall cost.

    Also, large applications can sometimes perform poorly when tested using this approach. Testing each and every individual branch of code can, at sometimes, prove to be virtually impossible.
  2. Missed Cases
    The white box test approach only tests as well as validates features that already exist in the system. If something is missing or the feature is partially implemented, this testing approach will not be able to pick up on this issue. This is where black box testing requirements proves to be superior.
  3. Rapidly Changing Code Base
    Rapid changes of the code base will make automated test cases a waste. Usually, reworks or redesigns will make written test cases useless as well as giving rise to the need for a rewrite.

Final Words on White Box Testing

This type of testing approach can sometimes prove to be quite complex, however, the complexity levels will be determined by the particular application being put through testing.

Small applications, when put through this type of testing, can be completed in a matter of minutes. while larger applications may take several days, and sometimes even several weeks, to complete. White box testing works best during the course of the development of the application software. And with that, hopefully you now know a lot more about White box testing

What is black box testing also known as?

What is black box testing also known as?

What is it Also Known As?

So, what is Black Box testing also known as? Well, most programmers and developers in the IT realm also commonly refer to this method as "Behavioural Testing", or functional testing.

This testing strategy ignores the application or system's internal mechanisms and mainly concentrates on execution conditions and selected inputs responses.

The program's structure is not taken into consideration in this testing technique. It only takes into account the application's functionality. This testing method is also sometimes referred to as functional testing.

In this strategy, the software tester's main concern is how the application is validated and not how it was produced.

Implementation logic or knowledge of programming isn't required for the software testers that are using this technique. It usually applies at the high levels of testing; System Testing and Acceptance Testing. The software that houses inputs and where you expect the known outputs to be is what IT professionals refer to as a black box.

Transformation of known inputs to known outputs is done using the system and usually goes unchecked in this testing technique. The transformation process in this system is also referred to as a black box

This technique is basically functional testing whereby development and program testers concentrate on providing the known inputs and checking whether those known inputs have been obtained. 

This strategy is usually followed while acceptance testing is being carried out. Here the software developer is merely a user and not the end user.

Black Box Testing Techniques

  1. Equivalence Partitioning
    Rework is greatly reduced when you use this testing method. Test conditions are grouped together by software testers so that only 1 condition in each group requires testing.

    This means that all the other conditions probably work if that one particular condition works. A clear example of this is when an uploader is involved, this testing strategy can be used for testing file sizes and types while avoiding the overlapping of every combination.
  2. Boundary Value Analysis
    With this testing strategy, the values boundaries that have been allowed is what is tested.

    This means that if your system only accepts a number from one to one hundred, then you will want to focus your testing on those boundaries, along with the slightly over as well as slightly under numbers. However, testing the in-between numbers is not something you will have to waste your time doing.
  3. Decision Table Testing
    This type of testing is ideal for those situations where you might be dealing with complicated combinations whereby different decisions are produced by various inputs (unlike boundary value analysis and equivalence partitioning).

    Cause and effect tables are something this technique is also called and decision tables can not only, during format testing, make sure combinations aren't missed they can help when clarifying expected outputs.
  4. Error Guessing
    Error guessing sounds just like what it is. A software tester finds errors by guessing where they're most likely going to be.

    However, the term might not be really fair due to the fact that the following factors herein are involved in the decision; understanding of the application, the software tester's own experience, customer issue tickets, test cycle's previous results and risk report.

    Error guessing is vital when you're deciding which application part will get the most thorough tests run on them.
  5. Exploratory Testing
    With this technique, test coverage is maximized by the tester by strategically moving through system actions while closely simulating the behavior of the user.

    This has black box technique written all over it because you're not required to have knowledge of the internal code.

    This means that they are allowed to behave like users but should always keep the tester caps on.
  6. Cause Effect Graphing
    In the cause effect graph technique, effects are set off using a set of causes that have been mapped out through direct graphing. You can think of the causes as the program's input and the effects as the program's output.

    The graph usually shows the nodes that represent effects on the right-hand side while causes are represented on the left-hand side. Causes and effects may have additional constraints. A dashed line will represent a constraint symbol and it is usually in the form of an edge label.

Benefits of Black Box Testing

Here are some benefits of Black Box Testing:

  • You will not need to have programming knowledge nor will you need to have implementation knowledge as well. The software tester can be a non-technical individual.
  • The developers and testers are independent and have no dependencies between them
  • The application's quality is assessed by analyzing expected outcomes with actual outcomes
  • Helps develop software in a way that is much more user-friendly than the techniques used in requirement document for here the application is tested using the user's point of view.
  • Once the system application has been released, the development team can proceed with testing and development team dependency is avoided.
  • The designing of test cases can be done after the completion of the function specifications.
  • This testing technique is very effective when the system application is complex as well large.

Disadvantages of Black Box Testing

  • The absence of programming structure knowledge allows for the risk of leaving unidentified conditions.
  • Practically, manual testing can only test a limited number of possible inputs.
  • If the software tester isn't aware that they might have already tested the application then you will inevitably run the risk of having repeated test results.
  • Not all the logic or paths are usually tested.
  • Achieving one hundred percent test coverage is very difficult when the application happens to be relatively large or if it's one that is of a complex nature.

Final Words on Black Box Testing

The main thing that makes this technique so different from white box testing is the fact that here the software tester does not really have to have programming knowledge and does not also have to understand the code being used in the application's test procedure, however, it's still effective in very many ways. As a modern-day IT professional you'll need to learn how to use this testing strategy if you want to be fully effective when it comes to modern-day software testing.

What is the V Model Used For in Software Testing?

So, what is the V-Model?

Many people ask the question, what is the V Model used for in software testing? Well, the V model is basically the classic waterfall model but in overdrive. Meaning it's an enhanced version. 

In this model before a development life cycle can move on to the next level, they must be verified. This basically means that software testing starts as soon as written requirements have been produced, so testing explicitly commences at the very start of the procedure.

Here, the term testing translates to verification by way of inspections and reviews, which is static testing. What this does is it helps you identify errors early, during the life cycles early stages, and also reduces the potential for defects showing up in the software's code in future.

A corresponding test plan is assigned to each level of the development process, that is, each phase that is being worked on is assigned a test plan for the preparation of product testing in that particular phase. Expected results can be can be defined using these developed test plans.

Test and design activities, in the V model, are constructed with the same level of detail. The model's left hand or downhill part is where software is designed while on the model's right hand or uphill part is where it is all built and tested. Correspondences between the right and left-hand side are defined by the line that runs through the center of the V.

The Verification Phases

  1. Requirements Analysis
    This is the verification processes first step, which is also commonly referred to as the requirements analysis phase. System requirements are gathered analyzing user needs.

    This phase is all about the establishment of what the ideal systems are meant to do. However, it doesn't determine the design nor the build of the software.

    The documents containing the user requirements will normally describe the software system's functional performance, interface, security and data requirements in accordance with user expectations.
  2. System Design
    In this phase, system developers and programmers can study the documents that contain user requirements of the overall business of the proposed application.

    They figure out techniques and possibilities of how to implement the user requirements. The user is informed whenever the requirements aren't feasible. When this happens the document that contains the user requirements is edited and a resolution is quickly found.
  3. Architecture Design
    The software or computer architecture-design phase is also commonly known as the high-level design phase.

    The baseline of architecture selection in this phase is it should typically realize all that consists of each model's functionality level, list of modules, interface relationships, database tables, dependencies etc.
  4. Module Design
    Last on the verification phase list is the module design phase. It is also commonly known as the low-level design phase.

    Here, the system is split into smaller modules or units and the programmer or developer gets an explanation of each of them so that they can start the coding process directly.

The Difference Between The V-Model and Waterfall Model

These two models approaches are quite similar in very many ways, however, the major difference that sets them apart is the testing emphasis in both situations as well as how they are presented.

The V shape representation flow chart helps point out the differences that come prior to coding such as architecture-design and requirements as well as everything else that follows coding which is testing.

While the waterfall model has testing at 1 out of its 5 steps, the V model methodology basically improves on that significantly.

What all this means is that what makes these two models differ is that for the V Model, for testing activities to fully commence, the development process has to have been completed.

The waterfall method technique seems to be continuously iterative while the V model seems to have a clear start as well as an end. The fact that the V model is a simultaneous process is what makes the approaches differ a little bit. 

This happens to be a big reason why most IT professionals prefer to learn, understand and use this method rather than its waterfall counterpart.

Advantages of the V-Model

  • It's very simple and easy to use
  • Covers all the functional areas
  • Testing activities like test designing, planning happens well before you start the coding procedures. This usually proves to be quite the time saver. hence the higher chances of success it experiences as compared to the waterfall method
  • Proactive error tracking. This means that defects are detected at an early stage.
  • Helps avoid defect downward flow
  • In small projects, where understanding the requirements is easy, nothing would do better than the V Model approach system.

Disadvantages of the V Model Method

  • This process isn't ideal for the more complex, fast changing software projects.
  • If your requirements keep frequently changing then this option might not be the best approach for you. You might want to consider something else, like Agile, if that's the case.
  • The implementation phase is where the software is developed, which means that software prototypes are not produced early.
  • If any changes occur midway through the course of the procedure, then the requirement documents, as well as test documents, have to be constantly updated.
  • The client does not get to see intermediate modules and only has access to the end result.
  • Does not scope for risk mitigation and risk management.

Final Words on the V Model

All in all, the V Model method should generally be used when you as a programmer or developer are working on small or medium-sized projects, whereby requirements are clearly fixed and defined.

You need to have a high level of confidence in your client if you want the V Model technique to be completely effective. It's an approach than many people doing work in the IT realm should learn and understand for it is one of those things for the future.

Having this knowledge will prove to do more harm than good. Most experts around the globe will agree with this. And with that, now you're in the know. So if you haven't already, start reading up!

How to apply for the ISTQB Foundation Level Exam

So, you want to know all about the ISTQB Foundation level exam right? Luckily for you, you've come to just the right place. This article may be all you need on how to apply for the ISTQB Foundation level exam.

The procedure isn't too difficult. You first get on to the ISTQB website, click on the enrolment tab and you'll be directed to the Login Screen. For 'New Registrations' you'll need to key in your permanent address, personal information, postal address and then finally agree to the conditions and terms provided to you.

You will then be given information containing your User name, Registration number and password. Afterward, you will be required to make a few payments which you will have to do through demand drafts or DDs as they are commonly known. Visit the ISTQB contact link to know where to send the course cost payments.


The International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) is basically an internationally operated organisation that does software testing qualification certification.

It was established in 2002 in Edinburgh and is legally registered as a non profit organisation in Belgium. This standardized qualification is an ISTQB Certified Tester that software testers need to undergo in order to obtain certification by the ISTQB.

It is a syllabus based qualification which contains a hierarchy of guidelines and qualifications for the examination and accreditation.

This certification organisation for software testing qualification has managed to issue over five hundred thousand certifications. This Qualifications Board is made up of fifty seven member boards all across the globe and represents about eighty one countries to date.

The Foundation Level exam is designed on a theoretical nature basis and requires the exam taker, hopefully you, to have some knowledge on software development with a slight bias in the software testing field. The Advanced Level exams are much more practical and requires knowledge in specialized areas.

What is the CTFL Certification?

CTFL stands for Certified Tester Foundation Level and its certification training is essential for those of you with interests in the software testing and development industry. The ISTQB accredits this foundation level training which provides its trainees with software testing fundamentals that includes testing management, design techniques as well as testing principles and vocabulary.

This training is usually the first step for those of you that wish to pursue a career in software testing and is meant to measure your proficiency and understanding of software testing techniques, tools and vocabulary. This course is a globally accepted professional certification program that is largely examination based and not an easy one at that.

What is the Validity Period of the ISTQB Certification?

The foundation level certificate is valid for your whole life, so there is no worries about renewal, regardless of changes to the ISTQB foundation syllabus, once you have this certifcate.

Not to be confused with the partner program. The partner program of the ISTQB has a validity period of one year. People and organisations renewing their partnerships are awarded thirty percent Loyalty Discounts on their Partner fees. 

However, partnership levels can be upgraded by individuals or organisations upon request before their one year timeline expires. The only requirement being that you must ensure you're eligible for that upgraded level.

A partner can also terminate their partnership at any time during their validity period upon request. The procedure for this is to contact your Exam provider or Member Board where your program is managed and directly request for your partnership to be cancelled. Simple as that.

The Exam Provider or Member Board involved will then proceed to process your request, get the Partner Program Database and the ISTQB website updated and then finally they will advise the Partner Program Chair of the change and why it has happened. No fees are refunded as a result of the termination.

What Does A Software Tester Make Annually?

Software developers and testers basically work hand in hand and testers actually play a vital role.

They receive software builds at various levels of completion and then proceed to put these programs through numerous tests, clearly documenting software response along the way. Documenting is a key component of software testing because it helps software engineers and programmers discover any coding irregularities

Entry level testers with five years experience or less can expect to get paid about around fifty thousand dollars a year, which includes bonuses, overtime pay and tips. Software testers in the middle of their careers, meaning five to ten years experience, can expect an average pay of about sixty eight thousand dollars while those with ten to twenty years experience will be awarded an average salary of about seventy five thousand dollars


And there you have it. All you need to know about this internationally accredited training program and how to apply for the ISTQB Foundation level exam. You will find no better article than this on matters concerning this nature and we hope you thoroughly enjoyed that deep analysis on the topic given herein. We strive for excellence when it comes to information regarding such Certification Testing and the requirements that come along with it.

Not only does this certification provide you with a competitive advantage, it promises higher levels of reliability on the several applications being developed on a constant basis. Also, a consulting company that employs certified staff members can offer high levels of care to their customers which may in turn lead to increased revenue and will undoubtedly improve the organisations brand value. Please feel free to share with us any opinions, suggestions or comments you may have concerning this article. We are here for you.

What is in the ISEB Testing Foundation Syllabus?

Today I am sharing a video I did on the ISEB Testing Foundation Syllabus, and to make it even easier to digest, I have a transcription of the video below. If you are looking for more specific questions, such as how much does the ISTQB foundation exam cost or how many questions are in the ISTQB foundation exam, then we have them covered throughout this site. Anyway, back to the video:

Transcription for: What is in the ISEB Testing Foundation Syllabus video

Hey, welcome back guys, this is Wayne Vassell here, again for Talented Tester, and today I'm going to be tackling one of the questions that have been asked a few times and is, "What exactly is in the ISEB Testing Foundation Syllabus?" For those of you that watch in ISEB ISTQB very much use interchangeably, ISTQB is really the standard that we're following now, but this is the specific questing that has been asked.

Overview of the Syllabus

The syllabus can be found online. Typically, there is five major headings for the syllabus, which are broken down into many different subsections.

01. Fundamentals of Testing

The first section we've got is the fundamentals of testing, and that is effectively why is testing necessary, which is broken down to software systems, context, causes of defects, for example what are the root causes of defects, how the defects happen, a real understanding of defects.

The role of testing in software development, and that's maintenance and operations. Testing and quality, understanding exactly what quality is and understanding how much testing is enough.

Obviously if you studied and prepared for these for this exam, you'll know what some of these headings mean and then you should have an idea of how you're actually going to prepare for the exam.

Other areas as well, what is testing, the seven testing principles, fundamental test process, and that is test planing and control, test analysis and design, implementation and execution, evaluating the exit criteria.

Basically with the exit criteria is understand how do you know when to actually exit from testing. Test closure activities, such as test closure reports et cetera. The phycology of testing and finally code ethics. That is the main bulk of the first top level coverage of fundamentals of testing.

02. Testing Throughout the Software Life Cycle

The next section is testing throughout the software life cycle, and that encompasses software development models.

For example the V model, iterative incremental development models, testing with a life cycle model. This doesn't really cover such things as agile. Agile is pretty much a new extension, which is almost treated as a separate certification, so that's not covered here. It also goes into test levels, that's component testing, integration testing, system testing and acceptance testing.

Different test types, testing of functions, a functional testing, testing of nonfunctional software, also knows as nonfunctional testing. Structural testing, testing related to changes, for example retesting and regression testing. Other things that covered in this or the last one to be covered in this is maintenance testing.

Hopefully there should a few key things that stick out for you. In my mind the one that's sticks out most is regression testing and retesting. Obviously that's a pretty critical part of testing and regression is pretty much something that you're gonna need throughout your whole testing career and is something good to master.

03. Static Techniques

The next headline topic is static techniques, and this includes the overall static techniques and the test process, the review process, activities of formal review, roles and responsibilities, types of reviews, success factors for reviews and then finally, static analysis by tools.

04. Test Design Techniques

The next major heading that we've got is test design techniques, and this basically covers the test development process, categories of test design techniques, specification based or black box techniques, and that's including stuff like equivalence partitioning, boundary value analysis, also known as BV, decision table testing, state transition testing and used case testing.

The next subsection within this area is a structured base or white box techniques, and that's statement testing coverage, decision testing and coverage and other structured based techniques. Experienced based techniques and choosing test techniques.

05. Test Management

And then the final major area is test management, and this includes test organization, test organization independence, task of test leader. The test studies are mainly to do with being a test lead, so a lot of these to do with actually managing a project or leading a project. The next subsection is to do with test planing and estimation. That's planing, planing the activities, the entry criteria, defining the exit criteria, which was touched on early on in one of the other sections. Test estimation, knowing ... Or not necessarily know, but estimating how long you plan for each test phase, test strategy and test approach, understanding how to layout the strategy, and this would also include the test strategy document. Other subsections are test progress, monitoring and control, which encompasses test reporting, test control. The next subheading, configuration management and then we have also risk in testing, that's project risk and product risks. The final subsection within this area is incident management.

06. Tool Support for Testing

And sorry, the final one, final subheading area is tool support for testing. These are different types of test tools. It goes into the meaning of purposes of the tool, test tool classification, tool support for management, tool support for static testing, tool support for test specification, tool support test execution and [log in 00:06:32], like defect management tools. Tool support for performance and monitoring, like performance testing and tool support for specific testing needs. It then goes into effective use of tools, the potential benefits and risks, and then it talks about special considerations for some of the tools and then it introducing tools for organization.

Final Words

These are the key areas that are covered within the syllabus. Obviously within each of these headline topics are very much detailed low level sub areas, which I've basically covered at a high level during this video. The key thing really is making sure that you've prepared for each of these sections, so that when you have your multiple choice questions you're prepared to ace the exam, hopefully on your first attempt.

Now, one of the key ways to make sure that you're fully prepared for the exam and make sure that you have the best chance of success is getting a free exam questions and sample test papers that you can use to help you to succeed.

I've got for you at my website is a way for you can download an absolutely free exam and question sample that you can actually use to help you prepare for your exam to give you the best possible choice at chance of succeeding. Thank you very much for watching this video today and I look forward to you in the next video. Thank you very much.


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.


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.


  • 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
  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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. 


  • 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


  • 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. 


  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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. 


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.


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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