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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the the Irish Software Testing Board (ISTB)?
What is the ISTQB - International Software Testing Qualifications Board?
What is the advantage of ISTQB certification?
How many ISTQB certified testers are there?
Is this certification acknowledged across the world?
What is the exam format?
Is there negative marking?
Does everybody take the exact same exam?
When will my result be announced?
Is there any validity period for this certification?
Is there any study material for this exam?
Do I have to take a course in order to take the exam?
What does an ISTQB certificate tell me about the skills of a software tester?
What abbreviation could I put on my CV?
What is an ISTQB accredited training provider?
Are all the courses offered identical?
How can I verify whether a training provider is actually ISTQB accredited?
How can I become an accredited training provider?




What is the the Irish Software Testing Board (ISTB)?

The Irish Testing Board (ISTB) is the Irish National Board approved by ISTQB. ISTB is responsible for conducting ISTQB Certified Tester examinations in Ireland.

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What is the ISTQB - International Software Testing Qualifications Board?

The ISTQB is a non-profit organization responsible for defining various guidelines such as examination structure and regulations, accreditation, certification etc. Working parties within the ISTQB are responsible for developing and maintaining the syllabi and exams. The ISTQB comprises representatives from each existing national board.

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What is the advantage of ISTQB certification?

  • Truly international nature of the certification: This certificate is recognized in multiple countries in multiple continents. Hardly any other certification has adoption in as many countries as this one. Please see http://www.istqb.org/members.php
  • The people behind this exam: Test experts from various countries are constantly working towards defining and refining the syllabus, the exam pattern, the examination questions and various other things.
  • The multi-tier nature of the certification: This certification distinguishes between knowledge based exam (foundation level) and skill based (advanced level).
  • Non-profit nature of ISTQB: Non-profit nature of ISTQB ensures that nobody has a vested interest in promoting a particular Body of Knowledge (BOK) or a particular book. All material developed by ISTQB is developed on a voluntary basis and is made available for free by ISTQB.


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How many ISTQB certified testers are there?

As for October 2008, approximately 100,000 software testers currently hold ISTQB compliant certificates.

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Is this certification acknowledged across the world?

This is a truly internationally recognized certification program. For the list of participating countries please visit http://www.istqb.org/members.php

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What is the exam format?

The Foundation Level exam consists of approximately 40 multiple choice questions of 1 points each. An exam amounts to 40 points total, of which 65%(26 points) must be attained in order to pass. The exam is a closed book exam. You have 60 minutes to finish.

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Is there negative marking?

No. There is no negative marking for the wrong answers.

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Does everybody take the exact same exam?

No. The questions come from a pool of questions and are being combined differently such that the exam itself changes constantly while the level of difficulty remains comparable.

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When will my result be announced?

The result will normally be communicated by email to candidates within two weeks. Passing candidates will receive their certificate within six weeks.

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Is there any validity period for this certification?

The ISTQB Certified Tester-Foundation Level certificate is valid for life.
The ISTQB Certified Tester-Advanced Level certificate is valid for 3 years.


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Is there any study material for this exam?

The ISTB does not supply study material for examinations. Please see the resources page for various testing books.

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

No. The ISTB will administer the exam independent of any courses. Courses can be taken to prepare for the exam, and ISTQB compliant courses are being offered by ISTQB accredited training providers.

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What does an ISTQB certificate tell me about the skills of a software tester?

The Foundation Level exam tests for knowledge, not skill. It provides information about the certificate holder's level of familiarity with the most common concepts of software testing and the associated terminology. It does not require work experience. The Foundation Level exam is a stepping stone towards the Advanced Level, which goes in-depth and is much more practice-oriented,

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What abbreviation could I put on my CV?

You can use "CTFL" for "Certified Tester Foundation Level" and "CTAL" for "Certified Tester Advanced Level".

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What is an ISTQB accredited training provider?

Training companies that offer ISTQB compliant courses must first undergo an application process. The ISTB reviews their course materials regarding coverage of the ISTQB syllabus. This ensures that someone taking a course with this company has a reasonable chance to pass the exam. The ISTB also requires that courses be taught by an ISTQB Certified Tester. Other factors, such as experience in training of software professionals and experience in testing, the provision of adequate facilities, and documentation of quality assurance procedures within the applicant's company, also influence the ITSB's decision on accreditation.

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Are all the courses offered identical?

No. The syllabus outlines the areas to be covered, but neither prescribes depth, nor a specific ordering of the material. The ISTB does not offer courses, neither does it sell course materials to training companies. One major principle of the program, the separation of exam / certification administration from teaching, ensures choice and competition on the training level.

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How can I verify whether a training provider is actually ISTQB accredited?

By checking whether or not that training company is listed on the ISTB website as an ISTQB accredited training provider.

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How can I become an accredited training provider?

Please contact the ISTB.

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