You must successfully pass the exams organized by your National or Regional Board or ISTQB recognized Examination Provider.
There are 3 levels of certification:
The relevant ISTQB® Syllabus and Glossary should be used as a minimum. Other suggested preparation material (books etc.) may be found in the „Reference“ chapter of each syllabus or in the References section of the ISTQB® Website.
By default, it is not possible to sit in an exam without owning the pre-conditions needed for it; sitting in an exam without owning the pre-conditions can happen only in very specific cases and with the written consent of the local ISTQB® Member Board or Exam Provider. In any case, the certificate will be issued only after passing also the exam that are listed as pre-requisite.
The Foundation Level Core exam has no pre-requisites. Preparation on the syllabus topics (obtained either through attending a course provided by an accredited Training Provider, and/or through self-study) is recommended.
To take a specialist exam, as well as the Foundation Level Agile Tester exam, the candidate must hold a Foundation Level Core certificate, obtained by passing the Foundation Level Core exam. The possession of the Foundation Level Core Certificate may have to be proven by the candidate. Your local ISTQB® Member Board, or Exam Provider may allow you to take the Foundation Level Core exam on the same day as the specialist exam. Please talk to your local ISTQB® Member Board or Exam Provider to find out if they offer this option.
To take an Advanced Level exam (Core or Specialist), the candidate must hold the relevant Foundation Level Certificate (Core or Specialist) obtained by passing the relevant Foundation Level exam. The possession of the Foundation Level Certificate may have to be proven by the candidate. ISTQB® also recommends practical experience before taking any advanced exam.
To take the Expert Level exam, the candidate must hold the appropriate Advanced Level Certificate as stated for that specific Expert Level exam. For the currently released Expert syllabi („Improving the test process“ and „Test Manager“) the Advanced Level Test Manager certificate is required. Required certificates for Expert Level are shown in the „Expert Level Module Overview“ document. ISTQB® also recommends at least 7 years of practical experience.
Foundation Level and Advanced level exams are based on Multiple Choice questions.
Each Multiple Choice question consists of a problem and a list of suggested solutions (options) and can be either single-answer or multiple-answer (Pick-N).
A single-answer type question has 4 suggested solutions, of which 1 and only 1 is correct.
For a Pick-N type question, the candidate is presented with a list of options, and instructions on how many correct items to select from the list. For example:
Advance level exams may require the candidate to consider a scenario and several questions in the exam may be based on this scenario.
Expert level exams contain both Multiple Choice questions and Essay questions. An Essay question requires the candidate to consider a scenario or problem statement and respond with a detailed written response.
A core certification is a certification that cover a topic in a broad, horizontal way, valid for any technology / methodology / application domain, and allowing for a common understanding.
The Agile stream consists of a set of syllabi (foundation specialist and advanced specialist) dedicated to the professionals involved in Agile projects, which have the prerequisite of the Foundation level core certificate. The agile stream contains the following certifications (one of them already available, others undergoing development):
A specialist certification is a certification that focuses on a specific topic / domain in a vertical way, using a drill down / deep-dive approach.
Each exam contains questions aimed at verifying the acquired professional knowledge of the candidate on the topics covered by the Learning Objectives for the relevant Foundation, Advanced, or Expert syllabus.
The Foundation Core exam only requires knowledge of the Foundation Core syllabus; all other exams, whether Core or Specialist, or whether Foundation Specialist, Advanced or Expert, assume that you have knowledge of the Foundation Core syllabus and may ask questions that are related to knowledge of the Foundation Core syllabus.
In addition, the Advanced Specialist exams require knowledge of any Foundation Specialist syllabus that has been defined as a pre-requisite, and the Expert exams require knowledge of any Advanced level syllabi that have been defined as a pre-requisite.
An Exam is an assessment intended to measure a candidate’s (test-taker’s) knowledge, skill, and competence related to an ISTQB syllabus.
An Exam Question is an individual component of the examination that is used to assess the knowledge of a candidate’s understanding of the syllabus material and achievement of Learning Objectives.
Answers to any exam question may require the use of material based on more than one section of the syllabus being examined.
Learning Objectives are statements which describe what the student is expected to know or be able to do after mastering the syllabus content. Learning Objectives have been defined for each syllabus section.
Exam Questions are used to assess the candidate’s achievement of Learning Objectives.
The Learning Objectives support the Business Outcomes.
A Business Outcome is a specific statement of what can be expected from a person who achieves certification in a particular subject area, e.g. an Advanced Test Manager, and will outline the benefits for companies who are considering the development of specific testing skills.
The Business Outcomes for each Foundation Specialist, Advanced and Expert syllabus are described in their respective Overview documents.
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 ISTQB®Geographic Coverage.
The ISTQB® Certified Tester program provides certification for software testers internationally. There are currently two levels of certification: The Foundation Level certificate (one module) and the Advanced Level certificates (three modules). An Expert Level is currently being developed. For all three levels, international working groups develop and maintain internationally uniform curricula and exams. One of the core principles of the program is a strict separation between the administration of exams and the training to those who would like to prepare for the exam in ISTQB® compliant courses. This is not true of other testing and/or quality assurance organizations.
SCR stands for Successful Candidate Registry.
The SCR is a global registry of professionals that obtained an ISTQB® certification and that have given consent to have their name published.
Yes, the goal is to have a unique point where all the ISTQB® certified professionals are listed.
For several reasons, among which to:
The fact that a Board has a local SCR does not change the picture; data has anyway to be provided to the central SCR.
This decision is up to the Board; you can decide to take it out or to keep it; if you want to keep it, you must ensure alignment between the local one and the central SCR in terms of certificates displayed.
SCR is provided by ISTQB® in order to make it possible to check certificates; no other usages are allowed and foreseen; in particular, no marketing usage by ISTQB® is allowed / foreseen (eg: we do not mean to collect the data to have the possibility to directly contact people or to send them marketing info).
You need to get their consent.
This is a duty of the MBs/ EPs.
For each certificate, the following fields are listed:
Not at all, the fields listed above are the ONLY ones stored in the SCR.
All uploaded certificates can be searched using http://scr.istqb.org.
Individuals that obtained an ISTQB® certification before January 2017 may be listed upon the request to the MB.