To take the Advanced Level exams, you require a Foundation Level Certificate. ISTQB also recommends practical experience before taking the exam.

Study of the advance level and its certification is to enhance knowledge and awareness and most importantly implement the learning to improve the quality of day to day work, which will eventually return good career growth.

In this tutorial, you will learn-

Applying for CTAL Exam

There are three different exam and certification modules under the generic name CTAL (Certified Tester Advance Level)

  • Test Manager
  • Test Analyst
  • Technical Test Analyst

Enrollment Procedure - The enrollment is same as that for the foundation level while enrolling you have to upload the following three documents:

  • score card for foundation level,
  • Experience certificate
  • Educational certificate.

Once you have uploaded your documents and enrolled yourself, you need to send the DD and documents hard copies. documents. The payment process may vary slightly by country.

The details about the DD are mentioned in the site as well as you will be getting mail with the details after you enroll. You will get the confirmation on your mail once the DD is received.

Exam Fees –

Public (Individual) Exam – 4000/- + 580/- service tax = 4580/-

Corporate Exam – 3500/- + 507.50/- service tax = 4007.50/-

CTAL Exam Pattern

  • The very first thing is to get familiar with the information from ISTQB pages: http://www.istqb.org/ .
  • It will provide some useful information regarding examination form and show guidelines which will help you to pass.
  • The number of questions and exam timing for each module is mentioned in below table.
Module Number of questions Exam Length (in minutes)
Advanced Test Manager 65 180
Advanced Test Analyst 60 180
Advanced Technical Test Analyst 45 120

At least 65% score is a must to pass Advanced Level exam. For each question, you can score 1, 2 or 3 points, depending on the level of difficulty.

Each question is classified according to the cognitive level, the K-level (also known as level of knowledge).

The Advanced exams cover 3 different K-levels: Understand (K2), Apply (K3) and Analyze (K4). During the exam, only plain paper and simple non-programmable calculators are allowed.

ISTQB Advance Level exam is intended to check your knowledge of the entire discipline of software testing in Foundation and Advance level syllabus. When you start preparing for ISTQB Test Manager, your mindset should be as Manager, think and learn from the perspective of a manager in short put yourself in the shoe of the manager. Same applies for test analyst and technical test analyst.

Brush up foundation level learning

K (Knowledge) – Levels & Associated levels of difficulty

Advanced level covers 4 different k-levels (K1 to K4), it identifies the level of understanding being tested, not the difficulty of questions.

  • K1 (Remember) = Remember and recognize a term or a concept.
  • K2 (Understand) = Select an explanation for a statement related to the question topic.
  • K3 (Apply) = Select the correct application of a concept or technique and apply it to a given context.
  • K4 (Analyze) = For better understanding candidate can separate information related to a procedure or technique into its constituents parts and can distinguish between facts and inferences.

In Test Analyst/ Technical Test Analyst/Test Manager exams all parts of the advanced level syllabus are examinable at a K1 level as well.

Useful tips to clear ISTQB Certification Exam

Most of the questions for Test Analyst & Test Manager are from Testing Process, Test Management & Defect Management so give maximum time to these chapters.

  • Knowing concept will not work you need to implement learning into daily work. Questions are scenario based, so read questions multiple times and then attain it.
  • A deep study of chapters and clear understanding is a must.
  • To study for the Technical Test Analyst Exam use "Advance Software Testing Vol 3." by Rex Black and Jamie L. Mitchell
  • To study Test Analyst refer Rex Black Advanced Software Testing - Vol. 1:
  • To study Test Manager refer Rex Black Advanced Software Testing – Vol.2:

Below is the time recommended study time for Test Manager, Test Analyst & Technical Test Analyst

Test Manager Test Analyst Technical Test Analyst
Chapters Study Time Chapters Study time Chapters Study time
Basic Aspects of software testing 30 mins Basic Aspects of software testing 30 m Risk Based Testing 90 mins
Testing Processes 180 mins Testing Processes 180 m Structured Based Testing 120 mins
Test Management 120 mins Test Management 120 m Analytical Techniques 180 mins
Test Techniques Max time Test Techniques Max time Quality Characteristics For Technical Testing 180 mins
Testing of Software Characteristics 210 mins Testing of Software Characteristics 210 mins Reviews 180 mins
Reviews 180 mins Reviews 180 mins Test Tools And Automation 90 mins
Incident Management 120 mins Defect Management 120 mins
Test Tool Automation 90 mins Test Tools 60mins
People Skills Team Composition 30 mins

Good luck!

This article is contributed by Sundip Nag.