ISTQB Advanced Level Test Analyst (CTAL) Exam Study Guide

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

The study of the advanced 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.


Applying for CTAL certification Exam

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

  • Test Analyst
  • Test Manager
  • Technical Test Analyst

Enrollment Procedure

The enrollment is the same as that for the foundation level; while enrolling you have to upload the following three documents

  • scorecard 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 on 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.

ISTQB Exam Fees

  • ISTQB Foundation Level exam fee: US $229
  • ISTQB Advanced Level exam fees (Test Manager, Test Analyst, Technical Test Analyst, Test Automation Engineer, Security Testing, Agile Technical Testing): US $249 each
  • ISTQB Expert Level exam fee: US $575

CTAL Exam Pattern

  • The very first thing is to get familiar with the information from ISTQB pages:
  • 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 are mentioned in the below table.
Module Number of questions Exam Length (in minutes)
Advanced Test Manager 65 180
Advanced Test Analyst (2012) 60 180
Advanced Test Analyst (2019) 40 120
Advanced Technical Test Analyst (2012) 45 120
Advanced Technical Test Analyst (2019) 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 from ISTQB Exam Study Material

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 ISTQB Advanced Level syllabus are examinable at a K1 level as well.

Where can I study from?

You can go through our Test Management Tutorial which will aid you in your CTAL (Advanced Level) studies.

Tips to Prepare and Clear ISTQB CTAL Certification Exam

Following are the useful tips to prepare and clear the ISTQB CTAL certification exam:

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

  • Knowing concepts 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 “Advanced Software Testing Vol 3.” by Rex Black and Jamie L. Mitchell
  • To study ISTQB Advanced Level Test Analyst, refer Rex Black Advanced Software Testing – Vol. 1:
  • To study Test Manager, refer Rex Black Advanced Software Testing – Vol.2:

ISTQB Certification Syllabus

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

Test Manager Test Analyst Technical Test Analyst
Chapters Study Time Chapters Study time Chapters Study time
Testing Processes 420 mins The Test Analyst’s Tasks in the Test Process 150 mins  The Technical Test Analyst’s Tasks in Risk-Based Testing 30 mins
Test Management 750 mins The Test Analyst’s Tasks in Risk-Based Testing 60 mins White-Box Test Techniques 300 mins
Reviews 180 mins Test Techniques 630 mins Static and Dynamic Analysis 180 mins
Defect Management 150 mins Testing Software Quality Characteristics 180 mins Quality Characteristics for Technical Testing 345 mins
Improving the Testing Process 135 mins Reviews 120 mins Reviews 165 mins
Test Tools and Automation 135 mins Test Tools and Automation 90 mins Test Tools and Automation 180 mins
People Skills – Team Composition 210 mins

Good luck!