What is ISTQB?

ISTQB stands for "International Software Testing Qualifications Board." It offers internationally recognized certifications called "ISTQB Certified Tester."

Why should I take the certification? Is there any market value to the certification?

This is a very controversial topic and can be debated till death.

But here are a few pointers which might assist you in your decision.

  • Foremost nothing beats EXPERIENCE. No certification can provide the exposure and training you get while working on real time projects. PERIOD!
  • If you are a fresher, or are from a non-technical background and trying to get a job in the software industry, certification will HELP. Just think about it, as an employer, I do not have any other parameters to judge your technical caliber, so certification is a good start point.
  • If you are an experienced professional and looking for a job change, a certification will embellish your resume. More so, no matter how rich your experience may be, there will always be some new area of QA that you will learn while studying for the certification. But do not think that you will get a JOB just based on the certification.

What is the type of certifications offered by ISTQB?

Foundation CTFL Advanced CTAL
Eligibility None but 6 months professional testing experience is desirable Candidates must hold the Foundation Certificate
Sub Exams None
  • Technical Test Analyst
  • Test Analyst
  • Test Manager
There is a separate paper for each sub-level. Candidates must pass all of the above 3 exams to get "Advance Level" certificate
No. Of Questions 40 65
Pass Percentage 65% 65%
Exam Duration 60 minutes 180 minutes
Where can I study from? Refer our Beginner Software Testing Course Refer our course for Test Managers
How to Register It all above depends on the Country where you want to take the exam. Please go the link, where you will find the list of member sites of ISTQB. So, in case you want to take the exam in USA, go to the link American Software Testing Qualifications Board. Here you will find the information about Exam Dates, Fees, Registration details, etc.

Indian users enroll here UK users enroll here

ISTQB Certification Test

Take the mock Certification Test.




The ISTQB Study Guide!

As of this writing, more than 15000 ISTQB aspirants have taken Mock ISTQB test at Guru99.

We can safely say that we have the largest set of ISTQB exam data over the Internet.

Here is how our data looks like

  • More than 15,000 people have taken the ISTQB tests on Guru99
  • Highest Score is 40 out of 40
  • Lowest Score is 0
  • Average Score is 17.5

Here is the distribution of scores—

We hired a Data Scientist to make meaningful inferences from this data set and help YOU score more in ISTQB and have come out with actionable findings as below-

Which Topics should you focus on?

We combined the correct answers given by test takers with the topic the questions belong to. The results were eye-opening –

As you can observe – ISTQB aspirants got most answers wrong with questions related to "Testing Techniques" while they excelled with questions related to "Testing Types."

Top 3 Topics ISTQB aspirants should focus on –

  1. Testing Techniques – Important testing techniques to focus on are equivalence partitioning and boundary value analysis and related mathematical question, Test Review.
  1. Testing Fundamentals - Important topics to focus on is the STLC, Principles of testing, Early Testing.
  1. Testing Tools - Important to learn the 'features' of the various types of

    testing tools, will help in answering related questions.

Which Questions need most of your attention?

We have compiled a list of questions which are frequently answered incorrectly. Pay close attention to them as such types of questions DO appear in ISTQB exam. is recommended you practice question of similar type.

Top 10 Questions, Incorrectly Answered.

At number 10 we have a question related to Test Management and Control. Only 35% test takers got it correct

Question 10. Given the following sets of test management terms (v-z), and activity descriptions (1-5), which one of the following best pairs the two sets?

v – Test control
w – Test monitoring
x - Test Estimation
y - Incident management
z - Configuration control

1 - Calculation of required test resources 2 - Maintenance of record of test results
3 - Re-allocation of resources when tests overrun 4 - Report on deviation from test plan
5 - Tracking of anomalous test results

a) v-3, w-2, x-1, y-5, z-4

b) v-2, w-5, x-1, y-4, z-3

c) v-3, w-4, x-1, y-5, z-2

d) v-2, w-1, x-4, y-3, z-5

Correct Answer: c) V-3, w-4, x-1, y-5, z-2

At number 9 we have a question related to Testing Fundamentals. Only 33.9% test takers got it correct

Question 9. A failure is:

a) Found in the software; the result of an error.

b) Departure from specified behavior

c) An incorrect step, process or data definition in a computer program

d) A human action that produces an incorrect result

Correct Answer: b) Departure from specified behavior.

At number 8 we have a question related to Testing Types. Only 33% test takers got it correct

Question 8. Drivers are also known as:

i. Spade
ii. Test harness
iii. Scaffolding

a) i, ii are true and iii is false

b) i , iii are true and ii is false

c) ii, iii are true and i is false

d) All of the above are true

Correct Answer: c) ii, iii are true and i is false

At number 7, again we have a question from Testing Fundamentals. Only 31% test takers got it correct

Question 7. Verification involves which of the following: - i. Helps to check the Quality of the built product
ii. Helps to check that we have built the right product.
iii. Helps in developing the product
iv. Monitoring tool wastage and obsoleteness.

a) i,ii,iii,iv are true.

b) i is true and ii,iii,iv are false

c) i,ii,iii are true and iv is false

d) ii is true and i,iii,iv are false

Correct Answer: b) i is true and ii,iii,iv are false.

Tip: 'Validation' - Helps to check the Quality of the built product

At number 6, we have question from Testing Techniques. Only 30.7% test takers got it correct

Question 6. In a system designed to work out the tax to be paid: An employee has $4000 of salary tax free. The next $1500 is taxed at 10%, The next $28000 is taxed at 22% Any further amount is taxed at 40%, Which of these groups of numbers would fall into the same equivalence class?

a) $4800; $14000; $28000

b) $5200; $5500; $28000

c) $28001; $32000; $35000

d) $5800; $28000; $32000

Correct Answer: d) $5800; $28000; $32000

At number 5, again we have question from Testing Techniques Only 23.67% test takers got it correct

Question 5. Given the Following program

IF X = Z
THEN Statement 2;

McCabe's Cyclomatic Complexity is:

a) 2

b) 3

c) 4

d) 5

Correct Answer: b) 3

Number 4 is occupied by a question from Testing Techniques. Only 23% test takers got it correct

Question 4. Which of the following statements about reviews is false?

a) Reviews cannot be performed on user requirements specifications

b) Reviews are the least effective way of testing code

c) Reviews are unlikely to find faults in test plans.

d) Reviews should be performed on specifications, code, and test plans

Correct Answer: b) Reviews are the least effective way of testing code

Testing Techniques seems to be ruling this list! Only 22% got this question correct

Question 3. An input field takes the year of birth between 1900 and 2004.The boundary values for testing this field are:

a) 0,1900,2004,2005

b) 1900, 2004

c) 1899,1900,2004,2005

d) 1899, 1900, 1901,2003,2004,2005

Correct Answer: b) 1900, 2004

At #2, we have a question from Testing Tools. Only 17% of test takers got it correct

Question 2. Which of these activities provides the biggest potential cost saving from the use of CAST?

a) Test management

b) Test design

c) Test Execution

d) Test planning

Correct Answer: c) Test Execution

Tip: CAST = Computer Aided Software Testing

The grand daddy of all is a question from Testing Fundamentals. Only a small 14% of test takers got it correct

Question 1. Match every stage of the software Development Life cycle with the Testing Life cycle:

i. Hi-level design
ii. Code
iii. Low-level design
iv. Business requirements

a. Unit tests
b. Acceptance tests
c. System tests
d. Integration tests

a) i-d , ii-a , iii-c , iv-b

b) i-c , ii-d , iii-a , iv-b

c) i-b, ii-a , iii-d , iv-c

d) i-c, ii-a , iii-d , iv-b

Correct answer: d) i-c , ii-a , iii-d , iv-b

ISTQB Exam Tips

Tip 1 - You want to Excel in the ISTQB the single most important thing you need to focus on is, PRACTICE. Observe the following chart-.

At guru99, we provide three ISTQB mock tests, which usually students take one after the other. As you may observe from "Test 1" to "Test 3" passing percentage increased from 23% to 43%. As the adage goes "Practice makes a man Perfect." Also, the number of test takers decreased progressively from Test 1 to Test 3 indicating that not many people are taking all the tests.

Tip 2 - You find a particular question challenging, do not waste time on it. Skip, it and try to answer it at the end of the paper.

Tip 3 - You are not sure of the answer, use the process of elimination of options to arrive at the correct answer

Tip 4 - You are On exam day, do relax and trust whatever who have studied, stay away from other's confusing statements.


Download PDF of ISTQB Mock Tests

Good Luck!