How to Crack The ISTQB Foundation Level Exam

How to Crack The ISTQB Foundation Level Exam

If you need to know how to prepare for the ISTQB foundation level exam then this is the guide for you. These tips can help you to clear the exam.

The ISTQB exam (or in full, the International Software Testing Qualification Board exam) provides the certification, ISTQB Certified Tester, which is recognized across the software testing industry. The Belgium-based non-profit organization behind the qualification offers the syllabus worldwide.

Holding an ISTQB can play a vital role within the software testing industry, especially for freshers because it helps them to prepare for their career as well as validating their testing skills. For professionals with experience who are looking to change their jobs, the certification will embellish their resume.

How to Crack The ISTQB Foundation Level Exam
So, let’s move towards some important information about how to prepare for ISTQB foundation level exam:

  • The exam is a multiple choice question (MCQ) format
  • There are 40 questions with four answers to choose from for each question.
  • The time available to work on this exam is 60 minutes, or 75 minutes if English is a second language
  • To clear this exam, you need a score of 65%, which means getting a minimum of 26 marks out of the 40 available.
  • Visit the ISTQB website for information about registration, exam dates, fee structure, etc.
  • A major encouragement when taking this exam is that there is no negative marking!

Essential Tips on How to Prepare for ISTQB Foundation level

  • Choosing the right study materials is vital to be able to crack this exam. A great choice is the book ‘Foundations of Software Testing’ written by Dorothy Graham, Erik Van Veenendaal, Isabel Evans and Rex Black, who also authored the syllabus. This one book is sufficient to help you clear the exam, but it is advisable to read it thoroughly, two or three times.
  • After completing the book, the second important step is to go through as many sample papers as you can. This will not only clear your doubts and build self-confidence, but it also allows you to assess how your preparations are going.
  • The Syllabus and MCQ questions that will be asked in the exam are categorized under different learning objectives, which makes it easier to prepare for the exam. To help you to do so, it’s necessary to understand the categories.

Following are the four categories applicable to the Foundation Level:

  • K1: Memorize/ Remember
  • K2: Recognize/ Understand
  • K3: Apply
  • K4: Analyze

The whole syllabus is based upon these categories so you must understand them thoroughly.

  • To read and understand the full syllabus is essential for clearing the exam, so please don’t skip over any topic. Testing fundamentals, principles, test process, SDLC models, test levels, test types, techniques, test tools are important topics on which you require dedicated focus.
  • After reading the syllabus and working through some sample papers, try some mock tests for either 60 or 75 minutes, depending on your English language categorization. Doing this will help you to learn time management.
  • The authority board provides some guidelines for the exam, and you need to have gone through them before taking the exam.
  • Lastly, don’t forget to study the Glossary because there are always some questions based on testing terms.

Some additional tips based on experience:

  • The ISTQB certification exam can be confusing because the questions are set in such a way that all the options look similar. This means that it is very important to study deeply so you confidently know the correct answer.
  • Read each question carefully to understand it properly, and only then attempt it.
  • There is a big chance that you will find more than one right answer, so you need to start a process of elimination so the most relevant answer is on the only one to remain.

FAQs to help clear up your concerns about ISTQB Certification

1. Is it essential for a software tester to become ISTQB certified?

No, it’s not necessary. Fortunately, in software testing, hands-on experience is more valuable than certification. If you are an experienced tester with a wide understanding of test documentation and automation tools, then it is unlikely that anyone will be concerned about an empty certification column in your resume. But yes, this certification is helpful if you are new to testing because this certification not only gives you a deeper knowledge about software testing but it can build your confidence as well. In addition to this, some companies particularly prefer to hire an ISTQB certified tester.

2. Does certification give a 100% job guarantee?

Unfortunately not. This certification just embellishes the tester’s resume and builds their confidence and knowledge, which is definitely helpful in cracking an important job interview in the software testing domain.

3. What are the prerequisites for taking the ISTQB Foundation Level Certification?

No prerequisite is required for foundation level. You just need to prepare for the exam according to the syllabus.

4. Will this certification expire after a certain number of years?

This qualification has no expiry date. After you have passed the exam, enjoy the benefits of your certification for life.


So here is all the main information about ISTQB certification which will help you to clear the exam. If you follow these tips and assets properly then ISTQB will be easier to clear. All the best for your exams if you are already preparing for one.

Sanyogita Bamb

Sanyogita Bamb

Sanyogita is a freelance QA senior from Pune, Maharashtra, India, with more than ten years experience in the IT industry. Holding a ISTQB, she has relished the responsibility and team dynamics of testing within a company, but has latterly chosen to freelance. This gives her the flexibility to test, write content, and embrace her home responsibilities. Sanyogita has worked in manual and automation testing, as well as game and mobile testing, and having been a diarist since childhood, she is enjoying writing about software testing.

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