How to pass ISTQB. Certification experience

ISTQB (International Software Testing Qualifications Board) is one of the most famous and authoritative organizations that conduct certification of QA professionals. Today, the sphere of software testing has reached such a level when it is important for an expert not only to have work experience but also to obtain the documentary confirmation of this knowledge.

Preparation for the exam supports the QA engineer in building the career: it broads the knowledge area, systematizes current information, helps find and study various approaches to problem solving, and develop creative thinking.

A certified specialist within the crew of any company is a significant and obvious quality indicator of the services provided. Today, the ISTQB certification is international and is recognized in more than 110 countries all over the world. This means that the services the company offers are provided by professionals who know their stuff and have confirmed their competence. Thus, it becomes obvious that obtaining a certificate is a matter of definite importance.

We are very proud that the JET BI QA team has been increased by two more certified professionals. Why did generally the guys get the certification on mind, how did they prepare for it and what kind of difficulties did they tackle with? We have decided to talk with them and to get answers from the first mouth.

Maybe a few words about reasons that hit you upon an idea to do certification? What does it give to you as professionals?

Aleksander Belozor, Lead QA Engineer JET BI:

I have been planning to took the exam for already a year and a half. But the intense workload postponed this moment again and again. As I started with JET BI, I realized that it is the right moment to accept the challenge. As the certification was one of the conditions for working in the company, the process quickened significantly.

This certificate confirms that the employee obtains the theoretical knowledge in the field of test quality, and can apply various techniques in practice as well. That also favorably affects the quality of the products and services offered by the company.

Alexey Chernousov, QA Engineer JET BI:

I desired further professional development in quality assurance. ISTQB became an important step in this direction, especially since the certificate is international and is recognized throughout the world.

Guys, could you briefly describe the preparation process? What materials did you use?

Aleksander Belozor, Lead QA Engineer JET BI:

The preparation process took about 1,5 - 2 months. At first I was just reading the Glossary and ISTQB Syllabus, I also took the sample tests. Then I began to take notes and to outline the important points. I studied international testing standards and standards for test documentation for software - IEEE STD 829-1998 in the Internet.

Alexey Chernousov, QA Engineer JET BI:

I can not claim that the preparation process was very quick and easy. In the main, I studied the materials on the website of the certification company.

By the way, the site has also a Russian version of the Syllabus in the "Materials" section.

And what about the exam itself? What does the registration process look like?

Alexey Chernousov, QA Engineer JET BI:

ISTQB representatives keep watch over the exam in several classrooms equipped with computers. The test consists of forty multiple-choice questions, each question has four answer options. The registration process is very simple and is carried out on the company's website, you are also invited to fill out a questionnaire and pay the exam fee.

Aleksander Belozor, Lead QA Engineer JET BI:

The process itself is cut and dried. You are invited to the classroom where you have to check the access to your email. Then the curator describes the procedure of passing the exam and wishes everyone good luck before starting.

Did the previous work experience help you in passing the exam? How do you estimate the chances of newcomers in QA to successfully pass the test.

Aleksander Belozor, Lead QA Engineer JET BI:

It is desirable to have practical experience to pass the exam. Then you need certain theoretical basis and study the materials provided by ISTQB. If you pass several sample tests it will definitely simplify the process of the further exam passing.

Alexey Chernousov, QA Engineer JET BI: ​

I believe that my working experience was a fundamental factor in the successful test passing. However, the ability to analyze questions and tasks properly supported me as well. As for beginners, I suppose that it is strictly individual because it is difficult to anticipate how each person will build the reasoning chain.

You have successfully passed the exam at the first time (it is necessary to answer at least 26 questions correctly for the successful passing of the exam). Is there any recipe for success?

Aleksander Belozor, Lead QA Engineer JET BI:

The secret of preparation is simple: you should prepare! Without theoretic knowledge, such tests can not be passed. And it is very desirable to have practical experience as well.

Alexey Chernousov, QA Engineer JET BI:

There is no any specific secret for success. The materials I used for preparation had really little in common with the test that I had during the exam. So the examination was more likely based on previous experience and analysis of questions.​

Thank you for sharing your experience! We hope that your advice will help to successfully pass the test and to confirm competence to those who are just planning to get the certificate, as well as those who are already preparing for the exam.

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