ISTQB test passed

Dear reader,

Passed the ISTQB foundation level certification test I blogged about earlier with 35/40 points. I found the practice exam we did during the cert course a lot harder than the actual test. Anyways, wuhuu! 🙂

ISTQB foundation testing certificate

Dear reader,

It so happened that I took a test for the ISTQB foundation level testing certificate today. I don’t know if I’ve passed yet, but I have some mixed feelings about the test. Googling it down after taking the test I found this blog post by James Bach that had some interesting points about the ISTQB as well as other testing certificates.

The test had 40 questions and 1 hour to complete them. On the certificate course, followed by the exam, we were warned of the test being guileful because of the word-play incorporated in it. James Bach had similar comments to say about it. Although I might not agree with everything he says in the blog post, unfortunately I must share Mr. Bach’s take on the test being too concentrated on semantics. Don’t get me wrong, I love semantics and linguistics (especially when it concerns the Germanic language tree), but this test might just put too much weight on that side instead of actually testing how well one knows the subject of testing. Maybe half of the questions were arranged so that additional time had to be spent just to try to understand the question correctly, but the other half consisted of relevant and not deliberately messed up questions. We were also warned of questions with double negatives (e.g. “I do not disagree”) but I don’t think I spotted any (might be my mistake, though). Nevertheless, I think the certificate training course was spot on for the foundation level — i.e. “[..]aimed at anyone involved in software testing”, as stated on the ISTQB website. It gives a good outline for the basic concepts, testing techniques, test planning and tools.

Taking the test soon? Even though I don’t know if I passed yet, I thought I’d share a couple of things you might want to consider when preparing for the test:

  • Memorize the terminology, but also understand the underlying concepts because the test might use a bit stirred up terminology
  • Go through the first answering round quickly and then go back to questions you have marked difficult, this way you’ll ensure you have answered something to all 40Q’s
  • Be alert when reading the questions. Look for double negatives and fully understand the question before answering it
  • It helps to have even a bit of coding background. If you don’t, at least understand this much about flowcharts:
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