Software Testing is a great domain to start your IT career. No wonder it’s gaining more and more popularity! Whether you are a fresh graduate looking for your first job or just want to go on a different career path, the ISTQB certification is a way to stand out.
Why the ISTQB Certification?
- It is one of the most widespread qualifications for certified testers in the world. This led to its contents and glossary becoming the industry standard.
- It is relevant and recognized globally while also ensuring the highest standards for professionals and companies through their policies and procedures.
- All syllabi are developed and reviewed by leading testing professionals in the industry.
- It provides objective verification of competencies for your resume.
- The glossary provides a common vocabulary for the profession, making the learning process easier in the long run.
What Do We Recommend?
We asked one of our certified testers, Corina Tănase, what advice they would have liked to hear when preparing for the ISTQB exam. Here’s what she suggested:
1. Start small and create a learning plan.
One of the most important steps, and possibly the most difficult for some people, is having the right mindset and being confident that you can do it.
There are thousands of questions that pop into one’s mind, especially if you have never worked or studied in a related field: Will I be able to understand and learn? Are these concepts too complicated for me? etc. While there’s no guarantee that it will not be difficult in the beginning, step by step, everything will start to connect as you build a foundation.
Don’t be afraid to break it down and recap even the most basic steps. It will make everything easier in the learning process. This can answer some questions about what you need to spend more time on during the studying process.
2. Try online ISTQB courses.
There are many options online and offline – you can also opt for a live or recorded class. Because setting up a learning pace can be difficult, we recommend following the schedule of a recorded class while still adapting it to your free time.
One of our testers recommended this Udemy course!
3. Do your own research.
It is essential to understand all of the concepts thoroughly, so ask as many questions as it takes to make sure you got everything right. Instead of just memorizing terms and concepts, it’s important to know how to approach a problem in the most effective way possible. Researching items on your own, not just the way they were presented in the course, can help fix the information better.
4. Get a sense of the exam experience.
It is also crucial to go through tests from the previous years. You can find them, along with other materials, on the ISTQB official website. Make sure to look up recent versions for your mock-up exams! The first search results may be older versions that differ from the current structure.
As an extra tip, try to track your time as if you were taking the exam to get a sense of how well you’d do in the exam environment.
The exam process
Knowing how things will go in advance can ease up some of the exam anxiety. While each institution will have its own process, this is what we can say in short about the pandemic exam experience:
- The exam starts with a short presentation of the instructions and requirements, such as exam length, number of questions, camera placement (if you take your exam from home), or the minimum grade needed to pass.
- You and your supervisor will access a link that allows your actions to be observed during the exam (the ISTQB foundation has a clear ethical code).
- You are allowed two plain white papers necessary for certain problem-solving exercises.
- The format is a grid test with multiple right choices possible.
Keep in Mind
Choose an accredited institution to take your exam. After all your hard work, it would be unfortunate if something were to interfere with the final result.
If you are a person who functions best on a reward system, treat yourself at every milestone you reach. This might help boost your confidence that you are on the right track.
The ISTQB classes and exams play an important role in setting the theoretical base for your future career as a tester. They will also boost your CV for future job applications and interviews – we surely notice this when researching candidates.
If you need extra motivation to start, here are some statistics from the ISTQB Effectiveness Survey from 2020. They show how testing careers changed after getting the ISTQB certification: