ISTQB® Foundation Level Syllabi

There are a number of ISTQB® certifications that are examined at Foundation Level. These start with the ISTQB® Foundation Level syllabus which covers the fundamentals of testing and is a pre-requisite for all other portfolio products. The agile stream focuses on testing within Agile frameworks and delivery models.

Then there are the specialist syllabi which address specific vertical topics.

ISTQB® Foundation Level Specialist Syllabi

There are a number of foundation level specialist syllabi that form a part of the ISTQB® product portfolio.

Specialist modules address specific topics in a vertical way. They are built using a drill-down / deep-dive approach. They can address specific quality characteristics (e.g. Usability; Security; Performance & Acceptance) or technologies that involve specific test approaches (e.g. Model Based testing & Mobile testing). They can also be related to specific test activities (e.g. Test Automation) or for industry domains (e.g. Automotive & Gambling).

Additional Specialist modules will be defined in future on the basis of market needs, emerging technologies and new paradigms in software development.

General Exam Information

For each of the Foundation Level certifications candidates are required to sit a 40 question multiple choice examination designed to evaluate a candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the syllabus.

Candidates are required to score 26 or more correct answers to pass.

Topics within the Foundation Level syllabi have been categorised by learning objectives, defining the level of knowledge a candidate must display for each topic. The categories are:

K1 Remember, recognise and recall.
K2 Understand, explain, give reasons, compare, classify and summarise.
K3 Apply in a specific context.
K4 Analyse to solve a problem or task.

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Why ISTQB® Certification

  • High quality syllabi: all syllabi are developed and reviewed by leading testing professionals from academia and industry. 
  • Global recognition: certifications are recognised globally because of the consistent application of ISTQB® policies and procedures by the member boards.
  • Common language: the ISTQB® Glossary provides a common vocabulary for the profession.
  • Objectivity: the assessment of tester capabilities is conducted independently by ISTQB® and provides objective verification of competencies.
  • Adherence to a Code of Ethics: all ISTQB® certified testers adhere to the Code of Ethics defined by ISTQB®.
  • Public Availability: ISTQB® glossary and syllabi are made freely available on the ISTQB® website and on the Member Board websites in local languages.
  • Openness: ISTQB® materials are developed on a voluntary basis and are open to contributions from anybody interested in joining ISTQB® working groups.
  • Independence: the non-profit nature of ISTQB® ensures that content is not constrained by particular methodologies or technologies and is able to draw on best practices from a wide variety of sources.
  • Continuous improvement: syllabi and other documents are continuously being improved to meet the needs of Business Organisations around the world and to keep pace with the development of the profession.
  • Professional standing: being certified provides advantages for individuals and organisations by ensuring that testing professionals meet the high standards set by the ISTQB®.