ISTQB-ISEB Foundation Level Exam Preparation

You may want to take the ISTQB foundation exam level due to work requirement, you are already working as Test Analyst, maybe junior, or you maybe want to progress and change your career. Either way to pass should not be difficult, as long as you have some guidance on what the exam is about and what you need to focus on to pass successfully.

Think of when you have to take a drive test exam. You have to learn all the jargon’s, the standard methods, but you may not going to use in practical everyday life, for several reasons, the procedures may be slightly different, and maybe the everyday work are different, but in principle, the core of testing you can get it from here, from both the syllabus and together with the practice exams. You’ll get a good foundation of software testing.

Just don’t worry too much about, read on your own time, understand it, comparing with your job and how things are tested on a daily basis.

How I prepared for the exam?

I have been working as a Test Analyst for almost 2 years now since 2013. Coming from a more technical IT background with Telecoms, also some ERP implementation and as computer hardware wholesaler, had my own business and with experience in customer services and CRM. All that combined gave me a good business overview, understanding the bigger picture in development, it helps when it comes to process, business rules, development and procedure to investigate, clarify any question we, as testers, may need to ask during the development process.

I have signed up for several software testing blogs and anything related to testing you can think of. In my opinion, good websites to register, follow and get involved with are:

There are plenty of material from real testers, experiences and community to exchange ideas experience and above all, you can get into the testing real jobs, with time, as you gain experience, you can even get paid per bug found bases.

One of the bests to get material and articles related to tests.

They organise events, have plenty of articles, materials and have job post and directory. A Large community of testers.

James Bach the founder of Satisfice

He’s a guru in testing. Watch one of his videos on YouTube to give you a different perspective about Software Testing.

Read the Foundation Level Syllabus

Think of this as if you are taking a drive license exam, maybe you won’t do exactly as you do in everyday tasks as you have to complete and pass the exam. The focus here is not on the procedures, as there are many out there, you won’t see Agile, Scrum or any other procedure words here. The jargon is different, but the principle is the same.

So, as a good test analyst as we are we want to challenge and question even the exam itself, don’t worry too much about that, try to absorb as much as you can the from the syllabus.

The first impression is that there is a lot of information to take in, however, you will find is not as hard if you read at your own pace and time, you will relate to your work and combining with the advanced exam samples you will be learning and will be ready to take the exam.

From ISTQB – Foundation Level Syllabus 2011
ISTQB Learn The Theory

Have a go, Several Times, in The Quiz Exam

ISTQB Quizzes Practice

I have recently shared a mind map with the topics in MindMeister. Take a look at Software Testing Foundation – Topic Cheat Sheet – ISTQB-ISEB

Get involved in Testing Groups


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Watch my full course videos hosted in Udemy – Get 50% Off Here

ISTQB Exam Preparation Complete Video Series

Here is the Foundation Level Exam Rules from ISTQB Exam Structure and Rules

The Foundation Level examinations shall be based on the Foundation Level syllabus.

Answers to examination questions may require the use of material from more than one section of this syllabus.

All learning objectives (on cognitive level K1 to K4) in the syllabus are examinable.

General Foundation Level Exam Structure

The examination shall comprise 40 multiple-choice questions.

The number of points available in an examination is 40.

Each correctly answered question is worth one point.

The time allowed for the examination is 60 minutes if given in the candidate’s native language. If the candidate’s native language is not the examination language, the time allowed is 75 minutes.

Passing Score

A score of at least 65% (26 or more points) is required to pass.

Specific Rules

Each exam, if produced manually, will be live for a maximum of 6 months.

Exam questions, while still ‘live’ in the question bank, can be reused as required by exam setters.

Question Distribution

Distribution per cognitive level:

  • 50% of each exam will be K1 level questions;
  • 30% of each exam will be K2 level questions; and
  • 20% of each exam will be K3/K4 level questions

Books Related (Amazon)

There are others books I have selected from Amazon, take a look here – Software Testing books

Good luck with the exam.

If you have any questions or comments, please drop me a line here. Any comments are much appreciated.


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Rogerio da Silva

Rogerio da Silva is a Brazilian who lives in the UK for a little over two decades. He is the owner of a test consulting and outsources services for software development. He likes to blog, write and create content that teaches others how to live a better life. Rogerio has two princesses and one powerful wife that help him with his work. He loves reading biographies of successful authors and dream builders because they inspire him to keep creating!

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