Why is it best to register for your ISTQB exams through ASTQB and AT*SQA?

American companies check our ASTQB list of ISTQB certified testers. If you want to work for an American company as an employee or contractor, regardless of which country you live in, you want to be in ASTQB’s official list of U.S. ISTQB certified testers. American companies check with ASTQB, not ISTQB, because only the official list from ASTQB includes the full list of those certified for ISTQB certification by the American board. The Official U.S. List of Certified Testers is hosted by AT*SQA, our official ISTQB exam provider.

Creation of the ISTQB exams is the responsibility of the individual member country boards, so that they best reflect the specific country’s language, usage and terms. Unlike other English-language based ISTQB exams that you might stumble upon, ASTQB exams are created as original exams for those who speak English, not translated from some other language. U.S. employers recognize this, and they have expressed a preference for testers who have taken ASTQB’s ISTQB exams.

Our globally-recognized subject matter experts have worked very hard to create the ASTQB versions of the ISTQB exams, and we believe our exams are of the highest quality, with no trick questions. This makes for a better exam-taking experience for you.

In addition, don’t forget about all of ASTQB-only benefits such as the searchable directory of certified testers, the ASTQB Career Center, ASTQB webinars, ASTQB white papers, ASTQB local group sponsorships, and so many other benefits that are exclusive to those who have taken their exam via ASTQB.

Bottom line, you can’t make a better choice than the ASTQB exams if you seek a U.S.-English exam or wish to work in the U.S. or for an American company. Register for the ASTQB version of the ISTQB exam here.

See even more reasons why you should choose ASTQB for your software testing certification exams.

I want to get my ISTQB Certification. Where should I start?

The first step is ISTQB Foundation Level (CTFL). It’s important as your first step because it’s a prerequisite for all other ISTQB exams, and it provides fundamental information that makes you a more effective tester. If you are experienced tester, you’ll find it relatively easy, but it does provide a common testing vocabulary and set of principles that makes communication more efficient across your testing team.

What is the exam format?

ISTQB Foundation: The Foundation Level exam consists of 40 multiple choice questions designed to evaluate a candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the entire Foundation syllabus. A grade of 65% or better must be attained in order to pass. The exam is a closed book exam. You have 60 minutes to finish. Note that ISTQB Foundation Level is a prerequisite for all other ISTQB certifications.

ISTQB Agile: The Agile exam consists of 40 multiple choice questions designed to evaluate a candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the Agile syllabus. A grade of 65% or better must be attained in order to pass. The exam is a closed book exam. You have 60 minutes to finish.

ISTQB Advanced: Each of the Advanced Level exams is composed of multiple-choice questions that vary in points awarded by knowledge level. They correspond to the three different subject areas: “Technical Test Analyst,” “Test Analyst,” and “Test Manager.”

  • Advanced Level “Test Analyst” has 60 questions to be completed in three hours.
  • Advanced Level “Test Manager” has 65 questions to be completed in three hours.
  • Advanced Level “Technical Test Analyst” has 45 questions to be completed in two hours.
  • Advanced Level “Security Tester” has 45 questions to be completed in two hours.
  • Advanced Level “Test Automation Engineer” has 40 questions to be completed in 1.5 hours (90 minutes).

All three areas must be passed with a grade of 65% or better in order to receive the full Advanced Level certification. You may sit for only one Advanced Level Exam at a time. See the webinar on the Advanced Level syllabi on the syllabi page for more information.

ISTQB Testing Specialty: Each ISTQB testing specialty exam consists of multiple choice questions designed to evaluate a candidate’s knowledge and understanding of its syllabus. A grade of 65% or better must be attained in order to pass. The exam is a closed book exam.

  • Usability Testing has 40 questions to be completed in 60 minutes.
  • Model-Based Testing has 40 questions to be completed in 60 minutes.
  • Automotive Testing has 40 questions to be completed in 60 minutes.
  • Performance Testing has 40 questions to be completed in 90 minutes.

ISTQB Expert: The Expert Level is quickly evolving and adding new modules. See the Expert Level Syllabi for a full listing of available or upcoming Expert Level certifications. Expert Level Test Management consists of three exams:

  • Expert Test Management – Strategic
  • Expert Test Management – Operational
  • Expert Test Management – Managing the Test Team

In order to achieve “CTEL-TM Full” (Certified Tester Expert Level – Test Management Full) all three exams must be passed with a 65% passing score. And one must first qualify by passing the the CTAL-TM (Certified Tester Advanced Level – Test Manager) and submitting proof that you have five years of full-time experience in test management.

Each of the exams consists of multiple choice and essay questions, and examinees must choose to answer two of the three essay questions provided.

Scoring: Your score is determined as follows:

  • 35 points possible for multiple choice questions
  • 50 points possible for each of the two essay questions
  • 135 total points

When you take any of the exams at a test center, you will not receive your score at the end, since your essays need to be graded by our team of experts. This can take three to four weeks.

See the Expert Level Syllabi for additional information.

Does everybody take the exact same exam?

No. The questions come from a pool of questions and are being combined differently so that the exam itself changes constantly while the level of difficulty remains comparable. New questions are constantly being developed by the ASTQB’s subject matter experts.

How much does the software testing certification exam cost?

The ISTQB Certified Tester Foundation Level (CTFL) exam is US $229.
The ISTQB Certified Agile Testing exam is US $199.
The ASTQB Certified Mobile Testing exam is US $199.
The ISTQB Certified Usability Testing exam is US $199.
The ASTQB Certified Performance Testing exam is US $199.
The ASTQB Certified Model-Based Testing exam is US $199.
The ASTQB Certified Automotive Testing exam is US $199.

Each of the Advanced Level exams (Test Manager, Test Analyst, Technical Test Analyst, Test Automation Engineer, Security Testing) is US $249

Each of the Expert Level exams is US $375.
Most options are eligible for discounts through ASTQB’s Volume Purchase Program.

When is payment of the exam fee due?

Upon registration for a specific exam and venue or purchase of a voucher.

May I take the exam again if I do not pass?

Yes, you may take the exam as many times as desired, but full payment is required for each attempt unless you meet the criteria for a free retake of an Advanced Level exam.

Are ASTQB’s ISTQB exams approved for student reimbursement for veterans?

Yes! “Approval to offer test for licensing and certification needed to enter, maintain or advance into employment in a civilian vocation or profession under Chapter 36 for the purposes of that chapter and Chapters 30, 32 and 35 of Title 38, U.S.C. and Chapter 1606 of Title 10, U.S.C. whichever is applicable, is granted” for ASTQB’s CTFL, CTAL-TA, CTAL-TM, CTAL-TTA, CTAL-TAE, CTAL-SEC, Agile and Mobile exams plus Expert Management at their applicable fees. Contact us at info@astqb.org for more information and to confirm the certifications covered, as we will continue to apply for approval for new certifications as they become available. ASTQB will be happy to provide proof of payment and exam results to any student veterans who need this paperwork to apply for the reimbursement. See the GI Bill page for more information. If you need to search the GI Bill system to see the certifications and ASTQB contact information for proof of the ISTQB certification eligibility, here are a few tips: Search the entire country (USA), choose “Certification” or “Both” as the category, and “tester” as the L&C name. Click on the certification name, then at the top of the page, the “Institution Profile” link.

Do I have to take a course in order to take the exam?

No, you don’t have to take a course in order to take the exam. That is one of the characteristics that makes ISTQB software tester certification unique: you may self study, study with colleagues, or take a course. That said, many people find the courses very helpful, particularly if they would like to prepare quickly, or are taking a higher level exam. See the list of ASTQB Accredited ISTQB Software Testing Training Providers.

What is AT*SQA?

AT*SQA is the official ISTQB exam provider for ASTQB. AT*SQA is a not-for-profit organization that supports software testing quality.

Is there a software testing certification exam center near me?

Yes, with exam centers throughout the world, there is almost certainly one near you. You can see the current list of exam centers at the Kryterion exam center site, but you must return to the ASTQB/AT*SQA site to register for your ISTQB exam.

Can I take the exam via ASTQB even if I’m not in the United States? Is there an exam center in my country?

Yes, you can utilize our testing centers worldwide to take the ASTQB’s ISTQB exams. See the “Register Now” page to register.

What is the ASTQB Reasonable Accommodations Policy?

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, individuals with disabilities needing a reasonable accommodation to take the ISTQB Foundation or Advanced Level exam should provide written notice to Lois Kostroski, Executive Director, at American Software Testing Qualifications Board, 15619 Premiere Drive, Suite 101, Tampa, FL 33624 USA at least 14 days prior to the exam. Individuals requesting a reasonable accommodation may be required to provide certification of their disability or need for reasonable accommodation so that ASTQB can determine what accommodation, if any, will be provided.

What if American English is my second language? Can I get additional time to take the exam?

Participants that take the exam not in their spoken language will receive additional 25% time. If you are taking the paper exam, you must apply to ASTQB at least a week in advance of your exam. If you are taking the electronic exam, you must contact ASTQB before registering so you can receive a special voucher.

The registration form lets me select the the certification, date, time and location but the “Select” button is disabled.

You simply need to scroll down to the bottom of the page and check the box acknowledging the terms. Then the Select button can be checked.


I don’t see the ASTQB exams listed, just something called KCP.

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