FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

The acronym ISTQB® represents the International Software Testing Qualifications Board. It is a non-profit organization responsible for defining, managing, and maintaining the ISTQB® certified tester scheme. You can find more details on the official ISTQB® website.

The ISTQB® includes worldwide member boards responsible for setting standards, developing the content of certification exams, and administering them in their respective countries. Currently, there are over 68 member boards from around the world.

CTFL stands for Certified Tester Foundation Level. ISTQB® CTFL is the first step to all other ISTQB® certifications and is a prerequisite. Let’s say a person wants to get a Test Automation Engineer certificate but has no Foundation level certificate. In that case, a person must pass the CTFL exam before registering for the Automate Test Engineer exam.

The CTFL 4.0 is the latest version of the syllabus released on the 21st of April, 2023. CTFL v3.1 is the older and retiring version of the 2018 syllabus. We do not recommend taking the CTFL v4.0 exam if someone has only studied the CTFL v3.1 syllabus. There is a high chance of failing an exam. You can find more details in the post Which ISTQB® Certified Tester Foundation Level exam to take?

No, it is not obligatory. The CTFL certificate is valid for a lifetime, and CTFL holders of versions prior to 4.0 keep their certification. However, certificate holders may want to consider recertification to stay on the latest software testing trends and standards.

According to the latest ISTQB® effectiveness survey:

  • Respondents perceive that ISTQB® CTFL certification will affect/improve their future by improving their test skills (85%) and supporting their career path (87%)
  • 92% of the respondents are happy to recommend the ISTQB® Foundation Level (CTFL) certification to their colleagues
  • The ISTQB® CTFL syllabus meets (partially, fully, or exceedingly) the expectations of 96% of the test professionals who answered the survey.

ISTQB® certifications:

  • are globally recognized as a standard for software testing
  • valid for a lifetime except for Expert level certificates
  • provide a competitive advantage in the marketplace

Some companies require testers to hold ISTQB® CTFL certification as part of their job requirements.

There is no definitive “best” way for everyone. The optimal approach depends on your unique learning style and various factors. For more in-depth insights, we invite you to explore our comprehensive blog post, How to prepare for the ISTQB® Foundation Level exam.

Depending on the individual’s experience level and knowledge of software testing principles, the recommendation is to dedicate substantial time to studying for the CTFL exam.

While some argue that the CTFL exam is an easy walk in the park and requires minimal preparation, scoring just 65% to pass, it is crucial not to underestimate the importance of thorough preparation. It is more than just reading the syllabus. Even with over a decade of testing experience, when preparing to re-certify for CTFL v3.1, I dedicated six weeks of daily study for several hours. I aimed to achieve outstanding results, so I strived for a perfect score of 100%.

The preparation duration may vary from several weeks to a month, depending on the individual. For those taking their first steps in software testing, it may take several months to a year. Continue to study until you consistently answer at least 90% of the questions correctly.

You can find learning material from the official ISTQB website or download it below:

  • ISTQB CTFLv4.0 Sample Exam Questions (download)
  • ISTQB CTFLv4.0 Sample Exam Answers (download)

Remember that there are many questions or dumps on the internet, but such questions might provide incorrect answers. You should trust the questions only from the official ISTQB® website.

After finishing the course, you’ll get a course completion credential but not an ISTQB® CTFL certificate. It’s up to you to book the exam, but the instructor will give you all the details during the course.

Please note that the exam price is not included and must be ordered separately by students. The cost may vary depending on the country and exam provider but is generally within the 160-210 Euros range.