ISTQB Syllabus

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Introduction to this Syllabus

Introduction to this Syllabus

Purpose of this Document

This syllabus forms the basis for the International Softwa re Testing Qualification a t the Found ation Level. T he International Software Testing Qualifications B oard (ISTQ B) provides it to the Nati onal Boards for them to accredit the tr aining provi ders and to derive examination questions in their local languag e. Training providers will determine appropriate t eaching met hods and pr oduce cours eware for accre ditation. The syllabus w ill help candidates in their preparation for the exa mination. Information on the history and ba ckground of the syllabus can be fou nd in Appen dix A.

The Certified Tester Foundation Level in Software Testing

The Foundation Lev el qualificatio n is aimed a t anyone in volved in software testing . This includ es people i n roles such as testers, t est analysts, test engine ers, test consultants, test managers, user accepta nce testers a nd software developers. This Foundation Level q ualification is also appro priate for anyone who wan ts a basic un derstanding of software testing, suc h as project managers, quality managers, software development managers, business an alysts, IT di rectors and management consultants. Holders of the Foundation Certificate will be able to go on to a higher-level software testing qualification.

Learning Objectives/Cognitive Level of Knowledge

Learning objectives are indicated for each section in this syllabus and classified as follows:

o K1: remember

o K2: understand

o K3: apply

o K4: analyze

Further details and e xamples of learning obje ctives are given in Appendix B.

All terms listed under “Terms” jus t below chapter headings shall be re membered ( K1), even if not explicitly mentioned in the learni ng objectives .

The Examination

The Foundation Lev el Certificate examinatio n will be bas ed on this sy llabus. Answ ers to examination questio ns may require the use of material ba sed on mor e than one section of this syllabus. All sections of the sylla bus are exa minable.

The format of the examination is multiple choice.

Exams may be take n as part of a n accredited training co urse or taken independe ntly (e.g., at an examination center o r in a public exam). Co mpletion of an accredited training cou rse is not a pre-requisite for the exam.


An ISTQB National Board may accredit training providers whose cour se material follows this syllabus. Training providers shou ld obtain accreditation guidelines from the board or body tha t perform s the accreditation. An ac credited co urse is recognized as co nforming to this syllabus, and is allowe d to have a n ISTQB examination as part of the course.

Further guidance for training pro viders is give n in Appendix D.

Level of Detail

The leve l of detail in this syllabus allows internationally co nsistent teaching and e xamination. In order to achieve this goal, the syllabus consists of:

o General instructional objectiv es describin g the intention of the Foundation Le vel

o A list of information to teach, including a description, and referenc es to additio nal sources if required

o Lear ning objecti ves for each knowledge area, describ ing the cog nitive learning outcome and min dset to be achieved

o A list of terms that students must be able to recall an d understan d

o A de scription of the key conc epts to teach, including sources suc h as accepte d literature or standards

The syllabus content is not a description of the entire knowledge area of software testing; it reflects the level of detail to be covered in Foundation Level training courses.

How this Syllabus is Organized

There are six major chapters. The top-level h eading for each chapter shows the highest level of learning objectives t hat is covered within the chapter and specifies the time for th e chapter. For example:

2. Testing Throughout the Software Life Cycle (K2)     

This heading shows that Chapter 2 has learning objectives of K1 (assumed when a higher level is shown) and K2 (but not K3), and it is intended to take 115 minutes to teach the material in the chapter. Within each chapter there are a number of sections. Each section also has the learning objectives and the amount of time required. Subsections that do not have a time given are included within the time for the section.