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Learning Objectives for ISTQB Advanced Level Technical Test Analyst Exam
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Learning Objectives for ISTQB Advanced Level Technical Test Analyst Exam

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Learning Objectives for ISTQB Advanced Level Technical Test Analyst Exam

While preparing for the ISTQB Advanced Level Technical Test Analyst exams it is of prime importance that the aspirant clearly understands the different learning objectives, those form the basis of this exam.

Learning objectives are appropriately linked with the advanced level syllabus. A learning Objective states what you should be able to do prior to taking an advanced exam. Each Advanced exam has its own set of learning objectives.

The learning objectives are at four levels of increasing difficulty:

1) Remembering
2) Understanding
3) Application
4) Analysis

From foundation level exam to an advanced level exam, there is an upward progression of ability that adheres to each increasing level of learning. Hence most of the focus at the Advanced level is on application and analysis.

Exam questions will be structured so that you must have achieved these learning objectives to determine the correct answers for the questions. The exam will cover the more basic levels of remembrance and understanding implicitly as part of the more sophisticated levels of application and analysis. For example, to answer a question about how to create a test plan, you will have

to remember and understand the IEEE 829 test plan template.

So, unlike the Foundation exam, where simple remembrance and understanding often suffice to determine the correct answer, on an advanced exam, you will have to apply or analyze the facts that you remember and understand in order to determine the correct answer.

Let us have deeper look at the four levels of learning objectives that you can come across the advanced exam. The tags K1, K2, K3, and K4 are used to indicate these four levels, so remember those tags as you review the Advanced level syllabus.

Level 1: Remember (K1)
At this lowest level of learning, the exam will expect that you can recognize, remember, and recall a term or concept. You should carefully look for keywords like remember, recall, recognize, and know. Again, this level of learning is likely to be implicit within a higher-level question.

For example, you should be able to recognize the definition of failure as follows:

# Non-delivery of service to an end user or any other stakeholder.

# Actual deviation of the component or system from its expected delivery, service, or result.

This means that you should be able to remember the ISTQB glossary definitions of terms used in the ISTQB Advanced syllabus and also standards like ISO 9126 and IEEE 829 that are referenced in the advanced syllabus.

You can expect this level of learning to be required for questions focused on higher levels of learning like K3 and K4.

Level 2: Understand (K2)
At this second level of learning, the exam will expect that you can select the reasons or explanations for statements related to the topic and can summarize, differentiate, classify, and give examples. This learning objective applies to facts, so you should be able to compare the meanings of terms. You should also be able to understand testing concepts. In addition, you should be able to understand a test procedure, such as explaining the sequence of tasks.

You should carefully look for keywords like summarize, classify, compare, map, contrast, exemplify, interpret, translate, represent, infer, conclude, and categorize.

For example, you should be able to explain the reason tests should be designed as early as possible:

# To find defects when they are cheaper to remove

# To find the most important defects first you should also be able to explain the similarities and differences between integration and system testing:

a) Similarities: Testing more than one component, and testing non-functional aspects.

b) Differences: Integration testing concentrates on interfaces and interactions, while system testing concentrates on whole-system aspects, such as end-to end processing.

This means that you should be able to understand the ISTQB glossary terms used in the ISTQB Advanced syllabus and the proper use of standards like ISO 9126 and IEEE 829 that are referenced in the Advanced syllabus.

You can expect this level of learning to be required for questions focused on higher levels of learning like K3 and K4.

Level 3: Apply (K3)
At this third level of learning, the exam will expect that you can select the correct application of a concept or technique and apply it to a given context. This level is normally applicable to procedural knowledge. At K3, you don’t need to expect to evaluate a software application or create a testing model for a given software application. If the syllabus gives a model, the coverage requirements for that model, and the procedural steps to create test cases from a model in the advanced syllabus, then you are dealing with a K3 learning objective.

You should carefully look for keywords like implement, execute, use, follow a procedure, and apply a procedure.

For example, you should be able to do the following:

# Identify boundary values for valid and invalid equivalence partitions.

# Use the generic procedure for test case creation to select the test cases from a given state transition diagram (and a set of test cases) in order to cover all transitions.

This means that you should be able to apply the techniques described in the ISTQB Advanced syllabus to specific exam questions.

You can expect this level of learning to include lower levels of learning like K1 and K2.

Level 4: Analyze (K4)
At this fourth level of learning, the exam will expect that you can separate information related to a procedure or technique into its constituent parts for better understanding and can distinguish between facts and inferences.

A typical exam question at this level will require you to analyze a document, software, or project situation and propose appropriate actions to solve a problem or complete a task.

You should carefully look for keywords like analyze, differentiate, select, structure, focus, attribute, deconstruct, evaluate, judge, monitor, coordinate, create, synthesize, generate, hypothesize, plan, design, construct, and produce.

For example, you should be able to do the following:

# Analyze product risks and propose preventive and corrective mitigation activities.

# Describe which portions of an incident report are factual and which are inferred from results.

This means that you should be able to analyze the techniques and concepts described in the ISTQB Advanced syllabus to answer specific exam questions.

You can expect this level of learning to include lower levels of learning like K1, K2, and perhaps even K3.

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