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Let us compare the two leading Role based certifications ISTQB and ISEB
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Let us compare the two leading Role based certifications ISTQB and ISEB

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Let us compare the two leading Role based certifications ISTQB & ISEB

In this article I am trying to provide sufficient details to the certification aspirants in our testing community which could help them decide on the certification suiting their individual needs and taste, while most important factor being their pocket.

There are lot many similarities among the two certifications – ISTQB & ISEB.

Both the certification schemes are broadly equivalent and enjoy great respect due to being of international recognition.

Quick introduction to Major Certifying Bodies - ISTQB & ISEB:

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ISTQB

helvetica, sans-serif">ISEB

ISTQB (International Software Testing Qualification Board) is a Non-Profit organization.

It decides the core syllabus & defines standard guidelines for certification exams being conducted by national boards for conducting exams in their respective countries.

ISEB (Information Systems Examination Body) is the qualifications arm of the British Computing Society.

What are the Levels of Specialization you acquire with these certifications?

Broad hierarchical comparison among two streams is given below



Functional comparison different levels of certifications are:

Level - 1 (Foundation Level):

This is the entry-level certification offered by ISTQB as well as ISEB to the software testers. Both these certifications are equivalent, since their exams use the same international level syllabus and glossary of terms defined by ISTQB.

It provides an introduction to the basics or the theory of testing & this aspect is tested through short multiple choice objective-type exam covering K-1, K-2 & K-3 skill levels described below.

These certification exams are administered at online-tests centers and other local examination bodies of various countries.


Level - 2 (Advanced / Practitioner Level):

At this level, ISTQB and ISEB operate on different schemes. Although both these schemes are quite similar & equivalent, since these too are built upon foundation level syllabus and the same glossary of terms defined by ISTQB. Hence testers have a choice to go in for either of these certifications.

Following table describes some of the key points of differences among various schemes at these levels.

Level - 3 (More Advanced / Practitioner Level):

At present such third level certification are not available. Both ISTQB and ISEB are contemplating on coming out with this most advanced level of certification schemes having different merits in due course of time.

Here ISTQB is likely to have different viewpoint from ISEB in following aspects.

Vision of ISTQB

Vision of ISEB

# The aspirants for third level certification are being expected to concentrate more & more on detailed aspects of testing like test automation or performance testing.

# It is believed that experts of ISTQB are already engaged in formulating the syllabus & structure of exam.

# To offer a full fledged diploma to the aspirants with a view to widen their perspective and be able to enhance their qualifications in other areas supported by ISEB.

# The ISEB has a large basket of qualification offerings covering areas like requirements engineering, project management, development & service management.


Before going ahead with skill to skill comparison; let us briefly delve upon the various skill levels or knowledge levels for the testing industry being designated as K-Levels.

What are K-Levels of knowledge?
K-Levels or "Knowledge Levels" basically refers to the prescription of an upper limit of skills or knowledge essential for a particular certification.

Hierarchy of K-Levels is described in globally recognized Bloom’s Texonomy of learning. Reaching a particular K-Level means that the individual has successfully achieved some measurable & meaningful objectives.

How many K-Levels or learning objectives do we when talking about test certification?

K-Levels begins at K-1 being the kindergarten level of learning in testing & ending up at K-6 with specialized knowledge as described in the Following Article

All About K-Levels or Learning Objectives extensively talked during prestigious certifications


Pictorial comparison of various schemes by ISTQB & ISEB with Knowledge levels acquired on our career path are:



Salient features of various Level –1 & 2 Certification Schemes by ISTQB

 

Feature

Foundation Level (Common for
ISTQB
& ISEB)

ISTQB Certified Tester Advanced Level: Test Manager

ISTQB Certified Tester Advanced Level: Test Analyst

ISTQB Certified Tester Advanced Level: Technical Test Analyst

1

Pre -requisites

None

Foundation

Foundation

Foundation

2

Exam Duration

1 Hr.

3 Hrs.

3 Hrs.

3 Hrs.

3

Learning Levels

K1, K2, K3

K1, K2, K3,K4

K1, K2, K3,K4

K1, K2, K3,K4

4

Examining Body (s)

ISEB

ITB / Local Testing Board

ITB / Local Testing Board

ITB / Local Testing Board

5

Current syllabus issued on

12th April 2007 (v2007)

Oct 2007 (v2007)

Oct 2007 (v2007)

Oct 2007 (v2007)

6

Exam format

Multiple Choice

Multiple Choice

Multiple Choice

Multiple Choice

7

Number of Questions

40

40

40

40

8

Type of Questions

Independent Multiple Choice

Pick ‘N’ Mix & Scenario Based

Pick ‘N’ Mix & Scenario Based

Pick ‘N’ Mix & Scenario Based

9

Min. %age to Pass

65%

65%

65%

65%

10

Exam Compa - rability across different countries

Each ISTQB Testing Board and ISEB prepare their own exam papers

Each ISTQB Testing Board and ISEB prepare their own exam papers

Each ISTQB Testing Board and ISEB prepare their own exam papers

Each ISTQB Testing Board and ISEB prepare their own exam papers

11

What to do After this

ISTQB Certified Tester Advanced Level or ISEB Intermediate

None at the moment – Expert Level not Available yet

None at the moment – Expert Level not Available yet

None at the moment – Expert Level not Available yet

12

Availability on Public Schedule

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

13

Exam Fee per person

Defined by ITB / Local Testing Board

Defined by ITB / Local Testing Board

Defined by ITB / Local Testing Board

Defined by ITB / Local Testing Board


Salient features of various Level –1 & 2 Certification Schemes by ISEB


 

Feature

ISEB Intermediate

ISEB Practitioner – Test Management

ISEB Practitioner – Test Analysis

1

Pre-requisites

Foundation

Intermediate

Intermediate

2

Exam Duration

1 Hr.

2 Hrs.

2 Hrs.

3

Learning Levels

K1, K2, K3,K4

K1, K2, K3,K4,K5,K6

K1, K2, K3,K4,K5,K6

4

Examining Body (s)

ISEB

ISEB

ISEB

5

Current syllabus issued on

June 2008
(Version 1.3)

June 2008
(Version 2.0)

June 2008
(Version 2.0)

6

Exam format

Multiple Choice

Essay Style

Essay Style

7

Number of Questions

40

40

40

8

Type of Questions

Scenario Based Multiple Choice

Written Question & Answer

Written Question & Answer

9

Min. %age to Pass

60%

60%

60%

10

Exam Comparability across different countries

Same core papers are used internationally

Same core papers are used internationally

Same core papers are used internationally

11

What to do After this

Practitioner in Test Analysis or Practitioner in Test Management

None at the moment – Expert Level not Available yet

None at the moment – Expert Level not Available yet

12

Availability on Public Schedule

Yes

Yes

Yes

13

Exam Fee per person

Defined by ISEB / Local Body

Defined by ISEB / Local Body

Defined by ISEB / Local Body

Many More Articles on Career Building in Testing 

Largest Database of Sample Papers - 1000+ Unique Questions for ISTQB Foundation Exam


ISTQB Foundation Exam - Full Crash Course for Download

ISTQB Advanced CTAL Test Analysts Exam - Full Crash Course for Download


ISTQB Advanced CTAL Test Manager Exam - Full Crash Course for Download


Consolidated Study Material - All ISTQB Certification Exams


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