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Quick Start to Your Preparation for ISTQB CTAL Test Manager Exam
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Quick Start to Your Preparation for ISTQB CTAL Test Manager Exam

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Quick Start to Your Preparation for ISTQB CTAL Test Manager Exam

Have you achieved an advanced point in your career in software testing? or

Your functional role is that of a tester or test analyst or test engineer or test consultant or test manager or user acceptance tester or a software developer? or

You want a deeper understanding of software testing, like that of a project manager or quality manager or software development manager or business analyst or IT director or a management consultant? &

You are already holding the Foundation Level Certificate (CTFL)? &

You have sufficient practical experience to be considered Advanced Level qualified?

If Yes !!! Come on & read further.

A) Important Facts you must know:

1) ISTQB offers three types of certifications under the

generic name CTAL (Certified Tester Advanced Level); i.e.

a) Advanced Level Test Manager – Short Name – CTAL TM
b) Advanced Level Test Analyst – Short Name – CTAL TA
c) Advanced Level Technical Test Analyst – Short Name – CTAL TTA

2) ISTQB Certified Tester Advanced Level Syllabus had been updated in 2007. Following quick start tips are based upon this latest syllabus.

3) ISTQB Advanced Level exam is intended to check your knowledge of the entire discipline of software testing covered in the Advanced Level Syllabus as well as the Foundation level syllabus.

4) The ISTQB Certified Tester Advanced Level Syllabus V2007 is freely available for download from Advanced Level Syllabus


B) K-Levels related to topics in the Advanced Level Test Manager Exam Syllabus:
Every topic in the Advanced Level Syllabus corresponds to certain level of understanding, represented by the term K1, K2, K3 or K4 like in Foundation Level Syllabus.

1) Level K1 refers to the ability to recall, so that you should be able to remember but not necessarily use or explain.

2) Level K2 refers to the ability to explain a topic or to classify information or make comparisons.

3) Level K3 refers to the ability to apply a topic in a practical scenario.

4) Level K4 refers to the ability to analyze a situation or a set of information to determine what action to take.

5) In Test Managers Exam all parts of the advanced level syllabus are examinable at a K1 level as well.

C) K-Levels & associated levels of difficulty:

1) K1, K2, K3 and K4 levels do not reflect on being easy, moderate or hard. The K level identifies the level of understanding being tested, not the difficulty of the question.

2) It is possible that K2 questions might be more difficult (in the sense of being more challenging to answer) than a K3 question.

3) Generally K1 questions will be the most straightforward and if you are aware of the content of the syllabus, you won’t have difficulty in answering any K1 question.

D) Breakup of Questions in the CTAL Test Manager Exam:

1) Three-hours (180 Minutes) exams comprises of 65 multiple-choice questions.

2) The questions can carry different weightage like 1, 2 or 3 points.

3) Passing marks are 65%. There are no negative marking for the wrong answers.

4) The exam is highly structured & is primarily based upon the syllabus and is aimed at checking the practical knowledge of the aspirant.

5) The questions are aimed at applying the concept described in the syllabus to the actual work place situations.

6) Before appearing in the CTAL Test Manager Level Exam, it is essential to brush up your knowledge on Foundation Level Syllabus, since you are likely to get many questions out of the CTFL syllabus you have already studied & passed the exam.

E) Main Sections of Syllabus applicable to the CTAL Test Managers Level exam:
The following nine sections of the syllabus shall be applicable for Test Managers Exam.

Time you are expected to devote towards each section is indicated alongwith an approximate %age of the study time required for the entire content as per the syllabus.

1) Introduction to CTAL Test Manager Syllabus (Including revision of ISTQB Foundation Level syllabus) (Recommended Study Time –60 Minutes); 3% of total time

2) CTAL Syllabus Chapter 1: Basic Aspects of software testing;
(Recommended Study Time –150 Minutes); 7% of total time

3) CTAL Syllabus Chapter 2: Testing Processes;
(Recommended Study Time –120 Minutes); 6% of total time

4) CTAL Syllabus Chapter 3: Test Management;
(Recommended Study Time –1120 Minutes); 53% of total time

5) CTAL Syllabus Chapter 6: Reviews;
(Recommended Study Time –120 Minutes); 6% of total time

6) CTAL Syllabus Chapter 7: Incident Management;
(Recommended Study Time –80 Minutes); 4% of total time

7) CTAL Syllabus Chapter 8: Standards & Test Improvement Process;
(Recommended Study Time –120 Minutes); 6% of total time

8) CTAL Syllabus Chapter 9: Test Tool Automation;
(Recommended Study Time –90 Minutes); 4% of total time

9) CTAL Syllabus Chapter 10: People Skills – Team Composition;
(Recommended Study Time –240 Minutes); 11% of total time

Above recommendations of study times are approximate, however the exam questions are by & large structured as per these & are quite close to these proportions as far as possible. More the time you devote towards the study of these topics, better understanding & confidence to crack the exam you will develop.

Note: CTAL Syllabus Chapter 4 on "Test Techniques" & Chapter 5 on "Test of Software Characteristics" are not applicable for the Test Manager Level exam.

F) Tips for better performance in the exam:
1) Read the syllabus carefully & you should be quite familiar with it. Generally the questions come directly from the syllabus and usually even the wording too is similar to that used in the syllabus.

2) Solve as many example questions as you can so that you become familiar with the wording of questions as well as types of questions.

3) Although It is a long duration exam, still you will feel that it is difficult to study the entire paper in depth. Hence to begin with, study the entire paper answering those questions that are straightforward and for which you know the answer.

After finishing this simple task you will have a smaller task to complete and you will probably have taken less than a minute for each question that you have already answered, giving you more time to concentrate on those that you will need more time to answer.

4) If you have prepared well, you can answer 65 questions in less than 100 minutes.

G) How to prepare for the CTAL Test Managers Exam in the shortest possible time & without any formal training:

Step –1: Deep study of the chapters applicable to the latest CTAL Test Managers Syllabus.

Step –2:
Study the Objective Type Questions especially prepared as per the latest CTAL Test Managers Syllabus.

Begin from the First Set of Sample Question Papers

Step –3: Prepare from set of 120 descriptive questions (Set of 12 Parts) explaining the topics in greater depth.

Begin from the First Set of Descriptive Question Answers

Step –4: Prepare from the series of articles especially written to address different topics of the CTAL Test Managers exam.

Access the Full Menu of Descriptive Articles

H) Abilities you will acquire after clearing the CTAL Test Managers exam:

Certification of CTAL Test Managers implies that you have acquired following abilities:

1) Ability to define the overall testing goals and strategy for the systems being tested

2) Ability to plan, schedule and track the tasks

3) Ability to describe and organize the necessary activities

4) Ability to select, acquire and assign the adequate resources to the tasks

5) Ability to select, organize and lead the testing teams

6) Ability to organize the communication between the members of the testing teams, and between the testing teams and all the other stakeholders

7) Ability to justify the decisions and provide adequate reporting information where applicable

Best of Luck for the Prestigious CTAL – TM Test Manager Certification ! ! ! !

Access the Full Database of All Posts for ISTQB Advanced CTAL Test Manager Exam Crash Course

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

Consolidated Study Material - All ISTQB Certification Exams


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