Quick Start to preparation for ISTQB Foundation Level Exam
You want to shape up your career in testing? &
Aspiring to appear in ISTQB Foundation level exam? &
Do not wish to undergo a formal expensive training course?
If Yes !!! Come on & read further.
A) Important Facts you must know
1) ISTQB Foundation Certificate (Certified Tester Foundation Level) is an entry qualification for the ISTQB Advanced Certificate exam.
2) The ISTQB Certified Tester Foundation Level Syllabus has been updated in 2010. Following quick start tips are based upon the latest syllabus.
3) ISTQB Foundation Level exam is intended to check your knowledge of the entire discipline of software testing in a broader sense.
4) The Foundation Level syllabus is aimed it at people with varying levels of experience in testing, including persons with no experience at all.
5) The Foundation Level syllabus is freely available for download from www.istqb.org
B) K-Levels related to topics in the Foundation Level Syllabus: Every topic in the syllabus corresponds to certain level of understanding, represented by the term K1, K2, K3 or K4
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.
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 CTFL exam:
1) One-hour exams comprises of 40 multiple-choice questions. Every question has the same value.
2) 26 correct answers will guarantee a pass. There are no negative marking for the wrong answers.
3) The breakup of questions as per K-Levels is as under:
a) K1 50%, 20 Questions
a) K2 30%, 12 Questions
c) K3 and K4 20%, i.e. 8 questions
E) Type of Questions in the exam:Following shall generally apply.
1) All questions will contain a �stem�, which states the question, and four optional answers.
2) One and only one of the optional answers will be correct. The remaining options shall be incorrect.
3) If you are not sure of the correct answer you will possibly find one or more alternatives equally right.
4) Questions will be stated as clearly as possible, even emphasizing keywords by emboldening or underlining where this will add clarity.
5) There can be few negative questions (e.g. which of the following is not true?) and any negative questions included will be worded so that there is no ambiguity.
6) Questions will be set to test your knowledge of the content of the topics covered in the syllabus and not your knowledge of the syllabus itself.
7) Generally K1 questions will be of the straightforward type.
8) There will not be any K-Level label on the questions in the exam.
F) Main Sections of Foundation Level Syllabus:The syllabus is broken down into six sections
1) Section 1: Fundamentals of testing � 7 Questions
2) Section 2: Testing throughout the software life cycle � 6 Questions
3) Section 3: Static techniques � 3 Questions
4) Section 4: Test design techniques � 12 Questions
5) Section 5: Test management � 8 Questions
6) Section 6: Tool support for testing � 4 Questions
Above proportions of questions is approximate and the exact breakdown is not mandatory, but exams are by & large structured as per these & are quite close to these proportions as far as possible.
G) Relation between K-Levels & Different Topics in Testing:
1) Level K4: It deals with statement and decision coverage. You can expect maximum two K4 questions and more likely only one, and the topic will be assessing statement and/or decision coverage for completeness with respect to meeting the specified exit criteria.
2) Level K3: Majority of K3 questions are likely to be based on Section 4 of the syllabus, hence most K3 questions will be about applying test design techniques.
3) Level K2: K2 questions shall be with more searching stem. The common type of K2 question is known as the Roman type. This is suited to questions involving comparisons or testing the candidate’s ability to identify correct combinations of information.
Topics can be examined at any level up to the maximum described in the syllabus for the particular topic. Hence a K3 topic can be examined at the K1 or the K2 level as well.
H) 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) It is a short duration exam, hence you will not be able 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 40 questions in less than 45 minutes.
J) How to prepare for the CTFL Exam in the shortest possible time & without any formal training:
Step �1: Deep study of the software testing basics as covered in the latest CTFL Syllabus by preparing from the Crash course study material available absolutely free.
Step �2: Study the K-Level wise special Objective Type Questions especially prepared as per the latest CTFL Syllabus.
Step �3: Polish your learning by study of past examination papers � An exhaustive database of 750 unique questions. When we say Unique means, not even a single question gets repeated in the Question Bank.
Best of Luck for the Prestigious CTFL Certification ! ! ! !
An expert on R&D, Online Training and Publishing. He is M.Tech. (Honours) and is a part of the STG team since inception.