Advice for Passing ISEB and ISTQB Exams

Published: 27th September 2010
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No matter how much time you spend studying for your ISEB or ISTQB software testing certification exam, it will all be for naught if you are not mentally-prepared the day of the actual exam. It is very important to be in good mental and physical condition for the exam. A small amount of stress can get you psyched, but too much mental or physical strain can be detrimental to your performance. The last thing you want to do is to sabotage your efforts by ignoring your well-being.

It is a proven fact that for some people, taking an exam can be a nerve-wracking experience. This article aims to offer some practical advice to help you be your best on exam day.

Before the Exam

First and foremost, you obviously must adequately study for your ISEB or ISTQB exam before you take it. Refuse to believe the student who says he or she only revises the night before the examination and still gets through! No matter what method of training you prefer, you must at the bare minimum thoroughly study and/or memorize the syllabus and glossary, and take as many sample exam questions as possible (scoring at least 75%).

Keep in mind that the various ISEB and ISTQB exams differ in their degree of difficulty. For example, the ISEB Foundation / ISTQB Foundation (or CTFL) exam is generally the easiest because it focuses on the most basic of concepts. The ISEB Intermediate exam is more difficult, and the 2 ISEB Practitioner and ISTQB Advanced exams are by far the most difficult of all because they require the practical application of theory in scenario-type questions.

The important thing to remember about this is that the more difficult the exam, the more study time you will likely need. For example, if you are preparing for your ISEB Foundation / ISTQB Foundation (CTFL) or ISEB Intermediate exam, you can usually have yourself ready to go in a few weeks. On the other hand, preparing for your ISEB Practitioner or ISTQB Advanced exam can often take 2-3 months.

The Day of the Exam

Once you are confident that you have adequately learned the required material, it is time to book your software testing certification exam. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep so you are well-rested on exam day. Eat a healthy breakfast, and leave yourself plenty of time to arrive at the exam center. It is also a good idea to review the material one last time on the day of your exam so everything will be fresh in your mind.

Taking the Exam

As you take your exam, remember that the multiple choice questions can be somewhat confusing due to the similarity in most of the answer choices. Use the process of elimination to select the best possible answer, and always read all possible answer choices before deciding on the best one. For particularly-confusing questions, make sure you read them at least twice to make sure you fully comprehend them. However, do not spend an inordinate amount of time on any single question as the exams do have time limits.


ISEB and ISTQB software testing certification exams are not difficult if you make sure you are ready to go. Whether you aim to take your ISEB Foundation / ISTQB Foundation (CTFL), ISEB Intermediate, ISEB Practitioner, or ISTQB Advanced exam, there are 3 key things you must do to ensure your readiness: study thoroughly prior to the exam, take practice exams, and take care of yourself the day of the exam. If you do these things, you will pass your exam and be certified in no time!

About provides cost-effective self-study training packages for ISEB, ISTQB-CTFL & ASTQB certification exams. Packages include detailed study guides, practice exams, diagrams, audio tutorials, double-sided flashcards, worksheets, revision papers, forum access, and more. Best of all, all of our training courses come with an ironclad, 100% guarantee –pass, or your money back.

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