The ISTQB has updated its syllabus again, this time in April 2011. Although only a maintenance release, when combined with other recent updates there are some important changes for an exam candidate to consider. It is of paramount importance to ensure that your ISEB or ISTQB training course includes the very latest information from the most up-to-date exam syllabus.
ISEB and ISTQB
The ISEB a few years ago decided to adopt the ISTQB's syllabus to replace its own. Although the ISEB's own syllabus was in fact very similar to the ISTQB's it showed the ever growing dominance of the ISTQB in the world of software testing. The ISTQB is the number one certification in the world of software testing and will continue to be so for quite some time.
The 2011 Exam
This years exam will still be based on the typical format of multiple-choice type questions. The student will be required to score at least 26 correct answers out of a possible 40. An example of the types of changes that anyone studying for the exam should be aware of are; the term 'test strategy' is no longer a term that needs to be known. Another change, is the concept of traceability between test cases and the test basis. A change in recent years was the move from confirmation testing to re-testing. This has now been reversed, and so the keyword to remember is now re-testing and not confirmation testing. Its subtle changes like these at first do not seem significant, but could potentially confuse anyone studying for the ISEB or ISTQB CTFL exam.
How to Ensure You Pass the Exam
If you knew the types of questions you would have asked during the CTFL exam prior to taking the exam itself, that would be perfect right? well, as you guessed, that is not going to happen. The actual exam questions are a closely guarded secret and are in-fact randomly taken from a pool of questions for each candidate on the exam day. But do not worry, you will be able to find training companies offering practice exam questions (sometimes hundreds) for a very small fee. These will not be the real exam questions, but will cover all the topics included in the 2011 exam and will be the next best thing.
Another point worthy of note is making sure that any ISEB or ISTQB training products you use are written by professional trainers. Ideally, you want to be able to understand the material right? then aim to choose training from a software testing company instead of a training company. Several software testing companies now offer training products created by software testers, which means that they know what they are talking about, as they are software testers themselves.
Check the CTFL training providers on the internet and find a professional training website. At this point read carefully the descriptions of the ISEB and ISTQB products. If they do not specifically state that their training products are based on the latest 2011 exam syllabus, then they are probably based on last years, or even earlier.