How many levels are of ISTQB certifications? Exploring the ISTQB Roadmap

6 min read

ISTQB is considered an industry standard in the field of software testing. Because of its value and benefits, it is a globally recognized testing credentials provider, with millions of ISTQB-qualified and certified individuals. Whether you’re a beginner in software testing or have some experience, ISTQB provides certifications to all. The certifications have different levels. You can earn the certification based on your level of knowledge, interest, and previous experience.

Categorization of ISTQB Certifications

The ISTQB certifications are categorized into three groups:

  • Core
  • Agile 
  • Specialist

These groups are further divided into levels. These levels include a variety of credentials that will enhance and strengthen your skills.

  • Foundational
  • Advanced
  • Experts

ISTQB Certifications List

  1. Certified Tester
  2. Technical Test Analyst
  3. Test Analyst
  4. Test Manager
  5. Improving the Test Process
  6. Test Management
  7. Agile Tester
  8. Agile Test Leadership at Scale
  9. Agile Technical Tester
  10. Usability Testing
  11. Test Automation Engineer
  12. Security Tester
  13. Performance testing 
  14. Model-based Tester
  15. Mobile Application Testing
  16. Game Testing
  17. Gambling Industry Testing
  18. Automotive Software Testing
  19. Al Testing

Click here to register yourself for the exam

ISTQB Certifications Levels

1- Core Certifications

a) ISTQB Core Foundational Certifications

The core foundational certifications build a strong knowledge and practical implementation of basic software testing skills and concepts. Also, this certification is the starting point and if you want to be certified in several ISTQB levels, this is the first certificate you should obtain before moving on to other categories. The certification that comes under this level is:

b) ISTQB Core Advanced Certifications

The core advanced certification is for candidates who want to get advanced knowledge and skills in software testing. The various certification in core advanced will build your expertise in test analysis, test design techniques, test management, test consulting, and software development. The core advanced consists of the following certifications:

c) ISTQB Core Expert Certifications

The core expert certifications are for experienced professionals who want to strengthen and expand their expertise in advanced software testing concepts and their practical implementation. These certifications will enhance your knowledge of test management concepts, and how to improve and implement test processes.

  • Test Management 
  • Improving the test process

2- Agile Certifications

a) ISTQB Agile Foundational Certification

The agile foundational certification offers the key testing skills required to contribute successfully to an Agile project. The Foundation Level Agile Tester certification is intended for individuals who work in Agile environments. It is also intended for professionals who intend to begin applying Agile methods in businesses or intend to do in the future.

b) ISTQB Agile Advanced Certification

The agile advanced certification builds expertise in technical testing skills in an agile environment. It also covers how to apply standard Lean and Agile methodologies and processes for problem analysis and solution, as well as how to use them to improve testing and quality in the organization. The certifications that come under this category are:

3- Specialty Certifications

a) ISTQB Specialty Foundational Certifications

ISTQB also provides certifications for testers that specialize in specific fields such as model-based testing, usability testing, and so on. These credentials build skills at an expert level in many domains. The specialty foundational certifications are:

b) ISTQB Specialty Advanced Certifications

Currently, the ISTQB offers two advanced-level certificates for specialized testers- Security tester and Test Automation Engineer. A Core Foundation level certification, as well as applicable field experience, are required to sit for advanced-level tests.

Why Get ISTQB Certified?

There are numerous benefits to becoming ISTQB certified. These certifications cement your career in software testing and are a way for career progression. Let’s explore the benefits in terms of employers and professionals.

Benefits for Professionals

  • Build strong, globally recognized, and advanced skills that employers rely on 
  • Reliable evidence of ability for present and future jobs
  • Testing skills advancement and career progression
  • Increase professional credibility

Benefits for Employers

  • Employers benefit significantly from ISTQB certification by assisting in the recruitment, retention, and growth of testing experts inside the company
  • Improved applications reliability as a result of cost-effective testing techniques which will give a competitive edge and build company trust among employees
  • Consulting firms with qualified workers can provide customers with higher-level services, improving revenue and brand value.
  • To increase collaboration and working methods, the company should have a common vocabulary and knowledge of testing.

Read more about the ISTQB certification exam cost


The foundational level certifications are best if you want to start your testing career- depending on your area of interest. Generally, the core foundational certification is considered to be the best starting point in software testing. Also, this is the first certificate you should obtain before moving on to other categories.

Because of the increased domains, the ISTQB Advanced Level examinations are more difficult. It also depends on which advanced level certification you’re getting – core, agile, or specialty. The difficulty varies with the group level and your previous knowledge. But any ISTQB certification can be acquired with proper preparation and an extensive understanding of exam domains.

The candidates who hold this certification will be able to advance to the next stage of the Core and take Advanced Level certifications such as Test Analyst, Technical Test Analyst, or Test Management. They can also go into agile and specialty paths after earning the core foundational certification.

More than 806,000 ISTQB certificates have been given in the current year, according to ISTQB. Because people can gain more than one certification, the number of people who have passed ISTQB is slightly smaller.

The Foundation and Advanced Level certifications are valid for life, and there is no need for recertification. Moreover, the Expert level certifications are valid for 5 years.

The most basic ISTQB specialty certifications need 2- 3 hours per day for 2 or 3 weeks for preparation. You can pass the certifications with the proper amount of study, and extensive knowledge about the exam content and testing concepts.

Exam prep resources should be organized and the curriculum should be reviewed before sitting for the exams. Before you start studying, you should be aware of the exam domains and structure. To meet the passing criteria, you must study thoroughly. Passing the ISTQB required strong preparation and knowledge of exam domains.

No. The examination is a closed-book exam. You have 60 minutes to complete the task. If English is not your first language, you can take the ISTQB exam in an extended time, which provides you with 25% additional time. It should be noted that the ISTQB Foundation Level is required for all other ISTQB certifications.

Without a doubt. When you take your ISTQB Foundation Level exam with ASTQB or AT*SQA, your ISTQB certification is valid in all countries across the world



Leave a Reply

Related Posts