Traditionally, students had little choice other than to attend an expensive instructor-led course to prepare for their certification exam. These classes tend to be expensive because, in addition to the content itself, they involve a variety of additional overhead and travel-related expenses such as the physical venue, audio / visual equipment, the salary of a paid instructor, airfare, room & board, etc. Due to all of these added expenses, the cost to attend one of these classes typically exceeds £1000, sometimes exceeding £2000!
Luckily, this cost-prohibitive option is no longer necessary. UniversalExams.com was formed specifically to provide you with a better, more cost-effective way to prepare for your ISEB or ISTQB certification exam. We figured out that everything you need to pass your exam could be delivered electronically or in other “distance learning” formats, so we launched our service in 2003 to occupy this niche.
The bottom line: our self-study training packages offer the same level and quality of education as any instructor-led course, but at a fraction of the cost, and are 100% guaranteed to provide exactly what you will need to pass your exam with confidence.
We sell everything you will need to prepare for, and pass, your ISTQB or ISEB software testing certification exam, but we do not provide or administer the actual exams. After you have completed your studies, you must then separately book and pay for your exam at Prometric, Person Vue, or a similar third-party testing centre. Each of our product pages has a link that will take you the testing centre for that particular certification.
The specific testing centre where you will book and take your exam depends on which certification exam you are taking. Please read this article for all the details.
The cost varies for each exam, and these fees are described in detail here.
The current structure is below:
- ISEB / ISTQB Foundation: 1 hour “closed-book” exam with 40 multiple-choice questions. The pass mark is 26/40
- ISEB Intermediate: 1-hour exam with scenario-based questions in a multiple-choice format. Pass mark is 60%.
- ISEB Practitioner, Test Management: 2 hour exam with a choice of 4 out of 6 questions. Pass mark is 60%. (NOTE: exam discontinued as of March 2011)
- ISEB Practitioner, Test Analysis: 2 hour “closed book” exam with a choice of 4 out of 6 questions. Pass mark is 60%. (NOTE: exam discontinued as of March 2011)
- ISTQB Advanced Level: 3-hour exam with 65 multiple-choice questions. Pass mark is 65%. Each Advanced level module (Test Analyst, Test Manager and Technical Test Analyst) has its own exam.
The ISEB / ISTQB Foundation exam is the first certification, and is appropriate for software developers, testers, analysts, test engineers, and testing managers. Upon completion, candidates should be able to perform effective software testing, be aware of the various techniques and standards, understand what testing tools can achieve, and establish the basic steps of the testing process.
The ISEB Intermediate certification is the next level of competency in software testing after the Foundation level, and tests candidates’ ability to apply testing principles to practical situations. The topics covered are considered to be essential knowledge for an advanced-level software testing professional. With the 2011 ISEB / ISTQB alignment, the Intermediate certification is now an optional, but highly recommended, step before taking any of the ISTQB Advanced exams.
ISTQB Advanced is the next level of ISTQB certification and requires you to first pass your ISEB / ISTQB Foundation exam. The Advanced level is split into 3 distinct modules, each of which has its own exam: Test Manager, Test Analyst, and Technical Test Analyst. In general, the ISTQB Advanced Level is appropriate for professionals with at least 3 years of software testing experience.
ISTQB Expert is the final certification level, but since this is a new accreditation the specific exam structure has not yet been completed.
Although this is primarily a function of your available time and study habits, on average most people studying just a few hours per week can expect to be fully prepared in approximately 3-6 weeks.
You can view each syllabus right here! Please click on the applicable link:
The BCS decided to align the ISEB Foundation exam requirements with the ISTQB Foundation exam requirements, as both certifications are very similar in scope. The only material difference is that the ISEB Foundation is primarily a UK-specific certification, whereas the ISTQB Foundation is its international equivalent. However, the content is essentially the same in each, so the logical decision was made to combine the two. Now that both syllabi are aligned, passing one of the Foundation exams provides dual-accreditation in both. Please read this article for more detailed information.
The ISEB / ISTQB Foundation syllabus was last updated in March 2011. The ISEB Intermediate syllabus was last updated in February 2010. Each ISEB Practitioner syllabus was last updated in November 2009. Finally, the ISTQB Advanced syllabus was last updated in October 2007. All of our study packages reflect these revisions and are guaranteed to be 100% current and up to date.
Although the BCS has withdrawn both of the ISEB Practitioner level exams as of March 2011, if you have already passed one or both Practitioner exams you can essentially get credit at the ISTQB Advanced level.
Specifically, if you passed your Practitioner exam prior to March 2008 (when a single syllabus and exam was used for both Practitioner levels) this is treated as equivalent to passing all 3 ISTQB Advanced level exams. In April 2008, the single Practitioner syllabus and exam was split into two: one for Test Management and one for Test Analysis. If you passed your Test Management exam after this date, it is treated as equivalent to the ISTQB Advanced-Test Manager certification. If you passed your Test Analysis exam after this date, it is treated as equivalent to the ISTQB Advanced-Test Analysis certification.
Importantly, equivalence does not mean substitution. For example, if you passed your ISEB Practitioner in Test Analysis exam in 2009, this does not mean that you now automatically have your ISTQB Advanced-Test Analysis certification. However, if you want to take an ISTQB Expert exam for which the ISTQB Advanced-Test Analysis certification is a prerequisite, then you will be able to take the exam if you have passed either your ISEB Practitioner in Test Analysis exam or your ISTQB Advanced-Test Analysis exam. Yes, it is confusing, so we recommend that you contact the BCS directly if you would like more detail regarding how these credits may apply to your specific situation.
If you selected the “immediate download” option for your desired study package, you will be directed to the download page after your payment has been accepted. The download page link will also be provided in your order confirmation email / receipt. Download links expire after 48 hours, so it would be best to download the materials immediately after purchase.
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