In the competitive world of IT, having a certification is very important as it demonstrates the level of knowledge and understanding of principles and practices. In Software industry, software testing plays an important role as they measure quality, verify and validate that all specifications, requirements, and the needs of the customers are met. How can a software testing team do all the responsibilities while delivering competitive and quality work? Certifications like CSTE and ISEB/ISTBQ help these teams. Though these are not the sole criterio to get the job but such certifications provide the basic foundation in a candidate. The two most renowned software testing certifications are CSTE and ISEB/ISTBQ. In this series of articles we will tackle the general information about CSTE and ISEB/ISTBQ Certifications.
What is CSTE?
Certified Software Tester (CSTE) is a program that recognizes software testers which was developed by software testing professionals. It aims to provide value to the profession, to the individual, the employer, and coworkers. It is directed by an independent Certification Board and administered by the Quality Assurance Institute (QAI). The principles and practices of testing and control in the Information Technology (IT) profession are defined by the Certification Board as the Common Body of Knowledge (CBOK).
What are the pre-requisites to be qualified?
To qualify for candidacy, each applicant must meet one of these four prerequisites:
- A 4 year degree from an accredited college-level institution and 2 years experience in the information services field
- A 3 year degree from an accredited college-level institution and 3 years experience in the information services field
- A 2 year degree from an accredited college-level institution and 4 years experience in the information services field
- Six years of experience in the information services field
Are working, or have worked at any time within the prior 18 months, in the field covered by the certification designation
A completed Certification Candidacy Application must be submitted via the Customer Portal on the Software Certifications web site for entrance as a candidate for any particular certification. This application should only be submitted by individuals who:
- Are working, or have worked at any time within the prior 18 months, in the field covered by the certification designation
- Have significant experience and breadth of knowledge to have mastered the basics of the entire Software Testing Common Body of Knowledge
- Have reviewed the Software Testing Common Body of Knowledge or CBOK.
Certification Candidacy Application
The following must be submitted on applying for the CSTE Certification:
- A completed on-line Certification Candidacy Application via the Customer Portal on the Software Certifications web site, www.softwarecertifications.org.
- A $350 (USD) OR $420 (USD) non-refundable, non-transferable fee. (Check the first bullet point below for the difference between the two fee)
The application fee includes the following:
- Instant access to a PDF file of the CSTE CBOK (561 pages) which is a useful tool to help prepare for the exam. After payment go to the CBOK Manuals page of Customer Portal for access. The $420 fee also includes a CD / book of the CBOK materials (same content as found on the PDF).
- The candidates Initial Exam which must be taken within one year from the date payment was processed or the application will expire.
To apply for the CSTE certification candidates must first login to their Customer Portal account. If new to the Portal then they will need to create one by clicking on the Register Now link, and then the Register as a New User tab.
After the candidate registered and submitted the Certification Candidacy Application will receive a Prometric Exam Code after a mandatory 72 hour waiting period. Prometric is an international test center network, with testing facilities operating in many countries, and provides comprehensive assessment services needed to support the Software Certification’s global needs.
Examination Process to Evaluate Competency in CSTE
CSTE is a four-hour examination that is composed of four-part examination which is based on the CBOK. The successful candidate must receive 75% or more on each part to pass the examination. Exam includes
- two parts essay and short answer items and – Short answer / essay (10 questions each – subjective / 75 minute time limit).
- two parts multiple-choice – Multiple choice (50 questions each – objective / 45 minutes time limit)
To those who failed the exam may retake up to two times by submitting on-line retake exam with respective fees.
The location where you plan to take your examination will determine the site type you MUST select for the list below. Click on the links provided for more details and instructions on how to schedule / reschedule an examination once the site type has been determined.
- Prometric Test Center: Available worldwide EXCEPT in Belarus, India, and Sri Lanka
(CSQA/CSTE Certifications Exams ONLY – Computer-based )
- Sponsored Site: Available in Belarus, India, and Sri Lanka ONLY
(ALL Certification Exams – Paper-based )
[Reference from CSTE Official website]
In the next article we will cover ISEB/ISTBQ certification.