If you are interested in pursuing certification as a software tester, you have no doubt heard of ISTQB and ISQI. On some resources, your name is used interchangeably. However, they are related but not the same at all.
What is the difference between ISTQB and ISQI? ISQI (International Software Quality Institute) organizes and facilitates exams and courses offered by ISTQB.
Now that I know the difference between these two acronyms and organizations, let me explain more about ISQI, how they work with ISTQB, what other courses they offer if they offer their courses, and more.
What is ISQI?
ISQI (International Software Quality Institute) is a company that organizes/sells tests and test courses. However, it is not the company that organized the courses.
As I will reveal later in this article, they work closely with organizations like ISTQB to provide test and course materials to their clients worldwide.
What is ISTQB?
The same acronym stands for International Program Examination Qualifications Board. This nonprofit bundles / create beta courses for software.
They work closely with companies like ISQI, which sell and facilitate exams and run the courses they organize.
The courses ISTQB collects have hundreds of professional volunteers around the world. This is to ensure that the standards remain high and that the courses are of high quality.
Does ISQI also offer its training courses?
No, they only offer training courses run by other organizations. They promote this as a benefit.
How does ISQI work with ISTQB?
ISQI works with 14 different ISTQB boards around the world.
They also have over 5000 different physical sites as they provide mock testing facilities.
For example, if you prefer an ISTQB Enterprise Level Certificate. And if you want to do this online, you can go to one of their test centers.
These test centers will provide a controlled environment to ensure there is no cheating and improve the standard test for each participant.
At these centers, a person will take an ISTQB course instead of an ISQI. This is how they partner with organizations like ISTQB.
ISQI contains many different interest categories. Not just software testing. These various categories are referred to as “Special Interest Groups (SIGs).”
An example of these / SIGS categories includes:
- Project management
- Mobile applications
- Data management test
- And more.
So what types of qualifications does ISQI offer?
They offer many different courses, in many different categories / SIGS. As discussed earlier in this article, this can range from project management to mobile app testing. But, for your sake, I’ll give you an example of some software testing courses:
Istqb Certified Test – the model-based test
This is more of an advanced level course that aims to extend some of these standard practices covered at the ISTQB basic level, such as parity segmentation, limit value analysis, and decision tables.
Ideally, it would be best if you had a basic level before embarking on this course.
Certified tester Basic Level
This is the Basic Entry Level Certificate (CFTL) that I have discussed on this site in many different articles. This is one of the most popular and recognized software test certificates around the world.
Certified advanced level test supervisor
This course is also based on an advanced level. To be eligible, you must have obtained an entry-level certificate.
However, in addition to this, you must have at least 18 months of real-life testing experience in the industry that must be considered for this course.
It covers all areas of program testing management, planning, validation, grading, and many of the core competencies required to be a test administrator.
Good to be on your CV. But also remember that nothing beats the experience. So while this is great on a resume, most employers will always look at your years of experience as a test manager rather than a certification to show you know what to do.
Since I’ve been in the software testing industry for nearly 20 years, I’m speaking from the experience playing the test administration role. And you see exactly what requirements companies are looking for.
Can I take the ISTQB test online? If you can. But you can’t just log into a website and do it on your mobile phone or at home. It would be best if you went to an approved test center.
This is to ensure that test quality is maintained. Also, keep the standard conditions for each participant.
You can likely find one of these test centers in your area. This is because they have more than 5,000 test centers around the world.
Does the ISTQB certificate expire? No, it does not expire. Once approved, it is yours for life. Interestingly, I remember being asked this in a recent decade.
However, there are some test certificates, such as CSTP, that have an expiration date. For example, it will expire after 3 years.
After these three years, unfortunately, you will have to retake the test to prove your degree’s validity. This ensures that you are kept up to date with the latest updates and changes to the industry approach.
Are there any negative scores on the ISTQB test? No, there is no negative sign. It is a simple, multiple-choice education system. To clarify, I don’t mean to say the test is simple. Its complexity is not related to skills, experience, etc., for everybody.
In total, there are forty multiple-choice questions. It would help if you had a score of 65% or higher to pass the test. The test usually takes an hour. But it extends to countries like Canada that could have English as a second language (they also speak French there).
How can I become a software tester without a degree? You can enter with work experience and qualifications as iSQI ISTQB Certified Tester Advanced Level Test Analyst (Syllabus 2019).
Frankly, most employers will be looking for graduates with a degree related to IT. Also, they should ideally be looking for a high pass score.
However, this is not always necessary. If you can gain experience doing the actual work, you will be much more preferred than just a degree.
But how can I run the experiment without first getting the qualifications? I know it feels like a game of Hunting 22 (there’s no way to win). But I have personally worked with people who have gone from my entry-level lab to testing for management positions within 5 years, without prior testing experience.
I’ve also worked with people who don’t have experience or a title and still do well on auditions. The key is to take a different angle into position. You might start as a call center representative, move on to IT support, and then test, Are you with me?
Once you have settled there for a few years, you will have experience as a resident and move into more lucrative test jobs.