ISTQB Advanced Certificate in Test Analysis
This course is accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS) as conforming with the requirements of the ISTQB syllabus. This is a 5 day course that provides delegates with sufficient knowledge to pass the examination on the afternoon of the final day of the course. Applicants must already possess the ISTQB Foundation Certificate in Software Testing. Successful completion of the Advanced Test Analysis examination leads to the award of the ISTQB Advanced Certificate in Software Test Analysis.
Who Should Attend?
The Syllabus is intended for Testing Practitioners who are, or intend to become, Test Analysts.
The role of a Test Analyst includes:
- Advising on planning decisions
- Analysis of test requirements
- Use of test design techniques to design tests and test cases
- Implementation of tests, test data, and test environments
- Execution of tests and reporting of results
- Use of test automation tools
- Participation in peer reviews
The course is presented in twelve modules:
0. Course Introduction
1. The Fundamental Testing Process
2. Test Management Responsibilities of a TA
3. Introduction to Test Design Techniques
4. Basic Test Techniques
5. Combinational Test Techniques
6. Other Test Design Techniques
7. Experience-Based Test Techniques
8. Testing of Quality (“Non-Functional”) Characteristics
10. Incident and Defect Management
11. Test Tools and Automation
Module 1: Testing Processes
This module reviews in greater detail the Fundamental Test Process first described in the ITSQB® Foundation Syllabus, relating it especially to IEEE 829 standard test documentation, and to test analyst practices in test analysis, design, implementation, and execution, placing them in the context of the test management and organisational test processes. Successively discussed in separate topics are:
- The Fundamental Test Process
- Test Planning, Monitoring, and Control
- Test Analysis
- Test Design
- Test Implementation
- Test Execution
- Evaluating Exit Criteria and Reporting
- Test Closure Activities
Module 2: Test Management Responsibilities of the Test Analyst
This module concentrates on specific areas of the testing process in which Test Analysts are major contributors to its management. The topics discussed are:
- Test Progress Monitoring and Control
- Distributed, Outsourced and Insourced Testing
- The Test Analyst’s Tasks in Risk-Based Testing
Module 3: Introduction to Test Design Techniques
This module does not correspond directly to any material in the Advanced Testing syllabuses, but provides a set of unifying concepts and vocabulary potentially applicable to all test techniques which will be referred to frequently in subsequent modules. The topics discussed are:
- Designing Tests & Test Cases
- Test Modelling Techniques
- Covering Test Models
Subsequent discussions of specific techniques consider for each technique the types of model it uses, its applicability in various contexts, limitations or difficulties in its use, types and degrees of coverage, and the types of product risk (or “defect”) to which it is particularly attuned.
Module 4: Fundamental Test Design Techniques
Referring back to Module 3 for basic concepts, this module discusses three test design techniques which, between them, underlie almost all other test design techniques in both their principles and their practice. The techniques are:
- Partition testing
- Boundary testing
- Domain testing.
Module 5: Combinational Test Design Techniques
This module explores three test techniques that are closely related in that they model the logical (Boolean) relationships between combinations of input conditions to a test item, and combinations of output items from it. A third technique presented is used to handle complex arithmetic combinations of large numbers of input variables. The techniques covered are:
- Decision Tables
- Cause-Effect Graphing
- Classification Tree Method
- Combinatorial (Arithmetic) Testing Techniques
Module 6: Other Test Design Techniques
This module examines three types of test design technique which do not fit into previous categories, two of which in fact are not really “test design techniques” at all, but which are certainly ways of deriving test cases. The techniques covered are:
- State Transition Testing
- Use Case Testing
- User Story Testing
Additionally, there is a final topic on:
- Combining Test Techniques
Module 7: Experience-Based Test Techniques
This module combines two “chapters” from the Advanced Test Analyst Syllabus, “Defect-Based Techniques” and “Experience-Based Techniques”, on the grounds that “defect-based techniques” are actually based on experience with past types of defect. Accordingly, the five types of technique discussed are:
- Error Guessing
- Checklist-Based Testing
- Exploratory Testing
- "Defect-Based" Testing
- Anomaly Taxonomies (or “Defect Taxonomies”)
In a final topic, we discuss:
- Applying the Best Technique.
Module 8: Testing Quality (“Non-Functional”) Characteristics
This Module concentrates on those types of “quality attribute” most likely to be of concern to non-”technical” test analysts, explaining how testing techniques described in the previous Module can be used to measure quality attributes. Explicitly, it covers:
- Functional Quality Testing (including Accuracy, Suitability, Interoperability, and Compliance with standards and regulations)
- Usability and Accessibility Testing (including Understandability, Learnability, Operability, Attractiveness, and Compliance with standards and regulations)
Module 9: Reviews
Following a revision of the Foundation-level process for formal reviews, with added detail, this module concentrates on the Test Analyst’s most likely role, in reviewing test basis documents against some form of checklist or rule set. The topics are:
- Introductory Review of Formal Review Processes
- Using Checklists in Reviews
Module 10: Incident and Defect Management
Incidents are threats to the achievement of individual and group goals, and should be managed accordingly. This module explores how Test Analysts contribute to their management and resolution, principally by providing appropriate information at appropriate times. The topics are:
- Phase Containment of Defects
- Incident Report Fields
- Incident (& Defect) Classification
- Root Cause Analysis
Module 11: Test Tools and Automation
The final module considers benefits and risks of using various types of test tool that are particularly of use to Test Analysts, before concentrating on automated test execution tools and, in particular, the use of keyword-driven scripting. The main topics are:
- Test Tools and Automation
- Automated Test Execution
- Keyword-Driven Scripting
The final topic for the course considers:
- Why Test Automation Often Fails (and how Test Analysts can contribute to preventing failure)
Examinations are carried out from 2:00 to 5:00 pm on the afternoon of the last day of the course, using examination papers provided by the British Computer Society.
The examination papers are created by teams within ISTQB, working to standards published by ISTQB and monitored by the British Computer Society.
Besides the basic 3 hours duration, an additional 45 minutes is allowed for those for whom English is not their first language, provided they request that arrangement at the time they register for the course.
The examination will consist of 65 multi-choice questions, worth varying numbers of marks from 1 to 3.
Total available marks are 115. To obtain a pass, a candidate must achieve 65% or more.
Sample papers and questions to check progress are provided throughout the course.