How To Pass ISTQB

So you’ve booked yourself onto the ISTQB foundation course with your nearest provider. You may want to go completely rogue and go into your course and subsequent exam blind. If so, good luck to you. However for the ones that would like to do a bit of preparation beforehand, here are a few pointers that will hopefully lead you on your path to glory and help you pass your ISTQB exam.

Passing ISTBQ exam

Mock Exam Papers

How do I improve, you ask? Well look no further because here are a few places we can pick up some old mock papers in different formats. Google app store has plenty of resources with decent reviews for Android ISTQB Test Mentor, which is a quick and easy way to complete your first test, as is ISTQB Exam Preparation on the App Store. There are many others to search for too, so simply type in ISTQB and pick your app.

It can be a good idea to assess your current knowledge level before you begin your course so a baseline can be set. A suggestion would be to actually do a mock exam paper without any revision. Don’t worry about how long it takes you at this stage but just see if you can understand the question and the multiple choice answers being given. Simply give it a shot and then mark it and see what your result is. At this stage it won’t give much of an insight, especially if this is a first attempt but don’t worry about the result at this point because your improvement starts from here.

Alternatively if you despise trees, and paper based is the way forward for you, there are many mock exams you can pick up. At ISTQB Exam Certification, there are fifteen to be precise, and on ISTQB itself, you’ll find a couple. Many more can be found with simple Google searches of ‘mock ISTQB exam papers’.

Glossaries and Terminology

During the course you will come across a lot of new terminology. Now that you have completed your first mock exam, it would be a good idea to go back over the questions that were incorrect and reference phrases in the question to the ISTQB Glossary. Understanding them from here will put you in a much better position for undertaking the course and exam. You will most likely receive a paper version of the glossary as part of the course but to be better prepared, revise beforehand to make things a lot easier in the long run.

The Course material

You will most likely be provided with a large binded file and inside it, copies of the Powerpoint slides related to the course. You’ll also receive other course related material such as the glossary mentioned above. There will most likely be a mock exam paper to take home each night, which leads us onto the following section quite nicely.

Study study study

It will be highly likely that you will be asked to take home your file and study the day’s course materials but by now, your head will most likely be frying and the first day isn’t even over. Go over the Powerpoint slides once or twice, highlight and make notes of areas, phrases and terms you’re not so sure of and check the glossary for the definitions. Then tackle your mock exam, perhaps do an online one at this point but the course will most likely provide you one at this point. This time, time yourself, get used to the pressure of not only finishing in the allotted time but trying to hit the magic pass score of 26. Hopefully by this point you will be hitting the mid twenties regularly and all the preparation beforehand is starting to pay off. The previous links should be a good start that lead to a pass on the final exam.


The exams are in, you’re now free, you let out a big sigh of relief so go give yourself a nice cold beer or soft drink. The information overload is now at an end. You will have been told several times on the course that your results will take about a week to be published as they are sent away to be marked. This still won’t stop you logging in first thing in the morning back at your work desk to see if the results have been published. Rest assured that they do take around a week to appear. So grow some nails and be patient.