How to prepare for CTFL Certification Exam?

CTFL certification is the benchmark for a tester. It tells that the certificate holder is well known for all the foundational testing concepts. And we all know, how important the foundation is for creating a multi-storied building. In every aspect of testing career, CTFL provided knowledge has a huge contribution. Taking part in it will be an intelligent decision. Furthermore, there has not any better opportunity than achieving a worldwide recognized certification like CTFL for all levels of testers. You can have a brief of software testing from here, Software Testing In a Brief.

What is CTFL, actually?

ISTQB (International Software Testing and Qualification Board) is a software testing certification board that creates testing standards and provides testing certification internationally. CTFL (Certified Tester, Foundation Level) certification is the base level of certification of ISTQB. Without it, none will be able to take part in Agile, Core and Specialist branches certification. Have a look at the certification hierarchy:

What is the mark distribution of the CTFL Exam?

It is a multiple-choice question-based exam where 40 questions can be answered within 60 minutes. For non-native to English examinees, an extra 15 minutes will be provided if he/she registers through a country-specific ISTQB affiliated vendor. To pass this exam, 65% (26) marks must be achieved. Three different levels of difficulty or knowledge base questions will come.

  1. K1: Remember: You need to answer these types of questions from memorization.
  2. K2: Understand: The understanding you get from going through the CTFL syllabus will help in answering these questions.
  3. K3: Apply: Using the knowledge from the CTFL syllabus, you need to apply them in calculating to answer the questions.

The CTFL syllabus contains six chapters. Questions come from them not in sequential order. Question distributions of the chapter are following by:

  1. Fundamentals of testing (7 questions)***
  2. Testing throughout the SDLC life cycle(6 questions)**
  3. Static testing(3 questions)*
  4. Test techniques(12 questions)***
  5. Test management(8 questions)***
  6. Tool support for testing(4 questions)*

N.B: (*) Asterix represents, where you need to focus more.

Now, how to take its preparation?

Taking preparation for CTFL certification is not that much difficult. Anyone can do that himself if he/she is good at the English language. Otherwise, an instructor is recommended for helping him/her in realizing CTFL contents. In both cases, a few things need to be kept in mind. They are:

  • Go through the CTFL syllabus. All the questions of the CTFL certification exam will come from ISTQB provided CTFL syllabus. If anyone goes through the syllabus attentively, there will have no chance of failure.
  • Read between the line. Testing is not a technology. It is a mindset. You need to perceive the intended meanings of every sentence of the syllabus. Thus, you will have a higher chance to shine not only in the exam but also in your testing career.
  • Read strategically. From the above section, you already know in which chapters you should put your concentration most. It will save your time and energy.

How can I register for the CTFL exam?

For Bangladeshi examinees, there has only one option. That is to contact BSTB (Bangladesh Software Testing Board) and register for the CTFL exam by choosing an exam date and paying the registration fee of 15,000BDT. After the registration is completed, an email will come to your given email address. Through BSTB, ISTQB’s Foundation level and Advance level certification exam can be given.

How can I take in-exam preparation for the CTFL exam?

For in-exam preparation, follow the guidelines below:

  • After registration, try to give as many mock tests as possible.
  • Must follow and test yourself with the sample questions of the CTFL exam provided by ISTQB.
  • One day before the exam, an email will come with exam portal credentials. Login to the portal and be familiarize yourself with it.
  • In every fast-paced exam, always read and understand the options or choices first. Then go for the questions. It will save time.
  • When the exam starts, from questions 1 to 40, answer all those questions which you can understand at the first glance. For tough or time-consuming questions, answer them at the later stage of the exam.
  • Use pen and paper to do calculations.
  • There have no negative marking for choosing the wrong answer. So, if you are not sure which one should be the correct answer, then try to choose one which is more relevant.


According to my personal experience, the knowledge and advantage I have gained from the CTFL certification exam are immense. It helped me build my foundation in the software testing career. Its recognition put me above anyone when applying for jobs. So, why are you waiting for? Dive into the world of testing with the most famous CTFL certification in this sector.

about author

Pollab Ahmed

I am an SDET with CTFL certification. Have skill in both manual and automation testing. Assuring software quality is my passion. I love to do analytical tasks and feel enjoyment when I am able to make the project successful through concentrated work and effort. Becoming a Test Architect is my goal. And to fulfil the goal, I am embarking on learning continuously.

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