Overview on CSTE Exam


CSTE stands for Certified Software Test Engineer, which is the basic certification to check testers’ skill and understanding of software testing theory and software testing practices. This CSTE program was developed by leading software testers as a means of recognizing software testers who demonstrate a predefined level of testing competency. It is an internationally recognized certification and is directed by an independent Certification Board and administered by the Quality Assurance Institute.

Certified Software Test Engineers become members of a recognized professional group and receive recognition of their competence by business and professional associates, potentially more rapid career advancement, and greater acceptance in the role as advisor to management. The Certified Software Test Engineer (CSTE) certification is intended to establish standards for initial qualification and provide direction for the testing function through an aggressive educational program.

Benefits of Becoming as a Certified Software Test Engineer:

Once the candidate get CSTE certificate, the candidate will get value provided to the profession, individual, employer, co-workers, value provided to the individual through Recognition by peers, personal desire for self-improvement, increased confidence in personal capabilities, and recognition by IT management for professional achievement.

Eligibility Criteria for CSTE:

The Eligibility Criteria for CSTE is each applicant must meet one of four prerequisites:

1.    The applicant should have a 4 year degree from an accredited college-level institution and 2 years experience in the information services field.
2.    The applicant should have a 3 year degree from an accredited college-level institution and 3 years experience in the information services field.
3.    The applicant should have a 2 year degree from an accredited college-level institution and 4 years experience in the information services field.
4.    The applicant should have a six years experience in the information services field.
The applicant should be working or have worked at any time within the prior 18 months in the field within covered by the certification designation.

Application Fee for CSTE

After qualifying for the CSTE certification and are prepared to establish candidacy must complete an online Certification Candidacy Application in the Customer Portal and pay the application fee.
The CSTE application fee is: $350 or $420 ~ All fees to be paid in US Dollars.
The application fee includes the following:
•    It contains 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 candidate Initial Exam, which must be taken within one year from the date payment, was processed or the application will expire.

Common Body of Knowledge (CBOK)

The Certification Board defines the skills upon which software testing certification is based. The current CBOK includes these skill categories:

1.    Test Principles.
2.    Test Planning.
3.    Test Management.
4.    Building a Test Environment.
5.    Risk Analysis.
6.    Text Execution.
7.    Test Design.
8.    Defect Tracking.
9.    Acceptance Testing.
10.    Test Analysis and Reporting.

Exam Pattern for CSTE:

The CSTE Exam is 4 parts (based on the CBOK):
•    Part 1- 50 Multiple Choice Objective Questions.
•    Part 2- Short Answer/Essay (10 Subjective questions).
•    Part 3- 50 Multiple Choice Objective Questions.
•    Part 4- Short Answer/Essay (10 Subjective questions).

Objective Questions are multiple choice (a, b, c, d) questions and right answers must be selected. Subjective Questions will have answer sheets with blank spaces succeeding each question .You need to fit your answer in the blank space only. No extra sheets are provided Total exam time 4 ½ hours with 3-10 minutes break between two consecutive exams. You must secure 75% in EACH of the four papers. There will be a total of 120 questions and the exam will take over 4 hours to complete which includes a 10 minute break after the first three parts. The passing mark is 75%, which is the average score of both parts.

Exam Scheduling for CSTE:

The location where you plan to take your examination will determine the site type you MUST select for the list below. 

•    You can take the test in all Prometric Test Centers worldwide (Computer Based, online exam).
•    Testers in India, Brazil, China, or Sri Lanka have to take the exams at sponsored site (Paper based exam).
Please do not get confused. Exam pattern remains the same in all countries. Just that in India, Brazil, China, or Sri Lanka you will use pencil to mark your answers while in other countries you will use the Computer.
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.