Advanced Level


The Advanced Level qualification is aimed at people who have achieved an advanced point in their careers in software testing. This includes people in roles such as testers, test analysts, test engineers, test consultants, test managers, user acceptance testers and software developers.

This Advanced Level qualification is also appropriate for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of software testing, such as project managers, quality managers, software development managers, business analysts, IT directors and management consultants.

To receive Advanced Level certification, candidates must hold the Foundation Certificate and satisfy the Exam Board which examines them that they have sufficient practical experience to be considered Advanced Level qualified.

Refer to the relevant Exam Board to understand their specific practical experience criteria.

What are the entry criteria?

To get the Advanced Level certification, candidates must hold the Foundation Certificate and have sufficient practical experience.

Which levels are available after Advanced?

Holders of an Advanced certificate are eligible to continue on to higher level software testing qualifications, certifying themselves at Expert level as shown below. The entire learning journey is underpinned by the ISTQB® Glossary.

What skills does an Advanced level individual have?

An individual with the Advanced Level Certificate has extended the broad understanding of testing acquired at Foundation Level to enable the role of Test Manager or Test Analyst to be performed. Test Analyst skills may be further extended into the role of Technical Test Analyst.

The Advanced Level establishes a platform from which further skills and knowledge may be acquired at the Expert Level. After achieving experience as a Test Manager, for example, a person may choose to develop their testing career further by acquiring Expert Level certifications in the subjects of test management and improving the test process.

People possessing an ISTQB® Advanced Level Certificate may use the Certified Tester Advanced Level (acronym CTAL-TM, CTAL-TA, and CTAL-TTA, according to the module for which they are certified.

People possessing all the 3 advanced level certificates can obtain the Full Advanced level certificate.


The Advanced Level has three Syllabi within the Core part:

A specific exam and certification is available for each of the three modules.

When a Certified tester successfully achieves certification on all three modules, he/she receives a “Full Advanced” certificate. Moreover, ISTQB® is developing Advanced Level syllabi and exams for the Agile stream and for the Specialist stream.

For the 2012 version of Advanced Level Test Analyst and Technical Test Analyst, the sunset dates are 4th February 2021 for the English version and 4th August 2021 for non-English version.

Business Outcomes

Each Advanced Level module has clear business outcomes. These provide information to businesses concerning the expectations of an expert in a particular subject. The business outcomes map to the individual Learning Objectives in a particular module.

More information is available on the module page:

Learning Objectives

Each Advanced Level module has clear learning objectives.

More information is available under module page:


The Advanced Level Syllabi form the basis for the International Software Testing Qualification at the Advanced Level Level.

The International Software Testing Qualifications Board® (ISTQB®) provides it to the national examination bodies for them to accredit the training providers and to derive examination questions in their local language.

Training providers will produce courseware and determine appropriate teaching methods for accreditation, and the syllabus will help candidates in their preparation for the examination.

Exam Structure

To get an ISTQB® Certified Tester Advanced Level Certificate you must successfully pass the Advanced Exam administered by your Member Board or Examination Provider.

Upon successful completion of the exam, you will be issued with an ISTQB® Advanced Level Certificate, which is internationally recognized.

The exam aims to verify that the candidate has acquired the professional knowledge contained in the syllabus.

Each Advanced Level exam module (i.e. Test Manager, Test Analyst and Technical Test Analyst) has an independent exam, consisting of multiple-choice questions split ‘roughly’ in line with the Learning Objectives of each chapter.

Each question answered correctly scores between one and three points, reflecting the difficulty, and the candidate must reach a score of 65% to pass the exam.

The number of questions and exam timing for each module is indicated in the following table. If the candidate’s native language is not the exam language, the exam duration is increased by 25%.

Module Number of questions Exam Length 
(in minutes)
Exam Length + 25%
(in minutes)
Advanced Test Manager 2012 65 180 225
Advanced Test Analyst 2012 60 180 225
Advanced Technical Test Analyst 2012 45 120 150
Advanced Test Analyst 2019 40 120 150
Advanced Technical Test Analyst 2019 45 120 150

Exams may be taken as part of a course or taken independently (e.g. at an examination center or in a public exam.Completion of an accredited training course is not a prerequisite for the exam.

Certificate Validity

The Advanced Level certificate has a lifelong validity.

Accredited training providers

Exams may be taken as part of a course delivered by an Accredited Training Provider or taken independently at an examination center or in a public exam.

Completion of an accredited training course is not a prerequisite for sitting the exam as stated above.