Foundation Level Performance Testing


The Foundation Level Performance Testing qualification is aimed at people who already hold the Software Testing Foundation and wish to develop further their expertise in Performance Testing.


The following image demonstrates the contents of the Performance Testing syllabus:

Perfomance Testing Scheme

Business Outcomes

Foundation Level Performance Testing candidates who have passed the Foundation Level “Performance Testing” syllabus exam should be able to accomplish the following Business Objectives:

  • Understand the basic concepts of performance efficiency and performance testing.
  • Define performance risks, goals, and requirements to meet stakeholder needs and expectations.
  • Understand performance metrics and how to collect them.
  • Develop a performance test plan for achieving stated goals and requirements.
  • Conceptually design, implement, and execute basic performance tests.
  • Analyze the results of a performance test and state implications to various stakeholders.
  • Explain the process, rationale, results, and implications of performance testing to various stakeholders.
  • Understand categories and uses for performance tools and criteria for their selection.
  • Determine how performance testing activities align with the software lifecycle.

Learning Objectives

Certified Foundation Performance Testers should be able to demonstrate their skills in the following areas:

  • Understand the principles of performance testing.
  • Recognize the different types of performance testing.
  • Recall testing types in performance testing.
  • Understand the concept of load generation.
  • Give examples of common failure modes of performance testing and their causes.
  • Understand the typical metrics collected in performance testing.
  • Explain why results from performance testing are aggregated.
  • Understand the key sources of performance metrics.
  • Recall the typical results of a performance test.
  • Understand the principal performance testing activities.
  • Explain typical categories of performance risks for different architectures.
  • Analyze performance risks for a given product across the software development lifecycle.
  • Analyze a given project to determine the appropriate performance testing activities for each phase of the software lifecycle.
  • Derive performance test objectives from relevant information.
  • Outline a performance test plan which considers the performance test objectives for a given project.
  • Create a presentation that enables various stakeholders to understand the rationale behind the planned performance testing.
  • Give examples of typical protocols encountered in performance testing.
  • Understand the concept of transactions in performance testing.
  • Analyze operational profiles for system usage.
  • Create load profiles derived from operational profiles for given performance objectives.
  • Analyze throughput and concurrency when developing performance tests.
  • Understand the basic structure of a performance test script.
  • Implement performance test scripts consistent with the plan and load profiles.
  • Understand the activities involved in preparing for performance test execution.
  • Understand the principal activities in running performance test scripts.
  • Analyze and report performance test results and implications.
  • Understand how tools support performance testing.
  • Evaluate the suitability of performance testing tools in a given project scenario.

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The Performance Testing is based on the Performance Testing Syllabus.

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.

To receive the Performance Testing certification, candidates must hold the Foundation Certificate.

Performance testing syllabus is available for in Materials for download section.

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Exam Structure

The Foundation Level Performance Testing exam is comprised of 40 multiple-choice questions, with a pass mark grade of 65% to be completed within 90 minutes. Participants that take the exam not in their spoken language, will receive additional 25% time, for a total of 113 minutes.

Module Number of questions Exam length (minutes) Exam length +25% (minutes)
Foundation Level Performance Testing 40 90 113

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.

The typical duration of the Performance Certification Training offered by an Accredited Training Provider is 2 days. Completion of an accredited training course is not a prerequisite for participating to the exam.

Please refer to the Web Sites of the ISTQB® Member Boards and ISTQB® Accredited Training Providers for exam and training availability.