It is ISTQB policy to periodically review and update its syllabi to keep pace with the technological and methodological innovations of testing. ISTQB Foundation Level Syllabus 2018 is a major update and rewrite of the 2011 version of the syllabus. Consequently, the ISTQB Foundation Level exams must also be updated.


The Foundation Level qualification is suitable for anyone who is involved as well as interested 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 Foundation Level qualification is also appropriate for anyone who wants a basic understanding of software testing, such as project managers, quality managers, software development managers, business analysts, IT directors and management consultants.


The entry criterion for taking the ISTQB Certified Tester Foundation Level Software Testing exam is that candidates have an interest in software testing. However, it is strongly recommended that candidates also:

  • Have at least a minimal background in either software development or software testing, such as six months experience as a system or user acceptance tester or as a software developer.
  • Take a course that has been accredited to ISTQB standards (by one of the ISTQB-recognized Member Boards).

Yes, all accredited Foundation Level courses must be changed and re-accredited according to the content of the new Foundation Level 2018 Syllabus). The document, Foundation Level 2018 Course Timing Information, provides guidance to training providers for updating their course content.


Yes, re-accreditation is necessary. The document, ISTQB Accreditation Guidelines to Evaluate Training for the Foundation Level 2018 Syllabus, provides guidance to training providers who want to create courses that will be successfully accredited.


The new updated courses should be made available in advance of the withdrawal of the previous Foundation Level. Please ask your National/Regional Member Board or Exam Provider for when the new Foundation Level exams will be available.


All ISTQB Foundation Level Version 2018 examinations run after 4th June 2019 (if running English exams) or 4th December 2019 (if exams are run in a language other than English) shall comply with the structure and rules described in the ISTQB - Certified Tester Foundation Level V. 2018 Exam Structure and Rules document, regardless of language and media. However, National or Regional Boards may make the new Foundation Level 2018 exams available earlier than the above cut-off dates. Please contact your National or Regional Board for details.


The number of questions per examination and the length of the examination remain the same as for the previous Foundation Level exams. The distribution of questions per topic (chapter) and many of the learning objectives have been changed.

The ISTQB - Certified Tester Foundation Level V. 2018 Exam Structure and Rules document, describes all the applicable rules for the exams.

Yes, they are. All Foundation Level certificates based on previous Foundation Level releases, including the 2011 Syllabus, remain valid.