Course Duration: 4 Days

Course Category: Software Testing


28 PDUs (Professional Development Units)

ISTQB-BCS Certified Tester Advanced Level (CTAL) – Test Analyst


About the Course

The course focuses on testing topics including testing activities within different lifecycle models, specification-based, defect-based and experienced-based test techniques, test documentation, usability testing, reviews, defect classification and tool support. Candidates will be given exercises, practice exams and learning aids for the ISTQB Advanced Test Analyst certificate.


Background and Objectives

The ISTQB (International Software Testing Qualifications Board) advanced level certifications are part of the ISTQB internationally recognised software testing qualifications that include the following certifications:


Certified Tester Foundation Level (CTFL)
Certified Tester Advanced Level (CTAL)
Certified Tester Expert Level.


The Certified Tester Advanced Level comprises of three distinct core certifications namely Test Manager, Test Analyst and Technical Test Analyst and two specialist certifications, Security Tester and Test Automation Engineer.


Course Objectives

Processworks BCS (British Computer Society) Accredited course provides an understanding of software testing that goes beyond the ISTQB Foundation level.


The course will provide a good level of knowledge that enables analysis of various situations in order to present practical solutions.


The information gained on the course provides a portfolio of methods for designing tests for a variety software types within any type of software application. Emphasis will be made on domain testing. Templates and utilities will be provided to help students to devise tests that are both effective and efficient, giving best value for the testing being done in the time that is given.


Skills Gained

An Advanced Test Analyst can:


  • Perform testing activities appropriate to the software development lifecycle in use.
  • Prioritise testing activities based on analysed risks.
  • Select and apply appropriate testing techniques to achieve defined coverage criteria.
  • Provide an appropriate level of documentation relevant to the testing activities.
  • Determine the appropriate types of functional testing to be performed.
  • Undertake the usability testing for a given project.
  • Effectively participate in formal and informal reviews with stakeholders, applying knowledge of typical mistakes made in work products.
  • Design & implement a defect classification scheme.
  • Apply tools to support testing.

A candidate aspiring to take the Test Analyst advanced level qualification must have successfully completed the ISTQB-BCS Certified Tester Foundation Level which was earlier known as ISEB Foundation Certificate in Software Testing or the ISTQB Certified Tester Foundation Level (CTFL).


It is suggested that candidates have a minimum of 3 years testing experience although this is not mandatory.


There are no pre-requisites to attending the course only for education and knowledge purposes.

Who will Benefit

This 4-day course is most appropriate for Testers, Test Analysts, Test Engineers, Test Consultants, Test Managers, User Acceptance Testers, Software Developers and anyone wishing to gain the ISTQB Advanced Level Test Analyst Certificate.


The Advanced Level certificates are 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.

Training and Exam Duration

Training: 4 days.
The course material shall be issued on the first day of the course during registration.


Exam: 180 minutes (3 hours) duration

Exam Pattern

The CTAL – Test Analyst exam consists of 60 multiple choice questions that total to 120 marks.


The questions are of differing difficulty and therefore assigned differing amounts of points. The exam is closed-book, i.e. no materials are allowed to be used. The candidate must achieve at least 65% (78 out of 120) of the total score possible.

Course Content

Testing Process


Explains the role and contribution of the Test Analyst throughout the test process and how they align with the roles of the Test Manager and Technical Test Analyst. Focusing on the tasks of test analysis and design the course explains appropriate uses for concrete and logical test cases, defining criteria for starting test execution, and measuring test completion status. The impact of different lifecycle models on these tasks is also considered.


Test Management


Discusses Test Analyst responsibilities that include a contribution to project metrics, risk-based prioritisation and the scheduling of business domain-based tests. The impact of risk on test case selection, test coverage and test data tasks are also described.


Test Techniques


Specification-, defect- and experience-based techniques are covered. The specification-based techniques introduced at the Foundation level are developed further. These include equivalence partitioning, boundary value analysis, decision tables, state transition testing and use case testing. Additional specification-based techniques introduced include classification tree testing, use of orthogonal arrays, pairwise testing, domain analysis, and user stories. Defect-based techniques, exploratory testing and the use of defect taxonomies are also covered. Participants learn how to select appropriate techniques for a given situation.


Testing Software Quality Characteristics


The specific software quality characteristics that apply to the Test Analyst are covered in this section. These include the functional areas of accuracy, suitability and interoperability as well as the non-functional areas of usability and accessibility. Describes how to approach testing these quality characteristics.


Incident Management


When can defects be detected and how the lifecycle of incidents can be applied at each level of testing. We cover examples of the type of metrics you can discover and how they can be used in process improvement.




Here the focus is on using checklists to identify defects in use cases and in requirements specifications from a tester’s perspective. Sample checklists are supplied and participants learn how to present problems found in a review meeting.


Defect Management


Explains how to define and use defect classification values classify defects found. Includes a discussion of capturing, refining and using root cause information for process improvement. Also describes how to perform preliminary root cause analysis.


Test Tools

Covers tool and automation issues that are relevant to the Test Analyst. This includes business process modelling tools and knowledge of the interactions between the tools typically used by a Test Analyst.

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