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5 Top Tips for Passing your ISTQB Foundation Exam

Are you looking for some last minute advice before sitting your ISTQB foundation exam? We have you covered, below are our top 5 tips for helping you pass your exam.

1. Read the Question Carefully

The questions aren’t designed to trip you up however, it is very easy to miss a keyword or aspect of a question if you’re not reading it carefully. Take your time to ensure you’ve understood what you’re being asked. Are you meant to be looking for the answer that does match the statement in the question, or the one answer that doesn’t? Usually it’s only a single word that will change this focus and it’s very easy to miss if you’re rushing through questions. Within the allotted time you should be able to comfortably read through and answer each question, and still have time to go back through to check your answers. Make the most of your time, you get no extra marks for finishing the exam early.

2. Paper/White-board

Luckily in the exam you’re allowed to have a paper or whiteboard, which you can use to write down your workings out. We would highly recommend that you do this, you won’t need it for every question but there will be some questions that'll have multiple aspects to work through. Jotting down your workings part way through a question, makes life a lot easier, then getting to the end of it and realising you’ve forgotten the section you’d previously worked out.

3. Process of Elimination

Your exam is made up of multiple choice questions. This means that you can use a process of elimination to help you answer questions if you’re struggling. Go through the answers and any that you know can’t be correct, mentally cross off. By doing this gradually you should start to limit your options and hopefully you’ll be left with one possible answer. If you practise this technique on any mock-questions, you’ll find that it’s relatively easy and a good way of working through a multiple choice exam, even if you’re feeling confident in your answers.

4. Intuition

This leads us nicely to our 4th tip. When in doubt, go with your instinct. Don’t go back and change your answers unless you’re absolutely certain you’re initial answer was wrong. The likelihood is that your initial instinct was correct and you’re now second guessing yourself. Trust yourself, as your first answer was probably correct.

5. Answer Every Question

Each question is worth one mark, and you won’t lose marks if you get the question wrong. This means it’s worth putting an answer even if you’re unsure. Go with your instinct and you at least stand a chance of getting an extra point. The likelihood is if you’re using the process of elimination mentioned above, you may even be able to narrow it down to a 50/50 chance of getting the right answer. Don’t leave any questions unanswered, it’s not worth losing out on the potential point.

If you’ve put in the work beforehand and you follow these top tips you’ll be able to pass the exam without too much difficulty.