Cheapest Way to Achieve ISEB / ISTQB Software Testing Certification

The ISEB / ISTQB Certified Tester Foundation Level (CTFL) is the world’s leading Software Testing / QA certification. Many employers will not even consider a tester if they do not hold this certification. If you have looked into the costs for studying for the ISEB / ISTQB exam, you will have noticed a vast difference in costs. This article will explain how to get the best training for your budget.

Classroom-Based Learning

Up until the relatively recent computer boom, classroom-based learning was the only choice. Even today many people wishing to obtain the ISEB / ISTQB Certified Tester Foundation Level (CTFL) certification will opt for this method. When asked why they chose this method, many students will say that they wanted an opportunity to ask the training instructor any questions, which they could not do with distance-learning(or so they thought). This is a common concern, but actually many distance-learning training courses will incorporate a method of allowing students to ask questions. Some even include ISEB / ISTQB accredited personal tutors.

Another disadvantage with class-room based training is the cost. Not only is the cost of the training relatively expensive, the student will also need to take time away from their job to study and sit the actual exam. This may be fine for an employee of a large company, but many software testers are self-employed which presents a difficult dilemma, can I afford to pay for the training course and miss time away from work?

The time factor is also an issue to companies who wish to send their individual software testers or an entire test team away to get certified. A typical ISEB / ISTQB Certified Tester Foundation Level (CTFL) training course can take between three to five days in duration. Software testers removed for a period of days can severely impact any current company projects.

Summary: While the advantage of being able to ask the training instructor any questions face-to-face, the overall cost of the training itself and duration of the training do not make this option very economical.


This method of training for the ISEB / ISTQB Certified Tester Foundation certification is rapidly becoming the most popular. It’s key advantages are in its flexibility. Students can study when they want to, at a time that suits them. Some distance-learning ISEB / ISTQB training is accessible on-line, which means it has the added flexibility of being accessible anywhere that has an internet connection, even a smartphone. This method of training is liked by employers too, as it means they can provide training time that fits in with project schedules. The reason why many students opt for classroom-based training is that they want to be able to ask questions to the instructor, but as you will see, most good on-line ISEB / ISTQB training courses will provide access to a training instructor, some will even have an Accredited ISEB / ISTQB Training Instructor on-hand to answer questions.

As for the cost of distance-learning, this is the most cost-effective method by far. There are entire distance-learning training courses available that will offer a guaranteed pass, which work out to be a quarter of the price of a typical classroom-based training course.

Summary: Best value for money for individuals, very flexible way of training.

Training for Companies

Some ISEB / ISTQB training providers will provide a service where the instructor will visit a companies site. They will basically provide a classroom-based training course and then leave. Unfortunately, once the instructor has left, the students have no-one to answer their questions, which is a major drawback. This method is also the most expensive by a long way.

A viable alternative is to obtain a company-wide license for a distance-learning course. Most ISEB / ISTQB training providers should be able to offer a company-wide license allowing you to train anyone in your company for a one-off fee. Be sure to ask the provider if you will be entitled to any course updates after changes to the syllabus.

Summary: In the long-run, very cost effective. One up-front fee allows a limitless number software testers to become certified.