The Certified Software Tester (CSTE) certification is intended to establish standards for initial qualification and provide direction for the testing function through an aggressive educational program. Acquiring the designation of Certified Software Tester (CSTE) indicates a professional level of competence in the principles and practices of quality control in the IT profession. CSTEs become members of a recognized professional group and receive recognition of their competence by business and professional associates, potentially more rapid career advancement, and greater acceptance in the role as advisor to management.
To qualify for candidacy, each applicant must meet one of four prerequisites:
1. A 4 year degree from an accredited college-level institution and 2 years experience in the information services field
2. A 3 year degree from an accredited college-level institution and 3 years experience in the information services field
3. A 2 year degree from an accredited college-level institution and 4 years experience in the information services field
4. Six years experience in the information services field
Are working, or have worked at any time within the prior 18 months, in the field within covered by the certification designation
Depending upon a compliance sample selected according to program criteria, the applicant may be required to provide detailed education and/or employment documentation supporting the prerequisite option selected on the application. If selected for verification, the applicant must supply the documentation to the program. Applicants who fail to provide the requested documentation will not be allowed to sit for the exam or, if the exam has been taken and passed, may be subject to de-certification.
Filing the Initial Application
A completed Certification Candidacy Application must be submitted through the Customer Portal for entrance to Software Certifications as a candidate for any particular certification. It should be submitted by individuals who:
1. Are working, or have worked at any time within the prior 18 months, in the field covered by the certification designation
2. Have significant experience and breadth of knowledge to have mastered the basics of the entire Software Testing Common Body of Knowledge
3. Have reviewed the Software Testing Common Body of Knowledge
The initial application fee is as follows:
* $350.00 (includes PDF version of CBOK).
* $420.00 (includes PDF version of CBOK plus hard copy and CD)
All fee paid in USD (see Payment Policy). Fees in this program are non-refundable or non-transferable
Candidates for certification who rely only on limited experience/education or too few/specific study materials typically do not successfully obtain certification. Do not apply unless you feel confident that your work/education activities and past experience have prepared you for the examination. Applicants already holding a certification from Software Certifications must submit a new application when deciding to pursue an additional certification.
Once a new application is accepted and approved, the Candidacy begins the date the application fee was processed. The candidate then has 12 months from the date the application fee was processed to take their initial exam. If after the 12-month period the candidate has yet to take the initial exam their candidacy will expire. The candidate must then reapply for candidacy and pay the current application fee to begin the process again.
If the initial exam is taken inside that 12-month period, a second or third sitting, if required, must be completed within 24 months from the date the original application fee was processed. The fee to Retake the Examination** if within the guidelines mentioned above is $100 a sitting and can be done through the Customer Portal on the My Examination page by clicking on the Retake / Resit for this Examination link. After the 24-month period has elapsed their candidacy will expire. The candidate must then reapply for candidacy and pay the current application fee to begin the process again.
** Note: Make sure you know exactly when your expiration date is as although your application may still be active when the Retake / Resit payment is made, that does not guarantee you will be able to reschedule your exam for a future date as it may be after your application expiration date. If you are not sure contact firstname.lastname@example.org before proceeding as once funds are processed they are not refundable or transferable (Payment Policy).
Code of Ethics
A distinguishing mark of a profession is the acceptance of responsibility by its members to the interests of those it serves. Those certified must maintain high standards of conduct in order to effectively discharge their responsibility. An applicant for certification must adhere to the Software Certifications Code of Ethics that outlines the ethical behaviors expected of all certified professionals. Software Certifications includes processes and procedures for monitoring certificant adherence to these policies. Failure to adhere to the requirements of the Code is grounds for decertification of the individual by the Software Certifications Board.
Candidates for this certification must pass a four-part examination which includes multiple-choice, essay, and short answer items in order to obtain certification. The four hour examination tests the candidate's knowledge and practice of the skill areas defined in the Software Testing Common Body of Knowledge. The passing mark is 75% which is the average score of all four parts.
Exams are now being offered either through a Prometric Testing Center (online exam) or a Sponsored Site (paper-based exam). The location where you plan to take your exam will determine whether you take it at a Prometric Testing Center or Sponsored Site. See below for more information.
Prometric Testing Center
Prometric sites are available worldwide* (Find a Prometric Testing Center locations near you).
* WARNING: Prometric Sites are NOT an option to those wanting to take their exam in one of the following locations - India, Brazil, China, or Sri Lanka (see Sponsored Sites Schedule). Exams taken at a Prometric site in any of these locations will NOT be accepted and the candidate will forfeit any fees paid for said exam.
CSQA / CSTE Certifications ONLY
* Scheduling An Eligibility ID which is not automatically assigned is needed to schedule with a Prometric Site *. Candidate need to follow the steps below to receive their ID.
1. Go to the My Examination page in the Customer Portal.
2. Click on Pick Scheduling Option.
3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Prometric Site tab.
4. Read the warning. If it does not apply to you then click on the Continue with Prometric to receive Eligibility ID.
5. Click OK if sure to have your information sent to Prometric and a code assigned.
6. The Eligibility ID will appear on the My Examination page and could take up to three days to process as the information is being transferred to Prometric.
* Once you have your Eligibility ID which will appear on the My Examination page you simply click on the Go to Prometric---> link to locate a test center, and to schedule your exam.
* Dates / locations will not be listed on a schedule page as exams are offered daily at each location based on availability of the date(s) / location(s) you are looking to schedule so plan accordingly.
* Please contact Prometric directly to reschedule an existing appointment at a Prometric site. There could be a fee depending on how close to the scheduled date you are try to rescheduling.
There is no guarantee that the date / location will be available so provide multiple dates / locations if possible. The farther out you attempt to schedule the better the chances you will get the date / locations requested. Waiting to the last minute to schedule your exam only reduces the chances greatly that you will not find a seat so you need to plan accordingly as there is no guarantee a seat will be available which is all based on availability at each site.
Sponsored Site exams are ONLY offered in India, Brazil, China, and Sri Lanka. (see Sponsored Site Examination Schedule)
* Scheduling Complete the following steps to schedule a Sponsored Site exam in the Customer Portal
1. Go to the My Examination page in the Customer Portal.
2. Click on Pick Scheduling Option.
3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Sponsored Site tab.
4. Select the Examination Location from the drop-down
5. Select the Examination Date from the drop-down
6. To schedule your exam click on the Confirm this Examination Location / Date tab
* You must schedule your examination at least 30 days before the selected examination date in order to reserve a seat which are limited based on availability. (see Sponsored Site Examination Schedule)
* Candidates are strongly encouraged to check the Sponsored Site Examination Schedule page for specific location information for their scheduled examination during the days leading up to the examination sitting. Simply click on the location link of the exam you are scheduled for to view the location information as they are kept as up-to-date as possible. (see Sponsored Site Examination Schedule)
* While Software Certifications makes every possible effort to provide examinations as scheduled, last minute changes have been sometimes unavoidable in the past. Past disruptions have included exam location changes, inclement weather, and building closures.
* From time to time, candidates need to reschedule / postpone an examination for a Sponsored location to a later date. This is known as a Deferral**.
* To Defer an examination for a Sponsored location, a candidate must go to the My Examination page in the Customer Portal to Defer** the already scheduled exam.
* The deadline to Defer an already scheduled exam at a Sponsored location is 30 days prior to the examination date. Deferrals are not accepted less than 30 days prior to an examination date.
**NOTE: Once you Defer a scheduled exam it is final and will not be reset to the previous date / location just Deferred once inside 30 days from the scheduled exam date. Make sure you know exactly when your expiration date is as although your application may still be active when Deferring, that does not guarantee you will be able to reschedule your exam for a future date as it may be after your application expiration date. If you are not sure contact email@example.com before proceeding with the Deferral as once you Defer it is final and any funds processed are not refundable or transferable (Payment Policy).