Program Certification Overview (CSTE)

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•The certification program helps to:

Software Certification Overview

–Define the tasks associated with application testing duties in order to evaluate skill mastery.
–Demonstrate an individual’s willingness to improve professionally.
–Aid organizations in selecting & promoting qualified individuals.
–Acknowledge attainment of acceptable standard of professional competency.
–Assist individuals in improving & enhancing their organization’s application testing programs.
–Motivate personnel having application testing responsibilities to maintain their professional competency.

•QA established in 1980.
•First formal examination technique launched 1990.
•First certification began development in 1985.

Why Become Certified

•Since its beginning, over 27,000 IT professionals have become certified.
•Acquiring the designation of CSTE indicates a professional level of competence in application testing.
•To help management be able to distinguish professional & skilled individuals in the field when hiring.
•Greater acceptance in the role as advisor to management.
•Potential for more speedy career advancement.

Benefits of Becoming a CSTE

•Value provided to the profession
•Value provided to the employer
•Value provided to the individual
•Value provided to co-workers
•How to improve testing effectiveness through CSTE certification
•Common body of knowledge
•Code of ethics
•Examination technique to evaluate competency
•Recognition by peers
•Increased confidence in personal capabilities
•Personal desire for self-improvement

Value Provided to the Employer

•Recognition by IT management for professional achievement
•Improved technique to build/acquire/maintain, operate & measure application
•Increased confidence by IT users & customers
•Independent assessment of testing competencies
•Testing competencies maintained through recertification

Value Provided to Co-Workers

•Mentoring of testing staff
•Testing resource to IT staff
•Role model for testing practitioners
•By generating an awareness of the CSTE program & its benefits to your testing practitioners

How to Improve Testing Effectiveness Through CSTE Certification

•By requiring or encouraging your testing practitioners to become certified
•By recognizing & rewarding successful candidates
•Supporting recertification as a means of maintaining testing competency

Meeting CSTE Qualifications

•Prerequisites for Candidacy – must meet three of one credentials

–A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college-level institution
–Six years of experience in the information services field
–An associate’s degree & three years of experience in the information services field

Expectations of the CSTE

•Must be actively engaged in professional practice & seek opportunities to stay aware of & learn emerging practices
•Take education & training courses
•Attend professional conferences
•Publish information in order to disseminate personal, project & research experiences
•Develop & offer training to share knowledge & skills with other professionals & the public
•Participate in the profession through active committee memberships & formal special interest groups
•Be a change agent: be able to change the culture & work habits of individuals
•Three C’s of today’s workplace

Professional Skill Proficiency Responsibilities


•Develop a lifetime learning habit
•Purpose – A distinguishing mark of a profession is acceptance by its members of responsibility to the interests of those it serves. Those certified must maintain high standards of conduct in order to effectively discharge their responsibility.

Code of Ethics


–Assumes an obligation of self-discipline

•Professional Code of Conduct
–Refer to page 10 for the code of conduct

•Submit your application only if you are prepared to sit & pass the CSTE exam

Submitting the Initial Application

•All supporting application forms & necessary fees must be filed with Application Certifications at least 60 calendar days prior to the chosen exam date
•The candidate must take the initial exam within 12 months after acceptance
•A second or third sitting, if necessary, must be done within 24 months of acceptance of the original application

Arranging to Sit & Take the Exam

–Study CBOK
•Be prepared

•Receive Confirmation Letter
•Arrive 30 minutes before the scheduled exam start time
–Bring this letter to the exam site along with a photo ID

Maintain Competency
•Continuing profession education

–You need to earn 40 hours of continuing professional education each year to stay certified
–Attend profession seminars & conferences
–Attend professional meetings
–On-the-job training
–Take e-learning courses
–Attend professional association meetings

Prepare for the CSTE Exam

•Assess your CSTE CBOK competency
•Complete the CSTE skill assessment worksheet
–Assess your competency of each skill listed on the worksheet
–Reassess those skills you studied after a rating of “None”
–Study those skills you rated “None”

Understand the Key Principles Incorporated in to the Exam

•Calculate your CSTE CBOK competency rating

•Learn the vocabulary

•Learn how to apply the testing principles to everyday practice

Review the List of References

•Search your library for availability
•Use your assessment results from the previous step to select which books would help you build your skills in those areas
•Review the list of references from the point of view of the types of materials that might be included on the exam
•Assess your skills against the CSTE 2006 CBOK & complete the assessment worksheet

Initiate a Self-Study Program

•Study the key reference documents from the previous step
•Attend formal courses, seminars, local testing-oriented chapter meetings, & testing conferences to gain a comprehension of the practice of testing

Take the Sample Exam

•CSTE examination overview
•Sample CSTE exam
•Guidelines to answer questions

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