Hello! I'm Inna, QA at Parimatch Tech. At the beginning of the full-scale war, I passed the ISTQB FL exam with 100% from home.
I was terrified of the remote procedure when I decided to take this exam, even during peacetime. I had several questions about who the providers were, what was required, how prices differed, how to register, how to avoid pressing the wrong button and failing the test, whether there were any device requirements, or how to request additional time.
These and other questions only brought additional stress while my head was already overloaded with the syllabus. I wanted to transfer this tension to other people and take the test offline: just take a taxi to the destination point, sit behind the desk in the classroom and calmly take my exam.
However, the consequences of February 24 chose my exam mode for me.
I decided to share the experience in this article so that you don’t have to torture yourself with the same questions but can take the exam with complete confidence and readiness.
The plan is as follows:
- what are the providers for the ISTQB exam;
- how I chose the provider and why GASQ;
- organizational issues: registration, preparation, exam, and completion.
Keywords: ISTQB, QA.
What are the ISTQB exam providers?
Now, the official ISTQB website offers a handy search for a provider. Thus, you can pick any provider that suits your preferences.
The website provides a filter by:
- exam language;
- the provider (in case you want to find a specific one)
- exam type.
Here are the results of the search for providers filtered by "Ukraine, ISTQB CTFL":
The website offered no such function before. However, now it dramatically simplifies the search process. The only thing left is to select the provider that suits you from this list.
Why I chose the GASQ provider
Several criteria influenced my decision:
№1 — Price
I have collected the prices for the ISTQB CTFL exam from the selection above for you. As you can see, GASQ is the cheapest provider to date:
№2 — Possibility of taking a test exam in the system
This is what really appealed to me! The exam itself is already stressful. But, just imagine, what if you can't find the right button on the screen or click something and exit the exam without answering the questions? It’s something I really wouldn’t like to worry about.
GASQ allows you to take a test exam on their platform, which is identical to the real thing, the only difference being that no one is watching you. You can get familiar with the program's interface, click buttons you need to know or want to check, figure out the navigation, and so on.
➡️ The test exam is available here: link
In addition, you get to see the exam through the eyes of the proctor, who watches to ensure that examinees do not violate the rules and has the right to stop your exam if you do, with no money back.
To understand what and who I will encounter when I click the Start button on the computer screen, I found a YouTube video with one of this provider’s proctors. This opened the veil to the other side of the exam for me — the side of the examiner.
The video explains the following:
- how the exam is conducted through the eyes of an invigilator-proctor;
- the rules of communication with the proctor;
- the conduct rules of the exam: what you can and cannot do;
- what buttons to click or not click during the exam;
- how the preparatory stage for the exam is going;
- how to complete the exam, and
- some other details of the process.
GASQ: registration, preparation, exam, completion
Stage 1. Registration and payment
Choose the exam here: GASQ -> Certification -> Remote Exams.
For ISTQB CTFL, go directly to fill out the form.
- You must pick the date at least three days before the exam.
- You can select any time if you are taking the exam in English (proctors are located worldwide).
Don’t forget to tick the Time Bonus checkbox to request an extra 15 minutes as a non-native speaker. Your ID will be confirmed from the document you used to verify your identity before the exam.
- Do not change anything here, and click "Book now!"
Next, you are taken to a page to check the data you entered. Please check it carefully, as any changes after payment will cost you an additional €20. After the payment, you will receive an email with your invoice and confirmation of the exam date.
After the invoice, you will receive a further email with a detailed description of what to do next, including all the necessary instructions and links:
Stage 2. Preparation
Room: it should be a room with doors, not an open space. I took a test at home in the living room at the dining table.
Devices: a computer or laptop with a working camera and microphone. You must also have an additional device with a camera. The higher the screen resolution, the better, since some questions can be cut off or hidden on a 13-inch monitor. Arrange the space, so you can charge all devices during the exam. You must have Chrome on your computer/laptop. The phone/tablet should have enough space to download one more app.
⚠️Installing the latest updates and rebooting devices before the exam is highly recommended.⚠️
Stable internet connection: no explanation needed.
Documents: the organizers list the following document options: passport, ID card, student card, or driver's license.
Complete the steps in the email to receive the exam invitation link:
- Install the ProctorExam Chrome plugin;
- Complete a System Check 48 hours before the exam (check your microphone, camera, sound, screen sharing, and Proctor mobile app).
Once you complete the steps, you will receive a personal link to your slot within a couple of days.
Stage 3. Exam
Before the exam, ensure the following:
- the room is well-lit and quiet;
- there is no one in the room with you;
- there are no foreign items near you (an empty table is recommended);
- your documents are ready;
Follow the link in the email to the exam room.
Next, you will be asked to show your document, move the phone camera around the laptop, and show the room: all the corners, under the table, and the ceiling. They will also check your ears to ensure you are not wearing headphones.
- If you lose connection in the middle of the exam, you have a 2-hour window to reconnect. If you are not available for a more extended period, you need to contact support with a request to reschedule the exam for another date. It's free.
- Speaking or singing during the exam is not allowed.
- Notepads, and anything else for taking notes, are not allowed. However, you can use a whiteboard to take notes within the camera view but will be asked to go through a whiteboard check.
- Restroom breaks are not allowed.
- Headphones are not allowed.
- Additional monitors and other accessories are not allowed.
Stage 4. Completion
When you finish the exam, click the red Finish button.
Your results will be displayed at 100% scale, divided into sections by syllabus topic.