This article is for individuals who have always been curious about CSQA and wanted to learn more about how to approach it or whether to pursue it or not. We have compiled all the necessary information about CSQA certification in one place so that you can make an informed decision.
These are practical tips from Swati S. She is a certified CSQA test professional with over 7 years of experience in QA.
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What You Will Learn:
What Is CSQA?
CSQA (Certified Software Quality Analyst) is a Software Certification for Quality Analysts provided by QAI Global Institute for IT professionals who demonstrate their expertise in Quality principles and methodologies.
All the details about this certification like fee, scheduling, format, prerequisites, etc. are available at the following link:
CSTE Or CSQA?
This is a common question among testers: which certification should I pursue?
Basically, these are two distinct certifications aimed at different individuals in the quality field. One is not superior to the other, they simply cater to different needs.
CSTE (Certified Software Tester) is for testers who are at the beginning of their careers and want to evaluate their quality control skills.
CSQA is for testers who have advanced to perform overall QA roles, including both quality control and quality assurance.
Typically, testers in the early stages of their careers obtain the CSTE certification, and once they progress to QA roles, they pursue the CSQA certification. This helps readers determine which certification is more suitable for their current position.
Why should you aspire to be a CSQA?
- As part of the QA community, you will possess the best principles, practices, and code of conduct, differentiating yourself from other QAs and improving the overall QA environment.
- You will have more confidence in your day-to-day QA activities and be able to guide your peers more effectively.
- You will provide more value to your employer with the skills you acquire through this certification.
- It is beneficial for your career growth.
How does it work?
The CSQA certification consists of an educational program that assesses competence in the principles and practices of Quality Assurance and control in the IT profession. These principles and practices are defined as the Common Body of Knowledge (CBOK) by the Certification Board.
The CBOK is divided into 10 skill categories that cover everything you need to master in the QA field and emerge as a leader. These categories serve as the syllabus for the certification examination.
Here is the list of categories:
- Skill Category 1 – Quality Principles and Concepts
- Skill Category 2 – Quality Leadership
- Skill Category 3 – Quality Baselines
- Skill Category 4 – Quality Assurance
- Skill Category 5 – Quality Planning
- Skill Category 6 – Define, Build, Implement and Improve Work Processes
- Skill Category 7 – Quality Control Practices
- Skill Category 8 – Metrics and Measurement
- Skill Category 9 – Internal Control and Security
- Skill Category 10 – Outsourcing, COTS, and Contracting Quality
The details of each skill category are available in the CSQA brochure provided in the link above. A screenshot is also provided for quick reference.
Certification Preparation Steps
- Take some time to decide when you want to take the test. We recommend at least 4-6 months of preparation time.
- Once you have decided on a suitable time, apply for the certification online and choose a nearby test center on the desired date. (the detailed procedure is provided in the link)
- Obtain the CBOK. (you will receive a PDF or CD of the CBOK after registering for the certification)
- The CBOK contains all the information about the test, references, and the detailed explanation of the skill categories mentioned earlier. Read and thoroughly understand it.
Note: I primarily studied the CBOK in preparation for this certification and did not need any additional references. However, the following references are recommended by QAI:
CSQA Study Reference Books:
You don’t have to be overwhelmed by this list. You don’t need to read all the books. However, we listed them for readers who have an academic interest in the field and are looking for reference titles.
- Thoroughly prepare and take the examination, which consists of two sections: Multiple-choice and Essay questions. The examination takes approximately 2.5 hours, and you must score at least 70% in each section to pass.
Tips For Tackling The Examination
- Give yourself plenty of time to prepare.
- Do not consider your CBOK knowledge and professional experience as separate aspects. Try to see how the QA processes you currently follow align with the guidelines provided in the CBOK.
- During your preparation phase, apply the recommended practices and principles from the CBOK to your job and observe how they benefit you.
- Make the CBOK your daily guide for testing or QA practices and document your observations.
- Thoroughly understand the material in the CBOK. It is your comprehensive resource for the certification, and there is no reason why you cannot succeed if you have a solid grasp of its content.
I understand that many testers have negative views about testing certifications. However, personally, this certification has enhanced my confidence in my job, provided me with the necessary tools to be an efficient QA professional, instilled faith in my capabilities among my superiors and clients, and strengthened my resume.
The cost of the certification may be a concern for some individuals. I recommend checking with your company about their continued learning policies for associates, as they might reimburse the fee. Good luck!
In the next article, we will share sample questions for the CSQA certification, including both Multiple-choice and Essay questions. We will also provide tips on how to answer these questions, especially the essays.
Feel free to post your questions.