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ISEB - How successful is self study?

Discussion in 'Other IT certifications' started by jsnorth, May 17, 2010.

  1. jsnorth

    jsnorth Bit Poster

    There is a fantastic thread running on practical ISEB self study. I have a related question but I do not want to "dilute" the original, which is very useful.

    So... how successful is ISEB self study? If you have the text book and some experience in the field, how did you find the exam?

    I was originally thinking about the foundation certificates with textbooks but if anyone has sat the certifications which are more complicated, then please share your experiences.
    Certifications: BEng, ISEB SD Dip, TOGAF 8.1.1
  2. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

    The Foundation exams are multi choice so shouldn't be too bad but always note the full reading list. Not got around to sitting any myself yet so can't advise any further
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  3. JamesStill

    JamesStill Bit Poster

    I've sat a lot of the exams through self study. My suggestion - only sit the exam if there is a related textbook. You don't want to be wading through the 30 suggested books on the reading list when ISEB can put it all down for you into 150 nice neat pages.

    There are textbooks for foundation and intermediate software testing. These are both excellent.
    There is one of IS Project Management - bit odd as it's an A4 textbook, but an excellent read. Really well laid out and easy to follow. The exam was quite interesting too, but straight forward.
    There a textbook for Information Systems Management Principles - that was just fine if a bit dry.
    There is a textbook for Business Analysis which essentially covers the exams for Foundation Business Analysis and IT Enabled Business Change.
    There is also a textbook for IT Enabled Business Change but I can't recommend it. Most of the ISEB books are clearly written and engaging, this was not. I got a first printing so if there's a revised edition you may be ok, but I found it impossible to read. I did pass however with the first 50 pages of that along with the Business Analysis Textbook.

    I've just ordered (today in fact) the textbook for Green IT from ISEB to see what it's like. Will probably sit the exam in a month or two.

    I usually find that reading the book a couple of times is enough although I also order the past papers from ISEB at a cost of about £22 each for one last test before the exam. Just to give me an idea of what to expect.

    I couldn't tell you about the practitioner exams. I've not done those yet, mostly due to similar concerns - will the textbooks be enough? :)

    One last point. Don't try being smart in the exams. If there's an obvious answer but you can think of a scenario which would make one of the other answers more likely - don't do it. The questions seem to be tailored to test specific content in the texts and that's the answers they want. At least that's my feelings after doing the above papers. Can't be certain of course as I don't know which questions I got right or wrong. There's one specific example which drove me nuts in the security paper and I'm pretty sure I got it wrong. But I don't want to mention it due to the NDA.

    Hopefully this helps a bit. If you want any more info, just let me know and I'll help if I can.

    Certifications: ISEB Foundation Cert in Software Testing
    WIP: More ISEB.....

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