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Certified Software Test Automation Specialist
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[See CSTAS Graduates]


The CSTAS certification aims at achieving the following objectives:

  • Help test automation personnel develop the skills necessary to perform all activities related to software test automation for any type of system.
  • Help test automation personnel gain a better understanding of the broad range of test automation tools and techniques.
  • Expand test automation beyond functional testing to include many other areas such as performance testing, load testing, test management, test automation support, and code level test automation.
  • Provide test automation personnel with techniques and methods to design tests for automation.

Two requirements must be satisfied before the CSTAS certification can be granted. These are the Formal Education Requirements and Job Experience Requirements

Formal Educational Requirements

Candidates must complete a course of study that consists of ten (10) days of training as follows:

Written Exam:

Candidates are required to complete a written exam for each course and pass with a level of performance no less than 80%. For courses conducted by IIST, a candidate is allowed to retake the exam for a second time without having to attend the course again. There is a $100 fee for retakes. If 80% performance is not achieved on a second attempt, the candidate must retake the course or take another course covering the same BOK area.
If the course failed was taken on-line you will get access to the on-line course and a retake exam for $100. If the course was taken on-site or at public training and is available on-line you can get access to both the on-line course and retake exam for half the original price of the on-line course. If the course is failed for a 3rd time and was taken on-line you will get access to the on-line course and a retake exam for half the original price of the on-line course.

Transfer of Credit:

A CSTAS  candidate who has been awarded a Certified Software Test Professional (CSTP) designation or Certified Test Manager (CTM) designation may receive a credit for THREE days as elective training towards the CSTAS certification.

Job Experience Requirements

In addition to the educational Requirement, a candidate must demonstrate knowledge of at least one commercially available functional test automation tool.  This requirement shall be satisfied by submitting to IIST a statement signed by the candidate manager.   If the candidate is self-employed or a consultant, the statement must be signed by a client of the candidate for whom the candidate has performed service using the specific tool.  The statement shall indicate that the candidate has at least two years experience using the tool.


Upon satisfying both formal education and job experience requirements, a candidate shall submit an application to the IIST Chairperson for the certification to be granted. Application forms can be obtained here. The application must be accompanied by payment of the $180 non- refundable graduation fee. This fee covers the cost associated with record-keeping, grading exams, and certification plaque. Please note there will be an additional $100 for shipping plaques outside the U.S.

Software Test Automation Body of Knowledge (STABOK)

  • Understanding Test Design
  • Designing tests from requirements
  • Designing tests from scenarios
  • Requirement-based test design methods and techniques
  • Separation of data from scripts
  • Code-based test design
  • Automation considerations when designing tests
  • Selecting candidate tests to automate

See course selection

  • Understanding of basic and advanced scripting and programming techniques frequently utilized in Test Automation
  • Working with files
  • OCR
  • VBScript and Windows in the examples
  • Robust Execution
  • Object Validation
  • Action Validation
  • Recovery Design
  • Status Reporting
  • Maintenance Control
  • Regular Expressions for Dynamic Object Recognition
  • Dynamic Data Generation
  • Object Class Modification
  • Business Process Path Modification

See course selection

  • Relational DBMS Basics
  • SQL Basics – Select, Insert, Update, Delete
  • Using Aggregation to determine data health
  • Combining Data from Multiple Tables with Joins
  • Foreign Key Problems
  • Using Sub-queries
  • Generating Test Data
  • Views
  • Indices
  • Testing Scalable Architectures
  • Transaction Process Monitor (TPM)
  • Database Integrity
  • UML Database Model
  • Outer Join example for testing 
  • Queries for Data Verification

See course selection

(Candidate must select 5 days of training covering 5 of the areas below)

  1. Database Fundamentals for Test Engineers
  2. Database Testing: Advanced Topics
  3. Risk Based Testing Analysis and Management
  4. Testing Web and eCommerce Applications
  5. Performance Testing for Web and Client/Server Applications
  6. Performance Testing Fundamentals
  7. Advanced Performance Testing & Tuning Techniques
  8. Programming and Database Concepts for Testing and QA Professionals
  9. Programming Concepts for Test and QA Professionals
  10. XML and Web Services Testing
  11. Application and Data Security Testing
  12. A Survey of Test Automation Tools

See course selection

  • Overview of automation
    • The purpose of test automation
    • Different uses of technology to manage the testing effort (management, functional, performance, other types of testing, and with different SDLC approaches such as waterfall or iterative)
    • Comparison of the vendor landscape to support test automation
    •  Selecting and acquiring test automation tools
    • Determining automation requirements
      • Defining goals and requirements including feasible uses of automation
      • Determining return on investment
      • Application compatibility
    • Vendor selection and evaluation
      • Understanding the potential for diverse vendors and solutions
      • Vendor tool evaluation techniques
  • Effective installation and maintenance approaches
    • Infrastructure considerations
    • Implementation approaches that support ongoing ease of use
    • Organizational considerations to support automation
  • A Survey of Test Automation Tools
    • Functional Testing tools
      • Through the interface
      • Under the interface
      • Web services
    • Non Function Testing tools
      • Load
      • Performance
      • Security
    • Code Level tools
      • Structural Test Execution tools
      • Static Testing/Analysis  tools
    • Test Automation Support Tools and Systems
    • Test Management Tools

    See course selection

  • Overview of automation architectures for various testing efforts (functional, performance, etc.)
  • Characteristic of a good test automation architecture
  • Description of test automation architectures
  • Design approaches for architectures
    • Functional
    • Performance
    • Other types
  • Design approaches to support the organizational model
    • Minimal automation resources
    • Various levels of experience
    • Unattended testing
  • Integrating multiple tools into the design
    • Scripting tools
    • Data query and validation tools

    See course selection

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