Are you studying for ...?

Here's something to help you learn

This is the old page and is out of date, as it only deals with the software testing questions. There are now additional questions, on German strong and irregular verbs and multiplication tables. The program and all question sets will be found at and this is the place to go from now on. This change took place on 20th June 2008. It might take a little while for the addressing and re-directs to settle down. The Syllabus makes use of about 150 special terms which are defined in ISTQB's "Standard glossary of terms used in Software Testing ". You will need to know these terms, but it might not be very easy to learn them. Here's a way of doing this.

It's not a tutorial or a self study guide - it's a computer program. It's a simple program and most of the user interaction is with a single screen that asks a question usually beginning with 'What'. (And then another. And another...) So it's called a WhatBot.

To get the best use from this program, you have to be determined to learn. It doesn't play little sounds to reward you or display congratulatory messages. It doesn't spoon-feed you, it interrogates you! It's like exercising in the gym - you might not really enjoy it while you are doing it but you're glad you did it afterwards.

The WhatBot selects a term from the Syllabus (apparently at random) and asks if you know it. You think about it and decide if you know the term and how well (Yes/Partly/No). Then it asks another and another and another - for as long as you want the practice.

The order the WhatBot selects the terms to ask is unpredictable but is not in fact random - the program takes account of your knowledge when selecting the terms. So when you say you know a term, the WhatBot will select that term less often in the future. But to make sure you really know it, the WhatBot will still select that term from time to time.

See screenshots here.

The program runs on Windows, using .Net Version 1.1. This may already be installed on your PC because of other programs or Windows update; if not, you get it from Microsoft - a free download.
You will find out if you haven't got .Net installed, as the program will not run - you will see an error message that the "application failed to initialize properly", with an error code of 0xc0000135. If you are running Vista, you may not get that far, as Vista may tell you that you need the Net Framework. Make sure you DOWNLOAD VERSION 1.1 - you will need Adminstrator privileges to install it.

You can have a free licence, lasting a month or so from now (early May) until June. If you agree to provide some feedback on how you got on installing or using the program, you can get a free licence lasting longer. To get the licence, go to the Message Board/Forums (see below) and read the entry under "News and Announcements". You can read the Forums and get the shorter licence without registering.

If you are a training provider or a company sending employees on ISEB/ISTQB courses, a commercial licence can be arranged.

Changes for Version 2

The WhatBot program has now been made more general; instead of the questions and answers being built into the program, they are contained in a separate Question Set file, which you load into the WhatBot. The intention is that it will be easier to update the questions and that in the future you will be able to get other Question Sets on other topics. In fact the licence you enter refers to the Question Set. You will download both the program and the Question Set file.
At present the only Question Sets that are available are the ISTQB terminology set and a sample question set. (This sample question set is about the use of apostrophes in English and you get that included with the program. The Apostrophes Question Set has a separate licence which lasts until September 2009.) Coming soon - Question Sets on German Strong/Irregular Verbs, English Kings and Queens

Version History
Version 0 - Not issued
Version 1 - Only dealt with Software Testing. Questions embedded in program.
Version 2 - Current version

Download the program and ISTQB question set from here.

The program has been virus-checked but, as ever, you should run your own virus checker on it. It has been tested on Windows XP, Vista and Win 98.
To install it, right-click on the zip file and Extract All. Make sure you unzip the files like this, (rather than double clicking on the zip file) so you can find the Question Set later.
Now run Setup in the WhatBotsV2 folder you have just extracted. On Vista, you may get User Account Control messages because of an unidentified program/publisher - click on "Allow". When the program is installed, run it. Click on "Continue" to complete the setup. It will auto-licence the Apostrophes Question Set.
Look at Help on the "WhatBot Menu" screen.
You can look at the Apostrophes Question Set now or go on to load the ISTQB terminology questions by clicking on "More" (More Setup), then"Add QS" (Add new Question Set). The Question Set is already on your computer, in the WhatBotsV2 folder - navigate to ISTQB2008 on the "Browse for Folder" screen and click on OK.
You can now select either Apostrophes or ISTQB2008 on the Switch Questions dropdown.
Any problems - ask a question via the forums.

Click on the 'Forum' button below for the support/message board

Message Board

Apologies for the appearance of this website! There will be a better one eventually.

This web site has no connection with ISEB, ISTQB or BCS and is not endorsed by them. We are only able to use the ISEB/ISTQB material because of the generous terms of their copyright.


The definitions are taken from "Standard glossary of terms used in Software Testing, Version 2.0 (dd. December, 2nd 2007) Produced by the ‘Glossary Working Party’ International Software Testing Qualifications Board" Their copyright is gratefully acknowledged.

The selection of terms from the Glossary is based on those identified for use in the "Certified Tester Foundation Level Syllabus", Version 2007, of the International Software Testing Qualifications Board.

The authors and the ISTQB are acknowledged as the source and copyright owners of the Syllabus.

Copyright © 2007 the authors for the update 2007 (Thomas Müller (chair), Dorothy Graham, Debra Friedenberg and Erik van Veendendal)
Copyright © 2005, the authors (Thomas Müller (chair), Rex Black, Sigrid Eldh, Dorothy Graham, Klaus Olsen, Maaret Pyhäjärvi, Geoff Thompson and Erik van Veendendal).

Any use of the copyright material contained in this program must be in accordance with the conditions of the copyright owners. Please see the ISTQB website at for more information.