10 juillet 2024 Gestion des tests Méthodologie

Passing ALL ISTQB certifications: Daniel Van der Zwan’s remarkable achievement


Daniel Van der Zwan is a Quality Assurance Engineer specializing in sea logistics information systems. This QA professional, based in the Netherlands, recently took on an extraordinary challenge: obtaining all ISTQB certifications (27 in total)!

We are delighted to share his story with you.

Discover his new challenges, his tips for passing certifications, and the reaction of his management upon learning of his achievement!


Hightest: You obtained all the ISTQB certifications in just 4 years and 3 days. Why did you set yourself this challenge?

Daniel Van der Zwan: After I had achieved the first 2 Expert Certifications, I did the first Specialist Certification. The Syllabi for the Specialist Certifications help you get additional insights into those specific topics & contributes to obtain a wider understanding on all aspects of testing in ‘special’ areas, which I really like. Furthermore this is also helpful in the preparation for the Expert level certifications. I decided after the first Specialist to try to obtain all Certifications within 4 years.

Hightest: Now that you have obtained all the ISTQB certifications, what is your next challenge?

Daniel Van der Zwan: First of all, I want to keep my knowledge up-to-date, meaning that I want to retake the exams for updated certifications (like CTAL-TM and CT-TAE) as well as any new Certifications the ISTQB releases. If there is any time left 😉, I am taking the Certification Exams for the UNITED Syllabi of which I have already 3 Certifications. These are helpful in addition to the ISTQB.

Furthermore I am actively involved in reviewing & commenting on new/updated Syllabi for both the ISTQB and UNITED, as well that I am involved in the creation of a brand new UNITED Syllabus together with other experts (I cannot disclose the topic yet)

Hightest: Have you ever set yourself other challenges in the past? (Not necessarily in the field of testing; we can easily imagine you climbing Everest!)

Daniel Van der Zwan: Not as hard as I did with this challenge 🙂

Hightest: How do you feel now that you have achieved this record?

Daniel Van der Zwan: Proud! Especially as I noticed that it is inspiring other people to expand their knowledge as well, that is the greatest reward for me.

Hightest: If you met another person who had all the certifications, what would you infer about them?

Daniel Van der Zwan: As far as I know, I am currently the only one with all 27 ISTQB Certifications, I would welcome & support anyone who is inspired to do the same.

Hightest: What is the quality that helped you the most in passing all these certifications?

Daniel Van der Zwan: There are a few qualities you will need to have, first of all dedication & discipline, support from the people at home (it is taking a LOT of time) and last but not least, you need to be a little bit crazy…

Hightest: What is your favorite method for studying?

Daniel Van der Zwan: I have created my own approach, my 7 step principle

  • Step 1 – read the Syllabus
  • Step 2 – extract all learning objectives
  • Step 3 – try to formulate your own questions
  • Step 4 – answer them
  • Step 5 – check the answer with the syllabus
  • Step 6 – focus on the weak spots
  • Step 7 – take the practise exam from the ISTQB

Hightest: Which certification did you find the most difficult?

Daniel Van der Zwan: Any of the Expert Levels, these are the hardest by far.

Hightest: The most exciting?

Daniel Van der Zwan: I have to choose the same, any of the Expert Levels.

Hightest: What does your employer think of your collection?

Daniel Van der Zwan: My employer is very proud to have me on board, after achieving the 27th Certificate they have created a trophy “World Champion ISTQB Exams”

Hightest: Have you noticed that your profile has become more attractive to companies since you obtained all these certifications?

Daniel Van der Zwan: Yes I have noticed that, however as you can see in the answer on the previous questions, I have a great employer so I am happy to be part of this company.

Hightest: Are TMMi certifications on your radar? What do you think of this framework?

Daniel Van der Zwan: Yes and no, I am interested in doing these as well, however not in the short term. It looks valuable to me to start looking into this in future, I have read a lot about it in my preparation for the Expert Level Test Process Improvement. I have even developed my own model for an assessment on test process maturity which is partly based on the TMMi for the company I work for.

Hightest: You participated in the development of the new version of ISTQB Foundation. How did that go?

Daniel Van der Zwan: I have participated in reviewing & commenting on various Syllabi, for example (not limited to) CTFL4, CTAL-TM, CT-ATLaS, CT-TAE.

It is an honor to be part of these reviews. If you are interested to participate in this as well, you can check with your national ISTQB representative if they need reviewers. Of course you need to sign an NDA and have sufficient knowledge & experience.


Thank you to Daniel Van der Zwan for this interview, and good luck to everyone training for a certification!

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