How Can I Prepare for the Certified TestStand Architect (CTA) Exam?

Publish Date: Sep 18, 2014 | 4 Ratings | 2.25 out of 5 | Print


This document offers resources to assist a candidate in preparing for a CTA exam.

Table of Contents

  1. TestStand Architect Certification Overview
  2. TestStand Exam Overview
  3. TestStand Exam Logistics
  4. TestStand Architect Exam Topics
  5. Additional Resources

1. TestStand Architect Certification Overview

The CTA certification represents a professional skill level in the design, development, and deployment of a customized TestStand-based test system (framework) to meet a set of requirements. In addition to the competencies of the Certified TestStand Developer (CTD), the CTA demonstrates the following:

  • Skills in translating TestStand specifications to design documents
  • Competency in the development and customization of the TestStand framework
  • Experience in the design of a scalable, maintainable, and well-documented TestStand framework that utilizes established development guidelines and practices

A CTA is a TestStand framework developer who creates or customizes the TestStand framework to meet a set of test system requirements. The CTA certification is for developers who wish to distinguish their software development skills and technical experience in the TestStand system. Candidates who want to certify at the CTA level must possess a valid CTD certification.

Note The CTD certification is a prerequisite to taking the CTA exam. There are no exceptions to this requirement. Refer to the How Can I Prepare for the Certified TestStand Developer (CTD) Exam?  document for more information about the CTD exam.

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2. TestStand Exam Overview

Product: NI TestStand Development System for Windows. Refer to  for details on the features available in the TestStand Development System.

Exam Duration: 1 hour
Number of Questions: 40
Style of Questions: Multiple-choice
Passing Grade: 75%
TestStand Version: 4.0 or later

Note Every attempt is made to create exams that are independent of the software version. However, two to four test items may base the question or answer choices on the latest version of the software. NI recommends that you familiarize yourself with the latest version of the software before the exam. You can download the latest version of TestStand for evaluation from:

The use of TestStand or any other external resources is prohibited during the exam. For assistance and wherever appropriate, screenshots are provided from the NI TestStand Help.

To maintain the integrity of the exam, you may not copy or reproduce any section of the exam. Failure to comply will result in failure.

In areas where the exam is deployed as a paper-based exam, detaching the binding staple will result in failure without evaluation.

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3. TestStand Exam Logistics

United States and Europe:  Both the TestStand certification exams can be taken at Pearson Vue test centers. The exams are computer-based and results are available immediately upon completion of the exam. Refer to for more details and scheduling.

Asia: The exam is paper-based, for which the evaluations and results take about 4 weeks. Please contact your National Instruments local office for details and scheduling.

For general questions or comments, email:

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4. TestStand Architect Exam Topics

  1. Test frameworks
  2. TestStand API
  3. Customizing steps
  4. Customizing process models
  5. Customizing user interfaces
  6. Customizing database interaction
  7. Design considerations

Refer to the CTA Exam preparation guide in the download section for an overview and details of CTA Exam topics.

Note The Certified TestStand Architect exam is cumulative and includes topics from the Certified TestStand Developer exam.

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5. Additional Resources

When preparing for NI TestStand Certification exams, your best resource will be the Exam Preparation Guide. However,  the NI TestStand Advanced Architecture Series is an additional resource at your disposal. 

The NI TestStand Advanced Architecture Series covers development best practices targeted at advanced NI TestStand developers. The series' authors are NI TestStand architects and developers who provide insightful content that goes beyond basic documentation by offering best practices for large and complex projects.  Download the PDF for FREE or get the printed version (paperback) at cost.

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