Category:OWASP Certification Requirements

Revision as of 20:42, 27 July 2008 by Jm04469 (talk | contribs) (Exam Details)

Jump to: navigation, search
OWASP Certification Project
Project Name OWASP Certification Requirements
Summary This document outlines the basic requirements around the exam portion of certification. Separate pages will be created to discuss marketing, dispute resolution, study aids and other aspects.
Email Contacts Project Leader
James McGovern
First Exam
November 1st 2008
Second Exam
February 1st 2009
Final Exam
March 1st 2009
Mailing List
To subscribe
To use

Learning Outcomes

  • Be concise. Each question should be one to two sentences
  • Describe the behavior as a desired end product
  • Focus on observable behaviors only
  • Use definite terms (write, define, list, identify, predict, select, etc)
  • Avoid vague terms (learn, see, realize, develop, understand, apply, etc.)

Bad Examples...

  1. Develop accuracy (undefined trait)
  2. Know the rules for constructing essay tests (indefinite term)
  3. Define and calculate the mean and explain its uses (multiple behaviors)

Good Examples...

  1. Identifies the correct definition of terms
  2. Mount a USB key drive
  3. Schedule a cron job

Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives

  • KNOWLEDGE (remembering previously learned material)
    • Knowledge of specifics
    • Knowledge of terms
    • Knowledge of specific facts
  • Knowledge of ways and means of dealing with specifics
    • Knowledge of conventions
    • Knowledge of trends and sequences
    • Knowledge of classifications and categories
    • Knowledge of criteria
    • Knowledge of methodology
  • Knowledge of the universals and abstractions
    • Knowledge of principles and generalizations
  • COMPREHENSION (grasping the meaning of the material)
    • Translation (converting one form to another)
    • Interpretation (explaining or summarizing material)
    • Extrapolation (extending meaning beyond the data)
  • APPLICATION (using info in concrete situations)
    • Analysis (Breaking down material into its parts)
      • Analysis of elements (identifying the parts)
      • Analysis of relationships
      • Analysis of organizational principles (identifying the way parts are organizaned)
    • Evaluation (judging value of a thing using definite criteria)
      • Judgments in terms of internal evidence
      • Judgments in terms of external criteria

Content Area (Developer)

Exam One - Apprentice
Subject Area Questions
(Target Count)
Content Owner
Content Reviewers
Basic Security Principles 30 to 40 James McGovern TBD
OWASP Top Ten 10 to 20 TBD TBD
Penetration Testing 30 to 40 TBD TBD
Code Review 20 to 30 TBD TBD
Logging 10 to 20 James McGovern TBD
Software Design Patterns 10 to 15 TBD TBD
Network Security 30 to 40 James McGovern TBD
XML 20 to 30 TBD TBD
Cryptography 10 to 15 TBD TBD
Software Testing 20 to 30 TBD TBD
Threats and Vulnerabilities 30 to 40 TBD TBD
Language Specific 20 to 30 TBD TBD
Databases 10 to 15 TBD TBD
Configuration and Release Management 30 to 40 TBD TBD

Content Area (Architect)

Exam Two - Journeyman
Subject Area Questions
(Target Count)
Content Owner
Content Reviewers
SDLC 30 to 40 TBD TBD
Information Security Policies 10 to 20 TBD TBD
Software Architecture 30 to 40 TBD TBD
Economics 20 to 30 James McGovern TBD
Requirements and Analysis 10 to 20 James McGovern TBD
Strategy 10 to 15 TBD TBD
SOA 30 to 40 Gunnar Peterson TBD
Identity Management 20 to 30 TBD TBD
Entitlements Management 10 to 15 James McGovern TBD
Privacy 20 to 30 TBD TBD

Content Area (Master)

The third exam will be a written essay or presentation on a topic deemed appropriate by the OWASP board. The deciding criteria will be determined by OWASP chapter leaders. Each chapter leader will receive one vote. The OWASP Certification Project Leader also gets one vote and subject area contributors also will receive one vote. If people play both roles, then they are permitted two votes. In order to pass, a candidate must receive more positive votes than negative.

Exam Details

  1. The first exam will consist of 100 to 120 questions (random) where the format is either multiple choice or true/false.
  2. Candidates may only take a beta exam once.
  3. Candidates who fail an exam must wait a period of ninety (90) calendar days, beginning the day after the failed attempt, before they may retest for the same exam.
  4. Once passed, a candidate must wait a minimum of 180 days before taking the same exam with an identical exam number.

Passing scores are set by using statistical analysis and are subject to change. At the completion of the exam, candidates receive a score report along with a score breakout by exam section and the passing score for the given exam. OWASP does not publish exam passing scores because exam questions and passing scores are subject to change without notice.


You will notice that we have not landed on the branding aspects around each certification level. Below are some of our ideas:

  • Developer, Architect, Master
  • Associate, Professional, Expert
  • Apprentice, Journeyman, Master

In terms of names of the certification, we are currently exploring:

  • Certified Application Security (above)


All content, specifically questions, answers and diagrams of the certification exams are the proprietary and confidential property of OWASP. They may not be copied, reproduced, modified, published, uploaded, posted, transmitted, or distributed in anyway without the express authorization of OWASP. Candidates who sit for OWASP exams must agree they have read and will abide by the terms and conditions of the OWASP Certifications and Confidentiality Agreement before beginning the certification exam. The agreement applies to all exams. Signing and adhering to this agreement is required to be officially certified and to maintain valid certification.


Candidates must take no action to compromise the integrity or confidentiality of any OWASP certification exam or certification program. Penalties for violating the policy can include up to and including a lifetime ban on all future exams and the nullification of all previous certifications.


All official correspondence to certified candidates is sent to the email and/or address recorded in the OWASP Certifications Tracking System. Candidates are responsible for updating their personal information in the Tracking System to ensure receipt of official correspondence.


OWASP respects your privacy and is committed to protect the personal information that you share with us. The OWASP Privacy Policy describes how we collect and use your personal information.


Certification status for exams will expire after a period of time. Candidates with a valid certification must pass an exam designated for recertification to keep their status and reminders will be sent via your email address that is on file.

Other Disclaimers

  • The target count for questions is the number of desired questions that are part of the exam question pool at any one time. Over time, questions will be expired and new ones will be added. The pool of questions created by the project team should be double the indicated target count.
  • Each subject area will have two reviewers of which the project manager may agree to be one.
  • The indicated target count should not be construed as to the number of questions that will be asked in any given exam. This will be determined based on psychometric analysis and/or other factors including but not limited to:
    • Analysis of statistics provided by initial OWASP Certification Survey
    • Detection of exam cheating (e.g. collusion, fraud, etc) by test takers
    • Feedback received from beta test takers
    • Adjustments to the exam to target first time test taker failure rate
  • The Project Leader and members of the OWASP board will be the only entities that will ever see the entire question set
  • No exam test taker, their employers or potential employers should assume that those who pass are suitable for any particular purpose, only that they have demonstrated sufficient knowledge of the subject areas covered by the exam
  • OWASP reserves the right to revoke certification of test takers who have been validated as cheats on other IT certifications
  • OWASP reserves the right to publish the names and full contact information of any individual or party who compromises the validity of the certification

This category currently contains no pages or media.