ISTQB Certification Foundation Level Terms 5

post-execution comparison: Comparison of actual and expected results, performed after the
software has finished running.

precondition: Environmental and state conditions that must be fulfilled before the component
or system can be executed with a particular test or test procedure.

priority: The level of (business) importance assigned to an item, e.g. defect.

procedure testing: Testing aimed at ensuring that the component or system can operate in
conjunction with new or existing users’ business procedures or operational procedures.

probe effect: The effect on the component or system by the measurement instrument when
the component or system is being measured, e.g. by a performance testing tool or monitor.
For example performance may be slightly worse when performance testing tools are being

process: A set of interrelated activities, which transform inputs into outputs.

process cycle test: A black box test design technique in which test cases are designed to
execute business procedures and processes.

process improvement: A program of activities designed to improve the performance and
maturity of the organization’s processes, and the result of such a program.

product risk: A risk directly related to the test object.

project: A project is a unique set of coordinated and controlled activities with start and finish
dates undertaken to achieve an objective conforming to specific requirements, including
the constraints of time, cost and resources.

project risk: A risk related to management and control of the (test) project, e.g. lack of
staffing, strict deadlines, changing requirements, etc.

pseudo-random: A series which appears to be random but is in fact generated according to
some prearranged sequence.

qualification: The process of demonstrating the ability to fulfill specified requirements. Note
the term ‘qualified’ is used to designate the corresponding status.

quality: The degree to which a component, system or process meets specified requirements
and/or user/customer needs and expectations.

quality assurance: Part of quality management focused on providing confidence that quality
requirements will be fulfilled.

quality attribute: A feature or characteristic that affects an item’s quality.

quality management: Coordinated activities to direct and control an organization with regard
to quality. Direction and control with regard to quality generally includes the establishment
of the quality policy and quality objectives, quality planning, quality control, quality
assurance and quality improvement.

random testing: A black box test design technique where test cases are selected, possibly
using a pseudo-random generation algorithm, to match an operational profile. This
technique can be used for testing non-functional attributes such as reliability and

recoverability: The capability of the software product to re-establish a specified level of
performance and recover the data directly affected in case of failure.

recoverability testing: The process of testing to determine the recoverability of a software

regression testing: Testing of a previously tested program following modification to ensure
that defects have not been introduced or uncovered in unchanged areas of the software, as a
result of the changes made. It is performed when the software or its environment is

release note: A document identifying test items, their configuration, current status and other
delivery information delivered by development to testing, and possibly other stakeholders,
at the start of a test execution phase.

reliability: The ability of the software product to perform its required functions under stated
conditions for a specified period of time, or for a specified number of operations.

reliability growth model: A model that shows the growth in reliability over time during
continuous testing of a component or system as a result of the removal of defects that result
in reliability failures.

reliability testing: The process of testing to determine the reliability of a software product.

replaceability: The capability of the software product to be used in place of another specified
software product for the same purpose in the same environment.

requirement: A condition or capability needed by a user to solve a problem or achieve an
objective that must be met or possessed by a system or system component to satisfy a
contract, standard, specification, or other formally imposed document.

requirements-based testing: An approach to testing in which test cases are designed based
on test objectives and test conditions derived from requirements, e.g. tests that exercise
specific functions or probe non-functional attributes such as reliability or usability.

requirements management tool: A tool that supports the recording of requirements,
requirements attributes (e.g. priority, knowledge responsible) and annotation, and
facilitates traceability through layers of requirements and requirements change
management. Some requirements management tools also provide facilities for static
analysis, such as consistency checking and violations to pre-defined requirements rules.

requirements phase: The period of time in the software life cycle during which the
requirements for a software product are defined and documented.

resource utilization: The capability of the software product to use appropriate amounts and
types of resources, for example the amounts of main and secondary memory used by the
program and the sizes of required temporary or overflow files, when the software performs
its function under stated conditions.

resource utilization testing: The process of testing to determine the resource-utilization of a
software product.

result: The consequence/outcome of the execution of a test. It includes outputs to screens,
changes to data, reports, and communication messages sent out.

resumption criteria: The testing activities that must be repeated when testing is re-started
after a suspension.

re-testing: Testing that runs test cases that failed the last time they were run, in order to
verify the success of corrective actions.

retrospective meeting: A meeting at the end of a project during which the project team
members evaluate the project and learn lessons that can be applied to the next project.

review: An evaluation of a product or project status to ascertain discrepancies from planned
results and to recommend improvements. Examples include management review, informal
review, technical review, inspection, and walkthrough.

reviewer: The person involved in the review that identifies and describes anomalies in the
product or project under review. Reviewers can be chosen to represent different viewpoints
and roles in the review process.

review tool: A tool that provides support to the review process. Typical features include
review planning and tracking support, communication support, collaborative reviews and a
repository for collecting and reporting of metrics.

risk: A factor that could result in future negative consequences; usually expressed as impact
and likelihood.

risk analysis: The process of assessing identified risks to estimate their impact and
probability of occurrence (likelihood).

risk-based testing: An approach to testing to reduce the level of product risks and inform
stakeholders on their status, starting in the initial stages of a project. It involves the
identification of product risks and their use in guiding the test process.

risk control: The process through which decisions are reached and protective measures are
implemented for reducing risks to, or maintaining risks within, specified levels.

risk identification: The process of identifying risks using techniques such as brainstorming,
checklists and failure history.

risk level: The importance of a risk as defined by its characteristics impact and likelihood.
The level of risk can be used to determine the intensity of testing to be performed. A risk
level can be expressed either qualitatively (e.g. high, medium, low) or quantitatively.

risk management: Systematic application of procedures and practices to the tasks of
identifying, analyzing, prioritizing, and controlling risk.

risk type: A specific category of risk related to the type of testing that can mitigate (control)
that category. For example the risk of user-interactions being misunderstood can be
mitigated by usability testing.

robustness: The degree to which a component or system can function correctly in the
presence of invalid inputs or stressful environmental conditions.

robustness testing: Testing to determine the robustness of the software product.

root cause: A source of a defect such that if it is removed, the occurance of the defect type is
decreased or removed.

root cause analysis: An analysis technique aimed at identifying the root causes of defects. By
directing corrective measures at root causes, it is hoped that the likelihood of defect
recurrence will be minimized.

safety: The capability of the software product to achieve acceptable levels of risk of harm to
people, business, software, property or the environment in a specified context of use.

safety critical system: A system whose failure or malfunction may result in death or serious
injury to people, or loss or severe damage to equipment, or environmental harm.

safety testing: Testing to determine the safety of a software product.

scalability: The capability of the software product to be upgraded to accommodate increased

scalability testing: Testing to determine the scalability of the software product.

scribe: The person who records each defect mentioned and any suggestions for process
improvement during a review meeting, on a logging form. The scribe has to ensure that the
logging form is readable and understandable.

scripted testing: Test execution carried out by following a previously documented sequence
of tests.

scripting language: A programming language in which executable test scripts are written,
used by a test execution tool (e.g. a capture/playback tool).

security: Attributes of software products that bear on its ability to prevent unauthorized
access, whether accidental or deliberate, to programs and data.

security testing: Testing to determine the security of the software product.

security testing tool: A tool that provides support for testing security characteristics and

security tool: A tool that supports operational security.

severity: The degree of impact that a defect has on the development or operation of a
component or system.

simulation: The representation of selected behavioral characteristics of one physical or
abstract system by another system.

simulator: A device, computer program or system used during testing, which behaves or
operates like a given system when provided with a set of controlled inputs.

site acceptance testing: Acceptance testing by users/customers at their site, to determine
whether or not a component or system satisfies the user/customer needs and fits within the
business processes, normally including hardware as well as software.

smoke test: A subset of all defined/planned test cases that cover the main functionality of a
component or system, to ascertaining that the most crucial functions of a program work,
but not bothering with finer details. A daily build and smoke test is among industry best

software: Computer programs, procedures, and possibly associated documentation and data
pertaining to the operation of a computer system.

Software Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (SFMEA): See Failure Mode and Effect
Analysis (FMEA).

Software Failure Mode Effect, and Criticality Analysis (SFMECA): See Failure Mode
and Effect, and Criticality Analysis (FMECA).


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