ISTQB Certification Foundation Level Terms 3

domain: The set from which valid input and/or output values can be selected.

driver: A software component or test tool that replaces a component that takes care of the
control and/or the calling of a component or system.

dynamic analysis: The process of evaluating behavior, e.g. memory performance, CPU
usage, of a system or component during execution.

dynamic analysis tool: A tool that provides run-time information on the state of the software
code. These tools are most commonly used to identify unassigned pointers, check pointer
arithmetic and to monitor the allocation, use and de-allocation of memory and to flag
memory leaks.

dynamic comparison: Comparison of actual and expected results, performed while the
software is being executed, for example by a test execution tool.

dynamic testing: Testing that involves the execution of the software of a component or

efficiency: The capability of the software product to provide appropriate performance,
relative to the amount of resources used under stated conditions.

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

elementary comparison testing: A black box test design technique in which test cases are
designed to execute combinations of inputs using the concept of condition determination

emulator: A device, computer program, or system that accepts the same inputs and produces
the same outputs as a given system.

entry criteria: The set of generic and specific conditions for permitting a process to go
forward with a defined task, e.g. test phase. The purpose of entry criteria is to prevent a
task from starting which would entail more (wasted) effort compared to the effort needed
to remove the failed entry criteria.

entry point: The first executable statement within a component.

equivalence partition: A portion of an input or output domain for which the behavior of a
component or system is assumed to be the same, based on the specification.

equivalence partition coverage: The percentage of equivalence partitions that have been
exercised by a test suite.

equivalence partitioning: A black box test design technique in which test cases are designed
to execute representatives from equivalence partitions. In principle test cases are designed
to cover each partition at least once.

error: A human action that produces an incorrect result.

error guessing: A test design technique where the experience of the tester is used to
anticipate what defects might be present in the component or system under test as a result
of errors made, and to design tests specifically to expose them.

error tolerance: The ability of a system or component to continue normal operation despite
the presence of erroneous inputs.

exception handling: Behavior of a component or system in response to erroneous input, from
either a human user or from another component or system, or to an internal failure.

executable statement: A statement which, when compiled, is translated into object code, and
which will be executed procedurally when the program is running and may perform an
action on data.

exercised: A program element is said to be exercised by a test case when the input value
causes the execution of that element, such as a statement, decision, or other structural

exhaustive testing: A test approach in which the test suite comprises all combinations of
input values and preconditions.

exit criteria: The set of generic and specific conditions, agreed upon with the stakeholders,
for permitting a process to be officially completed. The purpose of exit criteria is to
prevent a task from being considered completed when there are still outstanding parts of
the task which have not been finished. Exit criteria are used to report against and to plan
when to stop testing.

exit point: The last executable statement within a component.

expected result: The behavior predicted by the specification, or another source, of the
component or system under specified conditions.

experienced-based test design technique: Procedure to derive and/or select test cases based
on the tester’s experience, knowledge and intuition.

exploratory testing: An informal test design technique where the tester actively controls the
design of the tests as those tests are performed and uses information gained while testing to
design new and better tests.

fail: A test is deemed to fail if its actual result does not match its expected result.

failure: Deviation of the component or system from its expected delivery, service or result.

failure mode: The physical or functional manifestation of a failure. For example, a system in
failure mode may be characterized by slow operation, incorrect outputs, or complete
termination of execution.

Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA): A systematic approach to risk identification
and analysis of identifying possible modes of failure and attempting to prevent their

Failure Mode, Effect and Criticality Analysis (FMECA): An extension of FMEA, as in
addition to the basic FMEA, it includes a criticality analysis, which is used to chart the
probability of failure modes against the severity of their consequences. The result
highlights failure modes with relatively high probability and severity of consequences,
allowing remedial effort to be directed where it will produce the greatest value.

failure rate: The ratio of the number of failures of a given category to a given unit of
measure, e.g. failures per unit of time, failures per number of transactions, failures per
number of computer runs.

false-fail result: A test result in which a defect is reported although no such defect actually
exists in the test object.

false-pass result: A test result which fails to identify the presence of a defect that is actually
present in the test object.

fault seeding: The process of intentionally adding known defects to those already in the
component or system for the purpose of monitoring the rate of detection and removal, and
estimating the number of remaining defects.

fault seeding tool: A tool for seeding (i.e. intentionally inserting) faults in a component or

fault tolerance: The capability of the software product to maintain a specified level of
performance in cases of software faults (defects) or of infringement of its specified
interface. [ISO 9126] See also reliability, robustness.

Fault Tree Analysis (FTA): A technique used to analyze the causes of faults (defects). The
technique visually models how logical relationships between failures, human errors, and
external events can combine to cause specific faults to disclose.

feasible path: A path for which a set of input values and preconditions exists which causes it
to be executed.

feature: An attribute of a component or system specified or implied by requirements
documentation (for example reliability, usability or design constraints).

finite state machine: A computational model consisting of a finite number of states and
transitions between those states, possibly with accompanying actions.

formal review: A review characterized by documented procedures and requirements, e.g.

frozen test basis: A test basis document that can only be amended by a formal change control

Function Point Analysis (FPA): Method aiming to measure the size of the functionality of
an information system. The measurement is independent of the technology. This
measurement may be used as a basis for the measurement of productivity, the estimation of
the needed resources, and project control.

functional integration: An integration approach that combines the components or systems
for the purpose of getting a basic functionality working early.

functional requirement: A requirement that specifies a function that a component or system
must perform.

functional test design technique: Procedure to derive and/or select test cases based on an
analysis of the specification of the functionality of a component or system without
reference to its internal structure.

functional testing: Testing based on an analysis of the specification of the functionality of a
component or system.
functionality: The capability of the software product to provide functions which meet stated
and implied needs when the software is used under specified conditions.

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

hazard analysis: A technique used to characterize the elements of risk. The result of a hazard
analysis will drive the methods used for development and testing of a system.

heuristic evaluation: A static usability test technique to determine the compliance of a user
interface with recognized usability principles (the so-called “heuristics”).
high level test case: A test case without concrete (implementation level) values for input data
and expected results. Logical operators are used; instances of the actual values are not yet
defined and/or available.

horizontal traceability: The tracing of requirements for a test level through the layers of test
documentation (e.g. test plan, test design specification, test case specification and test
procedure specification or test script).

hyperlink: A pointer within a web page that leads to other web pages.

hyperlink tool: A tool used to check that no brtoken hyperlinks are present on a web site.

impact analysis: The assessment of change to the layers of development documentation, test
documentation and components, in order to implement a given change to specified

incident: Any event occurring that requires investigation.

incident logging: Recording the details of any incident that occurred, e.g. during testing.

incident management: The process of recognizing, investigating, taking action and disposing
of incidents. It involves logging incidents, classifying them and identifying the impact.

incident management tool: A tool that facilitates the recording and status tracking of
incidents. They often have workflow-oriented facilities to track and control the allocation,
correction and re-testing of incidents and provide reporting facilities.

incident report: A document reporting on any event that occurred, e.g. during the testing,
which requires investigation.

incremental development model: A development life cycle where a project is broken into a
series of increments, each of which delivers a portion of the functionality in the overall
project requirements. The requirements are prioritized and delivered in priority order in the
appropriate increment. In some (but not all) versions of this life cycle model, each
subproject follows a ‘mini V-model’ with its own design, coding and testing phases.

incremental testing: Testing where components or systems are integrated and tested one or
some at a time, until all the components or systems are integrated and tested.

independence of testing: Separation of responsibilities, which encourages the
accomplishment of objective testing.

infeasible path: A path that cannot be exercised by any set of possible input values.

informal review: A review not based on a formal (documented) procedure.

input: A variable (whether stored within a component or outside) that is read by a


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