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Fundamentals of Testing – Chapter 1 – ISTQB Foundation

Every little piece of information helps with the exam for the ISTQB certification foundation level. Here is the first part of a series of summaries to aid you in memorising what is likely to be on the exam questions.

Read, then practice the exam for chapter 1 – Fundamentals of Testing, link at the end of this post, and practice the quiz as much as you feel comfortable going to the next chapter.

If you feel that you are ok to try the actual exam, there’s a quiz for that next to chapter one.

The more you read, the more you understand, and the more you know more you are ready to sit for the exam.

I have uploaded a mind map with a graphical visualisation of the ISTQB Foundation Level topics, a kind of Cheat Cheat, and you may find it helpful too to help you with the exam.

I hope you like it. Feel free to drop me a comment, or inform anything I’ve missed here. Good luck.

ISTQB Cheat Cheat | Chapter 1 Practice Exam Quiz | ISTQB Foundation Level Quiz
Want to Watch the Newer ISTQB 2018 Version?

Examples of why testing is necessary

People make mistakes due to fallibility and other pressures (e.g. deadlines).


A mistake in code, specifications document, etc.


A problem caused by an error.


A failure of the system or component caused by a defect.


Failures don’t only happen due to defects, environmental conditions, hardware problems, etc.

Objectives of testing

  • Avoid and rectify errors.
  • Ensure that critical functional and non-functional requirements are examined.
  • Testing is not about removing defects but about notifying developers about them.
  • Testing is also about reducing the risk of release.

Difference between testing and debugging

  • Debugging is a process used to identify the causes of bugs in code and correct them.
  • Testing is the exploration of the system to find defects.

Fundamental principles of testing

  • Testing shows the presence of bugs.
  • Exhaustive testing (testing all possible data combinations) is impossible.
  • Early testing saves money.
  • Defect clustering happens. If there is a bug in one part of the software, other related bugs are nearby.
  • “The pesticide paradox”: continuing to run the same tests won’t find new bugs.
  • Testing is context-dependent. Do you need more testing on security, user experience, etc.?
  • Software with no known errors is not necessarily ready to be shipped. Does it match user expectations?

Five fundamental test activities and tasks from planning to test closure

  • Planning and control.
  • Analysis and design.
  • Implementation and execution.
  • We are evaluating exit criteria and reporting.
  • Test closure.


Rerunning the tests after they fail and the bugs have been, in theory, fixed.

Resources triangle

Time, Money, and Quality. You can’t have them all; only pick two.

Completion criteria

The criteria you set at the beginning of a project determine when it is safe to stop testing.

Static testing

Testing where code is not exercised: document specification analysis, reviews, etc.

Dynamic testing

Kind of testing that exercises the program with some test data.

Testing independence

Developers are the least independent, whereas outsourced testing companies are the most independent because they don’t criticise defects.

ISTQB Cheat Cheat | Chapter 1 Practice Exam Quiz | ISTQB Foundation Level Quiz

Want to Watch the Newer ISTQB 2018 Version?


  • Rogerio da Silva

    Rogerio da Silva is a Brazilian who lives in the UK for a little over two decades. He is the owner of a test consulting and outsources services for software development. He likes to blog, write and create content that teaches others how to live a better life.  He loves reading biographies of successful authors and dream builders because they inspire him to keep creating!
    You can contact Rogerio for anything related to Business & Test Analyst | Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM | QA | Agile | Manual | Integration & Automation | DevOps | API | Cloud | AI | IoT | CRM | Website Consulting | Email Consulting | Facebook Ads | Social Media Marketing Plan | Sales Funnel | Looking for Scalable Services? InShore, OffShore or Hybrid. Interested? Ask me how we can help.

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