Software Testing Foundation – Topic Cheat Sheet – ISTQB-ISEB

Here’s a mind map with the topics cheat sheet to prepare for the ISTQB-ISEB Software Testing foundation level exam.

You can download the image in A3 size if you want to print it out and stick it to the wall so you can visualise and try to memorize the topics.

Or you can use the mind map I have shared publicly and access using MindMeister with free registration and look into more details.

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Software Testing Foundation Cheat Sheet - ISTQB-ISEB

Software Testing Foundation Cheat Sheet – ISTQB-ISEB

Download the High-Resolution image. (PNG format)

Download the A3 size to print in that size. (PDF format)

I have shared this mind map. Copy it away and amend it as you like.

Software Testing Foundation – ISTQB-ISEB Topics

1. Fundamentals of Testing

Why is Testing Necessary?

  • Human -> Error (mistake) -> Defect (fault, bug) which when executed may cause -> Failure.
  • Measures the quality of the software.
  • Gives confidence in the quality.
  • Reduces the overall level of risk.
  • How much testing? It depends on risk, safety & project constraints.

Testing Objectives

  • Finding Defects.
  • Providing information for decision-making.
  • Preventing defects.
  • Gaining confidence about the level of quality.

Testing Objectives

  • Finding Defects.
  • Providing information for decision-making.
  • Preventing defects.
  • Gaining confidence about the level of quality.

Seven Testing Principles

  • Testing shows the presence of defects.
  • Exhaustive testing is impossible.
  • Early testing.
  • Defect clustering.
  • Pesticide paradox.
  • Testing is context-dependent.
  • Absence-of-error fallacy.

Fundamental Test Process

  • Planning & Control.
  • Analysis & Design.
  • Implementation & Execution.
  • Evaluating Exit Criteria & Reporting.
  • Test Closure.

The Psychology of Testing

  • The mindset of Developer & Tester.
  • Communication in a constructive manner.
  • Test Independence.

Code of Ethics

  • Code is necessary, among other reasons, to ensure information accessed by testers is not put to inappropriate use.

2. Testing Throughout the Software Life Cycle

Software Development Models


  • Waterfall.
  • V-model.


  • Agile.
  • Scrum.

Test Levels

Black Box
  • Functional Testing.
  • Non-Functional Testing (Software Characteristics).
White Box
  • Structural Testing.

Testing Related to Change

  • Re-Testing.
  • Regression.

Maintenance Testing

Triggered by
  • Modification.
  • Migration.
  • Retirement.
  • Change to a deployed software system or its environment.
  • Extensive regression testing is required.

3. Static Techniques

Review Types

  • Informal Review.
  • Walk-through.
  • Technical Review.
  • Inspection.

Activities of a Formal Review

  • Planning.
  • Kick-off.
  • Individual Preparation.
  • Review Meeting.
  • Rework.
  • Follow-up.

Static Analysis by Tools

  • Find defects in software source code and models.
  • Can locate defects that are hard to locate in dynamic testing.

4. Test Design Techniques

Test Development Process

  • Test Design Specification.
  • Test Case Specification.
  • Test Procedure Specification.

Specification-based or Black-box Techniques

  • Equivalence Partitioning.
  • Boundary Value Analysis.
  • Decision Tables.
  • State Transition Diagrams/Tables.
  • Use Case Testing.

Structure-based or White-box Techniques

  • Statement Testing & Coverage (weakest).
  • Decision Testing & Coverage (stronger than Statement).

Other Structure-based Techniques

  • Condition Testing.
  • Multiple Condition Testing.
  • All Path Testing (Strongest).

Choosing Test techniques

  • Risk & Objectives.
  • Type of System & Dev Cycle.
  • Regulatory Standards.
  • Time & Budget.
  • Knowledge & Experience.

5. Test Management

Test Organisation

  • Independent Testing.
  • Tasks of Test Leader & Tester.

Test Planning & Estimation

Test Planning

  • Test Policy, Strategy.
  • Estimation Techniques.
  • Test Plan.

Test Approaches

  • Analytical.
  • Model-based.
  • Methodical.
  • Process Compliant or Standard Compliant.
  • Regression-Averse.
  • Dynamic and Heuristic.
  • Consultative.
  • Entry & Exit Criteria.

Test Progress Monitoring & Control

  • Test Monitoring.
  • Test Reporting & Control.
  • Test Summary Report.

Risks and Testing

  • Risk: Probability/Likelihood & Impact.
  • Project & Product Risks.
  • Risk-based testing approach.

Configuration Management

  • Establish and maintain the integrity of the products and ensure all items of test ware are identified, version controlled, and tracked for changes related to each other.

Incident Management

  • Incident Management.
  • Incident Logging.
  • Test Incident Report.

6. Test Support for Testing

Types of Test Tools

  • Management of Testing & Tests.
  • Performance & Monitoring.
  • Specific testing Needs.
  • Test Execution & Logging.
  • Test Specification.
  • Static Testing.

Effective Use of Tools

  • Potential Benefits & Risks.
  • Special consideration for Test Execution, Static analysis & Test Management tools.

Introducing a Tool into an Organisation

  • Main Considerations.
  • Start with a Pilot project.
  • Success factors for deployment.

Tools I’ve used to help with the video and mind mapping:

Mind MappingMindmeister

Plan and brainstorm online with friends with the free mind-mapping tool MindMeister.

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  • 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. da Silva Rogerio

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