Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I Failed The ISTQB Practice Exam - Part III and IV

Series: Part IPart IIPart III & IVPart VPart VI and Final Thoughts

Welcome back! Static Techniques is short, so I've thrown in Test Design Techniques at no extra charge. I was on 7/13...

Part III - Static Techniques

14. Which of the following are the main phases of a formal review?

a) Initiation, status, preparation, review meeting, rework, follow up.
b) Planning, preparation, review meeting, rework, closure, follow up.
c) Planning, kick off, individual preparation, review meeting, rework, follow up.
d) Preparation, review meeting, rework, closure, follow up, root cause analysis.

My answer: ?
ISTQB says: C

A formal review of what? Any review of anything that conforms to a particular structure. Okay. So any of these could be the main phases of a review that is formal. The question is actually asking "which of the following are the main phases of the kind of formal review that I'm thinking of right now". I couldn't have answered this without reading the material and memorising a specific kind of formal review.

Score: 7/14

15. Which TWO of the review types below are the BEST fitted (most adequate) options to choose for reviewing safety critical components in a software project? 
Select 2 options. 

a) Informal review.
b) Management review.
c) Inspection.
d) Walkthrough.
e) Technical Review.

My answer: C & E, it depends
ISTQB says: C and E

I gave myself the marks, because I had the same answer. I don't know why these are always the most adequate options... unless they're just the most adequate out of the selection. An informal review (by my terminology as any review that is informal) can have powerful results in terms of learning. A review by management may be helpful in some circumstances - even a review of management might help. Inspection is the stupidest answer I've ever heard for anything - of course you're going to inspect the safety critical components. 1/40th of this exam rides on the answer to the question "do you think you should look at safety critical components when reviewing them?" being "yes". Walkthroughs are incredibly useful for understanding the structure, interface and purpose of components. Technical reviews are... also useful. I just picked two because the question told me to pick two, but I could debate the case for each. Oh, and what the hell is a "component" in the context of the project, and what is the project for? To replicate the feeling I'm having here imagine having George R R Martin on your radio show about improving creating writing and asking him "so, which is better, pencil or pen?".

Score: 8/15

16. Which of the following statements about static analysis is FALSE?

a) Static analysis can be used as a preventive measure with appropriate process in place. 
b) Static analysis can find defects that are not easily found by dynamic testing.
c) Static analysis can result in cost savings by finding defects early.
d) Static analysis is a good way to force failures into the software.

My answer: D
ISTQB says: D

What an utter waste of words. You don't need me to explain this to you, do you? Which of the following is FALSE about Test Technique Foo? a) It can be used to do good things, b) It can help with stuff, c) It's totally good, d) It will make your software worse by magic. Thank you, now I completely understand your knowledge of Test Technique Foo.

Score: 9/16

Part IV - Test Design Techniques

17. One of the test goals for the project is to have 100% decision coverage. The 
following three tests have been executed for the control flow graph shown 

Test A covers path: A, B, D, E, G. 
Test B covers path: A, B, D, E, F, G. 
Test C covers path: A, C, F, C, F, C, F, G. 

Which of the following statements related to the decision coverage goal is 

a) Decision D has not been tested completely.  
b) 100% decision coverage has been achieved.  
c) Decision E has not been tested completely.  
d) Decision F has not been tested completely.  

My answer: I want nothing to do with this
ISTQB says: A

Anyone that can follow a set of arrows could have answered this question, but I stuck to my principles with this one. Obviously the path A, B, D, F isn't covered by the test cases. But why should we care?
Firstly, this is a diagram and not a program. How helpful is it to have this diagram without knowing what it's modelling? What is it leaving out? What ARE these decisions? And what can we honestly and reliably say about them being "tested completely". Okay, so you've gone through your if statement and it's gone to each direction and it hasn't errored. What value does that give you? What have you learned about the system and if it's fit for use?
Secondly what on earth are these tests, and what does it mean to "cover" a path? Are the paths really covered by those tests? That's an important question. What about hidden paths? Say you're testing a web application and the session times out. Say you pull the plug out of your desktop machine. That's a path too. You can look at the decisions independently (see what conditional statements the workflow relies upon) but what does it mean to weave them all together in this graph?
I will not answer this question without my curiosity assuaged, sir. And for my impertinence I am punished by one point.

Score: 9/17

18. A defect was found during testing. When the network got disconnected while receiving data from a server, the system crashed. The defect was fixed by correcting the code that checked the network availability during data transfer. The existing test cases covered 100% of all statements of the corresponding module. To verify the fix and ensure more extensive coverage, some new tests were designed and added to the test suite. 

What types of testing are mentioned above?

A. Functional testing.
B. Structural testing. 
C. Re-testing. 
D. Performance testing. 

a) A, B and D.  
b) A and C.  
c) A, B and C.  
d) A, C and D.  

My answer: Type C, so none
ISTQB says: C

Was functional testing mentioned? Well the statement "A defect was found during testing" could be any testing. "When the network got disconnected while receiving data from a server, the system crashed" could be as part of testing I suppose, and if it is then the type of testing used wasn't mentioned.  Re-testing is mentioned, as something was tested again. Performance testing - we'll never know if someone was specifically testing for performance issues.

Score: 9/18

19. Which of the following statements about the given state table is TRUE? 

a) The state table can be used to derive both valid and invalid transitions.
b) The state table represents all possible single transitions.
c) The state table represents only some of all possible single transitions.
d) The state table represents sequential pairs of transitions.

My answer: C
ISTQB says: B

Okay. A is actually true. It could be used to derive valid and invalid transitions. It does not represent all possible single transitions that exist because this is an abstract model. Therefore C is correct. D is...

I'm wasting my time. Why is this important? How am I a better tester for this? The more I analyse what I wrote the more I question why I bothered to write it.

Score: 9/19

20. Which of the following statements are true for the equivalence partitioning test technique? 
A. Divides possible inputs into classes that have the same behaviour.
B. Uses both valid and invalid partitions.
C. Makes use only of valid partitions.
D. Must include at least two values from every equivalence partition.
E. Can be used only for testing equivalence partitions inputs from a Graphical User Interface.

a) A, B and E are true; C and D are false.
b) A, C and D are true; B and E are false.
c) A and E are true; B, C and D are false.
d) A and B are true; C, D and E are false.

My answer: D
ISTQB says: D

This sort of examines if I understand what equivalence partitioning is. Not what it's for, how it's used, when it fails, just what it is. A is basically the case, B is also basically the case. If B is true then C can't be true. D is just an arbitrary rule. E is the realm of the unhinged.

Knowing that E is probably wrong to the layman we can narrow down our choices to (b) and (d). Both contain A as true. B and C are mutually exclusive, so we don't have to know D. So with a little applied logic we can safely say that this question can be replaced with:

Does the equivalence partitioning test technique make use of both valid and invalid partitions? YES/NO.

Just trying to save you the ink, guys.

Score: 10/20

21. Which TWO of the following solutions below lists techniques that can all be categorized as Black Box design techniques?
Select 2 options. 

a) Equivalence Partitioning, decision tables, state transition, and boundary value.
b) Equivalence Partitioning, decision tables, use case.
c) Equivalence Partitioning, decision tables, checklist based, statement coverage, use case.
d) Equivalence Partitioning, cause-effect graph, checklist based, decision coverage, use case.
e) Equivalence Partitioning, cause-effect graph, checklist based, decision coverage and boundary value.

My answer: A and B
ISTQB says: A and B

Okay, cross out equivalence partitioning as it's in all of them. Decision tables split A, B and C from D and E, so the answer is either (d) and (e) or some part of (a), (b) or (c). See, we're learning testing! Now then, "checklist based" is found in (c), (d) and (e) which means that (c) cannot be correct. So it's either (a) and (b) or (d) and (e) - down to a 50% chance of guessing!

(a) and (b) contain: EP, DT, ST, BV, UC.
(d) and (e) contain: EP, CEG, CB, DC, UC, BV.

Removing common elements:
(a) and (b) contain: DT, ST
(d) and (e) contain: CEG, CB, DC

So is the answer "Decision tables and state transition" or is it "cause-effect graph, checklist based and decision coverage".

Well, the shorter list is more likely, I went for that one.

That is the entirety of the knowledge I used in answering this question. This is not an interesting or useful question.

Score: 11/21

22. An employee’s bonus is to be calculated. It cannot become negative, but it can be calculated to zero. The bonus is based on the duration of the employment. An employee can be employed for less than or equal to 2 years, more than 2 years but less than 5 years, 5 to 10 years, or longer than 10 years. Depending on this period of employment, an employee will get either no bonus or a bonus of 10%, 25% or 35%. How many equivalence partitions are needed to test the calculation of the bonus?
a) 3.
b) 5.
c) 2.
d) 4.

My answer: D
ISTQB says: D

It CANNOT BECOME NEGATIVE. The laws of nature simply preclude it from being so. God himself has written the validation - etched it into the soul of the universe. If you can count a list of items you can guess the probable "answer" to this question. Of course in reality context needed, it depends, asking questions, blah, blah.

Score: 12/22

23. Which of the following statements about the benefits of deriving test cases from use cases are most likely to be true? 
A. Deriving test cases from use cases is helpful for system and acceptance testing. 
B. Deriving test cases from use cases is helpful only for automated testing. 
C. Deriving test cases from use cases is helpful for component testing. 
D. Deriving test cases from use cases is helpful for testing the interaction between different components of the system. 

a) A and D are true; B and C are false.  
b) A is true; B, C and D are false.  
c) A and B are true; C and D are false.  
d) C is true; A, B and D are false.  

My answer: All of them, so none of the answers.
ISTQB says: A

There are situations in which all of them are most true. A can be true, B can be true, C can be true, D can be true. Depends on the test cases and the use cases and the situation. Usually use cases are flawed and partially missing with mistakes in them and not maintained for changes, so I was looking for "Deriving test cases from use cases is probably a bad idea". What does it even mean? Derive them from use cases? You mean do the use cases and see what happens? Well then that's all of them isn't it. Someone please tell me I'm wrong, I really want to know why A is correct and I'm wrong.

Thinking about it, likelihood is a very hard thing to calculate. We'd need to know a statistically significant number of unbiased selected occurrences of such derivations and when it was helpful and when it was not helpful for each.

What a bloody stupid question.

Score: 12/23

24. Which of the below would be the best basis for fault attack testing?

a) Experience, defect and failure data, knowledge about software failures.  
b) Risk analysis performed at the beginning of the project.  
c) Use Cases derived from the business flows by domain experts.  
d) Expected results from comparison with an existing system.  

My answer: A?
ISTQB says: A

I don't know what fault attack testing is and I guessed A. I don't know why it's better than risk analysis or whatever but I know faults (something that allows a product to exhibit a problem) and failures (something the product does that we wish it wouldn't) are directly linked. Threats cause faults to show failures. So I guessed A.

Score: 13/24

25. Which of the following would be the best test approach when there are poor specifications and time pressures? 

a) Use Case Testing.  
b) Condition Coverage.  
c) Exploratory Testing.  
d) Path Testing.  

My answer: C
ISTQB says: C

C is the only approach listed. Which of these vehicles has the highest top speed? a) Banana, b) Spoon, c) Motorbike, d) Soil

Score: 14/25

26. Which one of the following techniques is structure-based?

a) Decision testing.  
b) Boundary value analysis.  
c) Equivalence partitioning.  
d) State transition testing.  

My answer: D?
ISTQB says: A

What does that even mean? Structure, to me, means code and hardware and sample data and packaging and paper documents - the building blocks of the product. So decision testing - well it's not based on structure. Boundary values... again, not based on structure. None of them are, I just got desperate and put D.

Score: 14/26

27. You have started specification-based testing of a program. It calculates the greatest common divisor (GCD) of two integers (A and B) greater than zero. 

calcGCD (A, B); 

The following test cases (TC) have been specified. 

INT_MAX: largest Integer 

Which test technique has been applied in order to determine test cases 1 through 6? 

a) Boundary value analysis.
b) State transition testing.
c) Equivalence partitioning.
d) Decision table testing.

My answer: A & C
ISTQB says: A

I have started specification-based testing have I? Okay, what else dwells within this dystopian hell? Looks boundary value-y. Also to separate the nature of the inputs they've been put in equivalence classes. But I suppose it depends on what the damn specifications contain, doesn't it?

Score: 14/27

28. Consider the following state transition diagram and test case table: 

Which of the following statements are TRUE?

A. The test case table exercises the shortest number of transitions.
B. The test case gives only the valid state transitions.
C. The test case gives only the invalid state transitions.
D. The test case exercises the longest number of transitions.

a) Only A is true; B, C and D are false.
b) Only B is true; A, C and D are false.
c) A and D are true; B, C are false.
d) Only C is true; A, B and D are false.

My answer: B
ISTQB says: B

"The test case gives only the valid state transitions". I'm guessing they mean the test case table. Let me just say that I don't really fully understand the nature of the question, I just guessed this to be correct.

Score: 15/28

Anyone else as exhausted as I am? If not, meet me next time for "Test Management"!

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