Performing Exploratory Testing 

Performing Exploratory Testing 

When we say Exploratory Testing, it is a type of software testing that does not involve creating test cases in advance. Still, testers check the system on the fly. Usually, testers note down ideas about what to test before test execution. The main focus of Exploratory Testing is more on testing as a thinking activity. Agile models widely use Exploratory Testing. It is all about discovery, investigation, and learning. Aside from that, it emphasizes personal freedom along with the responsibility of the testers.

In Scripted Testing, it involves designing test cases first. Oppositely, Exploratory Testing involves a simultaneous process of test designing and executing tests done at the same time. Usually, Scripted Testing can be referred to as a non-thinking activity since testers execute the test steps and compare results. This is because such test execution does not require many cognitive skills.

Stages of Exploratory Testing

Exploratory Testing follows five stages. These stages are also called Session-Based Test Management or SBTM Cycle.

Stage1. Creating a Bug Taxonomy (Classification)

Under this stage, it includes activities such as:

  • Categorizing common types of faults found in the previous projects
  • Analyzing the root cause analysis of the issues or faults
  • Finding risks and developing ideas to test the application

Stage2. Test charter

Under this stage, it includes activities such as:

  • Suggesting test charter-like what to test; how to test; and what needs to look at
  • Testing ideas
  • Determining how the end-user could use the system

Stage3. Timebox

Under this stage, it includes activities such as:

  • Testers must work together not less than 90 minutes
  • In the 90 minutes session, no interruptions as possible
  • Extending or reducing timebox by 45 minutes
  • Involves encouraging testers to react to the response from the system, also to prepare for the correct outcome

Stage4. Reviewing results

Under this stage, it includes activities such as:

  • Evaluating defects
  • Learning from the tests
  • Analyzing areas of coverage

Stage5. Debriefing

Under this stage, it includes activities such as:

  • Compiling the output results
  • Comparing results with the charter
  • Checking if any additional testing is necessary

Performing Exploratory Testing 

Exploratory Testing techniques

During Exploratory Testing, the tester should do the following to make this process accomplished:

  • Testers should be very clear about the mission of their Exploratory Test.
  • Testers must note down what needs to undergo testing, and why they need testing. Then assess the product quality.
  • Track questions and issues during Exploratory Testing.
  • It is advisable to pair up testers for more effective Exploratory Testing.
  • The more the testers’ test, the more likely to execute the correct test cases for the required scenario.

Furthermore, it is essential to take documentation as well as monitoring the following:

  • Test Coverage: Monitor if you have taken notes on the coverage of test cases. Then, improve the quality of the software.
  • Risks: Determine which risks are important and need to be undercover.
  • Test Execution Log: Monitor recordings of the test execution.
  • Issues and Queries: monitor if you take notes on the questions and issues within the system.

A smart way of Exploratory Testing can be able to find more errors in less time required.


Performing Exploratory Testing overcomes limitations of the Scripted Testing. Moreover, it helps to improve the Test Case Suite. In addition, Exploratory Testing empathizes on learning and adaptability.

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