Exploratory Testing

Where does Exploratory Testing Fit? What are the Pros and Cons in Exploratory Testing?

Questions by mathan_vel   answers by mathan_vel

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Exploratory testing is a relatively unstructured approach to testing that is best performed when 1) there are no requirements, 2) there are time restrictions, 3) you want to get a feel of the application without any preconceived ideas on how it should function, 4) company works closely with customer, or 5) you are in an agile development environment. 

1) doesn't require documentation
2) doesn't require prior knowledge of application
3) allows testers to get involved in other activities earlier in development
4) takes less time to execute
5) more apt to uncover edge defects

1) requires a business analyst mindset
2) it is much easier to lose focus due to its unstructured nature
3) requires greater ability to multitask when executing and authoring test cases
4) customer must always be close at hand (this could be considered a positive)
5) more apt to miss requirements unless other processes are in place to prevent it


  • Dec 21st, 2009

In my opinion Exploratory Testing can be done when we have executed/completed your test cases and you have some spare time that you invest to find the bug in the product. It requires good amount of Product and business knowledge because you have to find cases or scenario those are not exits in your Test Bucket.

1) It provides you more coverage on your product
2) Spare time can be utilize properly for the betterment of the product
3) Increase the product, business and Technology level knowledge.

1) It requires and good amount business, technology, product knowledge
2) it is much easier to lose focus due to its unstructured nature

Exploratory Testing could be done in the following scenarios
1. When there is no Functional Document available for the piece of code
2. When there is no requirement about the application.

Also based on the experience in  particular Domain , one can perform exploratory testing.

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  • Feb 28th, 2010

As the name suggests Exploratory Testing is like you explore a new place, as you go. You dont have a map or any other information on the place. you just check out the place as you go.

You would do this only;
1. if you dont have structured test cases to execute
2. if you dont have time to execute the test cases. (in such case, it is still recommended to execute priority test cases rather than going for exploratory testing)
3. if you have some additional time left after your structured testing


  • Feb 28th, 2010

Pros and Cons in Exploratory Testing

1. No test cases needed
2. easy as it can be stopped at any time
3. knowledge of the application is not mandatory

1. Not structured; hence test coverage is random. Hence no gaurentee that your requirments are tested.
2. may not unearth even elementry bugs from the application.


  • Jan 6th, 2011

Exploratory testing comes in picture due to lack of documentation. When there is no availability of documentation then testing team depends on similar project browsing, contacts with customer site people, internet browsing, prior domain knowledge...  This style of testing can be said as exploratory testing.

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