This is yet another question that confuses me.

Which is the best definition of complete testing:

  • A. You have discovered every bug in the program.
  • B. You have tested every statement, branch, and combination of branches in the program.
  • C. You have completed every test in the test plan.
  • D. You have reached the scheduled ship date.

My answer is C : You have completed every test in the test plan and the reasons are given below.

A. You have discovered every bug in the program.

This is practically impossible. Therefore, it cannot be the answer.

B. You have tested every statement, branch, and combination of branches in the program.

How about non-functional testing etc? Testing every statement,branch and combination of branches cannot be justified as complete Testing.

C. You have completed every test in the test plan.

I assume that all the required test cases are put into a test plan. In that case, after completing every test case, you can say 'I have completed Testing.

D. You have reached the scheduled ship date.

Reaching the scheduled ship date cannot be the definition of complete testing. Reasons are pretty obvious.

However, Test Pot says that the correct answer is D : You have reached the scheduled ship date.

Definition of complete testing

Can anyone help me identify what is the correct answer to this question?

  • 1
    Here I can say C You have completed every test in the test plan. is right answer. In practical life QA lead will plan testing accordingly to ship date and it will complete before date.
    – Sagar007
    Dec 13, 2016 at 7:29
  • completing the test , mean project finish?
    – elvin Lee
    Jun 19, 2017 at 21:57
  • @elvinLee : I think it means that testing process is "complete" Aug 1, 2017 at 20:57
  • Hi, I encountered this problem because a colleague of mine did the exact same test. The accepted answer, as well as all the others here are wrong, except the one provided by @Irina Livkovich, as you can easily verify yourself if you follow the ISTQB glossary. Would you mind changing the accepted answer?
    – Larry
    Nov 25, 2021 at 20:10

5 Answers 5


The correct answer seems to be C. Keep in mind though, that not all of these online questions are actual ISTQB exams questions, and even if they are, answers are not always correct (as you can see).

A more relevant (and more likely to occur) question would be this:

When should you stop testing?

  1. when time for testing has run out.
  2. when all planned tests have been run
  3. when the test completion criteria have been met
  4. when no faults have been found by the tests run

In relation to the previous question, don't be tempted to give the same answer here (i.e. 2).

  • 1
    Now this looks like a proper exam question and the answer i'd choose will be 3 Dec 13, 2016 at 8:03
  • Good answer. ;) Also, considering your questions and thoughts here, I would say you're ready for the exam. The Foundation level is not that hard.
    – FDM
    Dec 13, 2016 at 9:20
  • Thanks but I find many mock exam questions are very vague and it scares me :( Dec 13, 2016 at 10:25
  • I had the same feeling, my score on the actual exam was much better than on the fake exams. Don't worry.
    – FDM
    Dec 13, 2016 at 10:30
  • This avoids answering the question. @Irina Livkovich has it right.
    – Larry
    Nov 25, 2021 at 9:15

I suppose the most appropriate definition of Complete Testing would be "All stakeholders (people who matter) are satisfied with the quality of software".

Other than that is all up to an individual's opinion and hence the definition would differ from person to person.

Just go with the one that makes most sense to you. Don't take the certification exam too seriously. Rather try to observe and understand things and then practice testing and interact with other people (testers, dev, management) to learn from and share knowledge with about QA and testing.

As far as the certification exam is concerned, this question will allow you to choose a combination of answers and hence you can choose C and D. If you are to choose only one, I'm think C is the best fit of the available options. Don't stress too much on the other answer on some website. They may be wrong!

  • Agree with your definition. It can be applied in real life scenarios. However, this question seems to be looking for another option as the answer :) Dec 13, 2016 at 8:07
  • I think of the available answers C is the most preferable answer. Dec 13, 2016 at 8:11
  • No, look it up in the ISTQB glossary. The precise definition of complete testing (a synonym for "exhaustive testing") is: "A test approach in which the test suite comprises all combinations of input values and preconditions.". The correct answer is "A", although not by the above definition, but by what the term "exhaustive testing" means in practice.
    – Larry
    Nov 25, 2021 at 9:17
  • Larry, how would you acertain you have discovered every bug in the system? Nov 27, 2021 at 13:05
  • @IAmMilinPatel I would not. One of the 7 principles of testing is that exhaustive testing is impossible. This principle would not make sense unless exhaustive testing had a definition. The exam question asks about the definition, not whether it's possible to perform or not.
    – Larry
    Nov 30, 2021 at 11:54

I found several resources where indicated that the correct answer is 'A'.
At first I was confused but then I've looked up the ISTQB glossary for a term of complete testing and actually this is a synonym for exhaustive testing.

So I agree that this is practically impossible to find all the bugs in the system (as well as exhaustive testing itself), but appears that this is really the best definition for a complete (exhaustive) testing./p>

  • This should be the accepted answer.
    – Larry
    Nov 25, 2021 at 9:12

Yeah, my original answer was B.

Please do not take this ISTQB answer too seriously. They are merely guidelines.

A few weeks ago. I was studying towards ATTA ISTQB certificate and I came across one question. It goes something like: Who are a technical test analyst working within a development team?

  • A: Business Analysts
  • B: Test analysts
  • C: Developers
  • D: Customers

The answer was C, but in real life, how can you DEFINE who a technical test analyst will be working with?

For questions like those, remember the answers and tell yourself: ISTQB is not real life.

  • I wonder why many things in this exam sound so vague! Dec 13, 2016 at 8:05

My answer is also C

C. You have completed every test in the test plan.

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