In the ISTQB syllabi I found this statement:

"Note that test automation refines the fundamental test process by inserting test generation between test design and test implementation."

Can anyone clarify the role of test generation step?

  • I would also like to know why manual testing does not have this test generation step. Dear ISTQB this sounds like BS. Oct 5, 2017 at 8:59

2 Answers 2


Lets first take the definition of the words in that sentence:

  • Fundamental: forming a necessary base or core; of central importance.
  • Design: a plan or drawing produced to show the look and function or workings of an object before it is built or made.
  • Generation: the production of something.
  • Implementation: the process of putting a decision or plan into effect; execution.

When interpreting the sentence I do not see how this is fundamentally different from manual testing. Creating/generating the manual test scripts seems the same as creating automated-tests. Automated tests are also scripts that perform scripted steps to check a system.

Automatic test generation:

Maybe they mean a step that automatically generates test-cases. There are some tools to generate (unit-)tests automatically, but I would not see that as a good nor a best practice at this time. Read more here and here.

  • The most plausible answer is the "generation" step is related with the automatic test-case generation. However the ISTQB sillaby is not clear about this point and Google did not help with it. Oct 15, 2017 at 8:00

Test Design - The process of transforming general test objectives into tangible test conditions and test cases.

Test Generation - This supports manual or automated design of test suites and/or test cases.

  • 1
    Supports it how? Do you an Example? Stilll vague to me. Oct 4, 2017 at 5:16
  • In simple words- Test Design, we have to define the process and approach in higher level. Test Generation - Writing the manual test cases and automation test suites.
    – Bhavani
    Oct 4, 2017 at 6:04
  • For example, we are planning to test simple login form, then in test design phase, define the process to how we are going test it in higher level. In Test Generation, write the test cases, automation scripts and execution of the same.
    – Bhavani
    Oct 4, 2017 at 6:05
  • Test Design - Design the test. Test Generation - Build the test. Test Execution - Run the Test. Oct 4, 2017 at 12:56
  • Now I am even more confused. How does "writing" or "building" the tests differ with "test implementation"? Oct 5, 2017 at 8:54

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