I have been asked in interviews What are direct and indirect scenarios in Testing?. Can anyone put some light on this question. I search on google but do not satisfied with answer.

1 Answer 1


First, it depends on the way the organization defines things - what a particular business considers direct and indirect scenarios could well be different than what you'd expect.

If I was responding to this question in an interview, I'd start by saying that in my experience direct scenarios are those where the test explicitly exercises the requirement or function being tested, and indirect scenarios are those where the results have to be inferred from the tester's observations.

I'd also give some examples, such as:

  • Direct testing scenario - Date of birth has to be in the format MM/DD/YYYY. To test this, enter date values such as 1/1/11 - (should be invalid or depending on the specifications/use cases converted to 01/01/2011), 20/12/1967 (should be invalid), 12/20/1967 (should be accepted) and so forth.
  • Indirect testing scenario - Address will be validated by GIS services. Here you don't actually have access to the services and you may or may not have logging showing the call - but you can enter a real address and one that you know doesn't exist (e.g. a street that is not in the town you enter, or a street number that doesn't exist on that street) and infer that if the page shows a level of confidence indicator for the address that matches your knowledge of the address then the address you entered is being validated as expected.

I'm sure you've encountered other examples. These are two simple scenarios I've run into recently - it typically works better in interviews if you give examples from your experience (with confidential information omitted, of course).

  • +1 to this answer. In testing everything is always context dependent, this includes the terminologies used by an individual or an organisation. You should ask the interviewer for their understanding of the terms so that you can answer it appropriately. Commented Oct 11, 2014 at 4:09

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