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Exploratory Testing: An Approach To Testing That Involves Discovery And Learning

Published On: May 1, 2023

Businesses of all types are going digital these days, replacing their physical locations with websites and mobile apps. As a result, a slew of sophisticated testing methods has emerged to ensure the highest quality for the consumer. In order to guarantee the greatest possible user experience and stable functionality, many software testing methods have become standard for any product, website, or app before it is released. Exploratory testing is one example of this type of method.

In contrast to other types of testing, the tester in exploratory testing is given complete leeway to make discoveries about the product or service that will lead to incremental improvements over time. This is more like an ongoing enhancement that occurs naturally over time as the website or app evolves.

First, let’s take a step back and define exactly what Exploratory Testing is, why it’s so crucial, how to conduct Exploratory Testing, the difficulties testers face, the pros and cons, the ways in which it differs from both scripted and ad hoc testing, and its potential future applications.

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Overview of Exploratory Testing

Exploratory testing, in layman’s words, is the process of creating test cases and running tests on an application or system simultaneously. For a successful application test, the tester will first think of or write down a test idea to provide guidance, and then investigate the system as testing progresses to develop more tests that are critical, practical, and beneficial.

  • The amount of preparation needed is little. Decisions about what to do next are made constantly by testers. The testing procedure relies entirely on the tester’s logic.
  • For more subtle bugs that are missed by traditional testing methods, this type of testing may prove more effective.
  • To a greater or lesser extent, every tester has engaged in exploratory testing at a certain point in their careers.
  • Everyone knows that actual practice is far superior to theoretical memorization when it comes to learning anything new.
  • In the same way, a tester can gain a deeper understanding of the program by using it to its fullest extent. When evaluating an application, it’s important to put yourself in the shoes of both the client and the business. Enrolling in the Software Testing Training in Chennai makes you aware of Every concept of testing software.

What Exactly is An Exploratory Test?

In exploratory testing, test cases aren’t written ahead of time; instead, testers check the system as they go. They might generate a list of potential test cases before actually running the tests. Exploratory testing puts more emphasis on testing as a mental exercise.

Agile models frequently employ exploratory testing because it emphasizes learning via exploration and discovery. It places an emphasis on the autonomy and accountability of each individual tester.

Why Is It Necessary to Perform Exploratory Testing in Software Testing?

  • When using  Agile testing methodologies, exploratory testing is a crucial step. During an agile sprint, new software is built and released frequently, usually every few weeks. This means that there is less slack in the schedule for development and testing. 
  • The software may be improved with each new release by combining the time-saving automation testing with the exploratory testing that is characteristic of Agile’s small iterations.
  • Exploratory testing focuses on the future version’s new features while automation testing handles regression testing. With each update, it learns and implements new features, improving the user experience, and alerting the development team to any potential problems.
  • Scripted testing entails creating test cases before actually running any tests. In contrast, exploratory testing involves both planning and running tests at the same time.
  • During scripted test execution, testers simply follow the processes as written and compare the results to the expected ones. Automating the execution of such tests does not necessitate a high level of human intelligence.
  • Despite the fact that the tendency in software testing is to strive toward automation, exploratory testing is a novel approach. As with any technological advancement, automation has its limitations.

Such an innovative approach to software testing can be well understood by the expert training of seasoned professionals in Software Testing Training in Chennai at SLA.

Types of exploratory testing

Based on their methodology, exploratory testing may be broken down into the following categories:

Strategy-based Exploratory Testing

Such exploratory testing relies on methods like boundary value analysis, risk assessment, and the equivalence methodology. Strategy-based testing requires the tester to be well-versed in the features of the website or application being tested.

Scenario-based Exploratory Testing

User exploration and testing of a specific use case or feature constitutes scenario-based testing. Using what they’ve learned and seen about the site’s or app’s features and functions, an exploratory tester can look for problems in a variety of contexts. Scenario-based tests typically look for a new set of outcomes.

Freestyle Exploratory Testing

When the tester just wants to get some rapid smoke testing in, they turn to freestyle exploratory testing. As the name suggests, there is no predetermined method, scenario, or level of testing coverage, and the tester is allowed to improvise as they discover and fix bugs. The success of a freestyle testing session depends on the tester’s familiarity with the website or app and their ability to grasp flaws without prior preparation.

In this approach, testers may make sure that each new version of the website or application provides a better experience for the end user by employing a variety of exploratory testing strategies. Become empowered in your testing career by making the wise choice of joining Software Testing Training in Chennai at SLA.

Exploratory Testing: How Should It Be Carried Out?

  • Learning, exploring, and finding all go hand in hand with this process. This is in contrast to scripted testing, which involves meticulously crafting test strategies, test cases, and test processes before even touching the product.
  • The amount of time spent on preparation for an Exploratory test is brief. Instead, we focus extensively on evaluating actual usage. As part of the test preparation process, all that is required to carry out an Exploratory Test is to highlight the situations you intend to cover.
  • The most time is spent on test execution, but it is also when the most important lessons learned during the process may be put into practice to improve the program.
  • Exploratory testing involves actively looking for bugs in software while focusing on the program’s most important features. We investigate these problems in depth so that we can fix them and improve our products and services.

This is how testing for Agile software development occurs, from preparation to analysis. Learn the Process of Software Testing from basics and advance to a successful software tester through the impulsive training at SLA’s Software Testing Training in Chennai.

The Most Effective Techniques for Exploratory Testing

All software testing is focused on ensuring the highest possible level of customer satisfaction. Recognizing the customer’s perspective is crucial for successful exploratory testing. Customer-centric exploratory testing is the only kind that makes sense.

But keep in mind that you can’t only focus on the perspective of one customer. There are several. varying users of the same program have varying experiences navigating it due to differences in age, gender, socioeconomic level, and personal preferences. Testers need to be able to simulate the experiences of a wide variety of users when evaluating software.

Customers will access the program via genuine browsers and hardware. Do some experimenting with the actual hardware. Real-user scenarios cannot be replicated in an emulator or simulator. If you don’t have access to an in-house lab, which can be expensive to set up and operate, consider using a cloud-based testing service instead.

Educate yourself on the competition; this will help you spot any flaws in your own product. This, of course, needs to be implemented from the very beginning. If a tester is aware that customers of a competitor app frequently complain about the cart’s clumsy design, they will be more vigilant in testing the cart to make sure it doesn’t have the same issue.

Every software testing strategy should include exploratory testing. Because it is intended to evaluate software in light of the user’s perspective, the process is most effective when carried out manually. When everything is in place, a website or app can meet or exceed the standards set by its users. Incorporate it into the testing process and release software that meets users’ expectations. Trainers at Software Testing Training in Chennai give you extensive knowledge about Exploratory Testing Best Practices. 

Tools for Exploratory Testing

Although exploratory testing is largely a manual process, test automation technologies can help automate tedious or time-consuming processes, allowing testers to focus on novel or untested approaches. 

  • To free up testers’ time for exploratory testing, automated regression tests can be conducted in the background, for instance. Selenium, Appium, and TestComplete are just a few examples of prominent test automation solutions.
  • Debugging tools are designed to aid testers in the process of finding and isolating bugs during exploratory testing.
  • Tools for recording and replaying interactions with an application allow testers to capture and replay user behavior for verification. This might be helpful when building reproducible test cases or performing automated regression testing. 

Gaining knowledge of software testing tools is made easy with Software Testing Training in Chennai.

The Benefits And Drawbacks of Exploratory Testing

This has been an unconventional approach to the testing that has been done. When testing your application or website, adopting this method has a number of benefits, which are as follows:

  • It does not call for significant test planning, which is typically time-consuming and contributes to the overall slowness of the process.
  • It is very congruent with the commercial applicability and sphere of operation of the product or service in question.
  • It is useful for initiatives that last for a limited time.
  • It is inextricably linked to the Agile software development methodology.
  • It frequently finds errors that are missed by other methods of testing because it employs a more thorough approach.


  • It is one of the most significant downsides of the Exploratory tests technique because it is entirely dependent on the abilities of the tester; hence, it is possible that it will not generate findings that are as effective as they should be when the tester does not have a high level of expertise.
  • Another disadvantage is that because there are no scripts, it is frequently challenging to retrace the steps of the testing process and test the results again.

Challenges Associated With Exploratory Testing

Even though the Exploratory test can appear to be extremely simple, there are still a number of hurdles that must be overcome in order to successfully complete it. The following is a list of some of the difficulties that may be experienced during exploratory tests:

  • When there is little documentation, tracking down the source of a problem can be a challenging endeavor; this is especially true after some amount of time has elapsed.
  • It is possible that it will be challenging to achieve the intended outcomes when the Tester is not as vigilant as they should be because so much of the Test Execution relies on the talents of the Tester.
  • Because it might be difficult to cover every possible scope without proper formal documentation, it might not apply to a large-scale project with a longer timeframe. This is because the timeline might be longer.
  • To be able to investigate the product thoroughly and locate any flaws or errors, one needs to have a solid grasp of the language along with good domain expertise.
  • It is not easy to go back and look at the test cases later.

SLA’s Software Testing Training in Chennai will make you able to improve the product or service across all versions using Agile testing methodologies if you are successful in overcoming the problems outlined above, which occur throughout the testing phase.

Exploratory Testing and Its Related Myths and Misconceptions

When it comes to exploratory testing, there are a lot of common misconceptions. Let’s bust a few of the most widespread fallacies about exploratory testing, shall we?

There Is No Difference Between Ad-Hoc Testing And Exploratory Testing

Testing can be broken down into two categories: exploratory testing, which is more structured, and ad hoc testing, which is less structured and more random. Comparatively, exploratory testing is more focused on workflow, while ad hoc testing is more concerned with requirements. The following part will provide a more in-depth examination of the key distinctions between exploratory testing and testing conducted on an as-needed basis.

Only Agile Teams Can Engage In Exploratory Testing

Although exploratory testing is used by the majority of agile teams in conjunction with automation testing, this does not at all imply that it is exclusive to agile teams. In point of fact, every software development team that is searching for a rapid testing session with the intention to simultaneously explore and learn more about the website or application in question is able to make effective use of it. Because of this factor, exploratory testing is frequently used in a significant number of startup companies.

There are no plans whatsoever to conduct any exploratory tests.

It’s simply that the test planning doesn’t get nearly as much time or attention as it should, but scenarios and techniques are still sketched out before exploratory testing is carried out. Just because they have a lot of documentation, in contrast to other scripting techniques, does not in any way imply that they are not planned at all.

The Time Required for Exploratory Testing Is Greater Than That Required for Scripted Testing

The idea that exploratory testing takes up more time than scripted testing is a widespread misconception. In truth, exploratory testing takes up less time than scripted testing does since it saves the time that would have been spent on test planning and writing. Exploratory testing is utilized in Agile approaches because of its lower resource requirements. The time duration between sprints in these methodologies is typically only a few weeks.

There Is No Way to Quantify the Results of Exploratory Testing

Even though the test plans are not published, this does not indicate that exploratory tests lack documentation and cannot be quantified simply because the test plans are not documented. In point of fact, it places a greater emphasis on the test execution, and the flaws that are investigated are meticulously documented. As a result, in contrast to the a misconception, it may be quantified in an effective manner.

Only small-scale teams should participate in exploratory testing.

It is a common notion that it can only be used by very small teams, although this assumption is not accurate. It can also be carried out effectively in larger teams, where the testers coordinate their efforts with those of other testing approaches for agile software development. Learn the myths and facts about Exploratory Testing through the efficient instruction of trainers at the Software Testing Training in Chennai.

When Should We Use Exploratory Testing?

When these conditions apply, exploratory testing is valuable.

  • The team of testers consists of seasoned professionals.
  • Iteration must begin early.
  • An extremely important use case
  • The team was expanded to include new testers.

Exploratory Testing: Pushing the Boundaries of What’s Possible

Keep an open mind and don’t assume anything before you’ve fully investigated a product. Remember that it’s not OK even if the product performs as advertised. It must also behave as intended and don’t cause any unwanted side effects.

If you’re only testing to see if items that should work really do, you’re only doing half the job. A tester’s work is truly done when the last set of documented regression tests is run and the findings are updated. Understanding the needs of the end user in a variety of contexts and applying that knowledge to the design of goods is crucial, which can be explored from Software Testing Training in Chennai at SLA

Testing Strategies: Exploratory Testing Vs Scripted Testing

Unlike the more common Scripted Testing methods, Exploratory Testing is an unorthodox approach to testing. Exploratory Testing does not follow the same procedure as Scripted Testing, in which test cases are planned in advance using the required papers.

In contrast to the confirmation-focused nature of scripted testing, exploratory testing places greater emphasis on the Tester’s investigation of the website or app as they go. In contrast to scripted testing methods, it offers the tester independence to choose how to proceed. In contrast to Exploratory Testing, Scripted Testing Techniques continue to place a premium on thorough documentation.

As a result, it is an unconstrained testing method that differs from Scripted Testing in that it is free, focused mostly on the discovery, and requires less planning and documentation. Learn the uniqueness of exploratory testing from SLA’s Software Testing Training in Chennai.

Exploratory Testing Vs Ad-Hoc Testing

Freeform testing has some similarities to Ad-hoc testing, but there are significant differences. In contrast to the completely haphazard nature of ad hoc testing, the scenarios to be investigated in exploratory testing are predetermined in advance.

While understanding the website or app is necessary before beginning ad hoc testing, the focus is on doing so while testing. In contrast to exploratory testing, which can proceed without them, ad hoc testing must rely on requirement documents. In contrast to ad hoc testing, this type of testing requires a process.

This is one manner in which exploratory testing stands apart from ad hoc testing.

Future of Exploratory Testing

The days of using exclusively scripted testing methods to ensure user satisfaction are long gone. To get a user’s approval before a release, testers can’t afford to stick to a set amount of test scripts anymore.

As technologies evolve to become more user-centric, testing methods must also be standardized to ensure that future releases continue to improve the user experience. Automation Testing for software goods and services, in addition to user-centric, iterative development processes like Agile, bode well for the industry’s long-term health.

With release schedules getting shorter and shorter, this is the best approach to guarantee a fully working, robust, and user-centric program.


Although it isn’t typically thought of as a testing method, exploratory testing can yield valuable insights.

It forces the tester to think outside the box and to create realistic and useful test scenarios in order to locate the error. Its adaptability and portability mean it can be used in virtually any kind of project, from Agile to waterfall to document-light endeavors.

Numerous intangibles, such as a tester’s talent, the capacity to generate effective test cases, the tester’s experience, and the tester’s knack for following their gut instinct, contribute to exploratory testing’s performance.

It is absolutely necessary to keep in mind that exploratory testing (ET) is not a predictive process, but rather an adaptive one, and it is absolutely necessary to keep an appropriate equilibrium between exploratory testing and scripted or regular testing. Both of these things are crucial for successful product delivery. Enrolling in the Software Testing Training in Chennai at SLA gives you vital insights into exploratory testing strategies by making you understand all about software testing. 

Meta Description: Exploratory testing allows the tester to come up with realistic test cases to find the error. SLA’s Software Testing Training in Chennai covers testing essentials.

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