Interview Questions

Give an example of high priority and low severity, low priority and high severity?

Manual Testing FAQ's


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Give an example of high priority and low severity, low priority and high severity?

Severity level:

The degree of impact the issue or problem has on the project. Severity 1 usually means the highest level requiring immediate attention. Severity 5 usually represents a documentation defect of minimal impact.


Severity is levels:

  • Critical: the software will not run
  • High: unexpected fatal errors (includes crashes and data corruption)
  • Medium: a feature is malfunctioning
  • Low: a cosmetic issue

Severity levels

  1. Bug causes system crash or data loss.
  2. Bug causes major functionality or other severe problems; product crashes in obscure cases.
  3. Bug causes minor functionality problems, may affect "fit anf finish".
  4. Bug contains typos, unclear wording or error messages in low visibility fields.

Severity levels

  • High: A major issue where a large piece of functionality or major system component is completely broken. There is no workaround and testing cannot continue.
  • Medium: A major issue where a large piece of functionality or major system component is not working properly. There is a workaround, however, and testing can continue.
  • Low: A minor issue that imposes some loss of functionality, but for which there is an acceptable and easily reproducible workaround. Testing can proceed without interruption.

Severity and Priority

Priority is Relative: the priority might change over time. Perhaps a bug initially deemed P1 becomes rated as P2 or even a P3 as the schedule draws closer to the release and as the test team finds even more heinous errors. Priority is a subjective evaluation of how important an issue is, given other tasks in the queue and the current schedule. Itís relative. It shifts over time. And itís a business decision.

Severity is an absolute: itís an assessment of the impact of the bug without regard to other work in the queue or the current schedule. The only reason severity should change is if we have new information that causes us to re-evaluate our assessment. If it was a high severity issue when I entered it, itís still a high severity issue when itís deferred to the next release. The severity hasnít changed just because weíve run out of time. The priority changed.


Severity Levels can be defined as follow:

S1 - Urgent/Showstopper. Like system crash or error message forcing to close the window.
Tester's ability to operate the system either totally (System Down), or almost totally, affected. A major area of the users system is affected by the incident and it is significant to business processes.

S2 - Medium/Workaround. Exist like when a problem is required in the specs but tester can go on with testing. Incident affects an area of functionality but there is a work-around which negates impact to business process. This is a problem that:
a) Affects a more isolated piece of functionality.
b) Occurs only at certain boundary conditions.
c) Has a workaround (where "don't do that" might be an acceptable answer to the user).
d) Occurs only at one or two customers. or is intermittent

S3 - Low. This is for minor problems, such as failures at extreme boundary conditions that are unlikely to occur in normal use, or minor errors in
layout/formatting. Problems do not impact use of the product in any substantive way. These are incidents that are cosmetic in nature and of no or very low impact to business processes.

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