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How to calculate Statement, Branch/Decision and Path Coverage for ISTQB Exam purpose

Home/ISTQB Advanced Level, ISTQB Foundation Level/How to calculate Statement, Branch/Decision and Path Coverage for ISTQB Exam purpose

How to calculate Statement, Branch/Decision and Path Coverage for ISTQB Exam purpose

How to calculate Statement, Branch/Decision and Path Coverage for ISTQB Exam purpose. This may be applicable for both ISTQB Foundation Level and General Test Coverage concepts in Advanced Level exam.

Statement Coverage: 

In this the test case is executed in such a way that every statement of the code is executed at least once.

Branch/Decision Coverage: 

Test coverage criteria requires enough test cases such that each condition in a decision takes on all possible outcomes at least once, and each point of entry to a program or subroutine is invoked at least once. That is, every branch (decision) taken each way, true and false. It helps in validating all the branches in the code making sure that no branch leads to abnormal behavior of the application.

Path Coverage: 

In this the test case is executed in such a way that every path is executed at least once. All possible control paths taken, including all loop paths taken zero, once, and multiple (ideally, maximum) items in path coverage technique, the test cases are prepared based on the logical complexity measure of a procedural design. In this type of testing every statement in the program is guaranteed to be executed at least one time. Flow Graph, Cyclomatic Complexity and Graph Metrics are used to arrive at basis path.

How to calculate Statement Coverage, Branch Coverage and Path Coverage? 

Draw the flow in the following way-

  • Nodes represent entries, exits, decisions and each statement of code.
  • Edges represent non-branching and branching links between nodes.


Read P
Read Q
IF P+Q > 100 THEN
Print “Large”
If P > 50 THEN
Print “P Large”

Calculate statement coverage, branch coverage and path coverage.

The flow chart is-


Statement Coverage (SC): 

To calculate Statement Coverage, find out the shortest number of paths following which all the nodes will be covered. Here by traversing through path 1A-2C-3D-E-4G-5H all the nodes are covered. So by traveling through only one path all the nodes 12345 are covered, so the Statement coverage in this case is 1.

Branch Coverage (BC): 

To calculate Branch Coverage, find out the minimum number of paths which will ensure covering of all the edges. In this case there is no single path which will ensure coverage of all the edges at one go. By following paths 1A-2C-3D-E-4G-5H, maximum numbers of edges (A, C, D, E, G and H) are covered but edges B and F are left. To covers these edges we can follow 1A-2B-E-4F. By the combining the above two paths we can ensure of traveling through all the paths. Hence Branch Coverage is 2. The aim is to cover all possible true/false decisions.

Path Coverage (PC):

Path Coverage ensures covering of all the paths from start to end. All possible paths are-


So path coverage is 4.

Thus for the above example SC=1, BC=2 and PC=4.

Memorize these….

  • 100% LCSAJ coverage will imply 100% Branch/Decision coverage
  • 100% Path coverage will imply 100% Statement coverage
  • 100% Branch/Decision coverage will imply 100% Statement coverage
  • 100% Path coverage will imply 100% Branch/Decision coverage
  • Branch coverage and Decision coverage are same

*LCSAJ = Linear Code Sequence and Jump.

More tips on Statement coverage, decision coverage, path coverage can be found in our premium ISTQB study guide. You can download instantly –  Download Now Use the discount code ISTQBGuru to get 20% off when you download directly.

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  1. Sandy January 15, 2015 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    It’s the best description for SC, BC and PC coverage

  2. Nattinna April 16, 2015 at 11:26 am - Reply

    Thanks a lot!!!

  3. LearnerISTQB June 22, 2015 at 1:08 pm - Reply

    Good explanation…..

  4. linh June 24, 2015 at 11:03 am - Reply

    Thanks so much, it’s very clear and easy to understand

  5. Prabhu August 31, 2015 at 2:04 am - Reply

    Good explanation..thank you

  6. Syed Imran September 9, 2015 at 8:25 am - Reply

    good training material

  7. Jessica November 24, 2015 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    I had asked before why an specific premium question was BC = 3, but now I can understand the reason. Thank you so much, your material is very helpful.

  8. Archana December 14, 2015 at 12:35 am - Reply

    Best description! Was confused earlier but this helped a lot!

  9. Suliko January 11, 2016 at 7:03 am - Reply

    Thank you very much! Very good explanation!

  10. dipali February 22, 2016 at 11:39 pm - Reply

    good explanation

  11. pjain March 9, 2016 at 7:01 am - Reply

    good one

  12. C Reddy May 4, 2016 at 7:13 am - Reply

    Good one.

  13. Maryum May 22, 2016 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    Thank You 🙂

  14. SRINATH June 8, 2016 at 3:55 am - Reply

    Good explanation!

  15. vindhya June 10, 2016 at 3:23 am - Reply

    Thank you! Good explanation

  16. Kalyan June 10, 2016 at 4:40 am - Reply


  17. Usha July 19, 2016 at 6:54 am - Reply

    Thank you 🙂 It’s so clear

  18. TC November 18, 2016 at 2:03 am - Reply

    Thank you. This was very helpful.

  19. Ada February 3, 2017 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    Thank you. This is really helpful.

  20. neha March 25, 2017 at 4:53 pm - Reply

    very good explanation .. thanks

  21. Swapna April 6, 2017 at 9:34 am - Reply

    Good Explanation for the minute differences among them. This article will help many students preparing for istqb in particular.

  22. Sarah July 8, 2017 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    Really good and simple explanation! Thank you!

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