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DBMS Questions and Answers – Normal Forms

Short Notes on Normalization:

The process of organizing data model to efficiently store data and to minimize redundancy.

Normalization questions and answers

First Normal Form:

A table is said to be in 1st normal form if it has no repeating or duplicate fields. Each record is uniquely identified by a primary key.

Primary Key Foreign key

For example: Observe the below table of data. This is not in first normal form because of

  • Multiple items in color field
  • Duplicate records
  • No primary key.
Item Name Color Price Tax
T-shirt Red, blue 50 4.00
Polo Blue, yellow 25 2.00
T-shirt Red, blue 50 4.00
Sweater Blue, Rose 100 10.00


Second Normal Form:

All non-key fields depend on all components of the primary key. Here price & tax depend on item but not color.

Table 1:

Item Color
T-Shirt red
T-Shirt blue
Polo red
Sweater blue
Sweater black

Table 2:

Item Price Tax
T-Shirt 50 4
Polo 25 2
Sweater 100 10


Third Normal Form:

No non key field depends upon another. All non-key fields depend only on the primary key. Remove columns that are not fully dependent on the primary.

In 2nd Normal Form, tax depends on price, not item.

Multivalued dependency: Each and every attribute within a relation depends upon the other. Yet none of them is a unique primary key.

Example: Consider Vendor supplying many items to projects in an organization.

Vendor Code Item Code Project No.
V1 11 P1
V1 12 P1
V1 11 P3
V2 12 P3
V2 13 P1
V3 11 P1
V3 11 P2
V3 11 P2


  1. One Vendor can supply many items.
  2. Project uses many items
  3. Vendor can supply to many projects
  4. Item can be supplied by many vendors.

Multivalued dependency exists here because all attributes depend upon another and yet none of them is primary key.

BCNF (Boyce-Codd Normal Form): A relation is said to be BCNF if every determinant is a candidate key.

Candidate key

A row is in BCNF if and only if every determinant is a candidate key. The second and third normal forms assume that each  one attribute is  not a part of the candidate keys depend upon the candidate keys however does not deal among the keys.

BCNF differs from the 3NF only if there are more than one candidate keys and also the keys are composite and co-inside,  consider for example, the relationship enroll (sno, sname, cno, cname, date-enrolled)
Forth normal form

Fourth Normal Form:

4NF needs that there should be no non-trivial multivalued dependencies of attribute sets on something apart from super set of a candidate key.
A table is said to be in 4NF if and only if it is within the BCNF and multivalued dependencies are functional dependencies. The 4NF removes unwanted information structures- multivalued dependencies.

(Non-trivial functional dependencies are avoided).

Table 1:

Vendor Code Item Code
V1 11
V1 12
V2 12
V2 13
V3 13

Table 2:

Vendor Code Project
V1 P1
V1 P3
V2 P1
V2 P3
V3 P2


Example 2: Consider Employees, Skills and Languages.

Here we have many to many relationship between

Employee – Skills.

Employee – Languages.

So in 4thnormal form we cannot respect their relationship in a single record such as

Employee can have multiple skills & can speak multiple languages..

Emp. Skills language

Employee can have multiple skills

Emp. Skills

Employee can know multiple languages.

Emp. Languages

Short Notes on Normal Forms:

1NF (First Normal Form):  each column type should be unique.
2NF (2nd Normal Form): Already in 1NF and all attributes within the entity should depend exclusively on the entity’s unique identifier.
3NF (3rd Normal Form): The entity should already be in 2NF and no column entry should be dependent on any other value other than the key for the table. If such an entity exists, move it outside into a new table.
Now If these 3NF achieved the database is considered normalized. but there are three more ‘extended’ NF for the moralist.
They are:
BCNF (Boyce -Codd Normal Form): The database should be in 3NF and all tables will have only one primary key.
4NF (4th Normal Form): No multi-valued dependencies on a primary key.
5NF (5th Normal Form): There should be no cyclic dependencies in a composite key.


Normalization Questions and Answers – Normal Forms

Q.1) A relation scheme is said to be in …………….. form if the values in the domain of each attribute of the relation are atomic.
a) Un-Normalized.
b) First Normal form.
c) Boyce Codd.
d) None of those.
Q.2) A second normal form does not allow ………………….. Dependency between a non-prime attribute and also the relation key.
a) Partial
b) Multi
c) Functional
d) Valued.
Q.3) A relation scheme is in ………………….. If it is in the 1NF and if all non-prime attributes are fully functionally dependent on the relation key.
a) 1NF
b) 2NF
d) 4NF (Fourth Normal Form).
Q.4) 5NF is related to ……………..
a) Functional Dependency
b) Multivalued Dependency
c) Join Dependency
d) None.
Q.5) Project join normal form is also referred to as …………..
a) 2NF
b) 3NF
c) 4NF
d) 5NF.
Q.6) which of the following is not included in DML (Data Manipulation Language).
Q.7) The relational model includes the 2} general integrity rules those two are ……….. And ………………
a) Primary key, Foreign key
b) Composite Key, Primary key
c) Transaction key, foreign key
d) Foreign key, primary key.




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