Index Filter Predicates

There are two different ways databases use indexes to apply the where clauses (predicates):

  • As access predicates

    The access predicates express the start and stop conditions for the leaf node traversal.

  • As filter predicates

    Filter predicates are applied during the leaf node traversal only. They don’t contribute to the start and stop conditions and do not narrow the scanned range.


Access and filter predicates are attributes of explain plan operations—not index attributes.

That means that different where clauses can use different access and filter predicates on the same index.

About the Author

Photo of Markus Winand
Markus Winand tunes developers for high SQL performance. He also published the book SQL Performance Explained and offers in-house training as well as remote coaching at