Welcome to Javaranch First off, let's see what test y=new test2(); means: you are declaring a variable 'y' of type 'test' referencing an object of type 'test2'. This is possible because class test is a superclass of class test2. Then, the resolution of the member instance 'i' is based on the compile-time type (the type of the reference variable), that is, 'test' and not 'test2', hence the value 8 being printed out. Concerning the method lookup, you have to know that instance methods are looked up dynamically at runtime (static methods are not) and the resolution process bases itself on the runtime type (the type of the referenced object) of 'y', that is, 'test2' and not 'test'. From there, you can deduce the correct answer.