if i have table data that is indexed using full text search in Microsoft SQL server 2005 that includes raw table data such as "test2" should a query using FTS find a match if the search string is "test"?
Yes you can use full text search in this case.
Select * from your_table WHERE CONTAINS(your_column, '"test*"' );
will find test2.
C. Using CONTAINS with prefix_term in msdn
Full text search does allow certain types of near hits, similar terms, thesaurus etc. as outlined here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc879300.aspx
This may be specifically helpful. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms142492.aspx
But most people end up using a traditional like statement to get partial matches as you have to format the full text query expecting that what was passed was potentially a prefix.