What Is A Test Case?

03 Apr 2018
What Is A Test Case?

The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers defines a test case as a set of test inputs, execution conditions and expected results developed for a particular objective such as to exercise a particular problem or to verify compliance with specific requirements.


Wikipedia provides a slightly different definition. According to the popular, peer-reviewed website, a test case is a set of conditions or variables under which a tester will determine whether an application or software system meets specifications. The difference between the two definitions boils down to compliance versus requirements.


How Test Cases Work In The Real World

In an ideal world, software testers will have perfectly defined requirements. However, in the real world, there may be none. During the software testing phase, a tester may work with a list of requirements or self-imposed requirements. A software tester will develop and execute test cases in the course of testing of the software product. For testers who are developing test cases, it is an instrument to plan for the future testing that will need to be done on the software.


Many people think that test cases are only used for execution, but they are a valuable tool for planning. The test case is a document that describes step-by-step processes on how to test an application. Due to the fact that there are many different phases of testing, having a document that stipulates what needs to be tested and how it should be tested, is very helpful for the entire team, the developers as well as the client going forward.


Gaining Insights From Test Cases

There needs to be at least one requirement for each test case. Test cases usually form part of a collection of cases within the test suite. Virtually all the definitions of test cases imply that a test case will either fail or pass and that is how the tester verifies a requirement. By analysing the test case results, the software team can pinpoint exactly what parts of the application needs to be revisited and revised.


Need software testers who can do a comprehensive and thorough test on all your applications and software? Then contact Inspired Testing today.

Sastri Munsamy

Executive: Technology and Innovation for Inspired Testing

Sastri is a passionate and engaging mentor, educator and speaker with extensive experience of real-world testing and automation projects. He has worked in the consultancy industry for over 17 years. He has implemented test automation on various systems ranging from desktop, Web, SAP and mobile applications in multiple industries across the world, with an emphasis on defining an efficient and profitable automation strategy. As a mentor, Munsamy has hosted testing community meetups in Cape Town and Johannesburg, and has guest spoken at numerous industry events.


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