October 6, 2023

What is a test case ?

Joy Anderson
Blog > Test Automation
What is a test case ?

What is Test Case? How to Write Test Cases in Software Testing?

Developing test cases is a paramount process in the software testing phase. Through test cases, software testers can understand their test’s scope and requirements.

They are designed to confirm whether the app is performing as predicted or not. Apps should be tested deeply before deploying them to verify how the system will act under different inputs.

If the test case writers have a clear understanding of the system’s functions, it gets easier for them to write tests that identify the errors easily.

However, it’s essential to follow an accurate format while writing a test case. A well-structured test case helps the software tester to perform his job easily. So, in this piece of information, we will learn some basics about test cases, and how to write them well.

Let’s dive in!

What’s a Test Case?

A test case consists of different components describing the action, input, and expected output. These components help you to determine whether the app is giving expected output and performing productively or not.

Tests are a set of rules on ‘HOW’ to verify a specific target area, which, when tested using the test case, is working as per the users’ anticipation or not.

Testers can follow the instructions mentioned in the test cases for ensuring that the software/app is left with zero bugs. Some complex test cases also show how the system works normally, abnormally, or when errors occur.

But you might be thinking, why write test cases? Let’s see what’s the aim of writing test cases in software testing.

What’s the Objective of Writing Test Cases?

  • Validating particular functions and features of the app or software
  • Recording the steps taken for assisting the testers in case of similar error pops up
  • Guiding the software testers on their day-to-day and hands-on tasks
  • Test cases provide the blueprint to use in future projects to the testers so that they do not need to develop everything from scratch
  • Test cases help in detecting usability errors and early-on design gaps
  • Helps newbie testers and developers to quickly begin with testing even when they join the team in the ongoing projects

Now, let’s discuss the steps to write an effective test case that helps the software testers to verify the software accurately.

Various levels of writing test cases

1- In the first level of test case writing, one has to write the basic test cases from given specifications and documentation

2- The second step is the practical one. Here one has to write cases depending on the actual system flow of the app

3- In the third step, you will have to group a few test cases and write the testing procedure. The test procedure consists of small instances, up to 10.

4- The final step is the automation step of the project. This step will decrease the human interaction with the project and hence the QAs can manage only the recently updated functions for testing the remaining areas of the project.

How to Write Test Cases?

Whether you hire a software testing company or freelance software testers, they should know how to write test cases. There are special test case writers who write test cases for testers, but in an emergency, testers should know the basics of creating a type of test cases. Here are some primary steps to follow while writing a test case.

Standard Test Case Format

While writing a test case one can follow the below given standard format to make it readable and reusable:

  • Test Case ID
  • Test Scenario
  • Steps of testing the system
  • Prerequisites
  • Testing data
  • Anticipated results
  • Actual output received
  • Status of the test (Pass or Fail)

Testers can also use the below given steps while writing the test case:

  • A quality description of the project needs
  • A brief explanation of the testing process
  • Details on testing setup like version, data points, hardware, OS, security, time, date, prerequisites, etc.
  • Related attachments or documents that testers will need
  • Other prerequisites if necessary

Let’s see a small example of writing a test case as per the format mentioned above.

Test Case Example

Test Case ID: #TS001

Test Scenario: To VERIFY a successful user login on email (Gmail)

Test Steps:

  • The user will navigate to gmail.com
  • The user inputs their registered email id in the field named ‘email’
  • The end user will press the ‘Next’ button
  • He/she enters their registered password
  • Finally clicks on the ‘Sign In’

Prerequisites: A registered email ID with a specific username and password.

Browser: Chrome (Google) v 86. Device: Samsung Galaxy Smartphone S23

Test Data: Correct username & password

Expected Results: Once username and password are given, the web page goes to the user’s inbox and displays new emails at the start of the page.

Actual Results: As Expected

Test Status: Pass/Fail: Pass

Best practices to develop test cases

Here are two main best practices to implement while writing test cases. These tips will help you with effective test case creation:

  • Make the test cases maintainable and reusable wherever feasible. Your requirements may be different for each project depending on the type of project you are developing. However, a reusable test case helps you to save energy and time by not having to create everything from scratch, and being easy to maintain.
  • Keep the end-user’s perspective in mind while writing test cases. Throughout the process of test case writing, keep yourself in the user’s place and create the test case accordingly. Align your testing methods with the customer's perspective, and it will assist you to write relevant and efficient test cases.

Features of a Test Case

Here are some common features of test cases:

  • It mainly involves clustering. Test cases of one test scenario have to be executed in a particular sequence or a group. In such cases, specific prerequisites of a test case will also apply to other cases in a similar sequence.
  • Likely to be updated regularly. Software needs changes based on changes in business priorities or user preferences. In case of requirement updates, test cases have to be upgraded accordingly. The bug detection and debugging may also need test cases to be updated.
  • Test cases are mostly interdependent. Primarily the test-cases depend on each other. This feature is primarily true in layered apps with multiple-tier business logic.
  • Developers & testers will most likely use the test cases. Well-written test cases are useful for developers and testers. For instance, when developers fix bugs, test cases can be quite valuable to duplicate the bug. In TDD- test-driven development, developers write test cases for crafting business logic, cover different test scenarios, and begin with code writing.

Popular tools used for test case management

Management of test cases helps you to maintain the hardware and software development. These tools will track the test cases, errors, and different information necessary for testing.

Numerous testing tools are present in the Hawk. If you are applying for the role of test case writer, here are some most popular tools that you need to take care of:

  • Klaros-Testmanagement
  • JIRA
  • QACoverage
  • JunoOne
  • Case
  • SPIRATEST by Inflectra
  • Testpad
  • TestFLO for JIRA
  • XQual
  • Zephyr Scale
  • Xray
  • Zephyr Squad

Advantages of Writing Good Quality Test Cases

When you write test cases it assists you to think about every different aspect of the software and makes it simpler to search for any software errors while the software is in the development phase. Here are some of the main pros of writing test cases qualitatively.

  • Proper documentation guarantees that tests are performed well
  • One can minimize software maintenance and fix bugs and also support future expenses
  • Test cases are reusable in current projects as well as future projects
  • One can enhance the quality of the software and UI & UX.
  • A better quality of software means better customer satisfaction with higher profit levels.

Final Verdict

In the end, we hope that this article has given you the primary idea of what test cases are and how to write a productive test case. Complex test cases are a lot more than the example mentioned here. Stay tuned to our site for future technical updates. Till then, happy reading!

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 Joy Anderson

About the author

Joy Anderson

Tech Enthusiast and Tech Consultant.

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