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How to Write Effective Test Case Names (With Examples)

by Thijs Kok, on May 3, 2022

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The testing phase is vital in the software development lifecycle. If you want your team to get the most out of their testing efforts, it can all come down to how well their test cases are written. 

This is because test cases help guide your tester through the sequences of steps to validate the performance of your software application and confirm requirements have been met. They also help your developers and quality assurance professionals ensure proper test coverage across the full range of functionality and design. 

Although there are several components in writing effective test cases, one of the more complex is how your team chooses to craft test case names.

So why is good test case writing important, and what best practices can your team use to write more effective titles?

Why Writing a Good Test Case Is Important

Writing a good test case can take more time, but the long-term payoff of more effective, organized, and comprehensive quality assurance can make for a stronger product. This means using concise, clear language free of jargon and unnecessary technical references, beginning with actions a tester should take and identifying the expected result.

When completed, well-written test cases can make it easier for testers to understand what they need to do and if an outcome is expected, giving your developer team more accurate feedback. Having clear cases can also help prevent confusion that leads to delays and rework.

A structured, consistent approach to test case development can help your quality assurance (QA) professionals stay organized, ensuring that all tests are crafted and executed more efficiently and all necessary product requirements are covered.

Learn how to structure and maximize your software testing efforts to streamline  the testing process and make your job easier. 

Best Practices for Test Case Names

Although they seem easy and straightforward to write, it is important to remember that a good test case starts with a strong title.

Here are some best practices to keep in mind when drafting your test case names:

  • Include the software module, feature, or focus of the test in the name. For example, if the test will evaluate your product’s authentication mechanism, include “Login Page” into your test name.
  • If multiple approaches or tests will be used for each feature, add the “state” of the test into its name and the expected result. This can help your QA team quickly see if all aspects of a feature are evaluated and organize tests by type. For example, building on the first recommendation, the test case can then become:
    • LoginPage_InvalidUser_Exception
    • LoginPage_ValidUser_AuthenticationSuccessful
    • Utilize a test management tool to generate unique identifiers—such as a numbering scheme—into the title so that cases are trackable and organized. As tests are organized, distributed to testers, and feedback and remediation are prioritized, unique identifiers make traceability easier. Leading test management tools can also store common test cases or create blueprints to make test case development easier and more consistent.

Examples of Strong Test Case Names

Although every organization will ultimately come up with their own approach to writing test cases, examples of strong test case names can include:

  • #17.RevenueTotal_CorrectSum_Accepted
  • #18.A.LoginPage_ValidUser_AuthenticationSuccessful
  • #18.B.LoginPage_ValidUser_AuthenticationSuccessful
  • #34.A.RegisterNewUser_UniqueEmail_CreationSuccess
  • #34.B.RegisterNewUser_ExistingEmail_CreationFail

Elevate Your Test Case Management

Your team only has so much time to focus on testing, but the impact of powerful, comprehensive testing is hard to deny. Between minimizing the number of bugs that make it through to release and ensuring your customers get the features they want, testing builds trust in your brand.

Taking the time to organize and structure your test case names can impact the readability and execution of your tests, ultimately helping your team produce more secure, stable, and quality software.

Ready to learn even more about how your team can elevate your test case management? Then check out TestMonitor’s comprehensive resource, The Ultimate Guide to Effective Test Management.

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