Test Cases and Its Importance

What is a Test Case?

Test Case/s is a specific set of instructions that the tester is expected to follow to achieve a specific output during software testing. Test cases are documented keeping in mind the requirements provided by the client.

Who all are supposed to create test cases?

Even though the test cases are widely used by testers across the world, process-oriented organizations get unit test cases prepared by developers also. So for an organization that aims to achieve CMMi, it’s mandatory that their developers create unit test cases.

What aspects does a test case contain?

The sections below are mostly found in software testing test cases.

1) Objective: Here the tester mentions what he plans to achieve with that particular test case.

2) Steps to Follow: Here the tester mentions the steps that need to be followed to achieve the objective.

3) Expected Output: Here the tester mentions the output which is expected as per the requirements provided.

4) Actual Output: Here the tester mentions the actual output achieved by following the steps.

5) Pass/ Fail: If the tester fails to achieve the ‘Expected Output’ by following the steps then he will mention ‘Fail’ against that particular test case. Similarly, if the tester is able to achieve the ‘Expected Output’ then he will mention ‘Pass’ against the test case.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Test Cases

Why Test Cases are Important?

While planning the test process for a Product/ Module, it’s imperative to be sure that the testers are aware of when to sign off the functionality delivered by the developer. Many times it’s observed that even after days of testing, the testers are not sure whether they have covered all the scenarios complementing the expectations set by the client. This results in lots of time being wasted in uncertainty. One of the best practices followed to avoid this situation is to get the test cases prepared in advance. The test cases should be covering all known scenarios (at least the positive scenarios) to test the product/ module.

By having the test cases prepared in advance, the testers have a clear picture of what expectations need to be achieved in order to give a final sign-off. Also, if the test cases are shared with or reviewed by clients then they too can provide their feedback and the test cases can be updated. Eventually, having the test cases ready especially in the case of large modules or products can help in convincing the client about the quality of the product 

Another importance of having a test case is to ensure uninterrupted software testing. Having a test case helps the tester recall the functionality when it comes back for testing after a long gap. Also, if any tester is assigned to test a product already in place then the test cases will help in making sure that the new tester does not miss any scenario.

From all the points mentioned above, it is clear that though writing a test case seems like a tedious task, its importance outweighs its drawbacks. 

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