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How to Write Effective Test Steps

Let’s face it, most QA testers focus on optimizing the test process and overlook basic steps that can influence the entire testing process. As a qualified quality assurance Specialist, you probably know that testing is a complex process with more than one element of the Software Testing Lifecycle.

The chances are that you also know that each part of STLC has unique characteristics and requires special attention. One of the crucial parts of the STLC is writing practical test steps.

 So, read along to discover proven tips to help you write effective test steps.

Write Clear and Understandable Test Steps

Most testers assume that providing as much information as possible is wise when writing test steps. However, it is best to focus on the presentation. Make sure that your test steps are easy to understand for other testers and people involved in the STLC process. Precise and understandable test steps will prevent unnecessary arguments, questions, and follow-ups.

Above all, it will save time since the entire testing process will be seamless. However, this does not mean that you should use shortcuts and colloquial language to write test steps. Always remember that test steps will be used several times in the future. As such, avoid confusing language to ensure you create an accurate list of test steps.

Break the Steps into Smaller Cases

The first step to identifying errors in the test steps is the number of tests. Test steps that have many steps are probably inaccurate. The chances are that such steps do not provide a clear path for certain functionality. Even worse, figuring out the exact problem is almost impossible in such a case. Therefore, always strive to write fewer steps to generate better results. The general rule is to write no more than 15 test steps for each case.

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Take Advantage of Attachments

Attachments can make complex actions less confusing and easy to understand. That is why you should always use attachments, including screenshots and images, to simplify confusing steps. Attachments will also make it easy for fellow testers to execute the test.

Testing Tools Will Make Your Work Easier

Taking advantage of various testing tools, including Excel spreadsheets and testing software, can save you precious time and make the entire test process seamless. Fortunately, testers have a wide range of testing software to choose from. 

Ensure Each Test Can Run Individually

If your test steps are dependent on each other, then something isn’t right. Practical test steps should run independently. You can use the setup and tear-down features to create practical test steps that run independently. It will be easy to identify bugs if each test step is independent.

Final Thoughts

Writing practical test steps is essential to the success of the Software Testing Lifecycle. So, pay attention and follow these proven tips when writing test steps. Remember that practical test steps will reduce the need for follow-ups and questions. This will save you and other testers valuable time.

If you would like to improve your testing skills or kick-start your IT career, check out our manual QA and automation QA courses today. At Spin Career, our courses have the most valuable information you will find online.



Alex Kara
By Alex Kara on Dec 28, 2021
Software Testing