How to write effective Test cases, procedures and definitions

Writing effective test cases is a skill and that can be achieved by some experience and in-depth study of the application on which test cases are being written.

Here I will share some tips on how to write test cases, test case procedures, and some basic test case definitions.

What is a test case?

“A test case has components that describe an input, action or event and an expected response, to determine if a feature of an application is working correctly.” Definition by Glossary

There are levels in which each test case will fall in order to avoid duplication efforts.

Level 1: In this level, you will write the basic test cases from the available specification and user documentation.

Level 2: This is the practical stage in which writing test cases depend on actual functional and system flow of the application.

Level 3: This is the stage in which you will group some test cases and write a test procedure. The test procedure is nothing but a group of small test cases maximum of 10.

Level 4: Automation of the project. This will minimize human interaction with the system and thus QA can focus on currently updated functionalities to test rather than remaining busy with regression testing.

So you can observe a systematic growth from no testable item to an Automation suit.

Why we write test cases?

The basic objective of writing test cases is to validate the testing coverage of the application. If you are working in any CMMi company then you will strictly follow test cases standards. So writing test cases brings some sort of standardization and minimizes the ad-hoc approach in testing.

How to write test cases?

Here is a simple test case format

Fields in test cases:

Test case id:

Unit to test:
What to be verified?


Test data:
Variables and their values

Steps to be executed:

Expected result:

Actual result:



So here is a basic format of test case statement:


[tool name, tag name, dialog, etc]

With [conditions]

To [what is returned, shown, demonstrated]

Verify: Used as the first word of the test case statement.

Using: To identify what is being tested. You can use ‘entering’ or ‘selecting’ here instead of using depending on the situation.

For any application basically, you will cover all the types of test cases including functional, negative and boundary value test cases.

Keep in mind while writing test cases that all your test cases should be simple and easy to understand. Don’t write explanations like essays. Be to the point.

Try writing the simple test cases as mentioned in above test case format. Generally, I use Excel sheets to write the basic test cases. Use any tool like ‘Test Director’ when you are going to automate those test cases.

Feel free to comment below any query regarding test case writing or execution.