All About Test Scripts    

All About Test Scripts    

A Test Script is a set of instructions written using a programming language performed on a system under test. Moreover, it is to verify that the system works as expected. Test scripts are also commonly used in automated testing. But, there are times that a set of instructions are written in a human language. Such test scripts are also the ones used in manual testing. Also, the better term for Test Script would be a test case.

There are different programming/scripting languages used in automated testing, such as the following:

  • Perl
  • Python
  • JavaScript
  • VBScript
  • Ruby
  • Tcl
  • Unix Shell Script

Along with that, there are different automation tools and frameworks that generate test scripts without the need for actual coding. Moreover, these tools have their own scripting language. For example, Sikuli, which is a GUI automation tool, uses a Sikuli script. Its script is usually based on Python language. In addition, a test execution engine and a repository of test scripts are collectively known as a Test Harness.

Executing test scripts

There are various ways to execute test scripts. The following are:

Manual testing

These are more commonly called test cases.

Automated testing

This refers to a short program written in a programming language used to test the functionality of the software. The test scripts written as a short program can either be automated using automation tools.

Data-driven testing

This refers to the extensively parameterized short programs.

Table-driven testing

This refers to the reusable steps created in a table.

But note that, manual testing also uses the last two types.

Automated testing is really an advantage for several reasons. You can also test simultaneously without the need for human interventions, and they are easily reputable. Aside from that, automated testing makes the process faster than manual testing. In addition, it is beneficial in a scenario where the tests must be repeatable, just like in regression testing.

However, when test scripts are poorly written, automated testing can be disadvantageous. It may also lead to incorrect testing or broken tests. Moreover, just like any piece of software, poorly written scripts can only examine what they have been programmed to check. It is a good practice that human tests the system at some point, since only human designs the systems. It is still advisable to do mixed testing, manual, and automated. Automated what needs to be frequently tested and use manual testing to do test design and exploratory testing. For automating any given test script, one should consider the return of investment.

Test Script Characteristics

A test script must be optimal. For a test script to be that way, it should be:


With a clear test script, testers do not need to ask the project manager constantly about the instructions. It will waste time and interrupts productivity. The test script must be clear, concise, and coherent. It will keep the testing process going to its proper place.


Each step in the test script must contain just one specific action. In this way, it ensures that each function is correctly tested. So, testers do not accidentally pass by anything on the user path.

Well thought out

Test scriptwriters must put their place in the users’ shoes. This is to decide which user path to test. One must be creative to predict all of the various paths that the user might take.

To conclude

Test scripts are essential in the automation process, and even in the manual process. It plays a vital role and is the base of the automation. Without the test scripts, you cannot go on with the automation.

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