Test Case vs Test Scenario: What’s the difference b/w two?

What’s the difference between test cases and test scenarios or Test Case vs Test Scenario: how do they differ?

people often find it confusing in defining these two terminologies in software testing. To ease the burden, we have made an infographic representation out of the topic so that it will be easy to understand the test case and test scenario.

What is a test scenario?

A test scenario is a high-level use case or functionality to be tested. Each test scenario can be mapped to one or more detailed test cases. Test scenarios are derived by understanding the user expectation from the software and it is used by the user.

A good tester would cover all the test scenarios and functionalities. This document would then be used to derive the test cases. An example of a test scenario would be a login scenario that can consist of multiple test cases.

What is a test case?

A test case is a detailed step-by-step instruction to perform a series of actions or steps that help to validate a particular functionality in an application. A test case has the following main parts:

  1. Pre-conditions: the conditions noted in this section need to complete before proceeding with the next steps. For example for a login test case, the preconditions would be the app or software should be successfully launched and the login screen should be displayed.
  2. Test Steps: These are detailed step-by-step instructions on how to perform the actions on the application. It should include the data to be entered, the action to be performed, and the details of the object of which the action needs to be performed. The quality of the test case is defined by the quality of the test steps. The steps should be so detailed that even a layman should be able to perform the test.
  3. Expected Result: This section describes the happy path or actual application behavior. For e.g in a login scenario, successfully being able to log in and enter the new screen should be the expected result. One should make sure that 1 test case should have only 1 expected result. This is particularly important for tracking and retesting defects.
  4. Actual Result: This section is left blank during the planning phase and is updated by the tester during the execution phase. This section captures what the tester sees in the application after performing the test steps mentioned above.
  5. Test Case Result: If both the expected and actual results are the same the test cases are marked as a pass, and if they are different it is marked as a fail.

Difference between test case and test scenario

test case vs test scenario

Test case Test Scenario
Detailed information about what to test, steps involved, expected result, etc. Mostly contains one line information about what to test
Used for the validation of test output It’s a thread of operation
Helps in agile testing Helps greatly in exhaustive testing
Consumes a lot of time Consumes less time compared to test case preparation
Serves as a proof guard for new testers Helps in reducing complexity and repeatability of the product
Derived from test scenarios Derived from use case
Can be used in future regression test cases Used by new testers to save time

How to write test cases?

Step 1: ID’ing the test case is very important. Each test case must have a unique ID for better traceability and accountability.

Step 2: Description of the feature or functionality that will be put to test must be added to each test case

Step 3: Conditions that have to be met before execution must be included

Step 4: Relevant data for the execution must be included in every test case

Step 5: The step required to execute the test must be included in detail

Step 6: Expected result before the execution along with actual result must be included

What is test case and test scenario with examples?

Example for a test case

Test Case ID Description Steps involved in the execution Test data Expected result Actual result Pass/fail
TEA01 Check user login functionality with required data 1.       Open the app

2.       Click the login button

3.       Enter mail ID and password

4.       Click submit

User ID= 123@gmail.com


User password: 1212a!@

Successful login Blank screen Fail

Example for a test scenario

  1. search functionality

search functionality test scenario

Test Scenario


Verify whether the feature is able to display all the related search results according to the search query

Best Practices in writing test cases

  • it should be easy to understand and decode
  • Must be accurate and reusable
  • Using a strong title will bring forth a better understanding
  • Use short description
  • Include pass/fail to every test cases
  • Include actual as well as expected result
  • mention steps to achieve the objective of the test case
  • Subject it to peer review

Best Practices in writing test Scenario

  • Make sure that you have clearly gone through business Requirement Specification (BRS), Software Requirement Specification (SRS), Functional Requirement Specification (FRS)
  • Make sure that you listed down all the positive and negative test scenarios
  • Do several discussions in sprints to form an effective one
  • One scenario is supposed to cover one of the requirements. If multiple requirements need to be addressed, create multiple scenarios
  • if the scenarios are large and might consume a lot of time. Discuss with the client or the owner and then prioritize!
  • it should be easy to understand and must be mapped with the requirements

Final Thought about Test Case vs Test Scenario

Both terminologies are essential for software testing. So Test Case vs Test Scenario is pointless however, differentiating between them essential to not only adopt better practices but for academic purposed also.

What is Test Scenario? How to Write a Test Scenario?

What is Test Scenario?

A test scenario also called as Test Condition or Test Possibility is a document that specifies all the functionalities that need to be tested for a software application to deliver what it is meant to. Exactly defining what should be tested as part of a particular feature or application, a test scenario calls for the tester to identify himself as the end-user.
test scenario
It is only then he/she will be able to relate to the requirements of the user. This process of the tester putting himself in the shoes of the customer will help him unveil many real-life scenarios that need to be addressed for the application to perform its ordained task.
Scenario Testing
Getting its name from testing different functionalities, Scenario Testing is an arm of software testing. Tagged as a simple way of testing complicated systems, scenario testing is all about enlisting different scenarios to be tested for the entire application to perform without any bugs. Below is a simple example that will help you understand what a test scenario is all about.
The Purpose behind Test Scenarios
After understanding the definition of a test scenario, it is now important to know the benefits of test scenarios. Here is a rundown of the purpose behind the documentation of a test scenario.

  1. A test scenario is a comprehensive testing procedure.
  2. Test scenarios are quick tools that will help identify crucial end-to-end transactions supported by the real utility of various software applications.
  3. It is a document that can be vetted by stakeholders including developers, business analysts and end-users.
  4. Helping to measure testing efforts, test scenarios assist your clients in the formulation of a proposal to reorganize their manpower requirements.
  5. The prime objective of a test scenario is to ensure that the entire functionality coming under a test is checked completely for its performance.

Step-Wise Detailing to Formulate a Test Scenario
You as a tester can follow the below mentioned 5 steps to create different test scenarios:
1st Step: Primarily, you should be read and understand requirement documents. These include: SRS (Software Requirement Specifications), FRS (Functional Requirements Statement) and BRS (Business Requirement Specification) concerning the System Under Test (SUT).
2nd Step: Delving deep into each and every requirement, it is important that you identify various possible user actions that will come up while specifying all the user objectives. Attaching technical specifications to every requirement, this step is complete once you discover various scenarios when the system can be abused through the intervention of a hacker.

This is the most important part of the second step when you put yourself in the shoes of a hacker and try to come up with loopholes concerning the breach of application security and functioning.
3rd Step:  Gathering of information and inferences gained after the completion of the above 2 steps will be your next step. This is followed by the enlisting of various test scenarios that call for verifying each and every function of your software that is to be tested.
4th Step: After enlisting all the probable test scenarios, you should chalk out a Traceability Matrix. This is a document that is created to confirm that every requirement has a matching test scenario that should be tested.
5th Step:  The last step is all about reviewing the test scenarios. Involving your supervisor, all the test scenarios drafted by you will be studied. Upon the successful scrutiny by your superiors, your test scenarios will reach the tables of your stakeholders who will then sit for reviewing of the scrutinized document.
Tips to Create Effective Test Scenarios
Below is the list of simple tips that will help you chalk out comprehensive test scenarios:

  • As a tester, it is not only your ordained duty to ensure that every requirement should be tied to a test scenario but also to adhere to the specifications of the Project Methodology
  • It is only when you compartmentalize complex requirements that you can check whether every requirement comes attached with a test scenario. This tip thus helps you cover all the requirements in total.
  • It is best to stay away from creating complicated test scenarios concerning multiple functional requirements.
  • It also comes as an intelligent move to stick to your client’s priority list. Bearing in mind the cost involved in testing multiple scenarios, it is important that you conduct selected test scenarios that are vital to your client.

Read also : Difference Between Test Case vs Test Scenario [Infographic]

Tagged as a significant component of testing, a Test Scenario effectively saves a lot of money and time involved in testing procedures. Adhering to the quality specifications of the software at every step, this document goes a long way in delivering bug-free functionalities. Not to confuse a test scenario with a test case, it is an important fact to understand that a test case primarily relies on a Test Scenario and not the other way round.