Six Test Coverage Techniques Used In Software Testing

Six Test Coverage Techniques Used In Software Testing

Six Test Coverage Techniques Used In Software Testing

The average time to build software is 4-9 months, with testing taking up between 3 to 6 weeks. It might sound like a lot, but reputed software developers know that testing is the key aspect in any software development life cycle determining the failure or success of the future software.

Poor software testing makes software vulnerable to failures and leads to consequences that can affect the business in a very negative way. So, let’s make software testing the focus of this article and explore related aspects such as test coverage, its benefits and test coverage techniques used in the software testing process.

What Is Test Coverage?

Test coverage is a qualitative measurement of how much testing has been executed on a software against all potential tests. Tests can be run on software as a whole and its individual features.

Test coverage should not be confused with code coverage:

  • Code coverage deals with the number of code lines tested. For example, if the total number of codes is 10,000 and only 5,000 was tested, test coverage equals 50%.
  • Test coverage determines the efficiency and correctness of these codes.

Why Are Test Coverage Techniques Important for Test Automation?

Every application needs to be validated, and automated testing is a great way to achieve that. Manual testing is still a valid testing method, but many aspects in an application are difficult to test manually. Thus, automated testing is the best way to check the application’s functionality.

For example, making a pixel-by-pixel comparison of UI changes is a cumbersome task prone to errors. Visual test automation is a great way to test the application’s visual aspects and make sure they are in line.

Test coverage is plays a huge role within the context of bespoke software development, where the software is built to meet specific client needs and requirements. The uniqueness of custom software often requires the development of specialized testing to address individualized functionalities of custom software.

For the automated testing to run smoothly, there are certain test coverage techniques that can be utilized. Let’s take a closer look at each of them and see how they can be applied in test automation.

Test Coverage Techniques You Should Know

There are six commonly used test coverage techniques to test software.

1. Product Coverage

Product coverage is essentially the ratio between the parts of the products that have been tested and the total number of parts of the product. A product, in this case, is software. The range of the technique can be extended by making a checklist, prioritizing the product features, and automating the tests.

2. Risk Coverage

Risk coverage identifies the potential risks within the software under development and tests these risks to detect bugs. The risk coverage tests are segmented into several different categories:

  • A scenario likely to happen with a significant impact
  • A scenario likely to happen with a low impact
  • A scenario unlikely to happen with a significant impact
  • A scenario unlikely to happen with a low impact

Each scenario is assigned a specific priority, and the tests are run respectively.

3. Requirements Coverage

Requirements are the basis of any software development and testing. Requirements coverage, for its part, measures the number of requirements tested. That being said, if the requirements are well-defined, the testing team can get to writing test scripts even at the earliest stages of software development.

4. Boundary Value Coverage

Boundary value tests check the input values against the assigned boundary values accepted by the application. The percentage of boundary value tests executed on an application defines the boundary value coverage.

5. Compatibility Coverage

Compatibility coverage comprises tests that check the compatibility of the software application with different browsers, devices and operating systems. Compatibility coverage is expressed in the percentage of compatibility tests executed on a software application. Cross-browser testing is a type of compatibility testing where the web application is tested across many different web browsers.

6. AI-Aided Test Automation

AI technologies are gradually shaping the modern software development landscape, particularly by being implemented in the software testing initiatives. And while it may prompt skepticism in some individuals, AI technology is certainly set to streamline the testing process and become an asset for software testing teams. Some of the AI-aided test automation features include codeless testing, easy test execution process, self-healing test cases and more.


Testing the software is a crucial step in the software development process. Without running the software through a set of tests, it is difficult to predict how the software will function when it is released to the public. Plus, without proper testing, the software not only risks to be released with bugs, but it can also fail to comply with the standards and regulations of the industry in which it operates.


When it comes to the testing itself, there are certain parameters against which the testing process is measured and the results are evaluated. Test coverage and its variations are the parameters that aid in determining the extent and accuracy of the software testing. Test coverage techniques aid the testing team in evaluating the test results and move forward in the software development life cycle.


1. What is coverage based testing?

Coverage-based testing is a qualitative and quantitative measure of the tests executed over a software application. Coverage based testing is a measure mainly expressed in percentage. One can potentially achieve a 90% coverage, but achieving a 100% coverage is hardly ever possible due to the fact that it is almost impossible to define what 100% coverage means.

Moreover, if the test coverage is based on the product risk analysis (chances that the software will fail to satisfy reasonable expectations of the customer), software developers can never be sure that the stakeholders chose the right software features to test.

2. What is good test coverage?

It is difficult to give a definition to a good test coverage. However, understanding the minimal and optimal test coverage may be helpful in finding the middle ground for assessing the efficiency of tests executed on a software application.

The minimum test coverage rate should be between 60 and 70%. This percentage gives a piece of mind that the minimum test coverage is achieved. The remaining 30-40% are areas to explore and improve.

The optimal test coverage rate is somewhere between 70-80%. It is important to keep in mind that the percentage of good test coverage varies according to the requirements of every individual software development project.

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