7 Ways to Measure Test Coverage

7 Ways to Measure Test Coverage
March 31 10:00 2011  

Note: this article was updated in December 2019.

There is no one-size-fits-all guide to creating test coverage. This is why the testers need to know advice about how to do it in different situations that could happen at work. They should be able to manage the time and resources allocated in the most efficient way and concentrate testing efforts on the most relevant areas. And here’s QATestLab article to help!

Why do we need to control test coverage?

Test coverage helps us to see which part of code needs or got successful deployment. It is good to avoid weaknesses in the project by analyzing test coverage. Bugs can be prevented at this early stage in the life cycle by maintaining control over this technique, time, resources, costs, scope. There’s why it needs to be supervised:

  • to check if the test coverage works by written instructions from the QA team in order to use the test cases further;
  • to make sure test cases give the necessary information to remove the detected bugs;
    set up automation and special unit tools to work better.

Sufficient test coverage should include tests for various aspects of the system under testing.
First tests can be important to validate software from all angles. The testing company recommends testers to use different methods and test case classification for diversification. When you control the test coverage, you might be interested in:

questions about test coverage
For each of these points, there is its own way to measure test coverage. Let’s see what ways you can choose 😉

Possible ways to measure test coverage

ways to measure test coverage

  1. Test coverage by feature: check whether you covered with tests all the functionality specified in the original documentation.

  2. By GUI icon: Each interface has its own menu, screens, buttons, and pull-downs. The point of this measurement is to see if we have tests for every item of an interface.

  3. By instrumentation: This measurement is going with tools that should be able to specify, in terms, of small system code. In this case, note that this should not be the decision when more code coverage can be achieved.

  4. By structure: When we are saying coverage of the structure, we mean tests for required, solution coverage (branches), coverage occurred, coverage of all DU circuits, and save and strip the linear code.

  5. By scenario: Testers use the reports of user experience to see what functions should be approached. Users have a number of goals they want to achieve. They provide them with the use of (definite) functions.

  6. By transition: It’s a mix of test coverage by structure and scenario. With this combination, we give the user various ways to get a goal.

  7. By web script, page, app: Indication of the risk level of all these “webs” helps to lower the opportunity of risk appearance. For successful deployment of test coverage, you need to see the bug risks.

Test coverage examples

It takes a lot of effort to solicit and build test cases. Test coverage allows you to count functions and then deploy different tests. However, there is the possibility of error of judgment. Here is a couple of test coverage examples so you don’t get confused.

Example: “Pencil testing”

If the pencil is a subject that needs testing (as is often happens on interviews), then you need to focus forward to see if it is writing and with what thickness. However, other aspects of trying to look for how the user should be able to work easily: Test coverage by feature – does it draw as it should be; By GUI icon – design and size of a pencil should fit all requests and so on…

Example: “the video player and its essentials”

If you want to check the video player, check it’s the essential actions too. After test coverage measured by scenario, you want to see other aspects – by transition. Like turning on a video player that responds quickly while another program is running. So, it’s about the program’s actions during the user’s tries to do irregular from the scenario measurement actions or just another action by instrumentation.


Test coverage shows the QA team if the test checked all the necessary functions and features of the product. This is a significant implementation of testing functional or non-functional features of the program, without having “insider” knowledge of the internal development and structure of the programs.

The reason for an emphasis on test coverage attention is a need to cover all the possibilities and avoid the risk of a fatal bug in the released system. It cannot be complete, more than specifications can be. But you can make a good engineering decision on what sort of test coverage you need, basing on the risk the system poses.

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Nataliia Vasylyna
Nataliia Vasylyna

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