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I'm new to software testing and would like to know the difference between "test case" and "testing behavior".

For example, a registration form on the web has the following fields:


-Customer Phone #:

-customer Email:



-Verify password

Now, can someone please list out some "testing behaviour" and "test cases" for the above registration form? I heard that we should understand the "testing behaviours" for the above before coming up with test cases. But I'm not too sure what are the differences between the two.


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I'm sorry but this sounds like an interview question. – Laura Hensley CTFL May 24 '11 at 19:45
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I would try and answer this question,with whatever context you have mentioned in the question...

to me the term "testing behavior" reflects what the requirements or behavioural expectations are ,from the registration form ( that you have included as an example) in simple words -- "what does this form do ?" answers could be -- it accepts inputs,it accepts 'these' particular type of inputs,it rejects 'these' type of inputs,it shows errors messages in these conditions,on completion and if you click the 'sumit' button 'blah' would happen at the UI,'blah' would happen at the database's end

test cases would be steps ( of interacting with the system under the test) you would execute to exercise,observe and note your observations against "testing behaviors"

And a usual first step in understanding different "testing behaviors" would be to refer the requirements

hope this helps

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This is what I thought when I read the question, you can't mix those two and I find the definitions within the words themselves. – MichaelF May 23 '11 at 11:39

First "testing behavior" is probably an exploratory testing activity to understand the behavior of the forms. How does the application "behave" as the form is being filled out is what you are hoping to learn.

From this you as a tester will start to understand how the application behaves with forms, or at least this form. Because different types of data are being collected for each form, each form could have very different validations, something very important to keep in mind!

But to create test cases (documented steps that show some expected behavior), you need more than just knowing the existing registration form behavior, which by the way could be wrong. You would need the know the requirements for each input field and for the form as a whole. Without knowing the requirements of the registration form and the individual input fields you would not be able to write very good test cases.

A few general test cases for your example would be:

  • the length of input acceptable for each field
  • special character accepted or filtered out of the input for each field
  • fields required by the form
  • the format of the customer phone number
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If I understand correctly, your four general test cases seems like testing behaviours to me. I can also add "the Password field should be the same as Verify password field" as well. Am I right? – Mr.Y May 23 '11 at 13:34
@Mr.Y, your test case or testing behavior (as you call it) would be fine to add. My few test cases were meant to be just a sampling. I would expect a person could create quite a number of test cases for the registration form. Not that all of the test cases would have equal value in actual use, just that they are many possible tests of even a simple registration form. – John Burley May 24 '11 at 3:46

Think about how different people would fill out the form:

  • Fill in everything from top to bottom.
  • Fill in every other field.
  • Fill in all fields except one.
  • Fill in some fields, and then five minutes later (after a phone call) fill in the others.

Think about how the user filling in the form might behave. That should give you some idea about what needs to be right about the page.

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