I do exploratory testing for my projects and currently I am evaluating a tool for Session based test management. Due to the structure of the tool I am very much confused about "Charter" and "Session"

How I look at the problem is if I am assigned a project to test say Facebook, I Have some features to test say:

Facebook Post sharing
Add contacts

Now if I want to plan the efforts for this what would be charter and session?

If the mission statement or Objective for Any session is same as charter? So how they are different?

I just got confused when my PM asked me "How many charters and how many sessions you would need to test the complete app"? As per his argument one charter can have multiple sessions?

If this argument is correct?

  • Are you asking us to explain what your PM meant by "charter" vs "session"?
    – user246
    Commented May 17, 2016 at 16:13

3 Answers 3


A charter sets out what you should be exploring during a test session.

For example, a charter could be 'Explore the Settings feature of the website for a logged in user'.

A test session would then be used to fulfill this charter. Test sessions are usually time-boxed to some extent - for example, 90 minutes.


A charter summarizes the goal or activity of the session. It is a “clear mission for the session”. You can define a charter before you start your session. It is a statement of how the session will be focused.

The entire session report consists of these sections:

• Session charter (includes a mission statement, and areas to be tested)

• Tester name(s)

• Date and time started


• Data files

• Test notes

• Issues

• Bugs

Lets see an Example of Session report chart for Login functionality:

Session CHARTER: Login functionality and report on areas of potential risk.


OS | Windows 7

Browser: Chrome/IE/Firefox

Login Fuctionality

Strategy | Function Testing

Strategy | Functional Analysis

START xxxxxxx




TEST NOTES I touched the login fucntionality and focused mostly on valid/invalid login attempt

Potental Risks: -- Issue on login concurrently with same user



Here are some of the points for charters and session which may help you to understand the difference

Charter: This can be a checklist of the features that will be explored during the session, a list of goals that have to be achieved, or an agenda detailing what will be done during the session. Charters can be based on the requirements, test plan, or the results and observations made during previous sessions.

  • Each test session is described by Charter
  • A Single sentence that sets the scope of the testing
  • Charters are basis of estimation and coverage

Session: This is a pre-determined period of uninterrupted testing which can range anywhere from 45 minutes to a couple of hours. Sessions can be recorded by jotting down notes or using screen-capture tools.

Here are the links which will helps you to understand even more better

1.How to Write an Exploratory Test Charter

2.session report Layout

3.Session based testing Reports

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