Difference Between Entry And Exit Criteria for Testing

Difference Between Entry And Exit Criteria for Testing: There are basically two starting and stopping points in testing, that is, entry criteria and exit criteria. Entry criteria indicate when to start a test. Exit criteria indicate when to stop a test. Both these points are equally important in testing and the decision of starting a test has a great impact on the success rate of the test.

What is an Entry Criteria in Software Testing?

An entry criteria has three things.

First, it indicates that a particular item or function is required to be tested at this stage. Secondly, it may indicate that the test should be carried out based on some pre-defined priorities, and finally, it gives details of how much time and resources are needed for testing.

Entries can also be classified into categories like expected failures, unexpected functional bugs, and stress conditions, etc. Each category of entries needs different approaches in handling them while performing testing activities.

What is an Exit Criteria in Software Testing?

The exit criteria give the indication of when testing is complete and how much it has been covered. It also provides detailed information about what could be any major defects in the product not detected so far.

In other words, while performing functional testing, we normally have a coverage limit for each test item like 90%, 80%, or 70%. This cut-off point helps us to determine whether some additional tests need to be carried out to attain 100% test coverage or not. This cut-off point is known as an exit criteria. Or if you consider a case where the total number of test cases required for testing an application is 1000 then we can take 500 as our coverage limit and say that once we reach this limit then we can close such test cases.

Difference Between Entry And Exit Criteria:

We can summarize the difference between entry and exit criteria as under:

Entry Criteria Exit Criteria
Entry criteria is a pre-requisite condition for testingExit criteria is a post-testing condition.
An entry criterion defines when to start testingExit criteria indicate when to stop testing.
Entry conditions deal with the basic scenarios of testing.Exit conditions deal with the conditions outside the basic scopes.
Entry criteria point out what we should test and when to start testingExit conditions give warning about what problems still exists in an application even after completing all the tests . And they also provide answer to questions which means where to find bugs.
Entry criteria helps to determine the important test cases. It provides guidelines about what needs to be tested first and also tells what elements are deployed in the application.Exit criteria help us to decide whether we have covered the sufficient number of test cases or not.
Entry criteria describe where defects can be prevented.Exit criteria point out where defects can be found.
Entry criteria help us to determine whether a particular set of tests will cover all possible conditions or not.Exit criteria help us to decide what have we covered in the application and how much percentage of test coverage has been reached.
Entry criteria give guidelines about which defects should be expected during testing and how much time each of these tests will take.Exit criteria help us to decide whether we have found all the defects or not.
Entry criteria help us to decide which test cases are worth performing first .Exit criteria are like a conclusion point after performing functional testing
Entry criteria on the other hand tells testers about when to start testing after completing entry conditions.Exit criteria is like a time limit given for functional testing, once this limit has been crossed then the testing process is complete.

So from above discussion it becomes clear that the entry and exit criteria have different scopes, emphases and look at things from different perspectives. A test manager should properly understand this difference so as to decide which criteria may be applicable for any specific testing activity under consideration.


Above we have seen the difference between Entry & Exit Criteria. So I think from the above comparaion you should have get an clear understanding about the difference between Entry & Exit Criteria. If you have any query related to this, then please create a question , and if you like this article then please share it!

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