Naming Unit Tests

I think that naming of tests includes three aspects:

  • strategy - what’s the purpose of the names: should they reveal intent? should they help find a requirement in some document? …
  • content - given the strategy chosen, what information do we need to put into the name of the test?
  • style - upperCase_withSections, simply_separated_by_underscores, someOtherFormOfStyle, “Plain strings if the language and/or framework(s) supports this”


There are various ways to name your (unit) tests. These are some of the more common patterns I’ve run across.

Roy Osherove:


Kent Beck suggests:

  • One test fixture per ‘unit’ (class of your program). Test fixtures are classes themselves. The test fixture name should be:

    [name of your ‘unit’]Tests

  • Test cases (the test fixture methods) have names like:

    test[feature being tested]

Other patterns I’ve seen:


This makes it easy to track a failing test to its’ specification, if there is one. This could be a JIRA issue number or similar.


when_adding_numbers_and_sum_is_greater_than_Integer_throw_exception() {

Additional resources

This work by Fredrik Wendt is licensed under CC by-sa.