The software testing lifecycle or STLC is similar to the software development life cycle, only that it is heavily focused on software testing and design. The STLC is based on a sequence of design activities conducted to ensure that all software related goals and objectives are met by stakeholders in the organization. STLC involved stakeholders from across the board and verifies their activities. Each test type requires distinct entry and exit criteria for testing phases. It ensures that the objectives of the test strategy and product requirements are met. Additionally, the QA professionals can utilize the outlined entry-exit criteria of the test strategy to map and analyze before sign off the outcomes.

STLC is often confused with Software Development Life Cycle , but while STLC is focused on testing, SDLC encompasses all development stages. All the errors, bugs, and defects are tested based on the test plans in the Test Execution Phase. The defects are mapped to the test cases in the requirements traceability matric All the errors/bugs/defects will be reported back to the developers for fixing and once fixed, retesting is done. Once you understand the risks you can then start to look at defining appropriate and project specific entry & exit criteria. The criteria will generally fall under one of the following five categories . You can break out into lower level categories or group into higher level categories if needed, but this is a useful starting point.

Exit criteria

Manual Intervention is required in Black box testing to create and execute boundary value and Edge cases from the user perspective. A test plan is a document that consists of all future testing-related activities. It is prepared at the project level and in general, it defines work products to be tested, how they will be tested, and test type distribution among the testers. Before starting testing there will be a test manager who will be preparing a test plan. In any company whenever a new project is taken up before the tester involves in the testing the test manager of the team would prepare a test Plan. During this phase, testing environments are configured and deployed.

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Entry criteria can also be used where it is necessary to decide entry to an activity based on factors other than the success of a previous activity. Practically, we feel that the decision of stopping testing is based on the level of the risk acceptable to the management. So, at stage three, developers can decide what metrics to analyze to define any performance problems.

Design Productive Software Testing Life Cycles With Sealights Software Quality Intelligence

The deadlines met by the team and the budget depleted as part of the process. The testing plan in place, along with the length and breadth of the project. System’s compatibility with supported hardware and software. Satisfactory execution of stress, performance and load tests. Test result analysis to find out the defect distribution by type and severity. Qualitative and quantitative reporting of quality of the work product to the customer.

What is entry and exit point of testing

Each type of testing requires different criteria for entry and exit points. The criteria ensures that the objectives aligned with the product are scheduled and met. Test Execution Phase is carried out by the testers in which testing of the software build is done based on test plans and test cases prepared. The process consists of test script execution, test script maintenance and bug reporting. If bugs are reported then it is reverted back to development team for correction and retesting will be performed. The Test Case Development Phase involves the creation, verification and rework of test cases & test scripts after the test plan is ready.


Exit criteria is an important document prepared by the QA team to adhere to the imposed deadlines and allocated budget. This document specifies the conditions and requirements that are required to be achieved or fulfilled before the end of software testing process. With the assistance of exit criteria, the teams of testers are able to conclude the testing without compromising the quality and effectiveness of the software. Entry and exit criteria are meaningful principles for the software testing life cycle.

What is entry and exit point of testing

These entry and exit criteria can undoubtedly prove helpful for any effective functioning of the software testing system. It is necessary to define its benefits and disadvantages before using it. There are many exit criteria available in STLC, but not all the criteria are reasonable to operate simultaneously. It is a good practice to choose one criterion at a time that is suitable for your project and testing environment. STLC, or Software Testing Life Cycle, is a series of operations carried out by the testing team to ensure the quality of the software or product, and it solely addresses the testing phases.

Test Environment Setup:

The application or the product should meet the quality standards as specified by the client. Pick up any test plan in many organisations and one of the core elements you will find will be entry & exit criteria. But how much thought has gone into understanding the risks, defining the criteria and signing them off with relevant stakeholders? In a lot of cases, they are copied and pasted from project to project, department to department and in some cases from company to company.

What is entry and exit point of testing

In API testing there is no front end available for testing. A logic layer will be build for the application on which we perform testing. It is basically a black box testing of various functionalities based on the response generated for an API call. These Responses for the API calls are used to validate the interactions.

Entry and Exit Criteria For Software Testing

A test manager should properly understand this difference so as to decide which criteria may be applicable for any specific testing activity under consideration. To sum up, defining the entry and exit criteria for a software testing process is essential. The requirements discussed above will help the testing teams to plan and drive testing tasks within stipulated deadlines.

You cannot run a performance test without clarifying the entry and exit criteria. These conditions are essential to be followed if you aim to attain accurate results at the end of the day. The entry criteria for software testing can be defined as all the specific conditions and concurrent activities that should be present at all times for a testing process to begin. The software testing life cycle or STLC can specify the entry criteria required during each phase of the testing process and can work out the best policy. The entry criteria define all the prerequisites to be completed to start a test phase.

Difference Between Entry And Exit Criteria for Testing

Acceptance testing, a testing technique performed to determine whether or not the software system has met the requirement specified. The main purpose of this test is to evaluate the system’s behavior with the business and functional requirements and verify if it has met the required criteria for delivery to end users. Both life cycles require the cooperation of stakeholders, DevOps, and testing teams. Without this cooperation, you cannot verify that requirements are properly defined, that tests are relevant, or that results are applied properly. These phases or stages may differ from organization to organization. A tester can choose the testing type based on the software application or the product under development.