How to Write an Effective Test Summary Report [Sample Report Download]

A Simple 12 Step Guide to Write an Effective Test Summary Report with Sample Test Summary Report Template:

Several documents and reports are being prepared as part of Testing. Some are Test Strategy doc, Test Plan doc, Risk management Plan, Configuration management plan, etc. Among these Test Summary Report is one such report which is prepared after the Testing is completed.

I have tried to explain the purpose of the Test Summary Report and provided a sample Test Summary Report template along with an actual report for download. 

Test Summary Report

What is a Test Summary Report?

As we know, Software Testing is an important phase in SDLC and also it serves as the “Quality Gate” for the application to pass through and certified as “Can Go Live” by the Testing Team.

Test Summary Report is an important deliverable which is prepared at the end of a Testing project, or rather after Testing is completed. The prime objective of this document is to explain various details and activities about the Testing performed for the Project, to the respective stakeholders like Senior Management, Client, etc.

As part of Daily Status Reports, daily testing results will be shared with involved stakeholders every day. But the Test Summary Report provides a consolidated report on the Testing performed so far for the project.

Recommended reading => How to Report Test Execution Smartly (Status Report Template download)

Assume that if the Client who sits in a remote location needs to understand the results and status about a Testing project which was performed for a period of, say for example – four months, Test Summary Report will solve the purpose.

This is also an artifact required to be prepared as part of the CMMI process.

What Test Summary Report Contains?

A typical Test Report template will contain the below information, however, based on each Company’s format & practice, the contents may vary. I have also provided real examples for better understanding.

At the end of this article, you can download a Test Summary report sample.

12 Steps Guide To Writing An Effective Test Summary Report

Step #1) Purpose of the document

<Short description of the objective of preparing the document>

For Example,  This document explains the various activities performed as part of the Testing of the ‘ABCD Transport System’ application.

Step #2) Application Overview

<Brief description of the application tested>

For Example, ‘ABCD Transport System’ is a web-based Bus ticket booking application. Tickets for various buses can be booked using the online facilities. Real-time passenger information is received from a ‘Central Repository System’, which will be referred before booking is confirmed. There are several modules like Registration, Booking, Payment, and Reports which are integrated to fulfill the purpose.

Step #3) Testing Scope

  1. In Scope
  2. Out of Scope
  3. Items not tested

<This section explains the functions/modules in scope & out of scope for testing; Any items which are not tested due to any constraints/dependencies/restrictions>

For Example, A functionality verification that needs connectivity to a third party application cannot be tested, as the connectivity could not be established due to some technical limitations. This section should be clearly documented, else it will be assumed that Testing covered all areas of the application.

  • In-Scope: Functional Testing for the following modules are in Scope of Testing
    • Registration
    • Booking
    • Payment
  • Out of Scope: Performance Testing was not done for this application.
  • Items not tested: Verification of connectivity with the third party system ‘Central repository system’ was not tested, as the connectivity could not be established due to some technical limitations. This can be verified during UAT (User Acceptance Testing) where the connectivity is available or can be established.

Step #4) Metrics

<Metrics will help to understand the test execution results, the status of test cases & defects, etc. Required Metrics can be added as necessary. Example: Defect Summary-Severity wise; Defect Distribution-Function/Module wise; Defect Ageing etc.. Charts/Graphs can be attached for better visual representation>

  • No. of test cases planned vs executed
  • No. of test cases passed/failed

test summary report 1

test summary report 2

  • No of defects identified and their Status & Severity

test summary report 3

test summary report 4

  • Defects distribution – module wise

test summary report 5

test summary report 6

Step #5) Types of testing performed

  1. Smoke Testing
  2. System Integration Testing
  3. and Regression Testing

<Describe the various types of Testing performed for the Project. This will make sure the application is being tested properly through testing types agreed as per Test Strategy.

Note: If several rounds of testing were done, the details can also be included here.>

For Example,
a) Smoke Testing
This testing was done whenever a Build is received (deployed into Test environment) for Testing to make sure the major functionality is working fine, Build can be accepted and Testing can start.

b) System Integration Testing

  • This is the Testing performed on the Application under test, to verify the entire application works as per the requirements.
  • Critical Business scenarios were tested to make sure important functionality in the application works as intended without any errors.

c) Regression Testing

  • Regression testing was performed each time a new build is deployed for testing which contains defect fixes and new enhancements if any.
  • Regression Testing is being done on the entire application and not just the new functionality and Defect fixes.
  • This testing ensures that existing functionality works fine after defect fix and new enhancements are added to the existing application.
  • Test cases for new functionality are added to the existing test cases and executed.

Step #6) Test Environment & Tools

<Provide details on Test Environment in which the Testing is carried out. Server, Database, Application URL, etc. If any Tools were used like Quality Center (now HP ALM) for logging defects>

For Example,
test summary report 7

Step #7) Lessons Learned

<This section is used to describe the critical issues faced and their solutions (how they were solved during the Testing). Lessons learned will help to make proactive decisions during the next Testing engagement, by avoiding these mistakes or finding a suitable workaround>

For Example,
test summary report 8

Step #8) Recommendations

<Any workaround or suggestions can be mentioned here>

For Example,

  • Admin control for defect management tools can be given to Offshore Test manager for providing access to the Testing team.
  • Each time the onsite Admin need not be contacted for requests whenever they arise, thereby saving time due to the geographical time zone difference.

Step #9) Best Practices

<There will be a lot of activities done by the Testing team during the project. Some of them could have saved time, some proved to be a good & efficient way to work, etc. These can be documented as a ‘Value Add’ to showcase to the Stakeholders>

For Example,

  • A repetitive task done manually every time was time-consuming. This task was automated by creating scripts and run each time, which saved time and resources.
  • Smoke test cases were automated and the scripts were run, which ran fast and saved time.
  • Automation scripts were prepared to create new customers, where a lot of records need to be created for Testing.
  • Business-critical scenarios are separately tested on the entire application which is vital to certify they work fine.

Step #10) Exit Criteria

<Exit Criteria is defined as a Completion of Testing by fulfilling certain conditions like
(i) All planned test cases are executed;

(iI) All Critical defects are Closed etc.>

For Example,

  • All test cases should be executed – Yes
  • All defects in Critical, Major, Medium severity should be verified and closed – Yes.
  • Any open defects in Trivial severity – Action plan prepared with expected dates of closure.

No Severity1 defects should be ‘OPEN’; Only 2 Severity2 defects should be ‘OPEN’; Only 4 Severity3 defects should be ‘OPEN’. Note: This may vary from project to project. Plan of Action for the Open defects should be clearly mentioned with details on when & how they will be addressed and closed.>

Step #11) Conclusion/Sign Off

<This section will mention whether the Testing team agrees and gives a Green signal for the application to ‘Go Live’ or not after the Exit Criteria was met. If the application does not meet the Exit Criteria, then it can be mentioned as – “The application is not suggested to ‘Go Live’. It will be left with the decision of Senior Management and Client and other Stakeholders involved to take the call on whether the application can ‘Go Live’ or not.>

For Example, As the Exit criteria were met and satisfied as mentioned in Section 10, this application is suggested to ‘Go Live’ by the Testing team. Appropriate User/Business acceptance testing should be performed before ‘Go Live’.

Step #12) Definitions, Acronyms, and Abbreviations

<This section mentions the meanings of Abbreviated terms used in this document and any other new definitions>

=> Download Sample Test Summary Report:
Click here to download a sample Test Report template with an example.

test report template

Few Points To Note While Preparing The Test Summary Report

  • As part of Test Execution, collect all required information on the Testing performed. This will help to prepare a sound Test summary report.
  • Lessons learned can be explained in detail, which will convey the Responsibility which was taken to solve these issues. Also, this will be a reference for upcoming projects to avoid these.
  • Similarly, mentioning the Best Practices will portray the efforts taken by the team apart from regular testing, which will also be treated as a “Value Addition”.
  • Mentioning the Metrics in graphics form (Charts, Graphs) will be a good way to visually represent the status & data.
  • Remember, the Test summary report shall mention and explain the activities performed as part of the Testing, to the recipients to understand better.
  • A few more appropriate sections can be added if required.


The Test summary report is an important deliverable and focus should be to prepare an effective document, as this artifact will be shared with various stakeholders like senior management, client, etc.

After performing exhaustive testing, publishing the test results, metrics, best practices, lessons learned, conclusions on ‘Go Live’ etc. are extremely important to produce that as evidence for the Testing performed and the Testing conclusion.

We have also made available the Test Report sample for download. It is a perfect example of how to prepare an effective Test Summary report!

About the author: This is a guest post by Baskar Pillai. He is having around 14 years of experience in Test management and the end to end software testing. CSTE certified Testing professional, trainer, worked in IT majors like Cognizant, HCL, Capgemini and currently working as Test Manager for a large MNC.

Please let us know your Comments/questions/thoughts.

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