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What is arc testing in software testing?

Dian Us Suqlain

Software testing involves several testing techniques to validate various characteristics of a software product such as its quality, performance, effectiveness, usability, etc. One of these software testing techniques is arc testing.

Arc testing is also known as branch testing. We perform branch testing to examine the result of the different branches in the code, emanating from different decision points to ensure that no branch leads to a dead-end or error. Like a flowchart with only two decisions, branch testing has the same outcomes: true or false.

Arc testing has two possible outcomes

Purpose of arc testing

The purpose of arc testing is to cover every possible branch, either conditional or unconditional, included in the code. We write test cases in arc testing accordingly.

Arc testing makes sure that each branch executes at least once and ensures that the code is readable and executable.

A branch will return false if not executed correctly; otherwise, it returns true.

How to conduct arc testing

To get an overview of the how many branches work correctly, it is common to find a percentage of correctly working branches as follows:

Arc tests = (possible outcomes tested/total possible outcomes) x 100%


Let’s consider a scenario where we have multiple choices and decisions. We have to make sure that each branch is considered and validated to complete the flow of the process.


The shortest route from branch A to branch L is Path 01. But this would result in not covering all paths, whereas arc testing states that every branch of the program should be executed at least once.

So, there will be more than one way to reach the goal.

  1. Path 01. Branches: A, B, C, D, E, I, J, K, L.
  2. Path 02. Branches: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L.
  3. Path 03. Branches: A, B, C, D, E, I, J, K, L, M, N, O.


arc testing
software testing


Dian Us Suqlain
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