There is some confusion in the IT world when it comes to differentiating between a System Test and User Acceptance Testing. I have seen Application Development Managers signoff on System Test plans, have them executed by members of their Technical team and at the end of the test pass it along to Users for executing the User Acceptance Test!


So what's a System Test and how does it differ from a UAT?


A System Test is executed to ensure that the System is performing to specifications stated in the System Design and the Functional Specifications, whereas a User Acceptance Test ensures that the Application addresses and satisfies the Business Requirements and the Workflow.


There are of course other stages of testing such as Unit Testing and Load Testing which we will discuss at a later date. One may think that a Unit test is well understood and does not need to be discussed. Believe me it does, because the Unit of Test has changed over the decades leading to gross misunderstanding of the term.  

So here are the artifacts of a System Test:


Screen Navigation –  

Screen Design & Content –  

Exception Processing –  

Response Time – 

Note that the testing of the abovementioned functions is NOT a User responsibility. We as technical professionals should hand over a correctly working "System" to the Users that will efficiently support their business application. They will then run their UAT Test Cases against it. 


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