A test method is a method for a test in science or engineering, such as a physical test, chemical test, or statistical test. It is a definitive procedure that produces a test result. In order to ensure accurate and relevant test results, a test method should be "explicit, unambiguous, and experimentally feasible.", as well as effective and reproducible.
A test can be considered an observation or experiment that determines one or more characteristics of a given sample, product, process, or service. The purpose of testing involves a prior determination of expected observation and a comparison of that expectation to what one actually observes. The results of testing can be qualitative (yes/no), quantitative (a measured value), or categorical and can be derived from personal observation or the output of a precision measuring instrument.
Usually the test result is the dependent variable, the measured response based on the particular conditions of the test or the level of the independent variable. Some tests, however, may involve changing the independent variable to determine the level at which a certain response occurs: in this case, the test result is the independent variable.