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Author Class-Based Unit Tests in MATLAB

To test a MATLAB® program, write a unit test using qualifications that are methods for testing values and responding to failures.

The Test Class Definition

A test class must inherit from matlab.unittest.TestCase and contain a methods block with the Test attribute. The methods block contains functions, each of which is a unit test. A general, basic class definition follows.

%% Test Class Definition
classdef MyComponentTest < matlab.unittest.TestCase
    %% Test Method Block
    methods (Test)
        % includes unit test functions

The Unit Tests

A unit test is a method that determines the correctness of a unit of software. Each unit test is contained within a methods block. The function must accept a TestCase instance as an input.

%% Test Class Definition
classdef MyComponentTest < matlab.unittest.TestCase
    %% Test Method Block
    methods (Test)
        %% Test Function
        function testASolution(testCase)      
            %% Exercise function under test
            % act = the value from the function under test

            %% Verify using test qualification
            % exp = your expected value
            % testCase.<qualification method>(act,exp);

Qualifications are methods for testing values and responding to failures. This table lists the types of qualifications.


Use this qualification to produce and record failures without throwing an exception. The remaining tests run to completion.


Use this qualification to ensure that a test runs only when certain preconditions are satisfied. However, running the test without satisfying the preconditions does not produce a test failure. When an assumption failure occurs, the testing framework marks the test as filtered.


Use this qualification to ensure that the preconditions of the current test are met.

Fatal assertions

Use this qualification when the failure at the assertion point renders the remainder of the current test method invalid or the state is unrecoverable.


The MATLAB unit testing framework provides approximately 25 qualification methods for each type of qualification. For example, use verifyClass or assertClass to test that a value is of an expected class, and use assumeTrue or fatalAssertTrue to test if the actual value is true. For a summary of qualification methods, see Table of Verifications, Assertions, and Other Qualifications.

Often, each unit test function obtains an actual value by exercising the code that you are testing and defines the associated expected value. For example, if you are testing the plus function, the actual value might be plus(2,3) and the expected value 5. Within the test function, you pass the actual and expected values to a qualification method. For example:


For an example of a basic unit test, see Write Simple Test Case Using Classes.

Additional Features for Advanced Test Classes

The MATLAB unit testing framework includes several features for authoring more advanced test classes:

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