Running a Single TestCase in Django

When you’re developing a Django application, writing comprehensive test cases is crucial for ensuring your code works as expected. The Django testing framework making it easy to run your entire test suite at once. But often you’ll want to run just a single testcase to debug an issue or validate a new feature. Here’s how to do it when your tests are organized in the default tests module.

Locating the TestCase

By convention, Django apps contain a file inside the app directory. This is where you’ll write test cases that specifically target code in that app. If you have a more complex app, you may break tests into multiple files/modules inside a tests package.

To run a specific test, first you need to locate the file containing it. For example, if you have a testcase in myapp/tests/, that’s where you’ll look.

Using the Shell : TestCase

One way to run a single testcase is directly in the Django shell. First make sure you’re in the project root directory. Then start shell:

python shell

Now you can import the testcase class and run the individual test method:

from myapp.tests.test_models import MyModelTests

test_case = MyModelTests()

The test will run just like it would with the full test runner, and you can see if it passes or fails.

Using the Test Runner

Alternatively, you can run the test through Django’s test runner by specifying the module dot path to the testcase class:

python test myapp.tests.test_models.MyModelTests

This will run only the tests contained in the MyModelTests class.

You can also run an individual test method by adding the method name:

python test myapp.tests.test_models.MyModelTests.test_creating_instance

Using pytest

If you use pytest for running Django tests, you can target individual test modules or methods:

pytest myapp/tests/
pytest myapp/tests/

This makes it easy to repeatedly run a particular test until it passes.

Troubleshooting Failures

When a specific testcase fails, the first step is reading the traceback and error message. This will often signal where the problem is located.

From there, you can add debugging statements like print() to output key variables and values in your code.

Or use Django’s assert methods to check for expected vs actual results.

By incrementally running a single test and adding extra debugging, you can efficiently troubleshoot and fix the issue.

Iterating Quickly: TestCase

Running individual test cases encourages rapid iteration as you develop new features or fixes. You can rerun a targeted test after each small code change to check that you have not introduced any new issues.

This incremental testing workflow helps ensure quality and stability as you continue enhancing your Django project over time. Focusing on small pieces at a time avoids being overwhelmed by a large test suite.


Django‘s testing tools make it straightforward to run a specific testcase or method as needed. By locating the file containing the test and using the CLI test runner or pytest, you can repeatedly execute a particular test during development and debugging sessions. Focusing on individual tests at a time complements an iterative coding methodology.