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Trial vs. Testing: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on October 12, 2023
Trial refers to a test of performance, qualities, or suitability, while Testing involves systematic examination or assessment.

Key Differences

The term "Trial" often indicates an attempt to evaluate a certain aspect or capability. For example, a product trial is an opportunity for potential customers to try a product before purchasing. "Testing," on the other hand, involves a detailed examination or a methodological assessment to determine something's quality, safety, or functionality.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023
"Trial" can also refer to a formal examination of evidence by a judge, typically before a jury, in order to decide guilt in a criminal case or to make a judgment in a civil matter. "Testing" doesn't possess this judicial connotation; it's more related to verification processes in various contexts.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023
In many contexts, "Trial" conveys a sense of experimentation, like trying something out to see if it works or fits. Think of software trials or clinical trials. "Testing" suggests a more rigorous and structured evaluation, such as standardized testing in education or materials testing in engineering.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023
It's crucial to note that while both "Trial" and "Testing" can be about evaluation, their use might differ based on context. A "trial period" at a job refers to an initial period where one's fit and skills are assessed. Conversely, "testing" in the same context might involve specific exams or tasks set for the candidate to gauge competence.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023
Sometimes, the terms can be used interchangeably, especially in casual speech. You might hear someone say they're "trialing" a new software when they're technically testing it. However, discerning between "trial" as an opportunity to try and "testing" as a structured assessment can provide clearer communication.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 12, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

A test of performance, qualities, or suitability.
A systematic examination or assessment.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Contextual Use

Can refer to legal proceedings or a period of experimentation.
Often relates to verification processes in various fields.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Duration

Can be longer, like a trial period at a job.
Might be shorter, specific, like a test in school.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Outcome

To determine fit, suitability, or effectiveness.
To evaluate quality, functionality, or safety.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Intention

Often exploratory, to try something new or different.
Structured and methodical, to confirm or deny hypotheses.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023
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Trial and Testing Definitions

Trial

A formal examination of evidence before a judge.
The criminal will face trial next month.
Janet White
Oct 12, 2023

Testing

An examination of abilities or qualities through a set task or series of tasks.
Students are preparing for their end-of-year testing.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Trial

An attempt to do something.
She's on trial at the new job for three months.
Sara Rehman
Oct 12, 2023

Testing

A methodical challenge or analysis to assess suitability, reliability, or durability.
Engineers are testing the new bridge for structural integrity.
Sara Rehman
Oct 12, 2023

Trial

An event in which competitors take part to prove their skills or speed.
He participated in the motorcycle trials last summer.
Sara Rehman
Oct 12, 2023

Testing

The act of subjecting to experimental test to determine how well something works.
They are in the final phase of testing the new drug.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Trial

A proceeding in which opposing parties in a dispute present evidence and make arguments on the application of the law before a judge or jury
The case is expected to go to trial.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Testing

The act of putting something under strain to evaluate its limits.
The testing of the equipment happens under extreme conditions.
Harlon Moss
Oct 12, 2023

Trial

An instance of such a proceeding
The trial of Socrates.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Testing

A procedure for critical evaluation; a means of determining the presence, quality, or truth of something; a trial
A test of one's eyesight.
Subjecting a hypothesis to a test.
A test of an athlete's endurance.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

The act or process of testing, trying, or putting to the proof
A trial of one's faith.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Testing

A series of questions, problems, or physical responses designed to determine knowledge, intelligence, or ability.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

An instance of such testing, especially as part of a series of tests or experiments
A clinical trial of a drug.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Testing

A basis for evaluation or judgment
"A test of democratic government is how Congress and the president work together" (Haynes Johnson).
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

An effort or attempt
Succeeded on the third trial.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Testing

(Chemistry) A physical or chemical change by which a substance may be detected or its properties ascertained.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

A state of pain or anguish that tests patience, endurance, or belief
"the fiery trial through which we pass" (Abraham Lincoln).
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Testing

A cupel.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

A trying, troublesome, or annoying person or thing
The child was a trial to his parents.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Testing

To subject to a test; try
Tested the pen by scribbling on scrap paper.
Testing job applicants.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

A preliminary competition or test to determine qualifications, as in a sport.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Testing

To reveal the degree of (a given quality) in someone or something by or as if by means of a test
The experiment tested the rats' ability to solve spatial problems. The long war tested the country's resolve.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

Of, relating to, or used in a trial.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Testing

To identify the presence or amount of one or more substances in
Tested the water for lead.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

Attempted or advanced on a provisional or experimental basis
A married couple on a trial separation.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Testing

To identify the amount of (a substance) in something
Tested the nitrogen and phosphorus in the soil.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

Made or done in the course of a trial or test.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Testing

To ascertain the properties of
Tested the steel for hardness and tensile strength.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

An opportunity to test something out; a test.
They will perform the trials for the new equipment next week.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Testing

To assay (metal) in a cupel.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

Appearance at judicial court in order to be examined.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Testing

To undergo a test.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

A difficult or annoying experience, such an experience seen as a test of faith and piety
That boy was a trial to his parents.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Testing

To administer a test
Test for acid content.
Test for the presence of an antibody.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

A tryout to pick members of a team.
Soccer trials
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Testing

To achieve a score or rating on tests
Tested high on the entrance exams.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

(ceramics) A piece of ware used to test the heat of a kiln.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Testing

To exhibit a given characteristic when subjected to a test
Test positive for the tubercle bacillus.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

(UK) An internal examination set by Eton College.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Testing

; tough.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

Pertaining to a trial or test.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Testing

The act of conducting a test; trialing, proving.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

Attempted on a provisional or experimental basis.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Testing

Present participle of test
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

Characterized by having three (usually equivalent) components.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Testing

The act of testing or proving; trial; proof.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

Triple.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Testing

The operation of refining gold or silver in a test, or cupel; cupellation.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

(grammar) Pertaining to a language form referring to three of something, like people; contrast singular, dual and plural. (See Ambai language for an example.)
No language has a trial number unless it has a dual.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Testing

The act of subjecting to experimental test in order to determine how well something works;
They agreed to end the testing of atomic weapons
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

To carry out a series of tests on (a new product, procedure etc.) before marketing or implementing it.
The warning system was extensively trialed before being fitted to all our vehicles.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Testing

An examination of the characteristics of something;
There are laboratories for commercial testing
It involved testing thousands of children for smallpox
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

To try out (a new player) in a sports team.
The team trialled a new young goalkeeper in Saturday's match, with mixed results.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Testing

The act of giving students or candidates a test (as by questions) to determine what they know or have learned
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

The act of trying or testing in any manner.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Testing

The act of determining the presence or amount of a particular substance.
The company conducts regular drug testing on employees.
Sara Rehman
Oct 12, 2023

Trial

Any effort or exertion of strength for the purpose of ascertaining what can be done or effected.
[I] defy thee to the trial of mortal fight.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

The state of being tried or tempted; exposure to suffering that tests strength, patience, faith, or the like; affliction or temptation that exercises and proves the graces or virtues of men.
Others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

The act of testing by experience; proof; test.
Repeated trials of the issues and events of actions.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

That which tries or afflicts; that which harasses; that which tries the character or principles; that which tempts to evil; as, his child's conduct was a sore trial.
Every station is exposed to some trials.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

Examination by a test; experiment, as in chemistry, metallurgy, etc.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

The formal examination of the matter in issue in a cause before a competent tribunal; the mode of determining a question of fact in a court of law; the examination, in legal form, of the facts in issue in a cause pending before a competent tribunal, for the purpose of determining such issue.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

(law) legal proceedings consisting of the judicial examination of issues by a competent tribunal;
Most of these complaints are settled before they go to trial
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

The act of testing something;
In the experimental trials the amount of carbon was measured separately
He called each flip of the coin a new trial
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

(sports) a preliminary competition to determine qualifications;
The trials for the semifinals began yesterday
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

(law) the determination of a person's innocence or guilt by due process of law;
He had a fair trial and the jury found him guilty
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

Trying something to find out about it;
A sample for ten days free trial
A trial of progesterone failed to relieve the pain
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

An annoying or frustrating or catastrophic event;
His mother-in-law's visits were a great trial for him
Life is full of tribulations
A visitation of the plague
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

The act of undergoing testing;
He survived the great test of battle
Candidates must compete in a trial of skill
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 31, 2023

Trial

A test of the performance, qualities, or suitability of someone or something.
The new software is available for a 30-day free trial.
Janet White
Oct 12, 2023

Trial

A hardship or affliction that tests one's character or endurance.
Facing illness was the toughest trial of his life.
Harlon Moss
Oct 12, 2023

FAQs

Can I use software "testing" instead of a software "trial"?

Typically, a software "trial" refers to a limited-time use, whereas "testing" might imply checking its functionalities.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Are "Trial" and "Testing" synonymous?

While related, they aren't strict synonyms. A trial often implies trying or attempting, while testing means systematically assessing.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

What's "A/B testing" and is it a trial?

It's a method to compare two versions of something to see which performs better. It's a form of testing, not necessarily a trial.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

How is "trial" used in a legal context?

It refers to a formal examination of evidence by a judge, often before a jury.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Are "trial runs" and "testing runs" the same?

They're similar. Both can mean trying out a process, but "testing run" might be more rigorous or systematic.
Sara Rehman
Oct 12, 2023

Why might companies offer product trials?

To allow potential customers to evaluate the product's suitability before purchase.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Is a job "trial" the same as job "testing"?

Not quite. A job "trial" is an evaluation period, while "testing" could be specific exams or tasks to assess skills.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 12, 2023

Can both terms be verbs?

Yes. You can "trial" a new technique and "test" a hypothesis.
Sara Rehman
Oct 12, 2023

Are there fields where "testing" is paramount?

Yes, in fields like medicine, engineering
Harlon Moss
Oct 12, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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