How to perform Unit Testing of React Apps using JEST

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Abhishekh Maharjan Photo
Abhishekh Maharjan
Full Stack Software Developer

Read Time : 4 mins

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React | Jest | React Testing Library |


Jest is a JavaScript testing framework that allows developers to run tests on JavaScript and TypeScript code and can be easily integrated with React JS

Step 1: Create a new react app

For unit testing a react app, let’s create one using the command given below:

npx create-react-app react-testing-tutorial

Open the package.json, and you will find that when you use create-react-app for creating a react project, it has default support for jest and react testing library. This means that we do not have to install them manually.

Step 2: Create a component

Let’s create a component called Counter, which simply increases and decreases a numeric value at the click of respective buttons.

import React, { useState } from "react";
const Counter = () => {
  const [counter, setCounter] = useState(0);
  const incrementCounter = () => {
    setCounter((prevCounter) => prevCounter + 1);
  const decrementCounter = () => {
    setCounter((prevCounter) => prevCounter - 1);
  return (
      <button data-testid="increment" onClick={incrementCounter}>
        {" "}
        +{" "}
      <p data-testid="counter">{counter}</p>
      <button disabled data-testid="decrement" onClick={decrementCounter}>
        {" "}
        -{" "}

Here, the important thing to note is the data-testid attributes that will be used to select these elements in the test file.

Step 3: Write a unit test for the react component

Before writing an actual unit test, let’s understand the general structure of a test block:

  1. A test is usually written in a test block.

  2. Inside the test block, the first thing we do is to render the component that we want to test.

  3. Select the elements that we want to interact with

  4. Interact with those elements

  5. Assert that the results are as expected.

import { render, fireEvent, screen } from "@testing-library/react";
import Counter from "../components/Counter"; //test block
test("increments counter", () => {
  // render the component on virtual dom
  render(<Counter />); //select the elements you want to interact with
  const counter = screen.getByTestId("counter");
  const incrementBtn = screen.getByTestId("increment"); //interact with those elements; //assert the expected result

 Note: In order to let jest know about this test file, it’s important to use the extension .test.js.

The above test can be described as:

  • The test block can be written either using 

  • The first parameter is to name the test. For example, increments counter

  • test() or it() . Either of the two methods takes two parameters:

  • The second parameter is a callback function, which describes the actual test.

  • Using the render() method from the react testing library in the above test to render the Counter component in a virtual DOM.

  • The screen property from the react testing library helps select the elements needed to test by the test ids provided earlier.

  • To interact with the button, using the fireEvent property from the react testing library in the test.

  • And finally, it is asserted that the counter element will contain a value ‘1’.

Step 4: Run the test

Run the test using the following command:

npm run test