Home Interests Python

How to Measure Unit Test Execution Times in pytest

howchoo   (455)
August 11, 2023
5 minutes


Posted in these interests:
python • 18 guides

With a few hundred plus unit tests, running a test suite can take minutes. And with so many tests being run, it’s hard to identify individual tests that are taking too long.

Fortunately, if you’re using pytest, you can easily get the execution times for your slowest unit tests.

1 – Use the –durations flag

When running unit tests with pytest, simply using the --durations flag to measure the execution time of slow running tests.

Take a look at the following test file:

# speed_tests.py

import time

def test_fast():
    x = 2 + 2 
    assert x == 4

def test_slow():

def test_superslow():

Use --durations=n to get the execution time for the slowest n unit tests


pytest --durations=1  speed_tests.py

This will print the execution time of the slowest test. The output will look something like this:

======================= slowest 1 test durations ========================
3.00s call     speed_tests.py::test_superslow
======================= 3 passed in 4.02 seconds ========================

If your test suite is much larger, you can print any number of tests. For instance:

pytest --durations=100 many_tests.py

Use --durations=0 to get the execution time for all unit tests

If want to print the execution time for all unit tests, just use --durations=0. You can expect output like this:

======================== slowest test durations =========================
3.00s call     speed_tests.py::test_superslow
1.00s call     speed_tests.py::test_slow

(0.00 durations hidden.  Use -vv to show these durations.)
======================= 3 passed in 4.01 seconds ========================

Note that one of the tests is hidden because it executed too quickly.

2 – Conclusion

Measuring execution time for Python unit tests is pretty easy with pytest. Obviously, if you find any slow running tests you’ll need to spend time figuring out why they’re slow and fixing them if possible. Some of the most common reasons for slow tests are unintended network requests and un-mocked time delays, but there are plenty of other possibilities.

If you’ve used any other great tools for solving this issue or if you enjoyed this guide, let me know in the comments below!


Class Vs. Instance Variables in Python 3

howchoo   (455)
November 22, 2023

When learning object oriented programming in Python, there can be a few gotchas when it comes to distinguishing between class and instance variables. In this guide I’ll explain the difference between class and instance variables and provide examples demonstrating various use cases. 1 – Class vs. instance variables First, a quick review if you’re new

Continue Reading


 455 guides

Introducing Howchoo, an enigmatic author whose unique pen name reflects their boundless curiosity and limitless creativity. Mysterious and multifaceted, Howchoo has emerged as a captivating storyteller, leaving readers mesmerized by the uncharted realms they craft with their words. With an insatiable appetite for knowledge and a love for exploration, Howchoo's writing transcends conventional genres, blurring the lines between fantasy, science fiction, and the surreal. Their narratives are a kaleidoscope of ideas, weaving together intricate plots, unforgettable characters, and thought-provoking themes that challenge the boundaries of imagination.

Discover interesting things!

Explore Howchoo's most popular interests.