How to Write a Good Benchmark

5 tips for writing benchmarks that are clear, concise, and unambiguous

  1. The recommendation should be a directive using imperative voice.
    • For example, write "Apply the NSA guide on Windows Server 2003" rather than "It is recommended that the NSA guide on Windows Server 2003 be applied".
  2. Put the word "only" close to the word(s) it modifies to avoid any potential ambiguity in the statement.
    • For example, write "Allow only administrators to have read access to the C:\Windows folder" rather than "Restrict access to the C:\Windows folder for non-authenticated users".
  3. Do not use the words "restrict" or "limit" to ensure clarity.
    • For example, write "Allow only authenticated users to have access to the C:\Windows folder" rather than "Restrict access to the C:\Windows folder for non-authenticated users".
  4. Do not use the word "allocate" with regard to setting rights or permissions. Instead use "grant" or "deny".
    • For example, write "Grant Read permission to the NT/Authority group" rather than "Allocate Read permission to the NT/Authority group".
  5. Use and/or reference industry standards whenever possible. Use of widely-recognized and community-endorsed standards facilitates clear communication, saves time and expense, and often provides pointers to further useful information.

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Additional Information

For additional information please see About Benchmark Development, Benchmark Basics, and Benchmark Development Resources. For online instruction, please take our free online Benchmark Development Course.

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Page Last Updated: October 14, 2010