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How to Test the Experts in MT4 - Step-By-Step Guide

Monday, 17 July 2017 05:13
How to Test the EA in MT4: Step-By-Step Guide

There is a huge range of expert advisors for the Forex trading. Some of them can facilitate the trading process significantly; other ones can trade on their own and make all the deals automatically. However, it’s not easy to choose a successful robot. You never know in advance the skill of a trader who created a tool, as well as the drawbacks that it has. Therefore, any advisor needs to be tested.

Preparing for the Test

We will consider testing the advisor on real quotes. It’s worth noting that not all the brokers keep the history of exchange rates, so you need first to find a suitable broker, register, and download the terminal. Using different quotes, the same expert advisor, with the same settings, can show different efficiency.

First of all, you need to configure the terminal. Open the "Options" menu on the "Tools" tab:


Select the "Charts" tab, check the check boxes, as shown in the figure. Also, set the "Max bars in history ," and "Max bars in chart" equal to 1,000,000,000:


Now open the history of quotations. Select the "History Center" on the "Tools" tab:


You will see a new window:


Choose the currency pair you are interested in, then choose the M1 timeframe, and click “Download.” After the quotes are downloaded, the terminal will have to be restarted.

Go to the history and left-click on the M1 period several times, until the battery image changes the color from gray to yellow-green. Repeat this action for other time frames to calculate the quotes.

Restart the terminal, and check each time frame. You need all the quotes to be loaded correctly.

Testing the Expert Advisor

Now you can proceed directly to testing. You can make it with the Strategy Tester. Click on the icon of the top panel or press Ctrl+R:


A new panel opens at the bottom of the terminal:


The tool type menu is located in the upper left corner. Choose the Expert Advisor:


Next, you need to select an expert advisor that you will test:


Let’s designate the items of such a menu by numbers.

  1. Drop-down list of the advisors installed;
  2. List of the currency pairs. Make sure that you have downloaded quotes for chosen pair. If you cannot find the right pair, although it’s available from the broker, then select the "Market Watch" (Ctrl+M) on the top panel:


Next, right-click in the Navigator window and select “Show All”:


  1. In the "Model" drop-down menu, you need to choose a testing model: the way the program will display the new candlesticks.
  • Open prices only. It is the fastest way. One candle corresponds to one tick. First, the program simulates the opening of the candlestick, so that the robot accurately determines the end of the previous one. Then the already formed candle is drawn.
  • Control Points. This method allows you to provide a crude test of the advisors trading during the candle formation. We need the information about the nearest, shortest time frames. In the absence of such data, a candle development model will be generated based on the wave patterns. Such testing cannot give an objective assessment of the advisor and is applied only to a preliminary evaluation.
  • Every tick. This method is the most accurate one. It uses the data of all the time frames, choosing the shortest available ones. It displays the dynamics of prices inside the candle with the highest accuracy. To ensure the correct process, a trader needs the minute data. It should be noted that such a method requires many resources.
  1. Check the "Use date" checkbox, select the required values. If you don’t set individual parameters, the program will start working on the entire downloaded history of quotes.
  2. This point will be discussed in more detail later.

Now you need to configure the expert advisor; then you can click the "Start" button, and run the test.

Test Results

When the test is completed, the program will alert you with a beep. All information about the trial work you can see on the "Results" tab:


Other tabs also provide all the detailed statistics about the test of the robot.

Visualization Mode

With this option activated, you can monitor the robot in real time. So you can accurately understand the logic of the algorithms used, as well as the signals used to make the decisions. Here you can also set the indicators utilized by the robot during the trading process.

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David Melton
David Melton

Financial expert. I work with investors and different companies. I write analytical reviews for newspapers and TV channels and I also manage researching projects