This article is about fixing [Error Handling] ImportError while importing test module (Error-Handling Messaging & Exercises) in Exercism Python
  • 07-Feb-2023
Lightrun Team
Author Lightrun Team
This article is about fixing [Error Handling] ImportError while importing test module (Error-Handling Messaging & Exercises) in Exercism Python

[Error Handling]: ImportError while importing test module (Error-Handling Messaging & Exercises) in Exercism Python

Lightrun Team
Lightrun Team

Explanation of the problem

The user is encountering an issue with their new Linux installation when running the PyTest tool. They were previously able to run the tool 28 times without issue on a previous installation. However, they are now encountering an error that they were unable to resolve using resources such as Stack Overflow and the GitHub issue tracker.

The following is the error message that the user is receiving when they run the PyTest tool:

$ /home/dan/.local/bin/pytest 
============================= test session starts ==============================
platform linux -- Python 3.8.5, pytest-6.1.2, py-1.9.0, pluggy-0.13.1
rootdir: /home/dan/exercism/python/meetup
collected 0 items / 1 error                                                    

==================================== ERRORS ====================================
_______________________ ERROR collecting ________________________
ImportError while importing test module '/home/dan/exercism/python/meetup/'.
Hint: make sure your test modules/packages have valid Python names.
/usr/lib/python3.8/importlib/ in import_module
    return _bootstrap._gcd_import(name[level:], package, level) in <module>
    from meetup import meetup, MeetupDayException
E   ImportError: cannot import name 'MeetupDayException' from 'meetup' (/home/dan/exercism/python/meetup/
=========================== short test summary info ============================
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Interrupted: 1 error during collection !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
=============================== 1 error in 0.09s ===============================

The error message states that there is an ImportError while importing the test module /home/dan/exercism/python/meetup/ and it suggests that the test modules or packages being imported need to have valid Python names. The traceback of the error shows that the import error is due to an inability to import the name MeetupDayException from the file /home/dan/exercism/python/meetup/ The user has attempted to resolve the issue by removing the meetup directory and re-downloading it, but has encountered the same error regardless of the contents of the file. The user believes that the issue may be with either the way PyTest is configured or with their meetup_pytest file.

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Problem solution for [Error Handling]: ImportError while importing test module (Error-Handling Messaging & Exercises) in Exercism Python

The ImportError is a common issue in Exercism Python while importing a test module. In this particular scenario, the error message mentions “ImportError while importing test module ‘/home/dan/exercism/python/meetup/’. Hint: make sure your test modules/packages have valid Python names.” This error can occur for several reasons, including invalid Python names for the test module or package, incorrect file structure, or missing dependencies.

To resolve this issue, you can take the following steps:

  1. Check the module and package names: Ensure that the names of the test module and package match the naming conventions of Python. The names should be all lowercase, with words separated by underscores. For example, if the test module is named, the package name should be meetup.

from meetup import meetup, MeetupDayException


class MeetupDayException(Exception):

def meetup(month, year):
    # code here
  1. Verify the file structure: The test module and package should be in the same directory and the package should be importable from the test module. In this example, is located in the /home/dan/exercism/python/meetup directory, and the package is also located in the same directory.
  2. Check for missing dependencies: Ensure that all required dependencies are installed and available in the system’s Python environment. You can use the pip freeze command to check the installed dependencies.
$ pip freeze

Other popular problems with Exercism Python

Problem: NameError

Another common issue in Exercism Python is the NameError, which occurs when a variable or function is used before it has been defined.


This error can be easily fixed by defining the variable or function before it’s used.

# Example code to demonstrate the NameError 

# Output
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "", line 1, in <module>
NameError: name 'undefined_variable' is not defined

Problem: SyntaxError

SyntaxError is another common issue in Exercism Python, which occurs when there’s a syntax error in the code. This error can be caused by forgetting a colon at the end of a line, or by using the wrong number of parentheses or brackets.


To resolve this issue, one must carefully check the syntax of the code and correct any errors.

# Example code to demonstrate the SyntaxError 
print "Hello World!"

# Output
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "", line 1
    print "Hello World!"
SyntaxError: Missing parentheses in call to 'print'

Problem: Incorrect Test Output

Exercism Python often uses test cases to evaluate the correctness of a given solution. However, if the code being submitted returns incorrect output, it can lead to failing test cases.

The code being submitted does not produce the expected output as described in the test cases provided. This can be due to various reasons, including incorrect logic, syntax errors, or typos in the code.


The solution to this problem is to thoroughly check the code and ensure that it follows the correct logic and produces the expected output. This can be done by carefully reading the test cases and understanding the expected output for each scenario. Additionally, debugging tools such as print statements and the use of a Python debugger can be used to isolate and fix the issue in the code.

Example: Consider the following code which is intended to find the factorial of a given number:

def factorial(n):
    if n == 0:
        return 1
        return n * factorial(n-1)

This code returns an incorrect value for the factorial of 4, which should be 24. To fix this issue, we can add print statements to trace the flow of the code and identify the source of the error:

def factorial(n):
    if n == 0:
        return 1
        print(f"{n} * factorial({n-1})")
        return n * factorial(n-1)


The output of this code would show that the code is incorrectly multiplying n by factorial(n-1) before the factorial of n-1 has been calculated, which leads to an incorrect result. By fixing this issue, the code would correctly return the factorial of 4 as 24.

A brief introduction to Exercism Python

Exercism Python is a platform that offers various exercises and challenges for individuals to improve their coding skills in the Python programming language. The platform is designed for developers of all skill levels, from beginners to experts, who are looking to expand their knowledge and challenge themselves in a supportive and interactive environment.

The platform provides a variety of coding challenges and problems, including algorithmic problems, code refactoring exercises, and problem-solving tasks. Each exercise comes with automated tests that must be passed in order to complete the task. The solutions to each exercise can then be submitted for feedback and review from a global community of experienced developers. In this way, users can learn from others, receive constructive criticism, and improve their skills in a collaborative and supportive setting.

Most popular use cases for Exercism Python

  1. Develop and Practice Python Skills: Exercism Python provides a platform for developers to practice and improve their Python skills. It offers a wide range of exercises and problems to work on, allowing developers to focus on specific areas they want to improve, such as algorithms, data structures, and problem solving.
  2. Build a Strong Portfolio: By solving problems and submitting solutions on Exercism Python, developers can build a strong portfolio of work to showcase their skills and demonstrate their expertise to potential employers or clients. This platform can help developers stand out in the competitive job market and increase their chances of getting hired.
  3. Collaborate with the Community: Exercism Python also provides a platform for developers to collaborate and learn from others in the community. Developers can review each other’s code, share feedback, and offer suggestions for improvement. Additionally, the community provides a supportive and welcoming environment for developers to grow their skills and exchange ideas.
# Example of a problem solved in Exercism Python

def reverse_string(input_string: str) -> str:
    Reverses the input string
    return input_string[::-1]

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