Jest Mocks with ES Modules

Jest’s support for mocks with CommonJS modules works great, they’re easy to use and it works great, as per the docs.

With ES Modules on the other hand, the docs are vague, and after spending several hours trying to get them to work with code I needed to test and not having any success, I spent a few more hours getting it to work with even the simplest example code.

This current issue describes multiple approaches which others have had varying success with, but there’s one tip mentioned that I can confirm is key to getting the mocks to work with ES modules and this is currently not mentioned in the docs (at least when I last looked) – you must await the import for the module you are mocking. This needs to be combined with the following:

  1. jest.unstable_mockModule() need to be called at the top level, and must be before the import for the module you are mocking
  2. You must await the import

To explain the last point, you must use this:

const { example2WithModule } = await import(‘./example.js’);

and not this:

import { example2WithModule } from ‘./example.js’;

Here’s an example of my working usage of jest.unstable_mockModule():

jest.unstable_mockModule('./example-module.js', () => ({
    exampleFunctionFromModule: jest.fn(
        () => {
            return 'mocked return!';

node16 and Jest with ES6+ modules

I’ve run into this a few times, so leaving some notes for myself for next time,

By default, attempting to use “import x from ‘y’ ” style ES6 module imports with Jest will give you this error:

SyntaxError: Cannot use import statement outside a module

With node16, support for modules is added with the experiemental-vm option, so update your package.json to add a script executing jest with this flag:

"test": "node --experimental-vm-modules node_modules/.bin/jest"

and then also in your package.json, add:

  "type": "module",

If you search for the ‘cannot use import statement outside a module error there are plenty of recommendations, including more elaborate babel transpile ES6 modules to CommonJS style requires.

Depending what you’re doing maybe you’ll need some of the other approaches too, but I found the above 2 steps to be the bare minimum

What does ES6’s spread operator (…) do and what can you use it for?

Some language features are easy to guess what they do even if you’re unfamiliar with them, but it’s not immediately obvious what the ES6 spread operator ‘…’ does.

Here’s a great article that gives some practical examples of how you can use the spread operator, for example, to:

  • insert one array into another
  • copy the contents of an array
  • convert a String into an array of chars

React Flux Store: addChangeListener is not a function

Using React with Flux, you need to register a callback from your Component so that it can be called when the Store emits an event. For an ExampleComponent and ExampleStore, this might look like:

class ExampleComponent extends Component {

    constructor(props) {

        ChatStore.on('change', this.handleUserNameChange);

I’ve seen some examples where a helper function is declared in the Store that registers your Component as a listener, so the call from the Component to register with the Store might look like:


and in your ExampleStore you’ll declare registerChangeListener() (and similar to remove) like this:

addChangeListener(callback) {
    this.on('change', callback);

removeChangeListener(callback) {
    this.removeListener('change', callback);

All good so far, but here’s the issue┬áI just ran into:

Uncaught TypeError: _ExampleStore2.default.addChangeListener is not a 
 at ExampleComponent.componentWillMount (ExampleComponent.jsx:19)
 at ReactCompositeComponent.js:348

Initially this is confusing, since it’s clear we did already declare addChangeListener, so why is this error saying it’s not a function?

The catch is in how we export the Store. The cause of my issue above was that I had exported it like this:

class ExampleStore extends EventEmitter {
export default ExampleStore;

This is how you would typically export a module but what we’re trying to do is treat the Store as a singleton instance. To do this the export should be:

export default new ExampleStore();

This approach is described in many Flux related articles (here’s an example), but it’s an easy mistake to miss.