Since its first application to thin films in the 1950's, the bulge test has had a prominent place in the field of thin film mechanical properties. The major appeal of the technique is that it is analogous to the familiar uniaxial tension test, which is commonly applied to bulk materials. At the same time, it avoids the sample tearing and alignment problems associated with micro-tensile tests. Unfortunately, bulge test results have been sometimes controversial and difficult to reproduce. In this paper we address possible causes for mese inconsistencies and describe a method by which the bulge test technique can be made to produce accurate and reliable results.