A novel taxonomy of built-in self-test (BIST) methods is presented for the testing of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS). With MEMS testing representing 50% of the total costs of the end product, BIST solutions that are cost-effective, non-intrusive and able to operate non-intrusively during system operation are being actively sought after. After an extensive review of the various testing methods, a classification table is provided that benchmarks such methods according to four performance metrics: ease of implementation, usefulness, test duration and power consumption. The performance table provides also the domain of application of the method that includes field test, power-on test or assembly phase test. Although BIST methods are application dependent, the use of the inherent multi-modal sensing capability of most sensors offers interesting prospects for effective BIST, as well as built-in self-repair (BISR).