A test fixture for simultaneously testing two material test samples is provided. The fixture provides substantially equal shear and tensile stresses in each test specimens. By gradually applying a load force to the fixture only one of the two specimens fractures. Upon fracture of the one specimen, the fixture and the load train lose contact and the second specimen is preserved in a state of upset just prior to fracture. Particular advantages of the fixture are (1) to control the tensile to shear load on the specimen for understanding the effect of these stresses on the deformation behavior of advanced materials, (2) to control the location of fracture for accessing localized material properties including the variation of the mechanical properties and residual stresses across the thickness of advanced materials, (3) to yield a fractured specimen for strength measurement and an unfractured specimen for examining the microstructure just prior to fracture.