Ball shear test was investigated in terms of effects of important test parameters, i.e. shear height and shear speed, with an experimental and non-linear finite element analysis for evaluating the solder joint integrity of area array packages. A Pb-free solder composition was examined in this work: Sn-3Ag-6Bi-2In. The substrate was a common SMD (Solder Mask Defined) type with solder bond pad openings of 460㎛ in diameter. It could be observed that increasing shear height, at fixed shear speed, has the effect of decreasing shear force, while the shear force increased with increasing shear speed at fixed shear height. Too high shear height could cause some bad effects on the test results such as unexpected high standard deviation values or shear tip sliding from the solder ball surface. The low shear height conditions were favorable for screening the type of brittle interfacial failures or the degraded layers in the interfaces.