The dielectric properties of a KTa0.65Nb0.35O 3 ferroelectric composition for a submicronic thin layer were measured in the microwave domain using different electromagnetic characterization methods. Complementary experimental techniques (broadband methods versus resonant techniques, waveguide versus transmission line) and complementary data processing procedures (quasi-static theoretical approaches versus full-wave analysis) were selected to investigate the best way to characterize ferroelectric thin films. The measured data obtained from the cylindrical resonant cavity method, the experimental method that showed the least sources of uncertainty, were taken as reference values for comparisons with results obtained using broadband techniques. The error analysis on the methods used is discussed with regard to the respective domains of validity for each method; this enabled us to identify the best experimental approach for obtaining an accurate determination of the microwave dielectric properties of ferroelectric thin layers. © 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.