Percentage of skaters who pass tests

Discussion in 'Moves In The Field' started by leafygreens, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. lutzcrazy16

    lutzcrazy16 Double Looping

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    I'm a little late to the party on this thread, but I just wanted to add in my $0.02. I started skating at a later than a traditional skater, but by no means "late" in life. I was 16 when I started skating and within a year of starting, I took and passed my Pre-Preliminary moves test. Three months later, I took and passed my Preliminary moves. I passed both of these tests on one try, so Pre-Juv should be no biggie, right? WRONG. I took my Pre-Juv moves a year later. Failed. By all three judges. Waited another year, practiced some more - failed again. This time one judge passed me. Practiced for another two months, took it again, and was passed by all three judges. I took Juvenile moves about seven months later and passed.

    So what gives? Here's my theory. I think the judging standards are lower on the first couple of tests because the judges really want to boost your confidence. If you are a younger skater and in reasonably good shape, I think that most are able to pass at least the first test within their first year of skating. The problem is that once you start getting to your 3rd or 4th test, you actually have to KNOW how to skate beyond just some basic skills. You must be able to control and hold edges in a way that you weren't able to before. You must show power in your skating.

    I think the judges were right to fail me multiple times on my Pre-Juv test because I didn't have anything more than basic skills at the time. IMHO, no matter how great of a skater you are, it takes several years on the ice to really get comfortable with your edges and turns. Looking at the patterns required for the Adult Silver test, it seems as if this is when you really start doing a lot of the moves from the Pre-Juvenile and Juvenile tests, so it makes sense to me that a lot of adults struggle with this test. Best of luck to all of you trying to pass it!
     
  2. sarahspins

    sarahspins New Member

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    I passed silver on the first try. I didn't really expect that I would pass, but I still wanted to go for it. My coach had held me back from the first test session of the year when I wanted to test because she said that I wasn't quite ready for it yet - the moves were there, but my confidence in them really wasn't (which we then worked on, and I am glad she didn't let me test before I was 110% ready). I tested during the second and my confidence was MUCH better than it would have been earlier in the year.

    I'm in a similar position now with Gold - I could probably test them at our next test session in September, but my coach wants to hold off until the following one which will be 6-8 weeks later. I'm okay with that, my goal was to test them by the end of the year, and I'll still get to do that. I don't fully expect to pass, and I'm okay if I don't, but will be very thrilled if I do. Gold moves are really difficult, being mostly a mix of juvenile and intermediate, but I don't find practicing them to be nearly as grueling and stressful as silver was, because it's not really s big of a jump from silver to gold as it was from bronze to silver, both in terms of skills and endurance.

    I don't know anyone at my rink even working on Gold moves, other than myself - I had one friend that was (and she had also passed her silver moves on the first try, but that was before the changes that made the spiral pattern harder, however it still had the inside slide chasse pattern from intermediate) but she moved away a year ago. However, part of that is due to the fact that there just aren't that many adults at my rink at a high enough level to take those tests, and even fewer who are that are actively pursuing any tests at all. A majority of those who skate do so simply because they enjoy it. I do have a friend who could probably test through silver without much trouble but she's never even been a member of USFSA - she competes in ISI and sees no reason to spend extra money joining another club and taking tests that are much more expensive than ISI. I fully respect that, because I was in a similar position for a while - not joining the club or testing because I just couldn't justify the expense. I am only a member now because I plan on testing, otherwise I'd probably let my membership lapse.
     
  3. Jozet

    Jozet Active Member

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    As a test chair gathering highly un-official and anecdotal data, I can say that on the Novice MIF test, the moves that pass the least or seem lowest or not passing even on tests that pass overall are the loops and twizzles.

    I was talking to some judges about this and a few suggested that the pattern for the loops as they are now is more difficult than in the older figures tests. I'm not a skater at that level, so I don't know...but one judge who is also credentialed to judge figures tests tried to explain something about the figure test loops being on a circle (?) while the Novice MIF test is on a straight line. She said it was a bit more challenging.
     
  4. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure if having to hold the entry and exit edges longer made the figure loops any easier, but I would assume being forced into controlling your edges and edge size the way you were in order to pass earlier figure tests came in very handy by the time you got to paragraph loops. I never skated figures and some of these figure-inspired moves (even the back circle 8) did not come easy for me exactly because I wasn't used to this type of edge control. Not a bad thing to learn, just not very easy especially since us adults are geriatric by skating standards ;).

    http://0.tqn.com/d/figureskating/1/G/Q/f/-/-/loops2crop.jpg
     
  5. sarahspins

    sarahspins New Member

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    In terms of learning them I think loops are easier when done on circles rather than lobes on a line. In fact my coach likes teaching them on circles using the wider hockey lines as the long axis because the line happens to be about the right "width" for the loop itself making it really easy to line them up correctly and size them correctly.
     
  6. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

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    My coach says that about all the turns in MIF - double 3's, brackets, etc. ;) She thinks it was a lot easier when those moves were done on full circles rather than lobes - easier to set up and see where the top of the circle was. And she also dislikes the way the back circle 8 is designed - esp the push when changing from BO to BI. I've heard other coaches comment on that transition as well. I think in the figures days, the outside and inside 8s were done separately?

    And I can understand why more skaters are struggling with twizzles and loops - those are the new moves on that test, so everyone (coaches, skaters, judges) is still learning their way through them. And I've heard comments (unofficial and anecdotal ;)) from coaches that many judges (esp those who judged figures) have expectations that are not quite in line with the official communications given to coaches.
     
  7. sarahspins

    sarahspins New Member

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    They were (and still are) done separately in figures, and I disliked this transition at first too because it felt "weird", however I can say that having practiced the actual figures separately from this moves pattern, the BI eight feels more difficult to start on than the outside, so being able to go into it with some momentum does help, especially when you only have one circle on each edge to show the judges what you can do rather than 3. Of course on the flip side it's not judged to the same exacting standard that figures were, the focus is edge quality and continuous flow - perfect circles isn't a requirement :)
     
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  8. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

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    That depends on the judges, at least in my area. I've volunteered at my club's test sessions and I saw comments (on failed back 8's) about not lining up circles, circles unequal size, not returning to the same spot (and these were tests I watched and the circles were not that bad) - coaches were not happy b/c the guidelines for the move say you get a shoulder's width of difference in your center point and the circles don't need to be exact. And I've also seen papers that just noted the skater completed the circles and edges were OK, so yeah, it's all subjective.
     
  9. sarahspins

    sarahspins New Member

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    A poor long axis, unequal circles and a poor return to center are all things I would feel are fair game for warranting a retry, because those are fairly fundamental. The exactness required for a figures test however is on a completely different level than what is expected of MITF, and I've seen some very sketchy back 8's pass on pre-juv. I am sure the opposite is true in some areas, that relatively good examples wouldn't pass, but it doesn't seem to be the case here.
     
  10. leafygreens

    leafygreens Well-Known Member

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    Same here.

    It's frustrating when your coach says "Great!" and a judge says "Fail!" and your coach can't figure out what the judging panel is looking at. More frustrating is when the conflicting comments come from the judges themselves. One judge can write glowing comments while another fails everyone no matter what. I have also seen judges critique a move as passing and then fail it on the actual test when it wasn't performed any worse.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2013
  11. backspin

    backspin Active Member

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    Definitely true in my area; certain elements are being judged at a different (higher) standard than we were told they would be.
     
  12. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    If your coach can't figure out what the panel is looking for, then the coach needs to talk to the judges and ask for specifics. Most judges are only too happy to explain their standards when asked politely and without accusations. (If the judge refuses, well, IMO, your test chair needs to find another judge who'll be more cooperative.)
     
  13. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    This is only helpful if the same judge is going to be there the next time, since they all seem to look for different things... Many many rinks have no 'in house' judges.
    I didn't pass what both my coach and I thought was a really strong test (ironically, the one judge who didn't pass me had given me the only 1st place ordinal I got the day before, when I was skating up to the level I didn't pass; so he clearly thought I competed well at that level, but didn't like the test...), and passed the retry that we both thought was HORRID. Different panels, different standards.