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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by leafygreens View Post
    My coach told me that in the days of figures, the judging community was so small that you always had the same judges and they wouldn't "let" you pass on the first try, ever. I think she took her higher figures up to 4 times each before passing. Maybe that is still true today, to an extent.
    The figure tests were really hard. I don't think it was a matter of "letting" anyone pass on the first try - I think it was more that the passing standards were high and the judges enforced them.

    I don't think a coach would test someone who isn't ready. It may reflect badly on them. They want to have passing students.
    Of course they do. But IME sometimes, if a student or parent wants to test and the coach doesn't think the student is ready - but the student or parent is insistent that they are - the coach may put the student up for the test just to prove to them that they aren't skating at the level they think they are.
    IME coaches do this very rarely, because they don't want to waste their own time and the judges' time, but it can happen.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    Of course they do. But IME sometimes, if a student or parent wants to test and the coach doesn't think the student is ready - but the student or parent is insistent that they are - the coach may put the student up for the test just to prove to them that they aren't skating at the level they think they are.
    IME coaches do this very rarely, because they don't want to waste their own time and the judges' time, but it can happen.
    Yes. As I said, I have heard of coaches thanking judges for retrying tests they didn't think were ready -- but the skater or parent insisted on testing.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ioana View Post
    Only takes one additional step to actually hand in that form, without a coach approving it.
    A test chair should reject an application that doesn't have a coach's signature.

    I actually had to email USFS to figure out how to handle testing without a coach (at the time, I did not have one- I had been working with a friend, but she was not a coach). USFS actually doesn't require a skater have a coach, but test chairs really freak out and don't know how to handle applications without signatures (this was 3 different clubs that I was dealing with).

    ------------------------------------------------------
    I'm not at all surprised by the low pass rates shown on the adult test. The standard of skating expected to pass Silver vs. Bronze is SO different. Many coaches only have 1 adult skater (many rinks only have 1 or 2...) and don't know what to expect. They take an adult who they think is doing a great job and they get mauled by the judges on their Silver test. It is a HUGE jump in ability. Quite honestly, for many adults even attempting the Silver moves is a huge feat. I know they did me in, I worked on them, regularly for years- and never even got close. (Especially after two other coaches shared their stories about failed tests that they thought were ready- and those skaters were miles above me.) Bronze on the other hand is difficult, but doable. Now that Pre-bronze has changed, most find it easy (the 3-turns used to be killed for many).

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    A test chair should reject an application that doesn't have a coach's signature.
    That depends on the rules of the particular club. Not every club requires a coach signature on a test app. And in my area, some clubs are now doing online registration for tests, so there's no way in that kind of setup to verify coach approval. As you noted, USFSA doesn't require a coach.

    I'm not at all surprised by the low pass rates shown on the adult test. The standard of skating expected to pass Silver vs. Bronze is SO different.
    Agree, but in last year's stats, you see that there are also a lot fewer tests taken at the higher levels (true for both adults and kids). 268 total PB MIF vs 88 Gold MIF. I'm assuming that those who are attempting Silver and Gold are prepared and have the ability to skate the moves at a passing level. I agree there is a lot of confusion about what constitutes adult standard. Most coaches go by what they see as passing level for the kids, and then make allowances for power/speed/quickness. Sometimes the judges have very different ideas. But I would think most adults testing Silver and Gold are skating the moves close to what kids can do when they are ready to test those moves. Yes, it does take a lot longer for adults to get there - I've been working on Gold MIF for 5 years (4 if you subtract the total time I was off the ice due to injury) and there are several kids I skate with who have passed Pre-Pre through Juv or Int during that same period.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    I'm not at all surprised by the low pass rates shown on the adult test. The standard of skating expected to pass Silver vs. Bronze is SO different. Many coaches only have 1 adult skater (many rinks only have 1 or 2...) and don't know what to expect. They take an adult who they think is doing a great job and they get mauled by the judges on their Silver test. It is a HUGE jump in ability. Quite honestly, for many adults even attempting the Silver moves is a huge feat. I know they did me in, I worked on them, regularly for years- and never even got close. (Especially after two other coaches shared their stories about failed tests that they thought were ready- and those skaters were miles above me.) Bronze on the other hand is difficult, but doable. Now that Pre-bronze has changed, most find it easy (the 3-turns used to be killed for many).
    Silver is definitely WAY tougher than Bronze. The skating standard is a bit higher but I think most of the difference is just that the moves are a LOT harder. It took me about 7 months from passing Pre-Bronze to passing Bronze, which was now almost 7 YEARS ago. I haven't been skating much lately but some day I do hope to pass Silver (I've taken it 3 times, the first before I was quite ready and I didn't really expect to pass but it was actually my best attempt. My skating improved a lot before I tested it again but you wouldn't know it from the way I skated on the test the other 2 times, the second was a complete and utter disaster and the third was just incredibly shaky throughout.

    Quote Originally Posted by Debbie S View Post
    That depends on the rules of the particular club. Not every club requires a coach signature on a test app. And in my area, some clubs are now doing online registration for tests, so there's no way in that kind of setup to verify coach approval. As you noted, USFSA doesn't require a coach.

    Agree, but in last year's stats, you see that there are also a lot fewer tests taken at the higher levels (true for both adults and kids). 268 total PB MIF vs 88 Gold MIF. I'm assuming that those who are attempting Silver and Gold are prepared and have the ability to skate the moves at a passing level. I agree there is a lot of confusion about what constitutes adult standard. Most coaches go by what they see as passing level for the kids, and then make allowances for power/speed/quickness. Sometimes the judges have very different ideas.
    In general, I would agree with your coach's opinion. I'd expect generally the same level of edge and turn quality, control, form, and flow as the standard test with the same passing mark (because the foci are the same on the edge quality/turn execution/extension moves) but definitely not as much power and speed, because power isn't a focus on the adult tests (I'd probably allow for a little leeway on quickness too, but would still expect a consistent rhythm on those moves with that as a focus).

  6. #26
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    I trial judged a test session Saturday and there were about close to 10 skaters that tested and we only had 1 that didn't pass.And honestly,you have really miss a lot of things to not pass.

    Do not “retry” a test because your score is short by 0.1 points. If you
    feel that the overall test has met the requirements and is passing, examine the test
    sheet to determine which mark could be marked 0.1 higher to reflect the right overall
    outcome. If you are confident that the test is not passing, decrease a mark for some
    facet of the test to reach a total deficiency of 0.2 points. When you are in doubt, ask for
    a reskate for a particular element or give the benefit of the doubt to the skater.
    That's what one of my monitors told me Saturday when reviewing my scores in comparison to the judges scores.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Judges aren't supposed to fail tests by 0.1. According to the test judging manual,
    Yeah, I knew that, which is why I asked why she hadn't been given a reskate. The judge in question was fairly high ranking in USFS, though, and I wasn't going to push it beyond the answer I was given. No matter, she passed on the second try, and it was a better overall test than the first try had been.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debbie S View Post
    But I would think most adults testing Silver and Gold are skating the moves close to what kids can do when they are ready to test those moves.
    I don't know many people who have tried Gold, but I know a number who have tried Silver. None of my friends (in all different regions of the country) passed the first try, most have never passed at all, though many have not yet tried again. In most cases it was the coach saying 'okay, you've been working on these for a long time, let's get them out there and see what the judges thing'. Maybe I mostly associate with slow learners, but all of them worked on Silver moves for 2-4 years. (Me too, and I never even got to the point where I could try to take the test- it is just too hard).

    None of them skate like the kid skaters do when they test the moves, which is why they don't pass. But I think there is a point where you start to feel hopeless about what you are working towards and just want to TRY to take the test.

    And I can tell you that a well respected coach who was one of the first from our rink to send out a Silver moves test was SHOCKED by how badly her skater failed. She truly had no idea how high of a standard was expected. It is better known now that silver moves should look like juvenile moves, which makes me wonder why they bother having two different test tracks.

    Maybe it is just because I've pretty much quit skating due to a complete stall (I tried dance testing, but test sessions were too far between and it was just too expensive to keep up lessons waiting for a test) but I really think adult moves would benefit from a pre-silver.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    I don't know many people who have tried Gold, but I know a number who have tried Silver. None of my friends (in all different regions of the country) passed the first try, most have never passed at all, though many have not yet tried again. In most cases it was the coach saying 'okay, you've been working on these for a long time, let's get them out there and see what the judges thing'. Maybe I mostly associate with slow learners, but all of them worked on Silver moves for 2-4 years. (Me too, and I never even got to the point where I could try to take the test- it is just too hard).

    None of them skate like the kid skaters do when they test the moves, which is why they don't pass. But I think there is a point where you start to feel hopeless about what you are working towards and just want to TRY to take the test.
    Oh yes, there's definitely some of that, and that was the case with me the first time I tried (and failed) Silver and is my coach's thinking for my Gold Moves too. She wants me to test in September (next likely test session) b/c she feels at this point, I need to put the test out. Some of my moves are passing level. Another factor is that I haven't tested (or competed) in over 4 years (broke my leg in Nov 09) and my coach thinks I need to start getting in front of judges, that the longer I wait, the harder it will be.

    But I do think a lot of adult skaters testing (even if not the first time) are skating the moves well and in their coach's opinion, are at passing level. It's discouraging that the pass rates are comparatively lower. I agree with you that the judges' expectations may be too high for each adult level. And yes, the higher the level, the more challenging for adults relative to kids (with the kids, there is a fair amount of attrition at the Juv and Int levels, although that's mostly due to jumps).

  10. #30
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    [QUOTE=Debbie S

    But I do think a lot of adult skaters testing (even if not the first time) are skating the moves well and in their coach's opinion, are at passing level. It's discouraging that the pass rates are comparatively lower. I agree with you that the judges' expectations may be too high for each adult level. And yes, the higher the level, the more challenging for adults relative to kids (with the kids, there is a fair amount of attrition at the Juv and Int levels, although that's mostly due to jumps).[/QUOTE]

    I agree with this and have seen similar comments on another site. Sometimes it doesn't apply if you are younger and thin and perhaps a returning skater with many years of practice in your past. Aren't those Adult tests supposed to represent what an average middle aged person, average height/weight (Not super athletic), average practice time (maybe 2x a week or so), with average amount to spend, can reasonably expect to perform without taking like 5+ years to learn the test if they are at the correct level? (Using word average to mean middle of the road). When I see some of these skaters doing the same turns or dance moves (FS seems to pass so far) year after year that look ok but they don't pass tests, I have to wonder how many can even keep the right mindset to stick with it, let alone the money and time. I watched a high dance go out by an adult, may have taken it at the master's level but I don't think so, and seems she failed and they acted like she needed better fundamentals. Well, that is agreed, but if that is the case how will anyone but the skinny athletic wealthy few middle to senior age adults ever get to those silver/gold moves and dances. No, I don't think they should just pass with very poor quality, but sometimes their "Look" on the ice I think lowers their scores when it shouldn't. On another site they thought some of it was judges don't see enough of those, which if true, is unfortunate for the adult needing not to waste time and money...and nerves if that is a problem.

  11. #31
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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!

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    I don't know many people who have tried Gold, but I know a number who have tried Silver. None of my friends (in all different regions of the country) passed the first try, most have never passed at all, though many have not yet tried again.
    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.

  13. #33

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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.

  14. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jozet View Post
    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.
    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...loops2crop.jpg

  15. #35
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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.

  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jozet View Post
    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.
    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.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debbie S View Post
    she also dislikes the way the back circle 8 is designed - esp the push when changing from BO to BI
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by sarahspins View Post
    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
    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.

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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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Debbie S View Post
    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.
    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 by leafygreens; 08-09-2013 at 10:28 PM.

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