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.)
I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.
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.