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Informal Test Sessions?

Discussion in 'Moves In The Field' started by Mendi, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. Mendi

    Mendi New Member

    I think earlier on here, I read that testing sessions don't necessarily need to be held through a club -- as long as you have 3 certified judges, you're ok. Is that true? I'm trying to pass several levels, so it might be more cost effective for me to do it that way - they're volunteers, so all you have to pay for is ice time, right? I'll have to ask my coach later this week.....
  2. RFOS

    RFOS Well-Known Member

    The judges would also have to be reimbursed for mileage and any other expenses, and a test chair from some club would have to report the results of the test(s).
  3. Clarice

    Clarice Well-Known Member

    I can only speak to the US system. It's possible to set up a private test session, but I don't think it would necessarily be cheaper. In most cases, you can't test on freestyle ice with other skaters around, so you'd need to buy the ice yourself. At my rink, that's $260/hour. The judges don't get paid for their time, but their transportation, housing, and meals get covered. If you have local judges, that won't be a big expense. There is also a fee to register the test with USFS. Chances are, a skater is better off testing at a regular test session and paying the test fees. That's why clubs host them - to make testing more cost effective for everybody. Clubs don't generally make money on test sessions, although they might if they also sell practice ice for the tests.
  4. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    Coming from a judging and club perspective, it is not just a matter of contacting 3 judges to organise a test session. The judges might be volunteers, but judges are busy enough without them being asked to do extra test sessions outside the regular testing protocol as most of them have day to day jobs and lives outside of skating.

    Also from a club perspective, if the judges probably have to be organised through the club. Then you are asking club officials to make a special case for yourself which can involve extra administrative work for them. They are volunteers too. There may be special procedures that have to be followed to request a test session outside the regular test session, all of which takes time and someone has to do it.

    Hate to say, from my past experience, those times when skaters have been given "special consideration", it can also peeve other skaters, parents and officials who do the right thing and follow the correct procedure for test sessions or have to organise these things. One of the reasons why we set up a calendar for tests and don't deviate from that.

    Sorry to put a dampener on your plans, but it is not that simple to just want a test session. There is more to it than that.
  5. leafygreens

    leafygreens Well-Known Member

    I took one of my beginning tests (pre-bronze freestyle) on a freestyle session with 4 other people testing the same level. Another girl tested preliminary (with a program) and did this during the session, with other people practicing. We all stood at the boards and watched the others test. Again, we were all testing pre- or preliminary so not sure if this would work for higher tests. Oh, and there was only one judge, not three. I don't know the level in which you have to start having 3 judges. This was a spur-of-the-moment test session. The club pres knew I wanted to test this level so she emailed me at work and I went down there that afternoon in my regular practice tights (not even a dress) and tested. It wasn't even advertised to the whole club. I never got any "special consideration" contempt from anyone. Then again there were 4 other testers, not just me.
  6. Clarice

    Clarice Well-Known Member

    Yes, this is why I said "in most cases". I've heard of this happening, but think it's much less common than standard test sessions. How many judges you need depends on what level judges you have - gold judges can test some things alone that require a panel of lower level judges. It would be very difficult, if not impossible, to test the higher levels on a freestyle.
  7. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    I've seen prepreliminary tests done on freestyle sessions at a couple of different clubs I belonged to. The prepre freestyle is pretty conducive to that. The MITF really only works if the session is pretty empty and the other skaters on the ice are willing to give right of way to the person testing.

    In the US, prepreliminary can now be done with one judge of any level and preliminary with one silver or higher judge. But I wouldn't recommend scheduling preliminary tests on a freestyle session.

    Sometimes a club might buy only an hour or hour and a half of ice for a small test session with just three judges, or even one if there are only low-level tests scheduled. That will feel more informal than a longer sessions with all levels. But for the reasons mentioned in earlier posts it would work better with the club test chair organizing it.
  8. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins Well-Known Member

    I know two people who've done "private testing." They paid for their ice time, the judges' travel/hospitality, and the Club test registration fees. In the end, it ended up costing far more than taking the test through the scheduled Club session. (There were competition deadlines involved, so it was a last-push.)

    Most Clubs offer discounted fees to their home club members along with lower fees for two or more tests. I think you should discuss your goals with your Club's test chair, to explain what you want/need to do during the test session. Some clubs offer less-formal test sessions. For example, North Jersey FSC hosts a monthly test session on the Ice Vault morning freestyles. (Last Monday of the month: http://www.northjerseyfsc.org/ClubTestRinkCalendars.aspx)

    I think there's a limit on how many tests you can register for any one discpline at a single test session. It has something to do with "contingency" testing - I believe you can only take two Moves or Freeskate tests at any one session. If you get a restest on the lower-level test, they won't allow you to test the higher-level one. That's not to say you can't test later in the day elsewhere if you pass the prerequisite tests. (If you get a retest, you have to wait 27 days before re-testing.)
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  9. jenlyon60

    jenlyon60 Member

    The big problem with registering for multiple tests on the same test session is the havoc it can potentially play with scheduling. For example, if a skater signs up for more than 2 tests (for example, Preliminary MIF, Pre-Juv MIF, Preliminary FS, Pre-Juv FS), then doesn't pass one of the tests that is a prerequisite for the others, that's possibly dead ice that could have been used by another tester. This can be especially important when test sessions fill up and the test chair must turn skaters away or wait-list them.

    Normally, it's not an issue with Pre-Preliminary MIF/FS, since both can be judged single-panel, and both have extremely high pass rates.

    What's more common at my club for test sessions is that a skater will take the "next higher" MIF test and their "current level" FS test. For example, Preliminary FS and Pre-Juv MIF. That doesn't cause a contingency issue.

    OTOH, I was at a dance test session where someone tested all 9 of the compulsory dances (Preliminary - Bronze). However, that individual was already a high level singles skater who was switching over to compete in dance (and had a partner lined up).

  10. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    I've also seen a skater who was entering the US test system after having achieved approximately intermediate level in another country test prepreliminary and preliminary moves and freestyle at one test session, reportedly went to another club to test prejuvenile and juvenile moves and freestyle a few weeks later, and then test intermediate at the first club the following month.

    Again, very unusual. But fun to see a solid mid-level skater performing the low-level test moves.
  11. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    One of my former coaches, when he came to the US, tested all the US dances in one test session, one after another. But he was an elite level skater.
  12. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

    I remember a middle-aged woman testing Pre-Prelim through Intermediate MIF all in the same test session. But she was a 'returning' adult skater who had passed most, if not all, of the figures tests when she was younger. I believe she did pass all the MIF tests she took that day.

    I tested Bronze MIF on an FS session. I believe this is allowed only for the first two levels (Pre-Pre, Prelim, Adult Pre-Bronze, Bronze). My club at the time hadn't done it before but decided to give it a try. They chose a session that usually only had 5 or 6 skaters on it (and some of those signed up for the testing). They had 1 judge. I think there was 1 Pre-Pre MIF and 3 Pre-Pre FS tests, plus mine. Mine was the most challenging in terms of ice coverage and collision risk. Before, the test chair told me that the rule in this situation was that if someone got in my way, I would be allowed to skate the move over again.

    A couple of times during my test, there was one kid, who had tested her Pre-Pre FS before me and I guess forgot others were testing (she was one of those in-their-own-world types anyway), who got close to me a few times - the last time, I called out her name rather sternly and she went away and stayed away. And during the first move (forward perimeter stroking), there was a teenage beginner skater who was very cautious standing on the line of one of the end hockey circles, right where I had to come around to start the second side. I called out excuse me a couple times as I came around the end, but she just stared at me and froze. She did finally move back toward the wall as I passed her, but by then I'd adjusted my path to go inside the circle to get around her, which in normal circumstances would probably result in a reskate/retry. Plus, I lost some speed doing this.

    After I finished the move, I went up to the judge and asked her if she wanted me to skate it again due to traffic - she said no. I passed the move (and the test) - I guess she figured she'd seen enough to mark the move passed.

    I actually liked the setup. That was my 3rd time taking that test, and the first two times, I got a little freaked out by the on-the-ice-alone-ness. Having other skaters around helped me think of it being 'just another practice', plus I was able to keep moving up until the moment I tested. When I tested my Bronze FS there, it was not on an FS session, but it was a short (1-hour) test session with just 1 judge (that's all they could get) and so it was a bit more laid back than the usual test sessions. My 4th (and final :)) Silver MIF test was on a session like that, but with a full judging panel (Silver needs it) - most of the tests were low-level, though, and I think the judges (God bless 'em every one! ;)) were in a forgiving mood.