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Percentage of skaters who pass tests

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by leafygreens, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. lutzcrazy16

    lutzcrazy16 Double Looping

    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!
    clairecloutier likes this.
  2. sarahspins

    sarahspins New Member

    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 Well-Known Member

    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

    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 ;).

  5. sarahspins

    sarahspins New Member

    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

    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

    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 :)
    gkelly and (deleted member) like this.
  8. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

    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

    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

    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 Well-Known Member

    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

    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

    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.
  14. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Reread this thread since Sylvia linked it in another context today. Bumping to say I did pass my silver moves on the first try last year, about a month after this thread -- HOWEVER, that was after it took me 3 tries to get the preliminary moves and two unsuccessful tries at the prejuvenile. I.e., it was the first time I'd tested adult silver, but the third or fourth time I'd tested most of the moves.

    Also I was in a position to arrange that the toughest judges weren't assigned to my test.
    I didn't pass either set of alternating threes but got some extra points on other moves.

    So now my next moves test could either be adult gold or another try at prejuvenile. Since I can't even do the bracket pattern at all without holding my coach's hand the whole way through, I suspect that test is never going to happen. But I don't want to try PreJ again until I'm confident I can actually pass the threes. So that's probably years away as well.
  15. misskarne

    misskarne #AustraliaForTheTeamEvent

    I am curious about what the Bronze, Silver etc tests actually comprise of. Here we don't have two different systems - your Adult level is determined by which main-track ISA tests you've passed. No test: Copper, Preliminary: Bronze, Elementary Moves: Silver, Pre-Primary moves: Gold. I can't remember what Masters and Elite are.

    I think Pre-Primary is a little similar to Pre-Juv in the States, but I'm not sure. Here, the Preliminary test is just a figure pattern. (One that's harder than it looks, I might add!) I will probably be better at the Elementary Moves test than I will be at the Preliminary test.
  16. LilJen

    LilJen Reaching out with my hand sensitively

    I took very little time (months) to get pre-bronze and bronze moves done and passed. Silver took 2 years and 2 tries. The skills are just that much harder--back 3-turns and outside mohawks do a lot of people in. I was fortunate to be unphased by the newish inside & outside fwd spirals vs just straight spirals that came in something like 2011.

    Now Gold moves, well. . . those I may never pass.
  17. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    If you search youtube for the name of the test, e.g., "adult silver moves in the field," you'll find a few videos that adult skaters have put up of their tests, generally passing tests. That will show you what the moves are and the approximate passing standard.

    USFS put videos of the adult moves on their website several years ago for reference purposes, but I can't find them right now. Anyone else have a link?

    You could check the rulebook or the test forms page for patterns and descriptions.
  18. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

    I think this should work http://www.usfsa.org/Shell.asp?sid=35082
    I'm glad they went back and updated the demonstration videos with something that's a reasonable approximation of the passing standard. I remember looking at their first video of novice MITF's, visibly done by someone who's well above the testing standards and going 'well, never passing that'. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lh41K5-aeWI
    gkelly likes this.
  19. AndyWarhol

    AndyWarhol Well-Known Member

    Masters and Elite both require you to have passed primary moves. :)
  20. artika

    artika New Member

    Interesting, thank you for sharing... I'm just starting testing and this helps me see the bigger picture.
  21. jersey1302

    jersey1302 Active Member

    I feel novice etc are hardest to pass because those are the levels you learn the most from and take the biggest jumps with new moves. By the time you get to junior and then senior to pass SR you generally have everything under your belt that you need to pass a test
    leafygreens likes this.
  22. TheGirlCanSkate

    TheGirlCanSkate Well-Known Member

    My skater has tested and passed all of her tests on the first try through junior. I think as a parent - she struggled most with Intermediate and novice. She is working on Senior and said it is the most fun because it puts together everything you know.
    Sylvia likes this.
  23. SherryL

    SherryL Member

    Congratulations on the passing of those tests.

    I think that the Novice MIF test was the most unexpectedly difficult MIF to pass, which may account for the higher retry rate. Once my daughters could do the new skills (twizzles, loops, rocker choctaws, & counters), they took the Novice MIF test, but it was their lack of power, which is required by this Move, that led to retries. Compared with the power required between progressing up on the other Moves, I think Novice MIF had the biggest increase in the required amount of power. I think Pre-Juvenile MIF was the next most challenging for my kids compared to the previous MIF level. This is based on the total number of months it took for them to pass these MIF tests while practicing about the same number of hours each week for all 8 MIF tests.

    Both my daughters have passed their Senior MIF tests, and they struggled on different MIFs. One skater breezed through Intermediate, Junior, & Senior MIF tests while the other took twice as long and some retries to pass.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
  24. concorde

    concorde Active Member

    For what its worth, my daughter had the most problems with Premliminary and Novice. Both took her over a year to pass. All the other levels she got through in about 5 months, including both Junior and Senior.

    I think Novice is hard due to loops. For most skaters, that is their first exposure to them.
    gkelly likes this.
  25. Iluvid

    Iluvid Active Member

    It was Michelle's Senior freeskate test that she took behind his back. If it was just moves he would've had her stay in Junior most likely
  26. Iluvid

    Iluvid Active Member

    I passed all of my moves tests up to Novice on the first try and up to Intermediate freeskate on the first try. This was in the 90's before they redid the moves. Novice freeskate took me several retrys but I finally passed in 2004. Junior moves took only two tries. I passed those as an adult with the Novice freeskate.
    overedge and gkelly like this.
  27. nicayal

    nicayal New Member

    This thread is a bit old, but it was so interesting so I thought I'd add my own personal experiences with testing.

    For context, I started Learn to Skate at 7 and took my Pre-Pre Moves at 14 (late 90s). I hit a couple minor walls on Juvenile and Intermediate Moves (failing both twice before passing on the third try...they took about a year apiece so I passed Intermediate right before leaving for college at around age 18--and, to be fair, I loved freestyle so probably wasn't practicing Moves enough).

    But Novice. Good lord, Novice. It took me five years and nine attempts to pass that test. Some of it was nerves on test day, but multiple judges also said I just didn't look "novice quality". I went through multiple coaches, some of whom suggested I stop giving myself anxiety by testing and just focus on jumping for fun, but I was inching into my 20s at unable to compete at Intermediate due to my age. At the time, Adult comps were only open to skaters age 25+, and my college didn't have a team. If I never passed another Moves test in my life, I was determined to get through Novice.

    I switched to a coach that taught exclusively Moves and ice dance and he started me from scratch at Pre-Pre Moves and built back up my basics. After a year of lessons, I passed Novice in my early 20s. I took Junior and Senior in the next year or so and passed both on my first attempt. I found Junior conceptually difficult, but actually enjoyed Senior. Like others have said, Senior felt like it focused on presentation of skills learned on lower levels.

    In terms of Freestyle tests, it took me three attempts to get through Novice (darn double-double combo), and Junior was where I stopped after two fails in my mid-20s (stamina was an issue, and I ran out of funds and time when I finished grad school). I took my Adult Gold Moves and Free just to say I'd done them, and then that was that until six months ago when I gave Junior a stab again (about 8 years after my last attempt). I failed by one jump (popped my 2flip and fell on the reskate) but passed the thing in January. Took Senior in April and passed on the first try. The test was a little longer but was pretty similar to Junior.

    Now I'm trial judging and the tests I see people have the most challenges with are Pre-Juvenile and Novice. Those seem to be levels that can trip people up. Junior comes in third.

    I know they just released Governing Council docs and there's one on testing (mostly because they seem to have voted to switch the standard to GOE instead of 6.0 for tests in the near future). I didn't see a breakdown by level, but of all the disciplines, Moves had the lowest overall passing rate (70%), and that totally doesn't surprise me.
  28. SherryL

    SherryL Member

    Congrats on passing the Senior FS test, nicayal.

    Agreed that Novice Moves was the toughest… it’s the only Move that my elder daughter had to retry. I think Moves are harder to pass because the skaters are reaching up to that level of skating. My daughter was able to pass all 8 FS tests on her first attempt. At the time of each testing, she was above the Pre-Pre FS to Novice FS test level. She had only been competing at the Juvenile FS level and was able to pass Junior FS by all 3 judges. However, she barely passed Sr FS in February with only 2 judges passing her.

    Good luck on trial judging, nicayal!
    leafygreens likes this.
  29. EmpressAriana

    EmpressAriana New Member

    I made an account just so I could contribute to this thread, because I find all this information about testing incredibly interesting! I've been skating since I was around 10, and I also agree that Novice moves was the hardest so far (except maybe the choctaws on junior, they're killing me!)

    I suffered an injury about two months before passing my intermediate moves test that had me on and off (but mostly off) of skating for 3 years, and has restricted me from jumps for probably the rest of my life. So it took me around 3 years and 9 months to pass my Novice moves on my first try. I will say that the judges must have watched my warmup because it was awesome, but also 15 minutes long because they couldn't find one of the judges to start the test (the one judge that gave me a retry, coincidentally.) So everyone testing in that group was exhausted and had already hit their peak. It was tough to get through, my legs wouldn't go where I wanted them too, and it was not a polished test from a skater who was trying to prove she was good enough to be on her junior moves. And even though I finished the test without falling or putting my foot down on anything, I was disappointed in myself for putting that test out when I knew that I could have done so much better, I had done better not even ten minutes earlier! Skating off the ice after my test I knew that I had failed it, and my coach agreed sadly when I told her, so getting the test papers was a shock for both of us!

    On the other hand, one of the girls I skate with tested her novice moves 4 times, and was failed for a different mistake each time. Then on her passing attempt she ran off the ice after her first pattern, vomited into a trash can, then went back out and completed the test. But beforehand she had told her coaches that if she didn't pass novice that time, she wasn't going to try again. It was just too much anxiety and money and stress for her to keep failing over and over on simple and unexpected mistakes, like catching a toepick on the last edge of the last pattern, when she had put her foot down on a twizzle already.

    My coach always tells me that when you test its like a job interview. You don't show up at a job interview not knowing what position you're applying for and if you aren't qualified for it, and you certainly don't show up looking like you just crawled out of a mud puddle. When I was testing my pre-gold dances, she would always tell me that I should convey to the judges, 'hey, look at me, I'm qualified to be on my gold dances, and here's why.'