Tests: Not one, not two, not three…

August 2, 2012 § 1 Comment

Obscure nod to LeBron James’ hubristic and early proclamation of winning many championships aside, there’s probably something in the previous post that you had questions about. If you didn’t have questions… welp, let’s pretend you do!

Q: What is testing? How many do you need to pass to get to your target level?

A: Figure skating testing involves showing judges that you know the corresponding moves and jumps for the level of skating that you want to compete in, be it for freeskates and short programs or for a type of dance. Even if you skate for fun, this is a great way to gauge your skills and progress as a skater. Judges want to see if you have the fundamentals down in order to successfully tackle each requirement in a given level of competition. The closest comparison is probably proceed through each year of elementary and middle school. It’s not like teachers will let you show up for the first day of eighth grade if you have not finished first, second, third, or fourth yet. Your elementary school teacher(s) wants to see if you know basic arithmetic, differences between subject/predicate and sentence structures. Test judges want to see if you know how to hold an edge (successfully skate on the outside and inside parts of your blade), hold spirals without wobbling everywhere, and holding your free leg a little higher during your check-outs (your finish position after a jump or spin, not the aftermath of an online shopping spree).

You’re not going to expect first grade students to draft term papers, write five distinct paragraph essays and do ridiculous things with numbers like find the variables. Figure skaters are not born knowing how to do triple axels either.

In case you still need translate.google.com to figure out this figure skating language, that’s okay. The bottom line is that in order to go four levels up in testing to juvenile and skate up one level higher, I need to pass 2 tests per level. One is for moves in the field, moves that have nothing to do with Mick Jagger and the other is for freeskates (jumps and spins). Adding all the tests up, carry the zeroes… (wait, there’s no zeroes) I’d need to pass 8 tests, from first to eighth grade, which makes having the fundamentals down much more important. That does not include the flying spin required to skate any intermediate events. Hooray…


For more information, http://www.usfigureskating.org/About.asp?id=17 elaborates much more on the subject of testing. If you believe I missed something while describing testing, let me know.

Q: Can you do triple axels, though?

A: No. That’s some college level stuff. Have you ever tried seeing if a baby can sprint like Usain Bolt before it can crawl? If you have… Oh my.


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