How does a Test Day work?

For your skater’s first test day, your coach will notify you first that your skater is ready to test and ensure that you are available to come on the day of test day at any time. You can ask your coach any additional questions you may have at that time.

A schedule will be emailed out about a week before the test day. If you do not receive it, ask your coach to send you the info and ensure that your name is on the list for future emails. There is a small fee of $17 for test days to pay the Skate Canada Administration fee and to pay the mileage for the Evaluator. Skaters are expected to arrive 30 minutes before their scheduled time to test just in case the evaluator is running ahead of schedule. This also allows for enough time for skaters to get dressed, get their skates on, and have some time to warm up with their coach off the ice if necessary. Female skaters are expected to wear a skating dress. If you do not have a skating dress and don’t wish to purchase one, test dresses can be rented from the club. Male skaters are expected to wear black pants or dress pants (no jeans) and a dress shirt or nice sweater. Vests, ties, or bowties are optional but encouraged. Skaters will have 10 minutes or more (depending on the test) to warm up on the ice. When testing dances, the dance music will be played one or more times for each dance on that warm up. Your skater will have adequate time to warm up with the coach and/or dance partner. After the warm up period, all skaters will leave the ice and then take the ice one by one to skate their test for the Evaluator.

Once your skater tests, you have to wait approximately 20 minutes to get your results. The test chair will hand out the evaluations to each skater. Evaluations include a series of checkmarks to grade certain aspects such as Accuracy and Timing. The grading scale is as follows: Needs Improvement (NI), Satisfactory (S), Good (G), and Excellent (E). For the most part, all or most checkmarks in the Satisfactory column is expected. At the bottom of the checkmark portion, there will be a checkmark for either “Pass” or “Retry”. 2 out of 6 criteria must be Satisfactory or higher to pass a Preliminary dance. Underneath that section, the Evaluator will leave comments for the skater. Click here to see what the Preliminary Dance test sheet looks like.

Test Days can be stressful for skaters but performing under pressure is part of the sport. Parents should try to keep their skater relaxed and offer a lot of encouragement. It is not very often that skaters have to retry tests as our coaches do not submit tests without being sure the skater is ready but it can happen. Getting a “retry” can be very upsetting for any skater. It is important to stay positive and continue to give words of encouragement. Talk with your skater and his/her coach about what your skater needs to do better next time. Sometimes, coaches may be unclear as to what the evaluator expects and it is a good idea to talk to the evaluator when he/she has time.