Skate Canada has a testing program set up for the following disciplines: Dance, Skills, Freeskate and Interpretive (please refer to “Current Test Stream” for detailed information).
- The skater can explore all disciplines to the success they would like to achieve
- Testing is a very important part of a Skaters development
- It measures their progress and allows them to see the results of their hard work
- It allows the coach, parent and skater to plan the season ahead
- There are a number of test days throughout the season
- Your coach will decide which test your child is prepared for and will advise you when a test is being put into a test day
Each child will progress at his/her own pace, so this is a very individual matter. When your coach feels that your child is ready to test, they will notify you of the upcoming test days. PLEASE LET YOUR COACH KNOW IF YOU WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE ON THAT DATE. Coaches have to submit a tentative test list up to 4 weeks in advance, and final decisions are due 2 weeks before the test. After this point, a test that is not complete is considered an automatic “RETRY” and you will be charged the fee for the test.
If you are new to testing, here is what you can expect
If your skater decides to skate for more than recreational your coach will start teaching them the other disciplines of skating. The coach will start teaching them the first dance, the Dutch Waltz. The coach skates along beside the skater and they learn the steps to the dance. When they feel the skater knows the dance well enough they will submit it for a test day. Test days are held in each skating school (Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer). An evaluator comes to observe the coach and skater move around the ice to music. If the skater proves that he/she knows the dance, then the evaluator will pass the skater.
In addition to the Dance tests, there are also Skills tests and Freeskate tests. These tests are not always started in any particular order. They are done at the discretion of the coach and the skater’s ability. If you have concerns, make sure you discuss them with your coach. Skills are skated in patterns on the ice. The Freeskate tests are done in two parts. Part one is the elements and part two is the program or solo. They do not have to be taken together and each part of the test costs $10. In order to receive full credit for the test the skater needs to pass both parts. These tests determine what level they will skate at for competitions after the pre-preliminary level. The levels are determined as follows:
- Junior Bronze
- Senior Bronze
- Junior Silver
- Senior Silver
The test chair organizes the test days, makes arrangements for the evaluators, and collects the test list from the coaches. Judges and evaluators do not get paid. This is all done on a volunteer basis because they enjoy the sport. We are in short supply of judges and evaluators so from time to time we may need to cancel a test day or send the skater elsewhere to test depending on the circumstances.
A final test schedule is then done and posted on the Club Bulletin Board for the skaters to see what time they are testing at. Please check for your name and tests you are trying. Any discrepancies should be brought to your coach and the test chair. Skaters are to arrive at the test day 1 hour prior to testing as sometimes the tests move along fairly quickly and the skater should be prepared.
- The schedule may include a time which may require your child to miss school.
- The test day may need to be changed to another day, or include sessions due to the availability of evaluators, ice availability or quantity of tests.
- Check your appearance. Hair should be neat. For female skaters, it is best to tie it back or put it up. This helps the judge to assess your posture as well as presents a tidy appearance. Ensure that your skates and laces are clean and tidy. Female skaters should wear a dress with tights. Male skaters should wear dress pants. Gloves and sweaters may be worn for warm-up, but should be removed for the test.
- Each skater will get time to warm up their test. The order of skating will be determined by the Test Chair.
- While “on test” the skater will be asked to perform specific skills in front of a judge or panel of evaluators in order to assess if he / she is ready to advance to the next level.
- Tests will be observed by the evaluator and rated as “excellent”, “good”, “satisfactory” or “needs improvement”. The skater needs to obtain mostly “satisfactory” or better ratings in order to be successful on the test.
- Once the evaluator has completed his / her evaluation, the results will be given to the skater and his/her coach.
Test Day Fees
The Skate Canada fee for all Starskate tests is $10, and Competitive tests are $20. Hospitality fees, which cover evaluators’ expenses, are $8, regardless of number of tests the skater is taking. Gloucester Skating Club members accounts will be charged the test and hospitality fees, and any Out of Club Skaters will need to pay by cash or cheque (payable to Gloucester Skating Club) on Test Day. Out of club skaters may also have to pay an ice fee as well. Coaching fees will be set by each individual coach.
Preparing for Test Day
- Approximately 4-5 weeks before test day, your coach prepares a list of potential tests. The list is forwarded to the Test Chair who in turn submits the test list to Skate Canada – EOS office.
- Your coach will have until 2 weeks before the first scheduled test day to decide whether or not the skater is ready to take the test on test day.
- If he/she feels that the test is not ready to be tried, the test will be “PULLED”.
- There is no charge for tests that are pulled at least 2 weeks prior to test day; however, any tests that are not pulled 2 weeks prior to the first scheduled test day are included in the final submission to Skate Canada and must be paid for, according to Skate Canada rules.
- The schedule will be posted on the GSC website and on the bulletin board at the rink.
What to Wear on Test Day
- Freeskate (elements) – Skating skirt or dress, tights, and appropriate sweater, gloves
- Freeskate (solo) – Solo dress, tights
- Dance – Skating dress (please wear a sweater and gloves for warm up only)
- Skills – Skating skirt or dress, tights, appropriate sweater, and gloves
On Test Day
- Skaters should arrive ready to test at least 1 hour before their scheduled test time, sometimes tests can run ahead of schedule.
- There will be an Ice Captain who makes sure that skaters have arrived for their tests and will call them when it is time for their warm-up.
- Skaters should be lined up at the door to the arena ready to go on for their warm-up as soon as the group before has finished.
- Warm-up will be 3-10 minutes, depending on the test.
- It is important that skaters move on and off the ice QUICKLY in order for the test day to run on schedule.
- Test results will be released to coaches/skaters only after all paperwork has been signed and checked by the evaluators. There are sometimes delays in this process and your patience is appreciated.
- Parents may sit in the lobby or in the stands. If in the stands, please be sure not to obstruct the test evaluator’s view.
- It is very important to keep the test sheet when you receive it back from the evaluator for your records.
After the Test
Skaters may take their skates off and then wait for their results. Please keep in mind that it may take some time before the results are released, depending on when the test evaluator has time to sign the test evaluation result sheets. A volunteer or coach will bring the results as soon as they are ready. Once the paperwork has been submitted by the Club to Skate Canada with the test fees, the Skater’s profile at Skate Canada will be updated with the results of each test taken. It is important to regularly check your skater profile by logging on to www.skatecanada.ca to check to see that the results have been updated, although sometimes, test results can take a while to get posted to the Skater’s record if Skate Canada is backlogged.