Figure skating in the U.S. can be either competitive or recreational, and those learning to skate can choose either route. While competitive skaters are required to participate in the U.S. testing structure to eventually compete in qualifying competitions, recreational skaters can also opt to take tests in order to continually challenge themselves and their abilities.
The official tests of U.S. Figure Skating may be taken by all figure skaters who are members of a member club or collegiate club, individual members who are currently registered with U.S. Figure Skating and are otherwise qualified under these rules, as well as by members of a member association of the ISU.
Test sessions can only be held under the auspices and control of a member club. Fees are involved and vary by club. Sessions are organized and run under procedures outlined in the U.S. Figure Skating rulebook. Any person who is interested in participating in the U.S. Figure Skating testing structure should review the U.S. Figure Skating Rulebook, which addresses information such as the types of tests offered, the elements on each test, how tests are marked, which judges are required, age requirements for different test categories, and conduct of coaches and candidates at test sessions. Additional information can be found in the "Resources" box on this page.
Test Refresh Project
U.S. Figure Skating passed the Test Refresh project at the 2017 Governing Council meeting. The project phases in the following:
- 1. Nov. 1, 2017: Updating of Free Skate tests to align with well-balanced program competition rules
- 2. Nov. 1, 2017: IJS protocol from nonqualifying competition for test credit in juvenile-senior free skate, adult gold free skate, juvenile-senior pairs and juvenile-senior free dance
- 3. Sept. 2, 2018: Updating the marking system from 6.0 to a scale of -3 to +3
- 4. Sept. 2, 2018: Allowing athletes to earn "pass with honors" and "pass with distinction
For detailed information on the new marking system (items 3 and 4), including a handbook for judges, educational videos, links to test forms and the skater checklist for moves in the field tests, please click here.
For details on the IJS Protocol (item 2) procedures for athletes, coaches, test chairs and competition chairs, click here.
For answers to frequently asked questions, click here.
For additional information, click here.
Kinds of Tests
There are several classes of tests in the U.S. Figure Skating structure:
1. Moves in the field (standard, adult and masters)
2. Free skate (standard and adult)
3. Pairs (standard and adult)
4. Pattern Dance (partnered and solo; standard, adult and masters)
5. Free dance (partnered and solo; standard, adult and masters)
The order in which tests are taken is important. According to Rule 4002 in the rulebook: A candidate shall not be eligible to take a higher-level test until all of the preceding tests in the same category have been passed or completed except as otherwise specified in these rules.
Please refer to the U.S. Figure Skating Rulebook
to gain a better understanding of all the test rules and expectations before testing. Further description of the elements of each test is available in the rulebook.