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Test Day Procedures and Tips

Skate Canada has a testing program set up for the following disciplines: Dance, Skills, Freeskate and Artistic (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 skater's 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.  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 submit a tentative test list four weeks in advance, and final decisions must be submitted to the Test Chair two weeks before the test. After this point, a test that is not complete is considered an automatic “retry” and you will be charged the test fee.


What to expect if you are new to testing


If your skater decides to skate beyond the recreational level, your coach will start teaching the various disciplines of skating. In Dance, the coach will begin teaching the Dutch Waltz, skating alongside the skater as they learn the steps.  When they feel the skater adequately knows the dance, they will submit it for a Test Day. These are held in each skating school (Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer).  An evaluator observes 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 Dance tests, there are also Skills and Freeskate tests. These are done at the discretion of the coach, based on the skater’s ability. If you have concerns about these tests, make sure you discuss them with your coach.

Skills are skated in patterns on the ice, while 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.  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.

The Test Chair organizes test days, makes arrangements for the evaluators, and collects the test list from the coaches. Judges and evaluators are volunteers and are not paid. They do this because they enjoy the sport.

A final test schedule is 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  1 hour prior to testing, in case the day is running ahead of schedule. 

Additional items to consider:

  • 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 based on 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


Test Day fees will be provided to you for each test, at the time you receive your notification from the coach that your test has been submitted and accepted.  Please enclose the test fee sheet and payment (cash or cheque) in an envelope, marking "Test" on the outside.  The due date for Test fees is printed on the test sheet. Only tests that have been paid for by the due date will be included on the test day schedule.   Out of town skaters may bring their fee on the day of the test. 


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.
  • 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 WFSC 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 45 minutes 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 missing their scheduled test time will not be permitted to test at a later time.
  • 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 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.


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