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Information about Testing


The test structure is the common core of figure skating. Every athlete in every discipline must take tests, the foundation and building blocks to develop strong skating skills, to move throughout the pipeline of figure skating.

Here are some things you need to know about the test structure:

  • Everything in figure skating is based on a skater's test level: entry to competition, participation in various programs, placement within programs, etc.

  • Skaters move through the test structure at their own pace. There are no rules on age or time requirements.

  • Skaters can use the test structure as an entry point to competitions or it can be a unique achievement on its own.

  • Test record and qualifying (and international) competition history is the only permanent record that follows a skater through their career.

  • Passing the highest test in any discipline earns the skater the title U.S. Figure Skating Gold Medalist 

Skaters start with the Moves in the Field (MITF) structure. MITF is a basic skating skills progression. Each test level has several set patterns of step sequence elements including turns, edges, spirals, etc., that get progressively more difficult.

The Free Skating & Pairs structure requires skaters to perform a program with jumps, spins and step sequences. Please note, skaters must pass the corresponding MITF test before taking the free skating tests.

The Dance & Solo Dance structure requires skaters to perform 3-4 set pattern dances per level. The Free Dance & Solo Free Dance track requires a free dance. 

Information about Competitions


A U.S. Figure Skating nonqualifying competition is an event that any member club can host, and any member can choose to enter.

  • Most competitions offer the core levels and events of singles skating:

    • Well balanced program free skating events based off the test-levels.

    • Restricted free skating events, called test track, which have the same entry requirements as well balanced program, but the elements are limited.

    • Short program events/compulsory events

  • Competitions can offer additional fun events for skaters such as Spins & Jumps Challenge, Step Sequences, Moves in the Field, Showcase, etc.

  • The results of nonqualifying competitions are not recorded, and do not count toward any other official events.


There is a standard announcement that host clubs use to structure their events to keep the rules are consistent.

Why should your child participate in nonqualifying competitions?

  • To assist with goal-setting and measuring progress throughout the season.

  • For the opportunity to compete against other skaters, see friends and meet new people.

  • To receive specific feedback about strengths and weaknesses.

  • To begin participation that can last throughout a career from Learn to Skate USA to Team USA.



Qualifying competitions are the backbone of competitive figure skating. This is the only track to the U.S. Championships, the World Championships and the Olympic Winter Games, and the first competition that is part of a skater's permanent record. Skaters must be at the juvenile level or higher to participate. Approximately 5,000 skaters enter in singles, pairs or ice dance, and synchronized skating qualifying competitions each year.

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