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   Rushmoor Synchronised Swimming Club

                                                                            2013 BRITISH CHAMPIONS



The mysterious world of skill tests


Taking a skill test whether it’s your first, third or final assessment can be daunting so here’s some information to help it seem less scary.


Skill tests are mandatory for all swimmers if they wish to compete competitively and each age group has its own level to reach. These are:


Age group



12 and unders

Skill 2

Skill 3


Skill 3

Skill 4


Skill 4

Skill 5


Skill 4

Skill 5

British Champs

Skill 4

Skill 5


Each skill test is held under competition conditions so swimmers are to wear black costumes and plain white hats, with noise kept to a minimum. Unlike a competition, there is no set order that the swimmers have to do the skills in so we suggest that, if possible, they start off with one that they feel strong in as that can help boost their confidence and settle their nerves.


Depending on the location of the skill test, sometimes parents can watch but this isn’t always the case as there may not be a viewing area. It can be more nervous watching anyway!


The number of swimmers we can send to a skill test is completely dependent on the number of assessors we are able to send. All clubs have to adhere to the following ratio of assessors to swimmers:


For 0 - 5 swimmers - 1 assessor will be required

For 6 - 15 swimmers - 2 assessors will be required

For 15 - 25 swimmers - 3 assessors will be required (and so on in multiple of 10)


For those swimmers entering skills 3 to 5, we have to send an advanced assessor and for skills 1 to 2, we have to send a basic assessor. An assessor can also be looking at multiple skills across multiple skill levels – it all depends on how the day is being run.


Assessors are not allowed to fulfil the role of an assessor and coach on the day so the Club always tries to send a coach and a team manager as well as the assessors.


If a swimmer fails, they have to wait for a month before they can be entered into another skill test. This is a rule that all clubs have to adhere to and means the swimmers have time to focus on the elements they failed.


If a swimmer gets to retakes but fails, they are able to attend the next skill test even if it’s within the month as it’s considered that they do not have as many elements to correct.


If a swimmer does get through to retakes, they are allowed to look at their assessment booklet and choose which skill to retake. It is normally based on how many crosses they have against each skill and how confident they feel, the coach that is attending will help the swimmer choose. Before taking the retake, the swimmer does usually have an opportunity to practise the skills they are going to retake before they do the skill in front of the senior assessor. A retake won’t be taken by the same assessor that failed the swimmer in the first place.


What can the swimmers do to help themselves?


Be really familiar with all the different points in the skill book. Getting just one cross on their ballet leg or tuck will mean that they have failed that skill so knowing what the assessors will be looking at will keep the swimmers focused. These can be found on the club’s website:


Each swimmer should have their own notes of their corrections. As each swimmer is different, please do not let your daughter copy or use someone else’s notes as this could give them incorrect corrections and lead them to fail. These notes can be taken round by the swimmer during their skill test and gives them something to focus on rather than just get nervous. Getting the swimmers into the habit of writing down what corrections they were given in each session helps not just for skill tests but also for competitions.


It cannot be stressed enough that all swimmers must work on their splits at home throughout the year as all the skill levels have splits in them (in water or on land). When you get to the higher skills, passing your splits is compulsory so there’s no avoiding them!