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Thread: I compiled MIF/FS/Dance test stats for entire US

  1. #1
    On the Ice Arwen17's Avatar
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    I compiled MIF/FS/Dance test stats for entire US

    Tests passed by skaters in the entire US:
    https://imgur.com/a/JPrDTDa


    I've been working on this project for awhile now.

    • 2018 only has Nov-Dec.
    • 2019 is missing Apr,May,Dec.
    • 2020 only has January.


    The Tests per month table shows you the data that is included in each year. If a month is missing, I simply don't have access to that data in a readable format. That's the only reason its missing.

    I had to write a python script to pull this info from badly formatted PDF files. So it's not perfect, but it gives you a rough idea. I will keep adding more data for year 2020 as it becomes available.
    I don't think any of this is public knowledge unless there's a database that coaches or competitions chairs have access to to lookup skaters/tests in bulk? I'm pulling data from the public PDF test sheets they post on the USFSA website. The reason those specific months in 2019 aren't included is because the layout of those PDFs is so f'ed up that there is no easy way to script it into a database-like format for myself to use. I would have to go thru the PDF by hand and type out 25 pages worth of names by hand. USFSA either doesn't know what they're doing and using some kind of archaic software that generates these PDFs from their database OR they know exactly what they're doing and they're doing it on purpose to keep people like me from easily tabulating the data.
    I'm sure they have all of this data in some kind of database, but either don't care or don't want to share it publicly for some reason. I would love lots of stats and breakdowns from USFSA. But they seem to want to keep it secret.


    Some key things I noticed in this data:

    1. It was really nice to see adult tests higher than Adult Gold! Adult Interm thru Adult Senior tests are rare, but they do apparently exist! However, it was perhaps chilling to see that there are ZERO Adult tests for Junior/Senior FS. That suggests that EVERYONE in the Adult Jr-Sr competitions are all former-childhood skaters and not adult-late-start skaters.

    2. It was really interesting that most of the Adult Dance tests are for the Pattern,Partner tests. Apparently Adult solo dance tests are really, really unpopular. I wonder how in the world most adults who do Dance managed to find partners!?!? I was also surprised by how many Partner tests there were compared to Solo tests in the standard track. I thought solo tests would be waaaaayyy more popular since it's so hard to find a partner. Is everyone just testing with their coach for the partner test, but competing solo?? I don't understand.

    3. I have tables for Clubs with the most Adult tests and Clubs with the most Pairs tests because that data was different from the usual "Larger club = more tests" scenario. All of the other test types: MIF/FS/Dance just follows the rule of "larger club = more tests".
    I'm not sure if this is a very good way to show "where large amounts of adult skaters are located" since not all adults take tests. I guess this shows were the majority of "serious" late-start-adult skaters are, since they're testing and passing.



    I'm still kinda poking and prodding the data and pondering what else I might glean from it.

    Any ideas for other patterns/trends/things to show or examine?


    Remember, I only have access to the public Tests Passed PDFs. I don't have things like age of skater or member join date or anything. That's all locked up tight by USFSA.

  2. #2
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    Most dance tests are taken with a professional partner. There are coaches and former elite dancers who travel the country to take skaters through tests in areas where they don’t have male dance coaches.

    Remember too that adults can take tests standard track, so the numbers you are looking at only reflect those who chose to take the tests at the adult standard. In my experience, if adult skaters are good enough to test the standard track, they do.

  3. #3
    Bona Fide Member mskater93's Avatar
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    Also, partnered tests translate to solo PD but not vice versa for adults. Specifically, if you don’t take the PD tests partnered and you miraculously find a partner, you’d have to retake them...

  4. #4
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    Well I started skating at 25 and am testing standard so you cant probably get accurate data from the public information. I’m hoping to get through my senior moves eventually but probably not freeskate. I think probably most of the people in junior-senior did skate as a child, but it’s a cool opportunity for them to come back and compete where they aren’t at a level to compete in regular competitions at that level anymore. Both of my coaches have competed at adult nationals and encouraged me to do sectionals.

  5. #5
    If I risk it all, could you break my fall?~ bunnybarista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mskater93 View Post
    Also, partnered tests translate to solo PD but not vice versa for adults. Specifically, if you don’t take the PD tests partnered and you miraculously find a partner, you’d have to retake them...
    Yep, this is a big factor for adults taking partnered pattern dances. Probably the other reason is that you get more push/power/stability when dancing these with a partner. (Added bonus: it's slightly less scary to test when you're skating with someone else, especially if it's your coach whom you trust and feel relaxed around).

    Thanks for compiling this list - very interesting! As a club officer, I have access to specific details about skaters from our club, but not nation-wide.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bunnybarista View Post
    Probably the other reason is that you get more push/power/stability when dancing these with a partner. (Added bonus: it's slightly less scary to test when you're skating with someone else, especially if it's your coach whom you trust and feel relaxed around).
    These are the reasons I test with my coach. I'm not ever going to get a partner, but those mohawks and cross-behinds in the Fourteenstep and Foxtrot are very intimidating to me without someone at least holding my hand if not providing more support than that. I can skate the European Waltz solo, but with much less power even than when the coach is just giving support with a handhold between turns, let alone in dance hold.

  7. #7
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    So it turns out, USFS does put the yearly test totals in their annual Report of the Technical Group, which is available in the Members area (or at least used to be, I haven't checked it recently), which includes not only the number of passing tests (which is what's posted publicly), but the total number of tests taken, passing percentage, etc., by section. It seems like for a variety of reasons, some passed tests may not be posted in the monthly notices, so it's always missing a number of them; the totals from summing up the monthly notices are always less than what's in the Report. A skater I know has never had her name reported in those monthly notices, even though she's now a Gold Medalist.

    A number of years back I wrote a combination Matlab and Excel set of scripts to format the tests passed PDF's into Excel; however, at some point (I think late 2017? Forgot) they changed the formatting, and since then the formatting keeps changing every so often so I gave up on keeping it updated. Worse still, sometimes the data didn't line up correctly. In other words, sometimes once the data reached the bottom of the column then it would continue on to the next column (as you would expect), but other times the data would continue onto the next page until the end of that test or club, then the next set would continue on the previous page, etc. Without looking through the names and looking at their history, it was impossible to predict which name belonged in which section. Then afterward they changed the formatting again with the Test Refresh and I haven't really looked at it since then.

    Because I had compiled it for a number of years (2006 to 2017 I think), it was interesting to note certain trends over time -- I could look at skaters longitudinally (i.e. over time) as they progressed with their test levels. For example, on average it took about 6 years for a skater to go from passing Pre-Pre MIF to passing Senior MIF: after they passed Pre-Pre MIF, it took about 2 years to pass Juv MIF, then roughly 1 year each for Int through Senior (Nov and Jun were longer, Int and Sen were shorter). However this data is for skaters who actually passed Senior MIF; only about 1/6 of the skaters do so, so this is really the progress of the most dedicated 1/6 of the skater population (and not the pace of the general skating population, which is likely slower). Skaters who competed at the Juvenile Regionals level passed their Pre-Pre FS test about 4 years prior on average, so if we take passing Pre-Pre FS to be about when they learned their axel, this means that skaters going down the competitive track typically take about 4 years on average to go from getting the single axel to competing at Juvenile Regionals. Skaters at Juvenile Regionals were typically about Int or Nov MIF on average; many of them pass their Nov MIF test in the months following Regionals, so they were more or less ready to go at that point. So Nov MIF is roughly the average MIF level of Juvenile Regionals competitors.

    So there's some interesting data there, but the formatting sort of screws it up. I never really bothered to ask USFS about the formatting issues though.

    Oh and yes there are occasionally adults who do Adult Senior MIF/FS. However, I agree with the assessment that it's mostly skaters who skated as kids and then switched to the adult track. I have yet to see any Adult Senior MIF/FS who started as an adult -- in other words, any who started in Adult Pre-Bronze. They may be out there and I just didn't come across them, and there are likely some adults who did the standard track instead, but yeah, it's rare for someone who actually started as an adult to make it through to Senior MIF/FS.

  8. #8
    On the Ice Arwen17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vanshilar View Post
    So it turns out, USFS does put the yearly test totals in their annual Report of the Technical Group, which is available in the Members area (or at least used to be, I haven't checked it recently), which includes not only the number of passing tests (which is what's posted publicly), but the total number of tests taken, passing percentage, etc., by section. It seems like for a variety of reasons, some passed tests may not be posted in the monthly notices, so it's always missing a number of them; the totals from summing up the monthly notices are always less than what's in the Report. A skater I know has never had her name reported in those monthly notices, even though she's now a Gold Medalist.

    A number of years back I wrote a combination Matlab and Excel set of scripts to format the tests passed PDF's into Excel; however, at some point (I think late 2017? Forgot) they changed the formatting, and since then the formatting keeps changing every so often so I gave up on keeping it updated. Worse still, sometimes the data didn't line up correctly. In other words, sometimes once the data reached the bottom of the column then it would continue on to the next column (as you would expect), but other times the data would continue onto the next page until the end of that test or club, then the next set would continue on the previous page, etc. Without looking through the names and looking at their history, it was impossible to predict which name belonged in which section. Then afterward they changed the formatting again with the Test Refresh and I haven't really looked at it since then.
    Yeah, I was just made aware of this data. Apparently a lot of people don't know that it's hidden inside the annual report. I haven't had a spare moment yet, but I plan to look over it and see if I can do anything with it or not.

    Exactly. At least someone else understands my pain in scripting this stuff. The formatting is TERRIBLE. Python, being a real programming language, gives me more flexibility to parse this stuff, but it's still not perfect. That's why the sheets I listed up there got left out entirely. Their formatting was so bad that it was pretty much impossible to try to parse them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Vanshilar View Post
    Oh and yes there are occasionally adults who do Adult Senior MIF/FS. However, I agree with the assessment that it's mostly skaters who skated as kids and then switched to the adult track. I have yet to see any Adult Senior MIF/FS who started as an adult -- in other words, any who started in Adult Pre-Bronze. They may be out there and I just didn't come across them, and there are likely some adults who did the standard track instead, but yeah, it's rare for someone who actually started as an adult to make it through to Senior MIF/FS.
    Since I'm a suicidal late-start adult who dreams of accomplishing Senior one day, that's why I was motivated to try to put together test statistics. If I can see hard, cold data of others succeeding, and not just hearsay on the internet, it's really encouraging to me. Even if the numbers aren't huge for adults, I wish USFSA would tabulate the ages of skaters and tests, that way we can see if anyone over 21 is passing high level tests, as well as have something analyzing the dates of the rest of their tests (so we can likely see who was a late-start-adult and who was a kid-skater-returning.)

    I full believe there are late-start adults who have completed Adult Senior MIF, even if they are rare. What I'm not sure exists is if any late-start adult has completed Adult FS tests higher than Adult Gold or Adult Intermediate. Adult Novice/Junior/Senior FS is where I'm very uncertain and would love to see data for this for late-start adults only.

    And all I mean by "late-start" is they started after age 21. If they start in their twenties, then it's at least theoretically possible they have enough years of youth left to get thru to Senior FS, even if they're like early 30s by the time they get there. Obviously someone starting in their 40s/50s definitely doesn't have enough years left to make it really happen, unless they're Superman or WonderWoman.

    This plague is especially frustrating because it's throwing off my timetable immensely. I was going to try to test Adult Intermediate by the end of this year. But I'm being set back hugely by the rink planned to be closed for over a month and counting because of this plague. I've already been off the ice for 2 weeks and they just expanded it to another 5 weeks and possibly more. It's not even possible to buy inline skates right now because all of the manufactures/businesses are shut down right now too. They could have been making BANK right now due to all the stranded skaters desperately trying to find a way to skate.

    2017 - Adult Pre-Bronze MIF/FS passed
    2018 - Adult Bronze MIF/FS, Adult Silver MIF passed
    2019 - Adult Gold MIF, Adult Silver FS passed
    2020 - Adult Intermediate MIF planned (f* you corona)

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