How to Prepare for the Pre-Preliminary Moves in the Field Figure Skating Test

A Young Figure Skater
A Young Figure Skater. Westend61 / Westend61 Collection / Getty Images

The first "advanced" figure skating test, beyond US Figure Skating's Basic Skills tests, that ice skaters will take is the Pre-Preliminary Moves in the Field test. The test is required before a skater can take free skating tests or pair skating tests. Ice dancers and synchronized figure skaters are required to pass certain moves in the field tests before being eligible to compete.

Memorize the Order of the Test Elements

  • Forward perimeter stroking in the counter-clockwise and clockwise directions
  • Forward consecutive outside edges
  • Forward consecutive inside edges
  • Backward consecutive outside edges
  • Backward consecutive inside edges
  • Forward spirals on both the right and left legs in a straight line down the length of the rink
  • Waltz Eight

Watch Other Figure Skaters Take the Test

The Pre-Preliminary moves test is a formal skating test that is usually administered at official figure skating club test sessions. The testing skater may be the only one on the ice surface and is judged by highly qualified judges appointed by U.S. Figure Skating. The quality expected to pass all Moves in the Field figure skating tests is high.  Take the time to watch other figure skaters testing at U.S. Figure Skating test sessions so you can fully understand what it takes to prepare for the test.

Plan on Spending Sufficient Time Preparing for the Test

Every figure skater will master the required pre-pre moves test skills differently. It may take ​anywhere from six months to a year to pass the Pre-Preliminary Moves in the Field test.

Find a Qualified Figure Skating Coach

In order to pass the Pre-Preliminary Moves in the Field Test, private figure skating lessons are required.


Take the time to practice the elements in the Pre-Pre moves in the field test every time you go to the rink to practice. At least one-third of a skater's practice session time should be devoted to "moves."

Join a U.S. Figure Skating Member Club or/and Join U.S. Figure Skating

U.S. Figure Skating requires full membership to take Moves in the Field tests. US Figure Skating membership is included in a figure skating club's membership.

Decide What to Wear in Advance

Consult with your coach way before testing day regarding your testing attire, hair, and makeup.