Figure skating in the U.S. can be either competitive or recreational, and those learning to skate can choose either route. While competitive skaters are required to participate in the U.S. testing structure to eventually compete in qualifying competitions, recreational skaters can also opt to take tests in order to continually challenge themselves and their abilities.
The official tests of U.S. Figure Skating may be taken by all figure skaters who are members of a member club or collegiate club, individual members who are currently registered with U.S. Figure Skating and are otherwise qualified under these rules, as well as by members of a member association of the ISU.
Tests are marked on a "pass" or "retry" basis. Some tests have numeric marks associated with them that determine if the test is a "pass" or "retry." These are used to establish a "passing" average, and judges use this number as a basis for the quality of the test. Different tests have different standards for "pass" and "retry," along with different procedures for reskating elements in a test. For details, candidates should consult the rulebook or their coach for the particular test to be taken. If a test is marked "retry" a skater may not retake the test prior to the 27th day following the date of the original test.
For all tests other than adult and masters tests, age is not a factor. To qualify for an adult test, the candidate must be 21 years of age or older. To qualify for masters tests, the candidate must be 50 years of age or older.