CSCS Chapter 12: Principles of Test Selection and Administration

CSCS Study Guide Chapter 12

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Chapter Goals:

  1. Discuss possible reason for performing tests.
  2. Know the terminology in testing used to communicate with athletes clearly.
  3. Look at test validity and reliability.
  4. Decide what tests are appropriate.
  5. Give test protocols properly and safely.

Testing assesses athletic talent and identifies the physical abilities and areas someone needs to improve, set goals and evaluates progress.

Evaluations of Test Quality

  • Validity
    • Definition: How a test or test item measures the thing it is meant to measure.
    • The most important characteristic in testing.
    • Construct Validity: The ability for a test to represent underlying construct.
    • Face Validity: The appearances to the athlete, and other people watching the test, of what is measured.
    • Content Validity: This assessment is done by experts  and the testing covers all relevant subtopics or component abilities in the appropriate proportions.
    • Criterion referenced validity: How much test scores associate with other measures of the same ability.
      • Concurrent validity is how much test scores associate with other tests of the same ability that are accepted.
      • Convergent validity is evidenced through a high positive correlation of the test results being assessed and the measures of the construct that are recognized.
      • Predictive validity is how much the test score corresponds with behavior or performance in the future.
      • Discriminant validity is how much a test distinguishes between different constructs and is shown through low correlation of test results and tests of different constructs.
  • Reliability
    • Measure of the degrees of consistency and/or repeatability of tests.
    • Error measurement may come from these:
      • Intrasubject Variability: Lack of performance that is consistent by the tested person.
      • Lack of Interrater reliability. Interrater reliability: How much different raters agree.
      • Intrarater variability: Lack of scores by the tester that are consistent.
      • Test failure that provides results that are consistent.

Test Selection

  • Metabolic energy functions
    • Consider the sports’ energy demands when making tests.
  • Biomechanical movement pattern specificity
    • The ore similar and applicable to movements in the sport, the better the test is.
  • Experience and Training Status
    • Take into account the athlete’s ability to perform techniques.
    • Take into account the athlete’s strength and endurance program.
  • Age and Sex
    • Both of these factors can affect experiences, interests, and abilities.
  • Environmental Factors
    • Higher temperatures and humidity may impair the performance, have health risks, and decrease validity of aerobic endurance tests.
    • Temperature changes may decrease the ability for someone to compare test results over time.
    • Altitude may change performance on aerobic endurance tests, but not strength and power tests.

For tests to be valid, tests must resemble energy requirements and sport specific movements for the ability being tested.

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Experience, training status, age, and sex may affect performance. We must take these factors into account when choosing tests. Temperature humidity, and altitude may influence performance on tests, so these factors need to be standardized as much as they can be.

Test Administration

  • Health and Safety Considerations
    • Know the test conditions that may threaten athlete’s health.
    • Observe signs and symptoms of health problems that warrant exclusion from tests.
    • Observe the health status of athletes prior to, during and post max exertion tests.
  • Aerobic Endurance Testing in the Heat
    • Weeks prior to testing, athletes need to engage in enough training for a fitness baseline in the activity to be tested.
    • You shouldn’t test in extreme heat and humidity.
    • Indoor facilities should be used when temps are high, or early or late testing times should happen.
    • Athletes need to be acclimated to heat and humidity for a minimum of one week before testing.
    • Athletes should be well hydrated 24 hours before aerobic tests in the heat.
    • Athletes need 150-250 mL of fluid every 15 minutes.
    • Light colored clothing is the preferable.
    • Know the signs of possible symptoms of heat exhaustion.
    • Know the symptoms of hyponatremia or water intoxication.
    • Encourage athletes to eat foods that have a lot of magnesium and potassium.
    • Have medical coverage available.
  • Selection and Training of Testers
    • Give testers practice and training. This gives your testers consistency.
  • Recording Forms
    • Have scoring forms ready prior to the tests to increase how efficient you are and reduce the amount of recording errors.
  • Test Format
    • Think about if the athlete is going to be tested at once or in groups. The same tester needs to give the test to every athlete. One test should be given at a time.
  • Testing Batteries and Multiple Testing Trials
    • Large groups can be done with duplicate test setups.
    • Give 2 – 3 minutes of rest for attempts not close to the athlete’s max, 3 – 5 minutes for attempts that are close to their max, and a minimum of 5 minutes between the test batteries.

Sequence of Tests

  • Nonfatiguing tests
  • Agility tests
  • Max power and strength tests
  • Sprint tests
  • Local muscular endurance tests
  • Fatiguing anaerobic capacity tests
  • Aerobic Capacity tests

Preparing Athletes for Testing

  • Announce dates, times, and purposes of a test battery in advance.
  • Host pretest practice sessions.
  • Give clear and simple instruction.
  • Show the proper test performance.
  • Get together pretest warm-ups.
  • Let athletes know their scores after trials.
  • Give cool down periods that are supervised.

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