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Is PE Testing Helpful for Athletes?

Posted by BridgeAthletic on Sep 9, 2019 8:03:38 AM

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In keeping with our back-to-school theme, this latest study sought to understand the effects that fitness tests have on students’ subjective experiences in PE and if feelings about PE differed across genders.

While some strong emotions emerged across different tests, what they found about the testing implementation process should be used to inspire further investigation.

Researchers tested 273 middle school aged children.

Each participant completed the Fitnessgram™ battery of tests.

Two weeks later they were presented with a questionnaire focused on their thoughts and emotions behind the tests.

Findings, unsurprisingly illustrated that both girls and boys with higher scores on the test expressed less anger towards the test.

Boys preferred the curl-up tests while girls favored the sit-and-reach.

Aside from these results, researchers could not correlate negative emotive responses toward PE testing.

That said, they did make some important observations about the implementation: 

  1. Test results were not shared with parents/ guardians or students
  2. Tests were performed outside of the general PE curriculum
  3. Past results were not compared to current performance
  4. Scores were not used for any large-scale surveillance purposes


So the question remains: what is the point of these poorly regulated tests? We look forward to seeing how future studies evaluate the lifecycle of the student-athlete and how these tests potentially impede motivation to pursue athletics in high school and college-age students.


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