Internal mock grade assessments

What is it?
It is for swimmers to practice their grade elements in a ‘mock’ assessment environment, held during normal training sessions.
Why is the club doing it?
It will provide written feedback to all swimmers and their parents.
It will provide feedback to the coaches on the main areas they should focus on.
It will enable the coaches to determine more accurately who should take their grade assessment on the official assessment days (usually in March and September).
It will ensure that the swimmers are fully comfortable with the assessment process and the elements required.
It will ensure that the swimmers are working on their grade elements (and in particular splits) throughout the year.
Who is it for?
Anyone who wants to try a grade assessment
Does everyone have to do it?
No, it is completely up to the swimmer whether to take part. However, if a swimmer has not taken part in any mock assessments they are unlikely to be put forward to an official assessment day.
I have only recently joined the club – should I do it?
It is up to each swimmer to decide whether to do the mock assessment. We suggest that everyone takes part so that they have a benchmark from which to develop.
What does each swimmer have to do?
It is important that each swimmer knows what is expected of them in the assessment. They need to read through the booklets in advance of the mock assessment and bring a spare assessment booklet with any correction notes to refer to during the mock assessment. They should also work on their splits and land work at home in preparation.
They should do their best on the day, remembering that this is a mock assessment so it doesn’t matter if they pass or fail the elements. It is purely to get a benchmark of where they are and to receive feedback on their progress.
At the end of the mock assessment they will hand in their booklets. The marks will be recorded by the club and then the booklets returned to the swimmer (hopefully on the same day). An assessor will talk them (and their parent/s) through the booklet so they understand what they did well and what they need to work on.
What should each swimmer bring on the day of their mock assessment?
The relevant skills booklet in a plastic wallet to keep it dry (the booklets will not be provided by the club – they can be downloaded here)
A spare booklet with any notes that they have made
A towel to keep warm on the poolside during each element
They can wear any costume and cap but will need a black costume and white swim cap for the official assessment day so we encourage swimmers to wear that
What if I fail?
There is no pass or fail as this is a mock assessment. However, it is expected that most swimmers will not pass many of the individual elements, particularly when they are just beginning each grade level. This is not a problem at all. It is important that each swimmer goes through the booklet with an assessor at the end of the day so that they understand what it means. Following the mock assessment their coaches will be able to work with the swimmers on the elements that have been highlighted as needing development. At the next assessment they will be able to see the improvement.
How long should it take to pass Grade One at an official grade assessment day?
The average time it takes swimmers at Edinburgh Synchro to pass Grade One is a year. However, some swimmers have taken three years to do so, while others pass within six months. It depends on the prior skills that the swimmer brings to the club, the commitment to training and the preparation in advance of the assessment. As there are only two official assessment days each year (March and September) it is important that our swimmers are as prepared as possible for them. This is why we have set up the internal scheme of mock assessments. It will also help swimmers, parents and coaches determine who is ready for an official assessment and who should wait.
Where do I find more information about the grades?
There is some information, and all the booklets on on the Grades page here. We can also explain how it works at training and at the parent forums.
I have a question that isn’t covered above
Don’t hesitate to ask. Karen Foster is the co-ordinator and is at most training sessions. Otherwise email the club secretary ( and she will forward on your question. In addition any questions are welcome at the parent forum, held every couple of months.