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Everything you need to know about the Beep Test

What is the Beep Test?

The beep test is a test of aerobic fitness, specifically an estimate of maximal oxygen intake (VO2 max). The beet test is designed to test your maximal output and as such participants run the test until fatigue.

The multi stage fitness test (also know as the bleep test, endurance test, yo yo test, pacer test, shuttle run test) is a standard fitness test used by professionals to test cardiovascular fitness.

How do I conduct a Beep Test?

This multi-stage fitness test involves running back and forth between two markers at 20 metres apart at an increasing pace as indicated by audio beeps. Only on an audio beep can a participant move from one marker to the other. As the test progresses in stages the interval time between audio beeps decreases and as such the participants need to increase their pace.

The test is structured into stages, with each stage having multiple beeps. The test will start at 8km/hour and then for the majority of the test each stage will see an increase in pace by 0.5km/hour.

Your fitness level will then be calculated based on how long you can keep the pace. The test ends for a participant when they can no longer keep up with pace set by the beeps.

Why should I use the Beep Test?

The beep test is used by various organisations as an entry or requirement test. These organisations include the Police, Fire and Emergency Response, Army, Air Force and Navy and Armed Forces in Australia UK, Canada, and around the world. The Beep Test is also a standard fitness test used by Sporting Teams (including but not limited to soccer, football, Australian Rules AFL, hockey, rugby, cricket, athletics and tennis).

The required scores vary between organisations and sometimes by age and sex. The scores can also vary from year to year and as such you should consult directly to find current requirements. The typical score required is between stage 6 and 13.

How do I set up the Beep Test?

Two markers need to be placed 20 metres apart (15 metres if conducting the 15 metres test) on flat level ground. When testing in a group it is a good idea to have the markers set up such that each participant has a marker to the left and right a bit more than arm reach apart. This will create lanes for the participates to run in.

How many beeps can a participant miss in the Beep Test?

Participants are allowed at any time to miss one beep, but must catch up by the second beep. The test ends for the participant when consecutive beeps are missed. These rules may vary slightly by tester. For example, some will allow catching up over 3 beeps or may even end the test once target has been achieved.

When do I record the score?

The score will be recorded at the last successful stage marker.

Example scenario: A participant has achieved 5.1 and when the beep sounds she turns to the next marker. Shortly after the voice advises “five two” to indicate she is currently running stage 5 marker 2. The beep sounds but she has not reached the marker so she continues to the marker and turns to attempt the make it to the subsequent marker before another beep sounds. If she doesn’t make it to the 5.3 marker by the beep her score will be 5.1. If she does make it then she would have achieved 5.3 so far and can continue the test as normal.