procedure: There are two variations of this test, with the lines placed either 15 or 20 meters apart. The 15 m test distance is used for the 2nd and 3rd grade or when there are space limitations. The test involves continuous running
between the two lines in time to recorded beeps.
The time between recorded beeps decrease each minute (level) requiring an increase in pace. The subjects continue until they are unable to keep pace with the beeps. There are a total of 21 levels, which would take approximately 21 minutes to complete.
scoring: The score is the level and number
of shuttles reached before the athlete was unable to keep up with
the recording for two consecutive ends. The test scores can be entered into the FitnessGram software for analysis. If the 15m version is used, there is a conversion chart to convert scores on the 15m PACER to a 20m score to enter in the FitnessGram software.
target population: The test is suitable for sports teams and school
groups of all ages, but not for people in which a maximal exercise
test could be considered dangerous.
reliability: Reliability would depend on how strictly
the test is run, and the practice allowed for the subjects. Several practice trials would be ideal.
advantages: Large groups can perform this test all
at once for minimal costs. Also, the test continues to maximum
effort unlike many other tests of endurance capacity. If there is not enough room to conduct the 20m test, there is a 15m version. If required you can convert the score for the 15m to 20m versions.
disadvantages: Practice and motivation levels can influence
the score attained, and the scoring can be subjective. As the
test is usually conducted outside, the environmental conditions
can also affect the results.
This test is a maximal test which requires a reasonable level of fitness - care must be taken with subject who are sick, of poor fitness or elderly.
The FitnessGram cd also provides the cadences for the curl-up and push-up portions of the test battery
Mahar, M.T., Welk, G.J., Rowe, D.A., Crotts, D.J., & McIver, K.L. (2006). Development and validation of a regression model to estimate VO2peak from PACER 20-m shuttle run performance. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, VOL 3; SUPP/2, pages S34-S46.
McClain, J., Welk, G.J., Ihmels, M., Schaben, J.W. (2006). Comparison of two versions of the PACER aerobic fitness test.Journal of Physical Activity and Health, VOL 3; SUPP/2, pages S47-S57. also abstract published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: Volume 36(5) Supplement May 2004 p S5. conclusion: Overall, the results suggest the 15m and 20m PACER protocols provide similar information about aerobic fitness in youth. The 15m PACER protocol provides a useful alternative to the 20m protocol for schools with smaller physical education facilities.