The beep test is a test of fitness, and is used as a measure of your aerobic capacity. It is not something that you would normally train for, as you would usually be doing the training for your specific sport and using the test to determine if you have reached your training goals.
However, the test is also commonly used as an important selection criteria for some sporting teams or jobs. Therefore many people need to train specifically for the test in order to reach a desired score.
Ideally, the test should be a true representation of your aerobic fitness. However, due to the nature of the test, there may be inaccuracies and you may not be reaching the level you have the potential to. I see that there are three main areas that can be addressed to maximize your beep test score: mental toughness, pacing strategies and physical conditioning. Depending on what level you are at, one or more of these can be used to help you achieve your potential in this test.
If you follow all of the following suggestions, you should at least reach your potential in the test, based on your current fitness level. Good luck.
Do Physical Training
The beep test is a measure of your aerobic fitness. If you really want to significantly improve your score in the test, you need to do some aerobic type training. You cannot avoid it, you will have to do some hard work. There's elsewhere more details about training for the beep test.
If you don't want to work hard, and/or you don't have the time to make significant changes to your fitness, here are some other methods to help maximize your beep test score.
You should be physically ready to perform the test. You should have recovered with at least 24 hours since the last heavy training session, and be free from injury or illness. Make sure you hydrate well before hand (see pre-exercise hydration), and have a light meal 1-2 hours before the test. You should also feel comfortable, by wearing loose clothing and by having firm fitting footwear with a good grip. You should also perform a light warm-up before the test.
Be Mentally Tough
The beep test can be a mentally tough test for some, and some good improvements can often be made, without any change in your base fitness, by a more positive state of mind. Pushing through the pain barrier may help you reach a higher level.
Use Sound Technique
Using an efficient turning technique you will minimize any excess energy wasted during the turning phase. As you come in to the turn, time it so that only one foot just touches over the line, and turn sharply, not following a wide arc which will mean more distance traveled. You should drop your hips slightly as you turn, and push off strongly for the first few strides to get up to pace. When you get near the end of a level, try to be on time with the beep, and step up your pace straight away. Run efficiently to conserve energy - run with your shoulders relaxed and breath deeply and smoothly.
Use Pacing Strategies
Also without any change in aerobic fitness, you may be able to improve your score by pacing yourself so that energy is not wasted from end to end. Try and stay relaxed, quickly getting up to the required pace. Running at a consistent pace will be more efficient.
- Free download of the beep test mp3
- Some Beep Test Tips to help you go further
- Purchase beep test training levels audio files of extended sections of the beep test that you can use for training.
- Test Procedure — Detailed instructions for conducting the beep test. Also video examples.
- Calculating Your Score — calculator to determine your VO2max equivalent score.
- What's your best score? some results of athletes.
- Beep Shuttle Listing — a listing of the number of runs for each level.
BEEP TEST PACKAGE - only $10
The 20m Beep Test (male & female voices) + Training Levels + 'Beeps Only' track + Excel Spreadsheet + eBook Guide (PARQ, consent form, test recording sheet, warm-up, tips, norms + much more!)
The ultimate beep test package, including two versions of the beep test audio file (male and female voice), an audio track with only the beeps (no voices), 8 audio tracks for training at specific test levels, an Excel spreadsheet with an offline calculator and tables for recording, analyzing and presenting results, a 12-page eBook beep test guide which includes a PARQ, informed consent form, and test recording sheet plus much more. All these files are available individually for $5 each, or even better get them all for $10. Check out the details.
Commenting is closed on this page, though you can read some previous comments below which may answer some of your questions.
- The kids that score these amazing scores above 10 simply don't do the beep test correctly. You must STOP at each line. Every 20 meters. TURN. RUN. You are NOT allowed to do continuous running. You are NOT ALLOWED to run ahead of the beep in other words continuous running. If you get ahead of the beep. You must STOP at the line and wait for the next beep. Once you start doing the beep test PROPERLY you will see your score collapse to what it is supposed to be. The main energy is used in slowing down to the line, stopping, turning, then accelerating from a full stop 50 or 60 times throughout the beep test. A 1,000 meter run in a beep test, which is about Level 7, is equivalent to about a 3,000 meter (3km) continuous or normal run. If it was just a continuous run you wouldn't need the beeps. Now go and try again. Those below average wil score a 3 or 4. Those who are average will score about a 5 and those who are good will score about an 8. Those who practice and practice aerobic fitness will score about a 10. That is the level of a professional footballer, fitness instructor and soldier.... (from YO, Mar 2013)
- I played Division I soccer and every one of us was required to get to level 14 in order to play in matches. We all passed. It's a great test and while it's very difficult, there are 21 levels. Getting past lvl 10 is not 'unbelievable' and I'm sure there are plenty of young kids out there who can do it. (from DB, Apr 2013)
- Wow, thanks all for the info. I've been trying to do this all on my own and it's just TOO hard. I cannot get past 4.5 and now I hope to start increasing that. I think I have focused too much on long pack marches, heavy resistence training at the gym and gym cardio. I will start implementing some of the golden nuggets offered here and hopefully I will get to my goal of 8 eventually (only need 6.5 for RAAF, but I really want to be much better than that as it will serve me well during initial training). Thanks all. :) (from Peter Macklin, Mar 2013)
- Hey, i am doing the beep test tomorrow! For all those who want to be better All you have to do is be TOUGH. haha. well just be clear of your goal. if you want a score of 10, don't stop until it. (from e2, Mar 2013)
- I have to disagree im in high school and this is my first time doing it and i got a 10.5. and i used to get 12 s last yr. do they use an easier test in high school or am i a legend or something (from james, Mar 2013)
- I do the beep test every week on fridays. What I do to prevent my throat from getting dry and making me cough and stop running is I drink alot of water, I chew gum (not minty) and I breathe through my nose untill the level is over. Moving to the next level, you will get a few seconds to rest. During that time, I strongly suggest you take big breathes through your mouth. When you start running, breathe through your nose again. The reason why is because breathing through your mouth makes your throat more dry than breathing from your nose. Try running on your tippy-toes too and don't stomp down no matter how tired you are. Do not jog to the start, save your energy. When you hit the line, don't go past it. Stop ON the line. Your scores will improve every week or if you work on running up on big hills or jog for like 15 mins straight. Wait two days and jog 20 mins straight. Every two days, add 5 mins.(from Maggie, Feb 2013)
- Hey Guys, I am training for the Australian Army Special forces entry fitness test (need a 10.1 to pass). I have an avid smoker for the last three years and I am proud to say I have given it up!! Back when I was a school i was managing level 10-11 and I thought that was great!! I recently took the test again after a few weeks of running up and down the local bike track and expected/hoped I would get around level 8-9 when I tried the beep test. I was rather nervous when I first started but it just melted away and to my surprise I got a 12.6, the next week I got a 14.3. I am so very proud of myself, so proud I am willing to give some tips.
1: Drink 3-4 glasses of water about 10-15 minutes before starting and have a nice hearty breakfast (If you're Aussie Weetbix it all the way!!! =D )
2: I don't care what anyone says, the beeps may be annoying but they acctually are a great help. Listen hard and find the correct timing and the beeps help you keep in time.
3: Each time you have to turn/pivot at the end of the 20 meters use a diferent foot to pivot yourself around. ( this is good for two reasons one; it distracts you from how hard your body is working and two; it actually trains your agility as well.
4: This is the most important tips by far! Be mentally tough!!! If your in a group when you do this block out everyone else and just run for you,m you will perform better if your not worried about what other people are thinking or if they are watching you.
Mentally push past the pain barrier, why everyone doesn't do this I don't know. You are already running the bloody test so why not give it all you have got. You can improve you score by one or two levels just by sucking it up, I went from a 12.6 (which was my best score ever at the time) to a fantastic 14.3 just because I refused to give up.
Hope this helps guys!! (from Dave Cooper, Feb 2013)
- The guy training for the special forces test who had been running for a couple of weeks your score is wrong there is no way you possiably ran a 14.2 in a month without heavy training before hand a 14.2 is a professional athletes score no doubt you have the 15 meter test or you didn't measure it out right I used to run a 16 until I found out it was a couple of meters short of 20 meters and only run a 14 yes a couple of meters make a huge differance and I'm a amateur athlete who's been running my whole life your score is wrong
- I have ever the beep test tomorrow but it's the easiest when you think positive thoughts it it really motivates you to go farther!!Don't forget to pace yourself!!!! (from sarah, Feb 2013)
- It is impossible for anyone other than a supreme athlete to achieve a 14 in the bep test unless it is done entirely incorrectly, in other words not done properly. You must start and come to a complete stop every 20 meters. You cannot run in a U turn or horse shoe is that is far easier than stopping and starting. It is against the rules. You cannot get ahead of the beep and continue to be ahead of the beep. That is also against the rules. If you are ahead of the beep you must stop when you reach the end of 20 meters, turn, then start again. The whole idea of the beep test is the start stop action which draws masssively large amounts of oxygen, much larger amounts than you would by continuous running. So people scoring 14s and 15s on a proper beep test? Don't believe it. It's impossible for anyone other than trained Athletes to achieve a 14 when done correctly. Most people on their first try will achieve a 3 or a 4. After three months training they may achieve a 6 or 7 or 8. But that's it! I have seen it and I have done it. I have also watched kids do it and claim these ridiculous scores. As soon as you make them do the proper stop start action each 20 mteres they drop like flys. (from Joe, Feb 2013)
- Listen Joe, i took the beep test at school a few weeks ago and had a 14 year old get to 10:5 at which point the test was stopped because everyone had dropped out (i only got 8:5) (from Daniel, Feb 2013)
- I got 14.2 and i only just turned 13. concentrate and switch on. words of wisdom (from hasan, Feb 2013)
- I got an 11 on the beep test last time i had to do it (5 months ago) i think a big tip is that in the first stages (1-6 ) where there is a big gap between the beeps, the trick is to continue running slowly on the spot while at the other end. the change of heart rate tires you out more than the actual running. the other portion of the test is to focus really hard on your breathing, and if allowed, keep a cool water bottle with you. by about stage 7-9 most people feel an "iron like taste" elevated salivation (spit in the mouth) and pain in their lungs. this isn't a reason to drop out. try to push through it, it's possible! :) i also find it helpful to eat a lot of protein beforehand. protein is good for the brain and focus, which is what you need to block out distraction and focus on the obnoxious beeping noise. (from seohyun, Jan 2013)
- I got 14.4 on the beep test last year, I was 14. I'm doing it again tomorrow. Just focus on the beep and pace yourself, also keep well hydrated. (from Corey, Jan 2013)
- I ran a level 15 and i'm 16. I put it down to running separately from the main group. It helps you concentrate on your run, also wear shorts not tracksuit bottoms. (from Tf, Jan 2013)
- I think there's a lot of people who are living in fantasy land or are troll-land. And as for the loser blaming the teachers- enough said! Little kids saying they're scoring 18.6 blah! Blah! Blah! Here in Aus professional footballer got 15 something and they were saying he was a freak.(from Wolf, Jan 2013)
- Hey in harry and I got 14.1 un my bleep test in only 13 but its the highest in my year group all you have to do us block out all sounds but the bleep pace yourself and control your breathing also if necessary turn before line only if your 1 step away though and you'll be slightly ahead of the beep meaning you get a high score this works if your fat not like me who weighs 5 Stone 6 pounds. (from harry, Jan 2013)
- The beep test comes down to you being ready for it and also willing to push through the pain you will suffer in the test , but make sure you give it your all because the worst thing you can do is not give it your all and regret it later , Good Luck in your next beep test. (from Wellington Nem, Jan 2013)
- I did this test a few weeks ago, and i'm doing it again tomorrow. I'm a 14 yr old boy and I scored 9.9. I found that its alright if you get you breathing sorted, get into a rythm of possibly breath in (through the nose) for 3 steps, then out gradually (through your mouth) for another 3 steps, if that makes sense. Its easy if you can think of a song with a strong beat to it, for example the Rocky theme music, i know its cheesy but it really helps. (from Samueel, Jan 2013)
- IT's Soo Hard espeacliy for fat people (from V, Dec 2012)
- I play tennis and im only 12 years old and i got 18.8 which isnt that good but the tips i can give you is its not a race beause most of people sprint at the start which reduces there stamina. (from zumur, Dec 2012)
- Hi i'm cameron but known as cammy. i took the bleep test in pe and got 11 bu tht was when i was in 1st yeer i later took it with falkirk fc professional football team u14's, i got a 15.7 but compared to the rest it was nothing, I had costocontrytest or something to do with asthma and i was really bad with breathing so a tip is if yu have asthma always keep an inhaler handy and dont think if your behind that your not makin it because you must pace yourself (from cammy, Nov 2012)
- I did this test a few weeks ago in school. I think that is should be done in a big aired room or outside( as long as its not too hot or too cold) because my class did it in the gym and we were all cramped side by side and didn't have much room. It helped that the teachers told us a few weeks bofore so I had chance to practice sprinting and running however the environment ruined it for me as last year I got a 13.3 and this year I got a 11.2 and I blame it on the teachers giving us no indervidual space to complete the test. (from Kate, Nov 2012)
- I'm doing a beep test tomorrow. My brother done it when he was in 1st year and basically you just have to keep at the same pace as everyone and gradually get faster. Dont go too fast at the start. but dont go too slow. Also make sure you warm up and drink lots of water (from Annie, Nov 2012)
- I did the bleep test a few times in PE. I was put in the BTEC group because I'm apparently rubbish at all sports however I got 8.6 (I'm a 15 year old girl) and beat all of the GCSE PE grls.
I think the best advice is not to panic before it and to work on your willpower and just not let yourself stop (I only stopped when I felt dizzy and thought I was going to faint or be sick). (from k, Nov 2012)
- I got a 11.8 lat year when i was 12-13 now im going for a 13 minimum im gunna stay positive and a lil tip dont stop mentaly keep going until you hit the group i have lit asmha so i need 2 alsaywe be breathing properly and steadily and the fact that i can do that makes my score so much better dont stop until your body cant take it anymore not that your brain says u cant take it even more dont stop until your body shuts down and u hit the floor ruuning and try 2 prepare mentaly for it dont freak out when your teacher says youre having a beep test (from Johnny, Nov 2012)
- I got 7.0 on the beep test today these tips might come in handy (from the guy, Nov 2012)
- I'm taking a test like this later, the Fitnessgram Pacer Test, and I hate the beeping so much. I try to stay positive, but the beeping distracts me and then I get worried and get tired. Grrrrrrr! Why can't my life be easy. :( (from Vicky, Oct 2012)
- Its also an good idea to look into some sprint training as it is known to rapidly increase your score (from j.n, Oct 2012)
- I did my bleep test a couple of weeks ago for GCSE PE, and I suck- but because I'm all cheery and happy and can keep positive I can run a little further than those who are mardy and negative all the time! (from Lucy, Oct 2012)