Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Versions of the Beep Test

There are various versions of the beep test, each with slight variations in test timings. Since its introduction in 1982, the standard 20m test has evolved and adapted. Depending on the source, the test timings and distance used may differ slightly.

Evolution and History

The beep test originated from the University of Montreal Track Test, an incremental continuous running aerobic fitness test conducted on a 400m running track. This test followed audio cues that increased the pace every two minutes. To make it suitable for indoor testing and controlled environmental conditions, the 20m shuttle run test was developed. The original shuttle run test, described by Léger and Lambert (1982), consisted of two-minute stages. Two years later, the protocol was updated to one-minute stages (Léger et al., 1984).

Current Variations

Since its inception, there have been several variations of the beep test published. Although the names used to describe these versions may sound different, most of them are very similar. The test has been referred to as the beep or bleep test, multi-stage fitness test, MSFT, MST, 20-meter shuttle run test, yo-yo endurance test, PACER, and Aero test. In French, it is known as the “Test de Luc-Léger.” It’s worth noting that the yo-yo test is a separate test altogether.

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When interpreting the results of the beep test, it’s essential to consider the version being used and ensure that you have relevant norms for that specific version. Tomkinson et al. (2003) provide a comprehensive review of protocols. For example, the Beep Shuttles page lists the number of shuttles for two different versions of the test.

Differences Around the World

Various countries have developed their own versions of the beep test. Here are a few notable examples:

  • United Kingdom: The British National Coaching Foundation has a variant of the test. Participants start at a speed of 8.0 km/hr, with subsequent stages increasing by 0.5 km/hr each time. In the UK, this version of the test is known as the “Bleep Test.”

  • Australia: The Australian Coaching Council, under the Australian Sports Commission, has produced two versions of the 20-meter shuttle run test. Both versions consist of one-minute stages, and the speed increases by 0.5 km/hr each stage.

  • Ireland: The Queen’s University of Belfast developed a hybrid protocol, combining elements from the British and Australian versions. This version starts at 8.0 km/hr and increases by 0.5 km/hr for each one-minute stage. It is also used for the endurance version of the yo-yo test.

  • Canada: Canada has its own version, starting at 8.5 km/hr and increasing by 0.5 km/hr. It should be noted that the Canadian version begins at the zero stage, which differs from most other versions.


The beep test has undergone various adaptations and has different versions worldwide. It is crucial to understand the version being used to interpret the results accurately. Familiarizing yourself with the specific protocols and norms associated with the version you are using will ensure the most accurate analysis of the test results.

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Q: What are the different variations of the beep test?

A: The beep test has several variations, including the beep or bleep test, multi-stage fitness test, MSFT, MST, 20-meter shuttle run test, yo-yo endurance test, PACER, and Aero test.

Q: Where can I find norms for specific versions of the beep test?

A: To find norms for specific versions of the beep test, refer to relevant research papers or resources provided by reputable fitness organizations.

Q: Is the beep test the same as the yo-yo test?

A: No, the beep test and yo-yo test are separate tests with their own protocols and objectives.

Q: Are there any country-specific variations of the beep test?

A: Yes, various countries have developed their versions of the beep test, such as the UK, Australia, Ireland, and Canada. Each version may have slight differences in protocols and speed increments.

Q: How can I accurately interpret the results of the beep test?

A: Accurate interpretation requires identifying the specific version of the beep test used and referencing the appropriate norms associated with that version.

Q: What are some resources to learn more about the beep test?

A: You can find more information about the beep test on the official Auralpressure website: Auralpressure.