The beep test, also known as the PACER test or multi-stage fitness test, is a common assessment used to measure aerobic fitness and cardiovascular endurance. It involves running back and forth between two points that are 20 meters apart, keeping pace with a series of beeps that get faster each minute. The test continues until the participant can no longer keep up with the beeps.
The beep test is scored based on the level and number of shuttles (laps) completed before failing to keep pace. Each level consists of several shuttle runs at the same speed. As the test progresses, the time between beeps gets shorter, requiring participants to speed up. Reaching level 13 on the beep test is considered a good benchmark of fitness for many people. However, whether or not level 13 is considered “good” depends on several factors.
What score is level 13 on the beep test?
The beep test uses a scoring system that combines the level and number of shuttles achieved. Here is how level 13 translates into an overall score:
So reaching level 13 means achieving a score between 13.1 and 13.9. The maximum score at level 13 is 13.9.
Is level 13 a good score?
Whether or not level 13 on the beep test is considered a good score depends on a few factors:
- Age and gender – Standards are different for men vs. women and vary by age group. A 13 for a 50 year old is impressive, while a 13 for a 15 year old male may be average.
- Fitness goals – Competitive athletes will have higher expectations than general fitness enthusiasts. Level 13 may be excellent for a casual runner but mediocre for a soccer player.
- Improvement – Going from a 10 to a 13 shows great progression, while going from a 15 to a 13 may be a sign of decline in conditioning.
- Effort level – Maxing out at 13 while giving full effort is admirable, while hitting 13 but barely trying demonstrates less fitness.
Some general benchmarks for whether level 13 is a good score:
|Category||Level 13 Assessment|
|Recreational Athletes||Above Average|
|Competitive Athletes||Average to Good|
As shown, level 13 is generally considered an excellent score for middle-aged or older adults. For young adults and athletes it is good or above average. For teenagers and children it may represent an average fitness level compared to peers.
Beep test standards by age and gender
Official fitness standards for the beep test vary around the world. But most standards classify results into categories like poor, average, good, excellent, and superior based on age and gender norms.
Here are two examples of beep test standards:
Australia Institute of Sport Standards
Fitness Canada Standards
|Age Group||Gender||Needs Improvement||Fair||Good||Excellent|
Based on these standards, a score of level 13 would generally fall in the “good” or “excellent” categories, confirming it as a solid score for most adults. Teenagers and younger athletes may be seeking levels in the superior or excellent ranges.
Tips for improving your beep test score
Here are some tips if your goal is to reach level 13 or higher on the beep test:
- Engage in regular cardio training – Running, cycling, swimming etc. will build cardiovascular endurance.
- Do interval training – Mix high intensity intervals with rest periods to mimic the beep test format.
- Increase running speed and distance – Slowly build up speed and distance running to prepare.
- Lose excess body weight – Carrying extra weight makes running harder.
- Get adequate rest and recovery – Don’t overdo training and allow downtime between hard efforts.
- Properly fuel and hydrate – Eat a diet high in healthy carbs and drink plenty of fluids.
- Use a pacing strategy – Start conservatively and gradually increase speed vs. sprinting too hard early.
- Practice frequently – Take practice beep tests to improve technique and mental readiness.
- Train anaerobic system – The final levels require tapping into fast-twitch muscle fibers.
- Improve running economy – Focus on form, posture, arm drive, and relaxation.
Following an organized training regimen tailored to the beep test can help maximize scores for those seeking to hit level 13 and beyond. Having realistic goals for age and fitness level is also key. For some, reaching level 10 would be a major accomplishment. Consistency and effort over time will lead to beep test improvement.
In summary, achieving level 13 on the beep test represents a good level of fitness for most adults. For teens and young adults it is considered decent, while athletes may view it as more average. Official standards rate level 13 as good, excellent, or superior depending on gender and age. With the right training and effort over time, improving from lower levels up to 13 and beyond is certainly achievable for most people. While a challenging cardio test, the beep test is a motivational goal that promotes building cardiovascular endurance and speed.