Obstacles for success in gto complex tests in academic educational system

Dr.Hab., Associate Professor L.G. Ryzhkova1
V.V. Bobkov2
PhD, Associate Professor M.A. Kuzmin3
PhD T.S. Ignatenko4
1Russian State University of Physical Education, Sports, Youth and Tourism (SCOLIPE), Moscow
2Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas, Moscow
3Plekhanov Russian State Universityof Economics, Moscow
4Ukhta State Technical University, Ukhta

Keywords: Russian Physical Culture and Sports “Ready for Labour and Defence” (GTO) Complex tests, physical fitness, students, physical education, test sets, tests, expert assessment.

Background. As provided by Presidential Decree #204 of May 7, 2018 ‘On the National Development Process Goals and Strategic Missions’, the Government of the Russian Federation shall secure a growing commitment for the healthy lifestyle in the country, with the share of people engaged in the habitual physical activity and sports growing to at least 55% by 2024. Since 2014 the GTO Complex has been reinstated in the country pursuant to Presidential Decree #172 of March 24, 2014 ‘On the RPCS GTO Complex’, and the key goal of the initiative is to facilitate growth of the sporting population in the country [1, 9]. University students willing to qualify for the age-specific Class V and VI badges are required to succeed in four obligatory tests plus five optional tests [3, 10] of 13 tests in total [7]. The academic physical education and sports curricula are required to facilitate the right choice of and success in the tests [2, 8].

Objective of the study was to analyze, based on an expert questionnaire servey, the factors complicating the academic trainings for and success in the GTO Complex tests.

Methods and structure of the study. We invited an expert team for the purposes of the study to help design the most efficient training system for the academic GTO Complex tests i.e. secure functional and physical progress of the trainees to the levels required for success in the tests [6, 4]. The expert team included specialists of the GTO Complex Test Centers in Moscow, sport coaches and academic Physical Education teachers and researchers having at least a 10-year service record. The experts were required to check the proposed questionnaire forms listing a wide range of issues of the physical fitness and functionality tests to find the most effective ones for the GTO Complex tests; and highlight the factors complicating the student’s success in the tests.

A degree of agreement of the expert rates was computed using the concordance ratio (W) which statistical significance was rated using criterion. Having compared the computed value with the standard, we found the computed concordance ratio being fairly accurate and positive. We used the following formula for calculations.


S is the summarized square deviations of each summarized complicating reasons from the average sum or ranks; m is the number of experts; and n is the number of reasons.

Results and discussion. The study findings are given in Table 1 hereunder.

Table 1. Expert valuations of the reasons complicating trainings for and success in the academic GTO Complex tests.

Scores and impacts


Poor functionality

Poor physicality



Reasons for typical problems reported by experts


Very high

Low overall endurance rate





Wrong choice of the tests; poor swimming, shooting, ski racing etc. skills





Respiratory function disorders (VC, FVC, Tiffno index)





Poor physical qualities: flexibility, speed, strength etc.






CTO Complex test system mismanagement/ poor organizing by the GTO Test Centers









Therefore, the reasons complicating trainings for the GTO Complex tests may be grouped as follows: (1) poor functionality with detriment to the overall endurance as verified by the cardio-respiratory system tests; (2) poor physicality also detrimental to the overall endurance; and (3) wrong choice of the optional tests further complicated by the poor accessibility/ quality of the academic swimming, shooting, skiing and wrestling services and sport facilities for the students.

Conclusion. The study found the following: (1) the academic GTO Complex test system shall secure due trainings for the tests and right choice of the tests within the frame of the academic physical education and sport service for success; (2) we recommend the optional tests (on top of the obligatory ones) including at least the shuttle sprint, grenade throw, standing long jump, recumbent-to-sitting and cross-country racing tests – for the reason that trainings for these relatively easy tests require no special equipment or facilities – as opposed to the swimming, shooting and other equipment-demanding tests; and (3) the abnormal arterial pressures, HR (Ruffier/ Robinson index), VC and FVC (Tiffeneau index) were ranked among the key limitations for the overall working capacity and endurance building purposes. Only when the progress tests show these test rates being fairly healthy and stable, the training scopes and intensities may be increased to secure due fitness for the GTO Complex tests.


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Corresponding author: fencing-rgufk@yandex.ru


The study analyzes the key obstacles for success in the Russian Physical Culture and Sports “Ready for Labour and Defence” (GTO) Complex tests and qualifications for Class V and VI badges. The study was supported by an expert team of 20 people including 3 doctors of science (in pedagogy, medicine and biology), 10 PhDs (6 in pedagogics, 2 in medicine and 2 in biology), plus the Moscow GTO Center specialists, all of them having at least a 10-year service record. Based on the test data and analyses, obstacles for success in the RPCS GTO Complex tests were grouped as follows: (1) poor functional reserves as verified by the cardio-respiratory system deficiencies, particularly low endurance rates; (2) poor physical qualities related, among other things, to the overall endurance; and (3) set of optional tests including the swimming, shooting, skiing and wrestling tests. The study findings were used to produce recommendations on how the academic trainings for the GTO Complex tests may be improved within the valid Physical Education curriculum.