What Swim Level Am I?

How skilled and comfortable am I in the water?

Non-swimmer or Beginner

A non-swimmer, may demonstrate paddling and kicking coordination but uses assistance when swimming, may demonstrate a fear of the water


Demonstrates forward motion in the water on back and front without assistance, endurance and technique need improvement


Able to swim the length of the pool without stopping, demonstrates proficient front and back stroke skills, interested in learning additional strokes

Level 1 is entry level.

    You are in Level 2 – Fundamental Aquatic Skills if you can:

    • Enter and exit the water without assistance
    • Walk, move along the gutter or swim
    • Fully submerge your face in the water, blow bubbles
    • Kick on your front and back with or without support
    • Front and back float with or without support

      You are in Level 3 – Stroke Development if you can:

      • Open eyes underwater and retrieve underwater objects
      • Front and back float without support
      • Flutter kick on front and back
      • Swim short distances in deeper water
      • Demonstrate bobbing
      • Demonstrate rotary breathing
      • Jump into the water and recover
      • Tread water using arm and leg actions

        You are in Level 4 – Stroke Improvement if you can:

        • Swim front crawl with rotary breathing
        • Demonstrate backstroke, elementary backstroke & breastroke
        • Enter water by jumping from the side
        • Dive from sitting and kneeling position
        • Tread water
        • Demonstrate bobbing while moving forward
        • Retrieve underwater objects with eyes open

          You are in Level 5 – Stroke Refinement if you can:

          • Demonstrate rotary breathing
          • Swim underwater
          • Bob in deep water
          • Dive from a standing position
          • Demonstrate the different strokes and want to build on skills and increase endurance by swimming increased distances

          You are in Level 6 – Skill Proficiency if you can:

          • Perform a shallow-angle dive in deep water
          • Perform a stride jump entry
          • Perform a feet first surface dive
          • Front and back crawl and perform the elementary backstroke for distances
          • Swim the breaststroke, sidestroke and butterfly
          • Do flip turns
          • Sculling

          For more information on private swim lessons, contact Coordinator Alexis Gross at alexisgross@umass.edu