put through paces
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put (one) through (one's) paces
To make one undergo a thorough testing or examination so as to evaluate one's worth, ability, or competence. We need someone who can begin handling complex projects right away, so we're going to put you through your paces during the assessment period, OK? The coach wanted to put the young boxer through her paces before he agreed to bring her on the Olympic team.
put somebody/something through their/its ˈpacestest somebody’s/something’s ability to do something by making them/it show how well they/it can actually perform certain actions, tasks, etc: We watched the trainer putting the police dog through its paces. ♢ They’re putting the new machinery through its paces.
These expressions refer to judging the performance of a horse before deciding to buy it.
put (someone) through (someone's) paces
To cause to demonstrate ability or skill; test: The drama coach put her students through their paces before the first performance.