This U.S. Bureau of Mines report is intended to assist coal mine operators in the selection of longwall supports by providing advanced guidelines for performance testing and standardized test documentation to facilitate support comparisons. These advanced guidelines culminate in a series of proposed tests to evaluate (1) support resistance characteristics, (2) stiffness characteristics, (3) leg mechanics, (4) stability, (5) load transfer mechanics, and (6) structural integrity. The Bureau has conducted extensive studies on shield mechanics to identify boundary conditions that induce loading in support components, which is often not included in currrent testing techniques. This report discusses influential parameters that affect support behavior and provides insight into how components are loaded and what conditions produce the most severe loading. Testing philosophies and techniques in both active and static frames are discussed. Proper methods for determining support resistance are described, and instrumentation requirements for advanced performance testing are provided.