Physical Fitness Test

What is the PFT?

The physical fitness test (PFT) for students in California schools is the FITNESSGRAM®. The main goal of the test is to help students develop life-long habits of regular physical activity.

Students in grades five, seven, and nine take the physical fitness test. The test has six parts that show a level of fitness, and is taken over multiple days. The test results can be used by students, teachers, and parents.

There are several important changes to the PFT this school year:

1. “Healthy Fitness Zone” charts will no longer be used

2.  Schools will no longer collect or use height and weight for data reporting   

3.  School will no longer collect or use gender for data reporting

4.  Schools will no longer collect or use age for data reporting


Aerobic Capacity

  • 20-Meter PACER (Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run)
  • One-Mile Run
  • Walk Test (only for ages 13 or older)

One-Mile Run: Students are instructed to run a mile as fast as they are able. Walking is permitted for students who cannot run the total distance. The time taken to complete the run is recorded in minutes and seconds.

PACER: students are instructed to run as long as possible across a distance and at a specified pace set to music.

Walk Test: Only for use with students who are ages 13 or older. Students are instructed to walk one mile as fast as possible. Immediately after the walk, the heart rate is determined.


Abdominal Strength and Endurance

Curl-Up: Students are to complete as many CurlUps as they are able (up to a maximum of 75) at a specified pace of about one CurlUp every three seconds. On a mat, students lie on their back with their knees bent, feet flat on the mat, and their hands at their sides, palms down. Moving slowly, students curl up, sliding their fingers across a measuring strip on the mat, and then curl back down until their head touches the mat.

Trunk Extensor Strength and Flexibility

Trunk Lift: While lying face down on a flat surface, students are asked to slowly lift their upper body off the floor, using the muscles of the back, to a maximum of 12 inches.

Upper Body Strength and Endurance

(3 options)

  • Push-Up   
  • Modified Pull-Up    
  • Flexed-Arm Hang

Push-Up: Students are instructed to complete as many Push-Ups as possible at a specified pace (of about one push-up every three seconds), up to a maximum of 75.



The Physical Fitness Test Fact Sheet answers questions about the what, why, who, how, and when for the PFT.

This page was last updated on February 16, 2022