It is commonly known that fitness is a part of the Army lifestyle. Moreover, physical fitness is not only essential to the Army’s career training but is also ingrained in the DNA of every Army soldier. Besides, if you want to dedicate your life to the Army, you need to be in peak physical condition throughout the duration of your training, and career. In this article, let ASVAB Test Pro walk you through the U.S. Army Fitness Test (ACFT) – one of the periodic and important tests. Don’t dismiss the helpful following information if you are interested in the United States Army forces.
1. About the U.S. Army Fitness Test – ACFT
The Army Combat Fitness Test, often abbreviated to ACFT, is the assessment for the physical domain of the Army’s Holistic Health and Fitness System (H2F), which focuses on your total health and wellness as a Soldier, combining your physical fitness with proper sleep, nutrition, and spiritual health.
It is informed that all U.S. Army soldiers must pass the new ACFT instead of the Army Physical Fitness Test (AFPT) in October 2020. More specifically, in October 2022, active-duty soldiers will begin ACFT record testing under the new structure, while National Guard and reserve members will begin in October 2023.
Annually, the AFCT will evaluate the physical and mental abilities of enlisted soldiers and officers upon basic training and initial training, respectively. AFCT’s scores are recorded two times per year for active duty soldiers and once per year for Army National Guard members. The ACFT is administered annually so as to boost soldier unit readiness, transform the Army’s fitness culture, decrease preventable injuries and attrition, and improve mental toughness and stamina.
2. The Components Of U.S. Army Fitness Test
The U.S. Army Combat Fitness Test is made up of six disparate events, all of which will assess physical strength, mental toughness, coordination, flexibility, and reduce preventable injuries via some physical tasks that you may encounter in combat conditions.
2.1. 3 repetition maximum deadlift (MDL)
- Requirement: You are required to lift the maximum weight possible 3 times with using a 60-pound hex bar and plates.
- Purpose: This event accesses your muscular strength, balance, flexibility
2.2. Standing Power Throw (SPT)
- Requirement: You must throw a 10-pound medicine ball backward and overhead as far as possible.
- Purpose: This event focuses on evaluating your physic power, balance, flexibility
2.3. Hand release push-up – Arm extension (HRP)
- Requirement: You are required to accomplish as many hand-release push-ups as possible in 2 mins with proper techniques as follows:
You start with the body face-down on the ground. After that, you push the body up as one unit. Then let’s lower it back down as one unit before extending both arms out in a T-formation without moving any other body part. Bring your arms back to the push-up position afterwards. Then, repeat again and again.
- Purpose: Your muscular endurance will be accessed in this event.
2.4. Sprint – drag – carry (SDC)
- Requirement: You take 50 – meter shuttles (sprint, drag, lateral, carry, sprint) as fast as possible using two 40-pound kettlebells and a 90-pound sled.
- Purpose: This event will access your muscular endurance
2.5. Plank (PLK)
- Requirement: You need to maintain a plank for as long as possible with proper plank form to perform successfully and decrease the risk of injury:
+ Put your hands no more than one fist’s width apart.
+ Place your feet no more than one boot’s width apart.
+ Place your elbows directly under your shoulders in line
+ Hold the body in a straight line from the head to the ankles
+ Don’t sag lower back or hips
+ Down your butt
+ Push up the entire body as a single unit.
- Purpose: This event accesses muscular strength and endurance
2.6. Two-mile timed run
- Requirement: You are required to run for 2 miles on a flat outdoor course while being timed.
- Purpose: Aerobic endurance will be evaluated in this event
3. ACFT Grading Scale Based On Gender & Age
The maximum score per event is 100 points, which means that you might get a total maximum ACT score of 600. However, you are required to get a minimum score of 60 points on each of the six events so as to conquer the ACFT with a minimum overall score of 360. However, depending on gender and age, there are different requirements that you need to meet so as to pass the ACFT. Here is a detailed ACFT grading scale for each event based on gender and age:
In addition to evaluating fitness based on gender and age, the ACFT’s scoring system may vary based on your professional specialty. A job that requires more physical exertion can have stricter minimums. To find out what you need to do, check with your unit.
4. Tips For New U.S. Army Physical Fitness Test
4.1. Before the test day
Here are some ultimate tips to make you physically fit, feel more confident, and meet Army fitness standards with ease:
- Pace yourself
- Slowly increase your physical activities
- Focus on cardio, strength, endurance, flexibility, and body composition.
- Focus on total health and wellness via proper sleep, nutrition, and spiritual health
- Take advantage of your installation’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs (MWR), fitness centers and swimming pools.
- Have a fitness plan. It should be noted that you put your training plan in place at least six weeks before the test.
- Track your progress in writing and note where you need to improve.
- Have a backup plan for temporary interruptions.
- Train with a buddy to get support and encouragement.
- Pre-test yourself weekly and time yourself on each of the events in the test.
- Cut down on fast food.
- Stay hydrated.
- Get good sleep.
4.2. On your test day
On the test day, you need to do your best in order to get a flying score. Here are some useful recommendations you should take into account during the test day:
- Don’t test on sore muscles. Relax up to two days before the test or up to five days if you’re older than 40.
- Drink plenty of water and eat more fruits, vegetables as well as lean proteins the night before.
- Just one light meal on the day of your test. Eat an apple, banana or carrots, if you need immediate energy, e
- Dress right. Wear a T-shirt, shorts and running shoes.
- Get the hydration right. Drink two to three cups of water two to three hours before the test. Then drink one cup of water just before the test, drink small amounts of water slowly during breaks and drink two to three cups of water in the first two hours after the test.
- Don’t forget to warm up. Do a lighter version of each exercise, such as jogging before running.
- Let’s cool down right after the test to help your heart and breathing return to their resting rates.
5. Frequently Asked Questions About U.S. Army Fitness Test
Below is a list of common questions about the Army Combat Fitness Test. Let’s jump into it:
5.1.What is a good score on the ACFT?
Each ACFT event requires a minimum score of 60 points to pass, for a total of 360 points for all six events. Regardless of the Soldier’s professional field, it is a certain minimum score required for all Army soldiers.
5.2. What if I can’t complete the ACFT due to a medical condition?
If a chronic medical condition prohibits you from finishing the ACFT after you sign up, there are alternative events you can participate in for your evaluation, such as swimming or walking in place of the two-mile run. Alternate events can be used to train in case of temporary medical difficulties. But until you have a medical clearance, you won’t take the scored ACFT.
5.3. What happens if I don’t pass the ACFT?
The Army will support you, give you training to raise your score, and give you the opportunity to retake the ACFT if you fail a recorded-scoring ACFT. You could be forcibly discharged from the Army if you fail two consecutive recorded-score ACFTs.
5.4. Do commissioned officers take the ACFT?
You will take the ACFT as a cadet and every year after if you join the Army with the intention of becoming an officer.
In short, the paper has placed more emphasis on the U.S. Army Fitness Test to provide readers a brief overview of the Army Combat Fitness Test. If you are preparing for your ASVAB test, don’t forget to take our ASVAB Practice Tests.
A score of 60 points or above is considered good in most ACFT exercises. The total number of possible points is 600 : Deadlift (100 points)How do I pass the new Army PT test? ›
- Warm-up by jogging for two laps (800m)
- Run 1 lap (400m) at your goal pace.
- Jog 2 laps (800m)
- Run 1 lap at goal pace.
- Jog 2 laps for a total of 8 laps (two miles)
The test remains the same for all, however, and scoring is scaled depending on gender, as well as age. The new ACFT is believed to be much more complicated than the APFT, which was used since 1980.What is the passing score for the new Army PT test? ›
The Passing score is 60 points for each test, with a maximum of 100 points, for minimum overall score of 360 and perfect score of 600. The very thorough ACFT website includes detailed instructions as to how the exercise is performed, and videos showing how to train for the test.How many people fail the ACFT? ›
TRADOC data reports the male fail rate in 2019 was 28%, compared to 16% in February 2020. Last week, Military.com reported 44% of women are still failing the ACFT, compared to just 7% of men, based on Army data from April 2021 -- a slight increase from last year's TRADOC numbers.What happens if you score 540 in the ACFT? ›
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army has released a directive exempting all Soldiers scoring 540 points or more on the Army Combat Fitness Test from the body fat assessment, regardless of their height and weight. Soldiers must score 80 points or more in each event.How many times can you fail an Army PT test? ›
Failure to pass two or more consecutive record APFTs can lead to separation from the Army, although this is not always the case. Soldiers who have failed an APFT are often put into a “remedial program” first, which includes additional physical training.How many PT tests can you fail Army? ›
The maximum is 100 points. Once the scoring begins taking effect, those who fail will be able to retake the test after several months. If they fail twice, they will be discharged from the Army.How can I prepare for ACFT at home? ›
- Event 1: Three Repetition Maximum Deadlift (MDL)
- Event 2: Standing Power Throw (SPT)
- Event 3: Hand-Release Push-Up (HRP)
- Event 4: Sprint-Drag-Carry (SDC)
- Event 5: Plank (PLK)
- Event 6: Two-Mile Run (2MR)
- Cool Down.
The most difficult event for both male and female soldiers is the two-mile run, with 5% and 22% failing, respectively. The run must be completed within 21 minutes.
A negative fitness assessment (FA) or physical training (PT) test failure can have a disastrous impact on your military career. Depending on your status and whether any other poor fitness assessments are already in your records, just one or more failures can cause you to be kicked out of the military.Is the Army getting rid of PT test? ›
The Army is unlikely to change its new physical fitness test despite Congress recently passing a law pressing the service to establish gender-neutral standards, according to two sources with knowledge of the plans.How many people pass the PT test? ›
|% Passing - PT||2022||2021|
|First-Time Candidates - Graduates of US Accredited PT Programs||85||89|
|First-Time Candidates - Graduates of Non-US PT Programs||41||45|
|First-Time Candidates - All||82||87|
The standard to max the test is actually 30 seconds slower overall: 13:30. There are grading changes compared to the old APFT. There are no age groups, nor are there separate male/female standards. Your scores also depend on your military occupational specialty as to what you need to achieve.What is the lowest passing ACFT score? ›
A score of 70 is the minimum for soldiers in "heavy" physically demanding units or jobs; a 65 is for soldiers in "significant" physically demanding units or jobs; and a score of 60 is for soldiers in "moderate" physically demanding units or jobs. A 60 is also the overall Army minimum standard for passing the ACFT.What happens if I fail my ACFT? ›
How long do Soldiers have to retake the ACFT if they fail? Regular Army and Active Guard Reserve Soldiers will retest no less than 120 days and no more than 180 days from the test failure. Reserve Component Soldiers will retest no less than 180 days and no more than 240 days from the test failure.Can you pass the ACFT if you fail one event? ›
ACFT Scoring. To pass the ACFT, Soldiers must attain a score of at least 60 points on each test event taken and a “GO” on the alternate aerobic event, if taken. If a Soldier does not attain a minimum of 60 points in an event or a “GO” on an alternate aerobic event, the event is a failure.Can you get kicked out of the Army for failing ACFT? ›
By failing to achieve a score of at least 60 points in the SDC you are considered a test failure. As a result, you may be flagged and have all favorable actions suspended. Per Army Directive 2022-05, "Soldiers who fail a record ACFT will retest no less than 120 days and no more than 180 days from the test failure.Has anyone scored a 600 on the ACFT? ›
FORT BLISS, Texas -- Major Timothy Cox, the executive officer for the 22nd Chemical Battalion, set a new standard by obtaining a 600 -- the highest score ever recorded -- on the Army Combat Fitness Test.Has anyone maxed the ACFT? ›
Out of all formations the Army has across the world, only one can claim an enlisted Soldier who has maxed the test: 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI), the "Frozen Chosin." All Army units have that "one" Soldier. The PT-master. Spc.
G-9m(6) Soldiers who fail a record APFT for the first time or fail to take a record APFT within the required period will be flagged in accordance with AR 600–8–2. In the event of a record test failure, commanders may allow Soldiers to retake the test as soon as the Soldier and the commander feel the Soldier is ready.Which branch has the hardest PT test? ›
Marines have it the hardest, running three miles, doing pull-ups and crunches within the span of a two-hour evaluation period. The Army has its troops run two miles, plus two minutes of pushups and situps.What happens if you fail your first PT test? ›
If you pass, it counts. If you fail, there's no penalty -- as long as you have more time before your PT test is due.What happens if you fail 2 PT tests in the Army? ›
Failure to pass two or more consecutive record APFTs can lead to separation from the Army, although this is not always the case. Soldiers who have failed an APFT are often put into a "remedial program" first, which includes additional physical training.What is the hardest PT in the military? ›
The Marines have arguably the most difficult fitness test as it requires Marines to run an additional mile and do pull-ups. The USMC physical fitness test (PFT) requirements include crunches for two minutes, pull-ups to the maximum repetition, and a three-mile run.How long does it take to complete ACFT? ›
The ACFT is intended to be completed in 70 minutes or less. The ACFT requires a testing site with a two-mile running course and a flat, 40x40-meter space of well-maintained grass. If testing is done indoors, the sprint-drag-carry event must be conducted on artificial turf.What are the ACFT changes for 2023? ›
Soldiers will take a diagnostic ACFT (to standard) during 1 April 2022–31 March 2023. In any instance where the Soldier passes the diagnostic ACFT prior to 1 April 2023, the Soldier may elect to have the test re-characterized as a record ACFT and uploaded to the DTMS at any time after 1 April 2023.What is the score of 270 on the APFT? ›
Soldiers who score 270 or above on the APFT, with a minimum score of 90 in each event, are awarded the Physical Fitness Badge, which can be worn on the physical training uniform of enlisted soldiers.