The U.S. military requires its service members to be physically fit. That's why it tests each service member, regardless of age, grade or duty assignment, to make sure the force is mission ready.
Learn the test requirements and get ready.
Physical fitness test requirements
Airmen take the physical fitness test twice a year. Those who score 90 or above will take the test once a year. The test consists of:
- Push-ups, one minute, timed
- Sit-ups, one minute, timed
- A 1.5-mile timed run
Body composition is also assessed by measuring height, weight and abdominal circumference.
Preparing for the physical fitness test
Here are some ways to prepare for the test:
- Take advantage of Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs, fitness centers and swimming pools to improve physical endurance.
- Set up and start a physical fitness and training plan at least six to eight weeks before the test. Track your progress in writing, noting where you need to improve.
- Develop a backup plan for temporary duty or other interruptions of your program.
- Train with a buddy for support and encouragement.
- Pre-test yourself once a week. Time yourself on each of the tests you'll undergo. Use these results to work on improving your score.
- Cut down on fast food, stay hydrated and get enough sleep.
All components of the test must be taken within a three-hour window. These tips can help you prepare for test day:
- Relax up to two days before the test, or up to five days if you're older than 40. Tired, sore muscles will do nothing to improve your score.
- Drink water, eat fruits, vegetables and lean proteins the night before the test.
- Eat one light meal on the day of your test. If you need immediate energy, try an apple, banana or carrots.
- Wear a T-shirt, shorts and running shoes.
- Drink two to three cups of water two to three hours before the test, then another cup just before. Drink small amounts of water slowly during breaks. Drink another two to three cups of water during the first two hours following the test.
- Warm up by doing a lighter version of your exercise activity, such as jogging, before running. Afterward, do cool-down exercises so your heart rate and breathing return to their resting rates.
Your raw score for each event will be assigned a point value according to your age and gender. A passing score is 75. If you have to retake the test, reassess your fitness routine and work your way back into top condition.