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The physical fitness test (PFT) for5th, 7th, & 9th grade students in California schools is the FITNESSGRAM®. The main goal of the test is to help students in starting life-long habits of regular physical activity.

Parent Guide:

•By law, all school districts are required to administer the PFT each year to students in grades five, seven, and nine.

•All students in these grades are required to take the PFT whether or not they are enrolled in a physical education (PE) class or participate in a block schedule.

•Most of the fitness areas have two or three test options so all students, including those with special needs, have the chance to participate in the PFT.

•Students may take the PFT over multiple days or it might be administered all at one time.

•Each student is tested on six fitness areas.

•The goal is that each student scores in the Healthy Fitness Zone in all six areas.


(Abdominal Strength & Endurance)

Students will be asked to lie on their backs with their knees bent, placing their arms at their sides with their palms facing down. Students will curl up while sliding their arms & hands along their sides, halfway to their knees. A teacher will monitor and call out each curl-up. When students are no longer able to curl up, the teacher will record the student’s completed number of curl-ups. The teacher will continue counting at the rate of one number every 3 seconds until all the students being tested have finished or the maximum of 75 has been reached.

PUSH-UPS(Upper Body Strength & Endurance)

Students will be asked to lie face down, back straight, with hands placed under their shoulders, legs straight and toes tucked under. Back should be kept straight and elbows should form a 90-degree angle as the student completes a series of push-ups. Push-ups will be called by the teacher at a rate of 1 every 3 seconds for as many as the student can complete up to a maximum of 75.

TRUNK LIFT (Trunk Strength & Flexibility)

Students will be asked to lie on their stomachs with their arms placed palms up at their sides. The students will then be asked to lift their head/chest off the floor as high as they can, up to twelve inches, and to hold it in that position as a teacher measures from the ground to the student’s chin.

Students will be timed on their completion of a mile. Students may choose for themselves if they prefer to run, jog, or walk the mile. Time will be recorded on the student data sheet. To read more about the PFT Aerobic Capacity portion please see the CDE’s website info page here.


Students will be asked to perform either the "Shoulder Stretch" or the "Sit & Reach". With the Shoulder Stretch, they will touch their fingertips together behind the back with one hand reaching over the shoulder and the other under the elbow. Both shoulders are tested and each is recorded separately. With the Sit & Reach, students will be asked to remove their shoes and sit facing the sit and reach the box with both feet against the box. After the student has adjusted their body square against the box they will bend their right knee and place their right foot flat on the ground next to their left knee. The student will then put one hand over the other and reach forward four times; they should hold at the fourth reach so the teacher can take the measurement. Then they will be asked to repeat the process for the opposite side.