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Physical Ability Test Requirements - Corrections

The following physical ability test is administered to Corrections Officer applicants. This test is required for entrance into the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission's Corrections Officer Academy.

Note: Whatcom County Corrections Deputy applicants must pass the minimum physical fitness standards for WA law enforcement applicants - Click here for those requirements.

All other corrections applicants must meet the following standards (below).

Introduction

This is a three-event test:

  1. Pushups - To evaluate muscular strength and endurance of the upper body, and
  2. Sit-ups - To evaluate muscular strength, endurance, and flexibility of the abdominal muscles
  3. 1.5 Mile Run - To evaluate aerobic capacity and cardio respiratory endurance

Each event is scored according to the scoring matrix that follows a more-detailed description of each event below.

The three event scores are totaled to reach the final score. A minimum of 120 points is required to pass. A "goal score" is set for each event. The goal score is midway through the expected performance range for that event. Meeting the goal scores for each event totals 120 points.

Goal scores for the three events are:

  • 1.5 mile run - 17 minutes: 17 seconds
  • Push-Ups - 19
  • Sit-Ups - 15

You can score more points by doing a higher number of repetitions therefore creating a higher score. If one doesn't make the goal score in one event, the points can be made up in another event to reach the required 120 points. Carefully review the scoring charts, as it is mathematically possible to pass each event yet fail this exam overall if you do not score high enough in each event. This scoring allows an individual who may be weak in one area to pass by doing better and scoring higher in another area.

If you do not pass your physical ability test, you have one (1) retest opportunity to pass a physical ability test within three (3) months from your written exam date. There will be an additonal fee for the physical ability retest. Physical ability retest fee: $35.

Physical Ability Test Video

The Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission physical ability test video

Test Events

Event #1 - Push-Ups

This test is used to measure the muscular strength/endurance of the upper body, particularly the shoulders, chest, and triceps (back of upper arm) used in high intensity defensive tactics training and application. This is a critical component of use of force involving pushing, grabbing, and breaking one's fall to the ground, as well as getting back up off the ground. 

The push-up is conducted with the participant starting in the up position. A counter lies facing the participant with a four-inch cube placed under the participant's chest. The count begins when the participant's chest compresses the cube and finishes when the participant returns to the up position with the elbows fully extended.

A correct pushup is performed when the participant's back is flat (NO arch or bow), the feet are together (one foot can be placed on the heel of the other), and the hands are shoulder width apart. You may only rest in the up position.

# Of Repetitions2.63 pts / rep
23 60.53
22 57.90
21 55.27
20 52.64
19 50.00 *
18 47.38
17 47.38
16 42.11
15 39.48
* Goal Score

Event #2 - Sit-Ups (One Minute)

This test is used to measure the muscular strength, endurance, and flexibility of the abdominal muscles. These torso muscles are some of the most used muscles in the body. They are used to bend and twist the torso and to generate power used in many of the control tactics taught at the academy, as well as performing other tasks that involve the use of force. These muscles are also important for maintaining good posture and minimizing lower back problems.

The sit-up is conducted with the participant lying on their back with knees bent to a 90-degree angle and the heels of their feet on the perimeter of a padded floor mat. A spotter straddles the participant's feet holding the knees tightly, and a counter kneels behind the participant with a hand placed beneath the participant's head.

The participant has a choice of two positions for their hands on the head:

  1. Position 1 is with the hands behind the head and the fingers laced. The fingers MUST stay laced behind the head for the repetition to count.
  2. Position 2 is the hands are cupped over the ears along side the head. Again, the hands MUST stay cupped over the ears for the repetition to count.

Once in position, the participant has one minute to do as many correct sit-ups as they can do. One full repetition starts with the back on the mat. The participant then comes forward all the way to break the plane of their knees with their elbow, or touch elbows to knees. They then come back down to the mat so that their head touches the counter's hand. You may rest only in the up position.

# Of Repetitions2.67 pt / rep
18 48.06
17 45.39
16 42.74
15 40.00 *
14 37.38
13 34.71
12 32.04
* Goal Score

Event #3 - 1.5 Mile Run

This test is a measure of cardio-respiratory endurance or the aerobic capacity used in extended control and prolonged defensive tactics training. This is important for performing tasks involving stamina and endurance, e.g., prolonged uses of force, continuous performance in 8-hour use of force training classes, and minimizing the risk of cardiovascular health problems.

A minimum of 120 points is required to pass the physical ability test for Corrections' applicants.

Time Points
16:37 50
16:38 49.5
16:39 49
16:40 48.5
16:41 48
16:42 47.5
16:43 47
16:44 46.5
16:45 46
16:46 45.5
16:47 45
16:48 44.5
16:49 44
16:50 43.5
16:51 43
16:52 42.5
16:53 42
16:54 41.5
16:55 41
16:56 40.5
16:57 40
Time Points
16:58 39.5
16:59 39
17:00 38.5
17:01 38
17:02 37.5
17:03 37
17:04 36.5
17:05 36
17:06 35.5
17:07 35
17:08 34.5
17:09 34
17:10 33.5
17:11 33
17:12 32.5
17:13 32
17:14 31.5
17:15 31
17:16 30.5
17:17 30.0 *
17:18 29.5
Time Points
17:19 29
17:20 28.5
17:21 28
17:22 27.5
17:23 27
17:24 26.5
17:25 26
17:26 25.5
17:27 25
17:28 24.5
17:29 24
17:30 23.5
17:31 23
17:32 22.5
17:33 22
17:34 21.5
17:35 21
17:36 20.5
17:37 20
17:38 19.5
17:39 19
Time Points
17:40 18.5
17:41 18
17:42 17.5
17:43 17
17:44 16.5
17:45 16
17:46 15.5
17:47 15
17:48 14.5
17:49 14
17:50 13.5
17:51 13
17:52 12.5
17:53 12
17:54 11.5
17:55 11
17:56 10.5

* Goal Score

How To Prepare For The Fitness Ability Test

Before beginning a physical exercise program it is strongly recommended that the individual be cleared by a doctor to undertake such a program. Individuals 40 years of age or older should not begin an exercise program until they have been cleared by a doctor.

The following program is progressive to allow the body time to adapt and build up. It is assumed that the applicant will begin this program at least 12 weeks in advance of the test date.

Delayed muscle soreness (24-48 hours post exercise) may occur as a result of any new exercise program. This soreness should only be mild in nature and should dissipate prior to the next scheduled exercise session. If significant or severe soreness exists, the student exercised too hard and therefore should not perform any exercise (other than stretching) that stresses the affected area until all soreness has disappeared completely.

Remember, this program is designed to build a person up, not tear him/her down. Students should pay close attention to their body for any indication of injury or over-use.

1. Conditioning Program for the Push-up Test

Determine exercise level by measuring how many pushups the subject can complete in 60 seconds. This number becomes the "set", which will change with participation in the program.

When performing pushups, be sure the subject continues until muscular failure occurs in the straight-knee position and then continues until failure occurs in the bent-knee position.

  • If the total number is 15 or less, begin at level A.
  • If the subject's total number is greater than 15, begin at level B.

Subject should work toward reaching level C below.

  • Level A - 1 set 3 times a week for 1 week
  • Level B - 2 sets 3 times a week for 2 weeks
  • Level C - 3 sets 3 times a week until testing

2. Conditioning Program for the One-Minute Sit-up Test

Determine exercise level by measuring how many sit-ups the subject can complete in 60 seconds. This number becomes the "set", which will change with participation in the program.

  • If the subject's total number is 15 or less, begin at level A.
  • If the subject's total number is greater than 15, begin at level B.

Subject should work toward reaching level C below.

  • Level A - 1 set 3 times a week for 1 week
  • Level B - 2 sets 3 times a week for 2 weeks
  • Level C - 3 sets 3 times a week until testing

When training for sit-ups, be sure the subject continues until muscular failure occurs and then continues with his/her hands by the hips until muscular failure occurs again.

3. Conditioning for the 1.5 Mile Run

Listed below is a very gradual training schedule that will allow the subject to work at maximum effort in the 1.5 mile run. Generally, it is recommended that the subject reach a training distance that is twice the testing level.

Week Activity Distance Time (min.) Frequency
1 Walk 1 Mile 20 - 17 5 / Week
2 Walk 1.5 Mile 29 - 25 5 / Week

Subjects should continue to increase speed and decrease time for completion of a 3-mile jog 3 times per week with a maximal speed 1.5 mile run 1 day per week. If the subject is able to adapt and advance more quickly than the schedule recommends, he/she should do so. However, be sure that the subject's exercise program does not cause any undue muscle soreness or strain. Subjects may also use their sprint training as part of their distance training program.