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Accessible Alternate Version for the PFT Overview


This is an Accessible Alternate Version (AAV) of the Program Overview (PDF). This document provides text translation to the Overview, which is posted as a PowerPoint Presentation (PPT).

California Education Code Section 60800 requires:

  • Annual administration of the Physical Fitness Test (PFT) to all students statewide in grades five, seven, and nine.
  • School districts to administer the PFT between February 1 and May 31.

The FITNESSGRAM1 Assessment:

  • Developed by The Cooper Institute ( Dallas, Texas)
  • Designated by the State Board of Education as the California PFT.
  • Primary goal is for students to establish lifetime habits of regular physical activity.

1 The FITNESSGRAM and the Healthy Fitness Zone (HFZ) are registered trademarks of The Cooper Institute.

Assesses three fitness components:
  • Aerobic capacity
  • Body composition
  • Muscle strength, endurance, and flexibility
    • Abdominal strength and endurance
    • Trunk extensor strength and flexibility
    • Upper body strength and endurance
    • Flexibility

The FITNESSGRAM Test Options:

Aerobic capacity
  • 20-Meter PACER (Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run)
  • One-Mile Run
  • Walk Test (only for students 13-years old or older)
Body composition
  • Skinfold Measurements
  • Body Mass Index
  • Bioelectric Impedance Analyzer

Test options for the muscle strength, endurance, and flexibility fitness areas:

Abdominal strength and endurance
  • Curl-Up
Trunk extensor strength and flexibility
  • Trunk Lift
Upper body strength and endurance
  • Push-Up
  • Flexed-Arm Hang
  • Modified Pull-Up
Flexibility
  • Back-Saver Sit and Reach
  • Shoulder Stretch

Note: Detailed descriptions of each test option are available in the PFT: Reference Guide found in the Resources section of the California PFT External link opens in new window or tab. Web site.

2015–16 Highlights:

Healthy Fitness Zones (HFZ):

  • Criterion-referenced standards established by The Cooper Institute, which are used to evaluate fitness performance
  • Represents a level of fitness that offers a degree of protection against diseases resulting from physical inactivity.
  • For the PFT, the CDE considers students who exceed the HFZ (i.e., very lean) for body composition as meeting the HFZ.

2015–16 HFZ Standards:

  • Performance in each fitness area is classified as in the HFZ or other level(s), depending on the fitness area.
Fitness Area HFZ Needs Improvement Needs Improvement - Health Risk
Aerobic Capacity Yes Yes Yes
Body Composition Yes Yes Yes
Muscle, Strength, Endurance, and Flexibility Yes Yes No

Reporting PFT Results:

Summary results are reported by:
  • Percentage of students in the HFZ and percentage not in the HFZ (i.e., needs improvement) for each of the six fitness areas.
  • Percentage of students in the HFZ for 6-out-of-6 through 0-out-of-6 fitness areas.
  • Grade, gender, two-part race/ethnicity question, and economic status at state, county, school district, and school levels.
The PFT provides information that enables:
  • Students to assess levels of health-related fitness and to plan personal fitness programs.
  • Teachers to design curriculum for physical education classes.
  • Parents and guardians to understand their child's fitness levels.
  • Teachers, parents, and guardians to monitor changes in the students’ fitness levels.

Sample 2013–14 Reports: State, County, District, and School Comparisons

 

Physical Fitness Areas State County District A School B
Aerobic Capacity
64.4%
60.4%
66.9%
60.6%
Body Composition
66.1%
49.8%
47.0%
49.4%
Abdominal Strength
83.9%
84.1%
78.0%
71.4%
Trunk Extensor Strength
89.3%
93.4%
90.3%
76.0%
Upper Body Strength
71.1%
72.3%
66.7%
66.2%
Flexibility
80.6%
79.1%
72.4%
73.8%

Sample 2013–14 Reports: Three-Year Comparison

Physical Fitness Areas 2011 2012 2013
Aerobic Capacity
61.4%
62.4%
63.0%
Body Composition
62.1%
62.6%
63.2%
Abdominal Strength
78.9%
78.0%
77.0%
Trunk Extensor Strength
87.4%
86.8%
86.3%
Upper Body Strength
69.0%
68.1%
67.6%
Flexibility
70.9%
71.1%
71.8%

California Department of Education Contact Information

PFT Administration or Policy Questions:

High School and Physical Fitness Assessment Office
Phone: 916-445-9449
E-mail: PFT@cde.ca.gov

Physical Education Questions:

Michael Lee
Education Programs Consultant
Phone: 916-323-5798
E-mail: mlee@cde.ca.gov

Questions: High School and Physical Fitness Assessment Office | PFT@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-9449 
Last Reviewed: Monday, February 22, 2016

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