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Physical Fitness Testing (PFT)

The physical fitness test (PFT) for 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.

Students in grades five, seven, and nine take the fitness test. The test has six parts that show a level of fitness that offer a degree of defense against diseases that come from inactivity. The test results can be used by students, teachers, and parents.

  • For more information about the PFT, contact your local school district.
  • The PFT - CalEdFacts page provides a more detailed overview of the test.
  • The information below was developed to provide assistance to various groups that are directly involved with, or have an interest in, the PFT.

Important Notice

PFT Administration

On September 18, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law SB 820. SB 820 prescribes that, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to comply with state and local health guidelines, the administration of the physical performance test shall be suspended for the 2020–21 school year. Therefore, the PFT will not be required to be administered and the CDE will not be collecting PFT data for the 2020–21 school year.

SB 820 provides relief to those LEAs who may not have the capacity to test their students during these unprecedented situations and from having to substantiate the requirements of PFT testing and data submission in possible subsequent state monitoring or audit visits. Although LEAs are not required by the state to administer the PFT and submit their data for the 2020–21 school year, LEAs have the local authority in deciding how to successfully serve their students.

SB 820 also requires the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) consult with experts and other stakeholders in order to provide recommendations regarding the purpose and administration of the PFT. On or before November 1, 2022, the SSPI shall provide recommendations to the appropriate fiscal and policy committees of the Legislature, the Department of Finance, and the California State Board of Education.

PFT 2020-2021 Calendar (Timeline coming soon)

PFT Coordinator Resources

PFT Fact Sheet External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
Answers questions about the what, why, who, how, and when for the PFT.

PFT LEA Coordinator Checklist (PDF)

DataQuest PFT Summary Results & District Reports

June 2019 Appropriate Uses and Data Privacy Letter
Provides information regarding appropriate uses and data privacy for the California Physical Fitness Test.

2019–20 California Physical Fitness Test—Back to School Message
Provides the primary goal of the PFT, appropriate uses of PFT results, how to prepare students for the PFT, and reminding local educational agencies to review their confidentiality practices.

PFT Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Provides brief responses to the most frequently asked questions.

PFT Resources (PDF)
Resources for local educational agencies, including contacts, for the California Department of Education and FITNESSGRAM®.

PFT Coordinator Manual External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
The PFT Coordinator Manual provides information and resources needed by PFT Coordinators to prepare for and carry out the spring administration of the PFT. The document provides background information and directions for administering the PFT as well as information related to the collection and reporting of test results to the state PFT contractor, San Joaquin County Office of Education.

PFT Training External link opens in new window or tab.
Materials offered on this web page includes training modules to assist PFT coordinators with the submission and correction of PFT data and video clips of the FITNESSGRAM® tests using California's testing protocol (i.e., employee of the district administering and scoring the tests).

PFT Resources for Test Administrators

PFT Reference Guide External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
This guide is designed to assist staff in becoming familiar with the California PFT. It includes detailed descriptions of the fitness areas, the data collection requirements, most of the equations used in scoring, the performance standards, and suggestions for facilitating the administration of the different test options.

FITNESSGRAM® Fitness Areas, Test Options, and Equipment External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
Charts that show the test options available for each fitness area and the equipment required for each test.

FITNESSGRAM® Healthy Fitness Zone Performance Standards (HFZ)
Standards established by The Cooper Institute that represent levels of fitness that offer some degree of protection against diseases that can result from sedentary living. These standards are organized by gender and age.

FITNESSGRAM® PACER Look-Up and Goals Setting Table External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
This table provides the minimum number of 20-meter (20m) laps that students need to achieve the Healthy Fitness Zone (HFZ) for the PACER. Results or the PACER test are still reported as VO2Max.

Matrix Two: Test Variations/Accessibility Resources
Test variations available for students requiring PFT accommodation.

PFT BMI and VO2Max Calculator with Healthy Fitness Zones® (XLS; 2MB)
An Excel spreadsheet that provides Aerobic Capacity Fitness Areas and Body Mass Index (BMI) Healthy Fitness Zones® and calculates BMI and VO2Max.

FITNESSGRAM® Reference Guide External link opens in new window or tab.
The FITNESSGRAM® Reference Guide is intended to provide answers to some common questions associated with use and interpretation of FITNESSGRAM® assessments. It was prepared as a collective effort of the FITNESSGRAM® Scientific Advisory Board.

Information Sharing with Parents

Talking to Parents About the PFT (PPTX; 2MB)
This slide deck is intended for use by site administrators to provide information to parents about the PFT.

Parent Guide to Understanding the PFT and FITNESSGRAM® External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
Provides parents with answers to key questions about the what, why, who, how, and when of the PFT.

PFT Administration Notification Letter to Parent/Guardian (DOCX)
This letter is a template you may use to send to parents or guardians notifying them of the start of PFT and your local testing window.
Other translations of the PFT Administration Notification Letter to Parent or Guardian.

Guide to Understanding your PFT Student Score Report External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
This guide explains the PFT Student Score Report.

Student Score Report Letter Template to Parent or Guardian (DOCX)
This letter is a template you may use to send to parents or guardians along with the Student Score Report. It gives an explanation of how to interpret the results and how they are used.
Other translations of the Student Score Report Letter Template to Parent or Guardian.

Statute and Regulations

California Education Code Section 60800 External link opens in new window or tab.
State law governing PFT administration.

California Code of Regulations, Title 5 sections 1040–1044 and 1047
Approved by Office of Administrative Law on July 31, 2006. Effective August 30, 2006.

 

Assessment Spotlight web page contains archives of all previous Assessment Spotlight emails. Send a blank email to subscribe-caaspp@mlist.cde.ca.gov to receive regular updates on the latest information about the statewide assessment system.

Questions:   Proficiency, Equivalency, and Fitness Testing Office | pft@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-9449
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, October 6, 2020
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