Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

CalEd Facts, Physical Fitness Testing - CalEdFacts

This content is part of California Department of Education's information and media guide about education in the State of California. For similar information on other topics, visit the full CalEdFacts.

Since 1996, California Education Code (EC) Section 60800 has required that each local educational agency (LEA) administer a state-designated physical fitness test (PFT) to all students in grades five, seven, and nine. During the month of February, March, April, or May, the governing board of each LEA maintaining grades five, seven, or nine shall administer to each student in those grades the PFT. The test designated for this purpose by the State Board of Education is the Fitnessgram®. The Fitnessgram®, developed by The Cooper Institute, provides criterion-referenced standards to evaluate fitness. These standards represent minimum levels of fitness known to be associated with those health and physical characteristics that offer protection against diseases resulting from physical inactivity. Achievement of the fitness standards is based upon a score falling in the Healthy Fitness Zone (HFZ) for each of six fitness areas. The HFZ represents minimal levels of satisfactory achievement on the tasks. The goal is for students to achieve the HFZ for all six fitness areas of the physical fitness test.

Senate Bill 896, Ch 1066, Stats. 1998, requires the California Department of Education (CDE) to compile the PFT results by December31, and to report results to the Governor and Legislature. Statewide data collection is completed electronically. PFT results are reported by schools, LEAs, counties, and the state. The results are posted on the CDE PFT web page. These reports are available by grade, gender, and ethnicity for each of the six fitness areas.

Schools are required by law to include PFT results in the School Accountability Report Card (SARC) and to provide students with their individual results (EC Section 60800). The most recent physical fitness data are to be reported, including the percentage of students scoring in the HFZ on all six fitness standards. Data are reported for the state and for each county, LEA, and school for the purpose of comparison.

For more information regarding the physical fitness test, please contact the California High School and Physical Fitness Assessment Office by phone at 916-445-9449 or by e-mail at pft@cde.ca.gov. Information is also available on the CDE PFT web page.

Questions:   High School and Physical Fitness Assessment Office | pft@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-9449
Last Reviewed: Friday, June 15, 2018
Recently Posted in Testing
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 36 (added 14-Mar-2019)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, March 13, 2019.
  • CAST Item Specifications (added 12-Mar-2019)
    Item specifications describe how items for the CAST are developed to assess the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS).
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 35 (added 07-Mar-2019)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, March 6, 2019.
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 34 (added 06-Mar-2019)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, February 27, 2019.
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 33 (added 26-Feb-2019)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, February 20, 2019.

  • California Science Test Informational Video (added 21-Feb-2019)
    This video provides a general overview of the California Science Test (CAST) and how it is aligned with the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS).
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 32 (added 15-Feb-2019)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, February 13, 2019.
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 29 (added 14-Feb-2019)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, January 23, 2019.
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 30 (added 14-Feb-2019)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, January 30, 2019.
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 31 (added 14-Feb-2019)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, February 7, 2019.