Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT)



Your ability to conduct strict pull-ups or the flexed-arm hang in accordance with published standards on the Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA) will be measured on R-Day and compared to your reported CFA scores. The physical test on R-Day will use the same standard as the  CFA, available here . The Department of Physical Education strongly suggests to not only prepare for the CFA, but to continue training and prepare yourself physically and mentally for Cadet Basic Training (CBT). There exists a strong relationship between your ability to do Pull-Ups and doing well in Physical Education courses at West Point. If you need to get better at Pull-Ups, please follow the sample  individualized workout program .

Push Ups


Ankles to the Bar

Army Physical Fitness Test

The Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) consists of two minutes of regular push-ups, two minutes of regular situps, and a two mile timed run on flat terrain. You will perform the APFT as a New Cadet at the beginning and end of Cadet Basic Training and you are expected to perform well. To improve your overall fitness level before you report to West Point, you should use the recommended guidelines for daily physical training improvements as outlined on this website. Additionally, you should consider the following points as you prepare to excel specifically on the APFT:

  1. Establish Correct Form
  2. Train Push-ups and Situps
  3. Establish a Baseline Run and conduct intervals
  4. Give Yourself Practice APFTs

More information on how to train for the APFT, including repetition goals, is located here .

Height and Weight

As a measured part of the APFT, you must meet Army weight standards for your height and gender. A healthy body composition and relative upper-body strength are crucial to CBT success. By setting a standard body composition for your age, height and gender, the Army’s objective is to achieve and maintain optimal well-being and performance.  Additional objectives include establishing and maintaining operational readiness, physical fitness, health and a professional appearance. Individuals with less than desirable body fat percentages generally exhibit less muscular strength and endurance, and are more likely to sustain injury from weight bearing activities. It is your responsibility to meet the standards prescribed , and to begin R-Day at an optimal level of physical fitness to avoid injury. Your height and weight will be measured on R-Day.

Swim Test

You will swim 150 yards for time within the first week of CBT. Learning how to swim is vital to your success at the Academy and is highly encouraged. Your performance during the 150 yard test will determine which level of survival swimming class you will take at the Academy.

Description of Survival Swimming Class

The West Point Survival Swimming Program is an academic course of study, designed to develop aquatic proficiency, watermanship, and confidence in, on, or around the water. The Programs of Instruction are geared toward Novice, Intermediate, High, and Advanced cross-sections.
The course itself is divided into three specific psychomotor areas; rudimentary development, combat/survival application, and personal safety. Emphasis on all levels is geared to military specificity and grading is based on criterion-referenced scales.
A Cadet must demonstrate water survival competency and proficiency in order to successfully complete this course. In preparation to become a commissioned Officer, the Survival Swimming Program is far reaching. Lieutenants are the primary trainers in their platoon and are often called upon to train Soldiers in all aspects of a Soldier’s physical development, inclusive of water specific survival skills.

Instructional Objectives

Survival Swimming is designed to emphasize safe and responsible participation in a progressive swim venue, with a central focus on skills generic to both basic and survival applications. Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Define the term’s “basic swimming”, and “survival swimming” and demonstrate how they are interrelated.
  • Distinguish between three basic water posture positions and demonstrate progressive skill components associated with each position.
  • Identify factors critical to proper learning progression(s) and demonstrate essential elements of basic locomotion and survival.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the risks associated with participation in swimming and effective methods of personal safety and risk management.


Based on course goals and accelerated instructional segments, good proactive preparation is a key element if a cadet is to achieve eventual success. If you are a non-swimmer, it is imperative that you enroll in a recognized program of basic swim instruction prior to your arrival here at West Point. Many organizations offer “Learn to Swim” programs, most notably the American Red Cross and the YMCA/YWCA.
Should you already be a qualified swimmer, please place a greater emphasis on your conditioning and proficiency, as your ability level will be the primary determinant for both classification and placement within the 2nd Class Survival Swimming curriculum.
For more information, please visit:  Survival Swimming PE320-322 home page