Presidential Fitness Test

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by KingDelian, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. KingDelian

    KingDelian New Member

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    I'm taking my pft for the arotc scholarship application tomorrow. So I've been looking around at other peoples scores for their applications. The majority that I have seen had shockingly high scores like 55+ pushups and 60+ situps. I consider myself to be in good shape and the best I have managed is 45 pushups and 55 situps. This was done without pause as fast as I could go.

    So I obviously began to question the technique of my fellow applicants. I began to wonder if the other applicants extreme scores would affect my chances. So I was wondering if it would be to my benefit to sacrifice technique for a higher score, or does CC realize that 60 proper pushups is next to impossible?

    I'm aware that I will need to validate in the fall by taking the apft and I will train in proper form for that.
     
  2. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    You should be just fine with what you are doing now, what is your run time for the 1 mile.

    I will tell you this:

    Yes you are correct in your assumptions regarding the high scores other applicants post. Remember these are total number of PU and SU's in 1 minute, the APFT is the total done in 2 minutes. It is very common to see cadets arrive to take their first APFT having listed they can do 55 PU's in 1 minute, only to find out that when they do them to regulation they often don't even do the minimum 42 in 2 minutes. When the grader counts off the PU's they will only count the ones that are done correctly, it often sounds like this when they count, 1,2,3,3,3,3,4,5,5,5,5,6....and so on. As you can see this person has done 12 PU's and only 6 have counted, it happens more often then you might think. The PFT is usually monitored by a gym teacher or coach, they tend to let you slip by on form and will count most every PU, just do as many as you can in 1 minute and then start really working on your form after that so your ready for your first APFT.

    The board takes the PU and SU count with a certain grain of salt, now the run is something you do that requires no standards for form, it is the one part of the PFT they can look at and gauge fitness, try and do your best on the run. Believe me, when the board sees an applicants paperwork that lists 55 PU's in one minute, I'm sure they get a big grin on their face and just shake their heads. These high scores by others won't effect your application, just do your best.

    Good Luck
     
  3. efirestone14

    efirestone14 Member

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    Don't stress about the PFT, it will not make or break your application. I am a female and I did 30 push-ups, 42 curl-ups, and ran a 7:36 mile. The scores are not outstanding, but I did my best. So... Do your best, prepare for it, but don't stress about it.

    The PFT is a minor aspect of your application. Your GPA and class rank, SAT/ACT scores, PMS interview, SAL qualities, etc. will carry much more weight in your application.
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    efirestone,

    Yes, the PFT carries a small amount of weight, but I would never say it would not make or break your application. I would only say not to worry if they are maxxing the PFT.

    In the end there will be 1 scholarship left for 2 applicants. That PFT may be the reason why you get a scholarship, or why you may not get it. Every single, solitary point matters, and many times it can come down to a decimal point. They award points for the PFT to the WCS for a reason, sometimes it is to be the make or break.

    One less push up or a 10 sec slower rate can be the difference in pts awarded for the PFT, thus just a lower WCS. If the PFT wasn't a make or break, they would not have it in the WCS.

    Use AFROTC scholarships as an example, 900 were awarded a yr or two ago, out of 5K qualified candidates, key words qualified candidates, not applicant pool. I bet there was at least one better academic applicant that did not get a scholarship over another academic applicant, but they had a lower PFT, and thus that took them up and over the edge.

    Additionally, once in ROTC, your PFT is part of your OML. It isn't just because they want to torment the cadets/mids and make them run at 6 a.m. in the rain or 20 degree weather. It is for a score.

    I would say I agree with Jcleppe about the grin, but I see it from a different perspective. There are so many candidates that don't know how to do this properly, not only in form, but regarding points. Traditionally they publish the max. The ones that get the point system will stop as soon as they hit that magic number because there is no reason to strain your body any harder. They take even those 10 seconds to rest their body for the next event. Thus, if they have an event that they are weaker in their body is not as spent as it would have been by cranking out 10 more sit ups and 5 more push ups while gaining no points at all for their effort.

    I also agree those that sacrifice technique, and many do will have issues when they get to college because on that 1st day practice PFT 2 things will happen.

    1. Their score will be lower
    2. The PFT instructor will be screaming out their last name over and over again so the entire det can hear them being told what they are doing is wrong.

    It won't be fun physically or emotionally.
     
  5. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    Don't stress about the PFT, it will not make or break your application....The PFT is a minor aspect of your application. Your GPA and class rank, SAT/ACT scores, PMS interview, SAL qualities, etc. will carry much more weight in your application.

    Do your best and you will be fine. Definitely not part of the process you need to overthink. And in the Army you will never take a PFT again.
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Sorry for beating the bush dead, but as a parent that has to find a way to pay for a child to attend their dream college, I take an issue with Clarkson's position. I have said it before every point counts. College now even IS is 20K a yr, add in tuition increases for that IS, and by the time they graduate after 4 yrs you could own 2 or 3 great cars!

    Clarkson's attitude that the Army as far as ROTC is doing this for no reason regarding scholarships is disturbing as a taxpayer.

    Let's assume my kid is one of 2 applying for the last scholarship as a candidates at a college. Are you telling me my kid should not concern their self at all when it comes to being awarded a scholarship regarding their PFT? Remember, for some families they can't send them to that dream college without a scholarship. He gets a min score on the PFT, but you are saying he would still get a scholarship because he will be the valedictorian?

    If the only way they can afford to send them is AROTC are you still comfortable saying:
    If so, why on earth does the PFT have any weight on the WCS? Why test them at all?

    I am the 1st to admit my position is from AFROTC, but the fact is still the same, why give the test if it doesn't matter? Isn't that a waste of taxpayer dollars regarding paperwork, time and effort, if the test has no impact at all?

    I don't get how anyone can say it will not make or break. I am wondering how it is a make or break for the CFA re:USMA and not for AROTC. I am not trying to be rude, mean, or antagonistic. I am trying to grasp how it is not a make or break for AROTC.

    2 + 2 does not equal 4 to me. If it is part of the score for scholarship, than it should be seen as a make or break. If it is not part of the score than why waste tax payer dollars and require it as part if the scholarship process when it comes to awarding ?

    Are you saying that the small % awarded regarding scholarship is so miniscule that it has never made a difference when it comes to awarding scholarships? If so, than would you not agree it is wasting tax payer dollars regarding the DOD budget?

    Why should a lower cgpa candidate that is athletically strong apply? In your position, the fat lady sang, his score will not make or break regarding his chances of a scholarship. The higher cgpa candidate will win.

    If you are saying it is there to be a factor in awarding a scholarship than how can you say it is not a make or break.

    Seriously, no antagonism, I am learning this for the 1st time, which is it? Can I BUST a PFT and get a scholarship with a great cgpa or not? Will my PFT be a factor at all?

    You are saying it is not a factor in even the slightest bit. I just don't get it.

    Like I said, I am not trying to be antagonistic, but to tell a candidate don't worry it is not a make or break is sending a signal IMPO to posters/lurkers that just show up and take the PFT.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
  7. Packer

    Packer Member

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    The Army's scholarship PFT does seem to be a minor factor. They seem to only be looking that an applicant meets some minimum level of fitness. As long as there is a certain level of fitness and athletic ability the Army knows they can get them into shape

    The AF scholarship PFA seems to carry somewhat more weight on the application.
     
  8. laxmom8

    laxmom8 Member

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    Scores do go down when you are judged by military standards and not by a gym teacher. My DS had super PFT scores for his scholarship application. He was a two sport athlete all four years in high school, so he has always been in super shape. Yesterday they gave the new cadets another PFT (not the APFT, so only 1 min times for each exercise) and he scored 42 push ups, 50 sit ups, and a 6:30 1 mile run. Not as good as the application numbers! Form is much more important now.
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Packer,

    Thank you for your perspective, and I get it from your perspective that they can get them in shape.

    However, than I don't get why do it at all? Why award pts for the WCS if those pts don't matter?

    That is my point. If the PFT has ZERO impact on the scholarship, than why require it?

    That is the crux of the issue. If you say it matters, than you can't say it is not a make or break issue. If you say that it doesn't matter than explain why taxpayer dollars and trees(paper) are being spent for nothing?

    You can't have it both ways. Either it matters as a deciding factor for scholarships, or it doesn't.

    Pick a side and defend, because I will be honest if you say it is not a factor, than I will ask why waste everyone's time, and money for what? Grins and giggles? Honestly, wouldn't their resume say if they were the least bit athletic?

    If you say it is a factor than why tell any poster it doesn't matter, and all that does is academics and interviews?

    There is a disconnect IMPO. I am truly not following here. I am meaning this with no fight in me, just trying to figure out how the system works for AROTC. Right now, I am under the impression that I could barely pass and get a scholarship.

    Great, but tell me how that helps come next fall when they can't pass the PFT? How it helps when they are a jr in hs and their PFT score is part of their OML?

    I always say don't put the cart before the horse, but when it comes to the PFT, maybe you should.
     
  10. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    I don't think anybody is saying it doesn't matter at all. What several of us are saying is that this score is taken with a couple of grains of salt since the PE Coach, Counselor, or some other teacher who administers the test is 1) not impartial, 2) not familiar with what a regulation Pushup or Situp is, and 3) not vetted for truthfullness.

    In that circumstance, all a Scholarship Board member reading those scores can say is... these scores are probably in the ballpark of how the applicant actually performed. In that case, how can you pick between Applicant A with 45/40 vs. Applicant B with 55/48? That's cutting the distinction way too thin with unverified performance. Sure, a 45/40 will be viewed differently than a 25/18, so nobody is saying don't make the effort. I am saying, 5-10 counts up or down is within a margin of reporting error.

    Now, if the Army actually cared a lot about applicant PFT scores, it would require that this test be performed simultaneous with the PMS Interview, and administered by the Master SGT or another member of the Cadre. But they don't require that, so it can be assumed that the strict accuracy of the PFT results as reported by the Coach/Counselor/Teacher is a part of, but not a critical part of, the application. Criticality requires accuracy, which requires verification.

    Lastly, the Applications has other places that vouch for physical fitness, most particularly, organized Varsity level sports requiring cardio, ballistic strength, or both.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
  11. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Unlike the AF and Navy, the Army only requires a PFT. A High School gym teacher, a school coach, outside coach, can complete the PFT, heck sometimes even the school nurse have done them. The AF and Navy have a much more regulated testing system.

    This will really get your blood boiling....when my older son applied for the AROTC Scholarship in 2007 (It was a different system then, the battalions selected the scholarships) he had only about 2 weeks to get everything in, he completed his interview and with in 3weeks he had 5 scholarship awards. The application at the time still required a PFT, my son kept asking the ROTC battalions when they wanted it, the scholarship awards came in the mail before my son had a chance to take the PFT. The battalion he accepted the scholarship to told him not to worry about it, they would test him when he got to school, and he never took the PFT.

    Now fast forward to my younger son. The process was different, the same as it is today. When my son had his interview, at the same school his brother was attending, the PMS told him to come back in the Fall when we dropped off his brother at school and they would give him an official APFT. Come fall we dropped off the older son and the MSGT gave my younger son the APFT and they submitted those scores. There was a bit of confusion because the run was 2 miles instead of 1 and he had to make a note that it was the APFT, not the PFT. He actually received a call from another PMS that asked why his run was so slow because he thought the time was for the PFT, probably should have just taken the PFT.

    The PMS that interviewed my younger son talked a lot about the PFT, he wished they would just give the APFT at the time they interviewed the applicants, but he understood that the sheer volume of applicants the AROTC has made that difficult. This PMS had sat on several boards and was sitting on a board the year my son applied. He explained that because the PFT was not graded my the Army they had to be somewhat skeptical of the results for PU and SU's, the run on the other hand was something they could look at more closely.

    I am sure if an applicant took the PFT and scored 15 PU's, 12 SU's, and ran a 10:30 mile the board would look twice at the application. I think Clarkson was just saying to the OP that His scores as he posted them were not going to make or break his application.

    The Army puts a lot of weight on the SAL, they look hard at the Athletics, granted if an applicant has no athletics listed and scores very low on the PFT that could be problem and a deciding factor over another applicant. If an applicant is a 3 sport Varsity athlete and captain of 2 teams, the PFT will probably not sway the board a lot. Take for example:

    Applicant 1
    4 yr Varsity Cross Country (Team Captain)
    4 yr Varsity Track
    3 yr Varsity Basketball (Team Captain)
    PFT Scores - 45 PU, 56 SU, 5:30 mile

    Applicant 2
    Rec Soccer 2 yrs
    1yr JV Cross Country
    PFT Scores - 58 PU, 72 SU, 7:15 mile

    According to the PFT scores applicant 2 has a better score then applicant 1. This is where the Army is different then the AF and NAVY. Neither of these tests was monitored on an equal basis. Applicant 1 may have done every one to the proper regulation, applicant 2 may have just cranked out PU and SU's that were not even close to regulation but whoever administered the test counted all of them, being a nice guy.

    This is why the way the system is now the PFT, while it is a barometer of fitness, making sure they are not a couch potato, it is not a huge deciding factor. The applicants listed athletic participation carries much more weight.

    The USMA has a different test, the test is much more controlled and can fairly be compared to each applicant, this allows for the CFA to carry more weight on an equal basis.

    As far as taxpayers money being wasted, I don't think that's really an issue since the Army does not administer the tests, the applicants handle that on their own.

    You probably not far off with this statement, there have always been a balance with the SAL. An applicant that is off the charts with Scholastics and Leadership and lacking slightly in Athletics may receive a scholarship over an applicant that is just above average in all 3 areas of the SAL. Being much stronger in one area can help balance that applicant if they are weaker in another. My younger son was a prime example. When looking at some of the stats of applicants that did don receive a scholarship there were many that had higher GPA and ACT scores then my son. My son was very strong in Athletics and Leadership which he believes tipped the scale in his favor, he was selected the first board.
     
  12. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    No offense, efirestone14, and not that I disagree with you. BUT... how would you KNOW this (b/c that doesn't sound like opinion)?
     
  13. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Until the Army adopts a standard PT testing process for scholarship applicants where they are graded by the battalion and not a gym teacher, the PFT will not carry an incredible amount of weight.

    Clarkson has posted on another thread that they were told the PFT could be worth 150 points of the total applicants score, giving 1 point for each PU and SU and points for the run. Given that total score possible an applicant would only need to do 50 of each and have a very average run.

    The point is that if one applicant lists they did 65 PU's, and 65 SU's and had an average run, their point total will not be any higher then the other applicant. This means that the scores the other applicant has will not make or break their application.

    When I took my younger son to school his first year I talked a while with the MSGT about the APFT they had just given. He told me that one of the new cadtes had listed on their PFT that they had done 67 PU's and 70 SU's, that would look real good on paper. My son's scores (He did the full APFT) were 46 PU's and 62 SU's in 2 minutes. On paper the other applicant had much higher scores then my son. After they took the APFT he told me that the cadet with the high PFT did not pass either the PU's or SU's, my son got a 276 APFT.

    This is why with the way the system is now they only give 150 pts for the PFT and the max. can be lower then you would expect and they don't give extra points for off the chart PFT's, because they know they probably won't hold up when they take the official APFT.

    This is the system the Army has, and it will be this way until they change it to someting more official.
     
  14. Packer

    Packer Member

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    It is not my perspective. It is the Army's.

    The reason they do it is well explained by Jcleppe.
     
  15. KingDelian

    KingDelian New Member

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    Thanks for all the help. I decided to just do it the right way since my scores were reasonably high anyways. I really just think they wanna make sure applicants are reasonably in shape and unless the numbers are extremely low I doubt they would have any significant impact.
     
  16. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    So....How did you do.
     
  17. KingDelian

    KingDelian New Member

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    45 PU's 54 SU's 6:12 mile

    My main thing I'm counting on is my 34 on my act anyways
     
  18. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    That score should do you just fine, if you go by Clarkson's count you are probably very close to the max points allowable.

    Start working on the 2 mile run time now, try and keep it under 13:00 and you'll be in great shape. The extra PU's and SU's will come with time and effort, start testing yourself over a 2 minute period for both, keep working on them and you'll be in great shape for the start of school.
     
  19. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    Oh...sometimes you guys are so amusing...When you factor in all the variables, the GPA, the SAT, the SAL points, the list of schools, the allocations, the interview points...your PFT score is so insignificant. King, you did fine, and you should have no worries regarding your fitness level. You'll never take that test again. Now start worrying about that interview, and whether the schools on your list are the right ones.

    Pima...keep worrying about those tax dollars:)
     
  20. efirestone14

    efirestone14 Member

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    No offense taken. I see what you are saying. I have seen the breakdown of the Whole Person Score on clarksonarmy's blog. He is a Recruiting Operations Officer, so he deals with the AROTC scholarship application.

    Out of the 1400 possible points, the PFT is 150 points. The PMS interview is 200 points, SAT/ACT scores are 250 points, and SAL qualities are 200 points.

    Here is the link to clarksonarmy's blog post that details the WPS: http://goldenknightbattalion.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/the-whole-person-score-what-is-it/
     

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