5 Steps to Demystify the West Point Candidate Fitness Assessment
The Candidate Fitness Assessment is a physical test of strength, agility, speed and endurance. It is used to predict your aptitude for the physical program at the service academies. The examination consists of a Basketball throw, Pull-Ups or Flexed Arm Hang (women's option), a Shuttle Run, Sit-Ups, Push-Ups, and a 1-mile run (more on each of these below or HERE).
Your score is a combination of your best efforts on each of the six events and contributes 10% to your Whole Candidate Score (WCS).
Follow our 5 steps below to set yourself up for success.
STEP #1 - Set Your Date
Applying to West Point takes organization. As a pivotal part of that process the Candidate Fitness Assessment is no exception. The test should be completed as soon as possible, but you should give yourself enough preparation time. You can best prepare by practicing the six test areas (step #2), running, and general conditioning exercises. Competitive sports will also strengthen your abilities.
Pro Tip: Once you have it on the calendar, it feels a little more real - you'll be more inclined to put in the work and you will set yourself up for success.
STEP #2 - Get Familiar with the Events
We can feel your enthusiasm, you're ready to crush this assessment. But wait, you might be asking yourself what exactly are these 6 events? And how do I take the Candidate Fitness Assessment? Well, we've got you covered. Hey, you like videos? Well, we've got videos. This step was easy, right? Check out the event demonstrations below, then watch them again and then again one more time.
After you have familiarized yourself with the 6 events it is paramount that you check out the full instructions can be found HERE
The test consists of 6 events:
1-mile run (for time)
Pro Tip: watch the videos again & re-read the full instructions HERE and even print them up to go over with your test administrator (see Step #3)
STEP #3 - Find Your Test Administrator
Okay, you've got your date on the calendar (feeling good) and you're familiar with the events. Maybe you've even giving a few of them a try (feeling confident). Then you say to yourself...wait a sec, who is going to administer the Candidate Fitness Assessment?
Here's your answer: It is your responsibility to arrange for a qualified person to conduct your examination, and an additional person to make a video of the required events (see below for approved test administrators). You should enter the contact information for your test administrator online via your candidate portal. Your test administrator will receive an email with a link to the site where he/she will record your performance.
Also very important, your test administrator will help you capture video of the required events.
Approved Test Administrators
Physical Education Teachers
Military Academy Liaison Officers (MALOs)
Field Force Representatives
U.S. Military Officers or Non-commissioned Officers (all branches)
Professors of Military Science
*NOTE* Coaches and relatives cannot administer the CFA
Pro Tip: Watch the 6 event videos with your test administrator - team work makes the dream work. And make sure your test administrator has the full instructions found HERE
STEP #4 - Pick Your Location
At this point in the process you may be asking - Where do I even take the Candidate Fitness Assessment? This step may be highly dependent on who your test administrator is - talk through your options with them. But at the end of the day you'll need to find yourself a good, preferably empty gymnasium (and a track for the 2-mile run). We've even mapped out the layout for optimal test-taking (See Figure 1 for example).
Pro Tip: If possible, schedule your assessment before school or another time when the gymnasium is likely to not be in use (unless, of course, your perform better with an audience!)
STEP #5 - Strive for Greatness
Always remember your end goal - to earn an appointment. Applicants must possess character beyond reproach; they must have grit; and they must desire the challenge of joining an organization larger than themselves.
Additionally, candidates must have excellent grades, phenomenal critical thinking skills, and the athleticism necessary to meet the rigorous demands of West Point’s academic, military, and athletic training.
Completion of the Candidate Fitness Assessment is one of the requirements for admission to the United States Military Academy (as well as the Air Force, Naval, and Merchant Marine academies). The results of this test are an important factor in the overall assessment of your admissions file (10% of your total score).
Pro Tip: Excellence isn't a sometimes thing, it's an ALL THE TIME thing! The Candidate Fitness Assessment is an excellent opportunity for you to set yourself apart from other applicants - to communicate to the Admissions committee that you have the grit, determination and desire to be a West Pointer and true leader of character - never satisfied with the bare minimum effort.
1) Once you have it on the calendar, it feels a little more real - you'll be more inclined to put in the work and you will set yourself up for success.
3) Watch the event videos (again!) with your test administrator - team work makes the dream work. And make sure your test administrator has the full instructions found HERE
4) Schedule your assessment before school or another time when the gymnasium is likely to not be in use.
5) Excellence isn't a sometimes thing, it's an ALL THE TIME thing! The CFA is the perfect opportunity for you to set yourself apart from other applicants.
Visit WestPoint.edu/admissions to apply to the U.S. Military Academy, or to learn more about what it takes to join the Long Gray Line and become a leader of character as a West Point Cadet.