CT Physical Fitness Assessment


State Mandated Fitness Test

Program Overview

Physical fitness is an important component of Connecticut’s overall educational program goals. It is expected that by the end of Grade 12 students will recognize the importance of and choose to participate regularly in physical activities designed to maintain and enhance healthy lifestyles. The Connecticut Physical Fitness Assessment (CPFA) is evidence of a commitment to the physical development of Connecticut’s students, as well as a commitment to focusing on outcomes and specific performance objectives. Physical fitness should be a result of the balance of activities that are provided in the physical education programs at school and continued by the family and in other community activities. This assessment should not be the focus of the entire physical education curriculum or program. The assessment should be a part of the ongoing process of helping children understand and improve and/or maintain their physical health and well-being.

The goals of the assessment program are to:

  • Provide for continual monitoring of students’ fitness levels in targeted grades
  • Identify a student’s weaknesses and strengths so that areas in need of Improvement can be seen and individual programs can be developed
  • Inform students and parents about student fitness status
  • Inform schools, districts and the public about programs focusing on fitness and physical activity in our schools and evaluate their success

The focus of the Third Generation CPFA is health-related fitness. The program mirrors options in the President’s Challenge Physical Fitness Program and Fitness gram/Activity gram. Changes to the assessment include improvements that address problems with specific test items and their administration, and reflect the careful research and piloting conducted by the 3rd Generation Connecticut Physical Fitness Assessment Committee as well as physical educators from across the state.

Health-related fitness focuses on optimum health and prevents the onset of diseases and problems associated with inactivity. Maintaining an appropriate level of health-related fitness allows a person to:

  • Meet emergencies
  • Reduce the risk of disease and injury
  • Work efficiently
  • Participate and enjoy physical activity (sports, recreation leisure)
  • Be one’s physical best

Testing Components

P.A.C.E.R. stands for Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run. It is a multi-stage fitness test, performed in a shuttle-run format, that helps children pace themselves effectively, and is generally regarded as more fun for younger children than the mile run because the pace can be set to music. The P.A.C.E.R. is a viable alternative to the mile run, even though both tests measure aerobic endurance, because it can be administered indoors or in a much smaller area than is needed for the mile run.

The Back-Saver Sit-and-Reach is a measure of joint flexibility, which is important to overall functional health. Stretch-ability and symmetry of the hamstring muscles at the back of the legs, and flexibility of the spine are important to general fitness, injury avoidance and long-term back health. The revised version of the test allows greater accommodation for the differences in the length of the arms and legs of growing children, thus is more accurate, and reduces strain on the knees.

The 90 degree Push-Up is a test of upper body muscle strength and endurance. Strength and endurance of the muscles of the upper body are important in activities of daily living, maintaining functional health and promoting good posture.

The Curl-Up is a test of abdominal strength and endurance. Strength and endurance of abdominal muscles are important in promoting good posture and correct pelvic alignment, both important elements in good back health. The previous version of the curl-up sometimes caused neck strain and did not account for the differences in the length of arms and legs of growing children. The improved version addresses both of these problems as well as better

*** This information was taken from the Test Administrator's Manual for the "Third Generation" Connecticut Physical Fitness Assessment. It can be found on the Connecticut State Department of Education Website.

Please be aware that the test results are used to educate and motivate children and their families to develop lifelong fitness habits as well as skills to become competent movers. Interpretation of the test results should be based on the individual’s health status as it relates to his or her physical activity.

For additional information, please contact your child’s Physical Education teacher.