Military Academy Admission Representatives (MAARs)

Greater Houston and Southeast Texas


Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA)


Satisfactory completion of the Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA) is one of the requirements for admission to the United States Military Academy. The Candidate Fitness Assessment consists of six physical and motor fitness events designed to measure muscular strength and endurance, cardio-respiratory endurance, power, balance, and agility. It is used to determine if a candidate possesses the stamina and movement skills required to successfully complete the physical program at the Academy and perform the duties required of commissioned officers in the uniformed services.

CFA Score Comparison:

Below is a simple chart of the 100-point (maximum score) score for each of the events for the CFA, with the exception of the Pull-up/Flexed Arm Hang events. Please feel free to reference it to both practice and prepare for these events, and also so you will know what to expect when you arrive for the CFA.

  Score BB Throw Pull-Up S. Run M. Sit-Ups Push-Ups 1-Mile Run
Male 100 102 feet 18 reps 7.8 sec. 95 reps 75 reps 5:20 min.
Female 100 66 feet 7 reps 8.6 sec. 95 reps 50 reps 6:00 min.


The results of this test are very important in the overall assessment of your admission file, so you should become familiar with the six events in the Candidate Fitness Assessment and practice. The examination consists of the following six events:


Event 1: Basketball Throw

Figure 1 and 2: Basketball Throw.  Click on the thumbnail image  to view full size image.. The candidate takes a throwing position, on both knees, on the mat close to and directly behind the Throwing Line. The candidate's knees must remain parallel to the Throwing Line (Figure 1). Three legal overhand throws are allowed from this kneeling position to attain as great a distance as possible.

A candidate may use the non-throwing hand to steady the ball in preparation for the throw (Figure 2). The candidate cannot touch the floor or mat with either hand during or after any throw.

The examiner must measure all throws to the center of the impact position of the ball. Three fair trials are allowed. A ball landing to one side will be measured by an imaginary straight line perpendicular to the center line of the court and extended to the point of impact. Any ball that hits the ceiling or a side wall will not be scored and will be re-thrown.

The candidate's score will be the longest throw recorded of the three proper attempts, rounded down to the nearest foot. It should be recorded in black ball-point pen in the boxes provided. Be certain each scoring box has a blackened entry.

Note to the examiner: In conducting this event, please concern yourself primarily with the correct execution of each of the candidate's throws for record. One of your assistants can mark the point of impact of each throw and your other assistant can help you measure the throw.


Event 2A: PULL-UPS

(Men & Women)

Figure 3 and 4: Pull-Ups.  Click on the thumbnail image  to view full size image.. The candidate must mount the bar with a pronated grip (back of hands facing the candidate) and his/her thumbs under the bar. The candidate starts from a momentary pause in a straight-arm hang with elbows locked (Figure 3). On the examiner's command "GO," the candidate pulls his/her body upward until his/her chin is parallel to the ground and above the bar (Figure 4). The candidate returns to the straight-arm hang position with elbows locked and repeats this pull-up movement as many times as possible. The body must be held approximately straight. If the candidate kicks his/her way up, the pull-up involved will not be counted.

Before giving the command "Go," the examiner should ensure the candidate's elbows are fully extended and shoulders are relaxed in a "dead hang." If a candidate needs to use a chair to grip the bar, pull the chair away and take the time to ensure the candidate is in a straight-armed, relaxed shoulder "dead hang" before beginning. Do not allow candidates to jump off the ground or a chair to gain momentum for the first repetition. Require a short "dead hang" period before giving the "GO" command.

On the command "GO," start the event. When the candidate’s chin rises above the bar and is parallel to the ground, verbally announce the repetition number (i.e., 1, 2, 3, …). The verbal repetition number is the candidate's cue to start the downward movement. When the candidate’s arms are fully extended in a dead hang position, give the command "UP". The examiner must monitor each repetition to ensure the Candidate's chin is parallel to the floor and over the bar in the "up" position and that the arms are fully extended in the "down" position.

If a candidate reaches the maximum number of repetitions in less than two minutes (18 for men; 7 for women), give the command "STOP" and record the maximum score. Otherwise, give the command "Stop" at the end of two-minutes and record the number of correctly executed repetitions.

The examiner may steady the Candidate when they at the resting/dead hang position by extending an "arm bar" in front of the Candidate, but must not be touching the candidate when they are attempting a pull-up.

Event 2B: Flexed Arm Hang

(Women unable to do at least one pull-up)

Figure 5 and 6: Flexed Arm Hang.  Click on the thumbnail image  to view full size image.. The Candidate climbs a ladder until her chin is above the bar. She grasps the bar with her hands shoulder width apart. The backs of her hands must be toward her face and thumbs under the bar (Figure 5). On the command "Ready, Go," the Candidate steps off the ladder. Simultaneously, an assistant will remove the ladder and prevent any forward swinging of the legs. The candidate's chin should be level above the bar. The stop watch is started at the command "Go" (Figure 6) and is stopped when: a. her chin rests on the bar (if her chin inadvertently touches the bar, but does not rest on it, the test will continue); b. her head tilts backward to keep her chin above the bar; or c. her chin falls below the level of the bar.

The examiner should record the candidate's time, to the nearest tenth of a second, on the CFA score sheet in the space provided. Only one trial is allowed unless unusual circumstances arise, such as a hand slipping due to perspiration or a misunderstanding of instructions.

Event 3: Shuttle run

Figure 7 and 8: Shuttle Run.  Click on the thumbnail image  to view full size image.. The Candidate begins the test with his/her entire body behind the start/finish line (Figure 7). On the command "Go," the candidate will sprint 30 feet to the turn around line. His/her foot and hand must simultaneously touch the floor on or beyond the turn around line (Figure 8). The candidate will then sprint back to the start/finish line, touch on or beyond the start/finish line and turn, sprinting back to the 30' line. The candidate will touch on or beyond the turn around line and then sprint back across the start/finish line. The candidate will execute two trials with a one-minute rest between trials.

The examiner will give the command "Go," start the stopwatch and monitor the Candidate to ensure he/she touches on or beyond the turn around lines as outlined above. The examiner stops the watch when the Candidate crosses the start/finish line. After one-minute, the event is repeated and the examiner will record the best of the two trials in seconds/tenths on the CFA form.


Event 4: Modified Sit-ups

Figure 9: Modified Sit-Ups.  Click on the thumbnail image  to view full size image.. The candidate will assume a supine (back on floor), bent-knee position (approximately 90 degrees) Figure 10: Modified Sit-Ups.  Click on the thumbnail image  to view full size image..on a 2" mat with arms crossed, fingers extended touching the top of the shoulder with shoulder blades touching the floor/mat (Figure 9). Upon the command "Go," the candidate will flex from the hip, Figure 11: Modified Sit-Ups.  Click on the thumbnail image  to view full size image..raising the elbows so that they touch the front midpoint (or higher) of the thigh with the finger tips staying in contact with the top of the shoulders at all times (Figure 10); extend from the hip until the shoulder blades touch the floor/mat. Once the test begins, candidates may rest only in the "up" position with finger tips in contact with the shoulders at all time.

The examiner should monitor the "start position" to determine the candidate's shoulder blades are touching the mat, fingers are touching the shoulders, knees are bent approximately 90-degrees and an assistant is properly holding the candidate's feet (Figure 11). Give the command "Go" and start the stopwatch for the 2-minute trial. Count 1 repetition each time the candidate's shoulder blades touch the floor/mat. Give the command "NO" for any repetition that does not meet the criteria listed above and repeat the total score.

At the 2-minute mark, give the command "Stop" and record the number of correct repetitions. The event should be terminated if the candidates fails to continuously attempt to execute a repetition or "rests" in the down position.

Event 5: Push-ups

Figure 12-14: Push-Ups.  Click on the thumbnail image  to view full size image.. To begin, the candidate should assume a prone (belly towards the ground) position supported on one knee on a 1" mat or floor (Figure 12). On the command "GET SET," the candidate should assume the front-leaning rest position (arms extended) by placing your hands where they are comfortable for you; your feet may be together or up to 12 inches apart; when viewed from the side, your body will form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles (Figure 13). On the command "GO," begin the push-up event by bending your elbows and lowering your entire body as a single unit until your upper arms are at least parallel to the ground - 90 degrees (Figure 14). Then, return to the starting position by extending your arms and raising your entire body as a single unit until your arms are fully extended.

Candidates may rest in the "up" position, flexing or bowing the back as long as he/she does not lift a hand/foot off the floor, or touch any other body part on the floor. Candidates must return to the generally straight body position before attempting another repetition.

The examiner will give the command "GO" and start the stopwatch for the 2-minute trial. He/she will monitor each repetition making sure the body remains rigid in a generally straight line, moves as a single unit, the upper arm is parallel to the floor in the "down" position and the arms come to full extension in the "up" position. They will give the command "NO" for any repetition that does not meet the criteria listed above. At the two-minute mark, the examiner will give the command "Stop" and record the number of properly executed repetitions. The examiner will terminate the event if the Candidate lifts a hand or foot off the ground or touches the ground at with any body part other than hands and feet.

Event 6: One Mile Run

Figure 15: One-Mile Run.  Click on the thumbnail image  to view full size image.. The Candidate must assume a starting position behind the start/finish line (Figure 15). On the command "GO," the candidate will run continuously for one-mile (walking is allowed although strongly discouraged). The Candidate's time stops when he/she crosses the finish line.

The examiner will give the command "GO" and start the stopwatch. He/she will monitor the Candidate to make sure he/she does not:

Receive physical help during the event (pushed, pulled, picked up, or carried);
Leave the designated running course for any reason;
Get paced by another person.

The examiner will stop the watch as soon as the Candidate crosses the finish line and record the time in minutes/seconds.


For additional CFA details and instructions, please click on the following link:




Related Links

USMA (West Point) Prospective Cadets Summer Leaders Seminar Nominations Nomination Forms Interview Fitness Assessment (CFA) Medical Exam Area Schools Educators 2006 Picnic 2006 AIM WPPCGH Home Page MAARs Home Page



Updated:  01/19/2007