The Physical Ability Test
This test will measure physical performance through a series of exercises that will be administered on a pass/fail basis.
All physical ability training sessions are conducted at:
San Francisco Police Academy
350 Amber Drive
San Francisco, CA 94131
Get directions to the San Francisco Police Academy
The physical ability test will consist of the following:
The purpose of this test is to determine the number of trigger pulls that you can complete with your dominant and non-dominant hands.
- You will begin the test by holding the weapon at shoulder height in front of the trigger pull frame. The dowels will be adjusted so that the barrel of the weapon is in between the dowels.
- On the command “Go”, begin pulling the trigger for 25 seconds. For the first 12 pulls with each hand you cannot knock either dowel off the frame.
- The administrator will tell you when you have completed 12 trigger pulls. Continue to pull the trigger.
- After the first 12 trigger pulls, you may knock the top dowel off the frame, but you must continue to hold the weapon at shoulder height above the bottom dowel.
- Continue to pull the trigger until I tell you to stop.
- Your score will be the number of trigger pulls you complete with your arm at shoulder height. Therefore, attempt to complete AS MANY PULLS AS YOU CAN.
Guidelines for Trigger Pull
- You will complete two trials with your dominant hand and two trials with your non-dominant hand. You must achieve at least 12 pulls with each hand.
- A trial will be stopped if you:
a. Knock either dowel off the frame during the first 12 trigger pulls.
b. Knock the bottom dowel off the frame after the 12th trigger pull.
- You will be given a retest for a stopped trial. If you repeat any of these errors during the retest, you will receive a score of zero for that trial.
The purpose of this test is to evaluate your abdominal strength.
- You will lie down on your back with your knees flexed to a 45 to 60 degree angle, feet flat on the floor, and your heels placed about 12 to 18 inches from your buttocks. Your feet will be held by another candidate or a test administrator.
- You will cross your arms over your chest, with your hands placed on the opposite shoulders near your collarbone. In this position, your fingers should touch the top of your shoulders. Your arms must maintain contact with your chest at all times.
- With each sit-up, you must curl your shoulders, keeping your lower back on the ground until you have curled the upper back, and finally come to a position in which your elbows touch your thighs. Make sure you curl your back, as this will force you to use your abdominal muscles and keep you from straining your back. Lie back down until your mid-back touches the mat surface, then curl up until your elbows touch your thighs to complete another sit-up.
- You will perform as many sit-ups as possible within a 60-second time period. You will be told when 30 and 15 seconds are left.
Guidelines for Sit-Ups
- Be careful to perform the sit-ups in the proper manner. The administrator will tell you when your sit-ups are incorrect.
- You will do as many sit-ups as possible within a one (1) minute time period. You will be told when there are 30 and 15 seconds remaining. You will be given only
- A sit-up will not count if:
a. Your arms are not in contact with the chest
b. Your elbows do not contact the thighs
c. You do not return to a supine position with the mid-back touching the testing surface
d. Your hips/buttocks do not remain in contact with the floor
e. Your fingers are not on opposite shoulders
- If you perform an incorrect sit-up, the administrator will provide a short command to inform you of the error.
- Only properly performed sit-ups will count. You may rest between sit-ups, but the stopwatch will not be stopped.
- Your score will be the number of properly performed sit-ups that you complete in one (1) minute. Attempt to complete AS MANY SIT-UPS AS YOU CAN.
The purpose of this test is to evaluate your upper body strength.
- Your starting position requires that only your feet and hands be in contact with the testing surface. Your feet must be 8 to 12 inches apart and your hands placed slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Also, your arms must be extended and straight in the starting position.
- Your legs, buttocks, back, and shoulders must be in a straight alignment.
- To complete a push-up, bend the elbows and lower your torso until the elbows are flexed at a 90-degree angle. Once the elbows are flexed at a 90-degree angle, return to the starting position by straightening your elbows.
- Your arms must reach a 90 degree angle with the back of your upper arm even with your back. To ensure you have reached a 90 degree angle a foam block will be used. The foam block is placed directly under your chest. Your chest must touch the foam block when you lower yourself to perform each push-up.
- When completing the push-ups, your legs, buttocks, back, and shoulders must remain in a straight alignment.
- Once you touch the foam block with your chest, return to the correct starting position.
- You are to do as many push-ups as possible within a one (1) minute time period. You will be told when there are 30 and 15 seconds remaining. You will be given only one opportunity to do this push-up event.
Guidelines for Push-Ups
- A push-up will not count if:
a. You do not lower to a 90-degree or more angle and touch the foam block
b. Your knees come in contact with the test surface
c. Your legs, buttocks, back, or shoulders do not remain in a straight alignment
d. You do not return to the starting position with arms fully extended
- If you perform an incorrect push-up, the administrator will provide a short command to inform you of the error.
- Only properly performed push-ups will count. You may rest between push-ups in the “up position,” but the stopwatch will not be stopped.
- Your score will be the number of properly performed push-ups that you complete in one (1) minute. Attempt to complete AS MANY PUSH-UPS AS YOU CAN.
Wall Agility Run
The purpose of this test is to climb over a 5-foot wall and run as fast as possible through a short distance course that has changes of direction.
- You will begin this test by standing behind the starting line.
- On the command "GO" run to the wall, climb over the wall, and continue running through the course to the finish line (See diagram below).
- Follow the outline of the course. To start, run straight ahead 15 feet, climb over the wall, run to the far cone, turn around the cone, and then run back to the first cone in the middle.
- Continue through the course weaving in and out through the center cones. Run around the top cone. Then weave back through these same cones. Turn right and run up to the cone up on the left and back down past the cone at the finish line.
Guidelines Wall Agility Run
- An administrator will walk you through the course prior to beginning the test.
- You will complete two trials of the Wall Agility Run. Perform both trials as quickly as possible.
- If you trip, stumble or fall, continue to run. If you miss a turn around a cone or displace a cone during either trial, the test will be stopped. You will be given a rest before the retest. If you miss a turn or displace a cone on the retest, you will not receive a score for that trial.
- If you cannot get over the wall on the 1st attempt during a trial, go back to the starting line and make a 2nd attempt. If you are unable to climb over the wall, you will not receive a score for that trial.
Physical Ability Test Scoring
- Based on the chart shown below, you will earn test points related to the number of trigger pulls, sit-ups, and push-ups that you perform in the given period of time, and the time it takes you to complete the Wall Agility Run. You must attain at least 1 point on each event. If you fail to achieve 1 point on an event, you will not pass the event, and you will not advance to subsequent events.
- The points that you earn across the four events will be summed. To pass the overall Physical Ability Test, you must earn a total of 20 points across the four events, and achieve at least 1 point on each event.
|| Trigger Pull
|| Wall Agility Run
|| 43.5 or less
|| 25 or less
|| 21 or less
|| 27.17 or more
|| 27.16 -26.06
|| 44.5 – 45.5
|| 26.05 – 25.49
|| 46.0 – 47.5
|| 25.48 – 24.92
|| 48.0 – 49.5
|| 24.91 – 24.35
|| 31 – 33
||26 – 30
|| 24.34 – 23.88
|| 54.5 – 62
|| 34 – 37
|| 31 – 35
|| 23.87 – 23.02
|| 62.5 70.5
|| 38 - 41
|| 36 – 40
|| 23.01 22.17
|| 71 or more
|| 42 or more
||41 or more
|| 22.16 or faster
Height and Weight Requirement
Men and women who wish to be San Francisco Police Officers must meet the Department's height and weight standard. Height and weight measurements are made during the medical examination. If you do not presently meet the standard, now is the time to take action.
The maximum WEIGHT permitted for height may be found in the table (and other weights may be extrapolated):
Top of Page
Police Officer Employment Information
General Information and Qualifications
Salary and Benefits
Application and Selection Procedures
Lateral Entry Program
List of Current Job Openings
Background Unit / Current Candidate Info
The Physical Ability Test
Frequently Asked Questions
Have Questions? Contact the San Francisco Police Department Recruitment Unit
1245 3rd Street, 5th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94158