Step 3:
Physical Fitness Test

Person running

As a peace officer, you must be able to respond to physically demanding activities to maintain the safety and security of a correctional environment.

The Physical Fitness Test (PFT) evaluates the strength, endurance, and agility required to perform the essential duties and functions expected. It tests your ability to perform physical functions at the academy and after at your assigned institution or facility.

Running icon


of candidates pass
the PFT

Tall man carrying kettle bells

During the test, you will:

  • Run a 500-yard course on a variety of different surfaces, including:
    • Complete a mini obstacle course
  • Carry two (2) 45-pound kettlebells over a distance of 50 yards and set them down
  • Carry one (1) 45-pound kettlebells over 75 yards and set it down
  • Carry one (1) 30-pound kettlebells over a final distance of 110 yards and set it down
Timer clock

To pass the PFT, candidates must complete the course in no more than 5 minutes and 5 seconds.

Note: Candidates who are unsuccessful at their initial PFT attempt will be offered a second attempt, provided adequate list eligibility remains.


The Physical Fitness Test (PFT)

Candidates who exercise two to three times per week and are in good physical condition generally do well on the PFT. 

If you do not work out regularly, you may need six to twelve weeks, or more, of regular cardio and weight training before taking the PFT. Consult a medical professional before beginning any exercise program.


For help preparing for the PFT, review the Candidate Preparation Guide.

Additional information about the PFT

Candidates are notified of their PFT testing date via email. The test is held in three regions of California: 

  • Northern (Sacramento) 
  • Central (Fresno)
  • Southern (Rancho Cucamonga)

Please note: If you cannot attend your scheduled PFT, use the online scheduling system to reschedule or contact your designated testing center to reschedule if within 5 days of your PFT.

Frequently Asked Questions

For the PFT, candidates should dress in athletic workout attire and be ready to participate in physically demanding activities. Candidates must have a valid form of ID and bring any required documents mentioned in the scheduling notification, additional documents will not be collected at this event. Candidates need to bring their waivers/agreement forms, facemask, and a car key. Work out gloves are not permitted, but Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) gloves (e.g., latex or nitrile) are allowed. Cell phones are not permitted in the testing area; please leave them in your vehicle.

Candidates who encounter an emergency that prevents them from attending a scheduled written examination or physical fitness test will not be disqualified provided they call the Office of Peace Officer Selection Customer Service Unit within five (5) business days of their scheduled examination at 1-866 232-5627 or contact your regional testing center.

The Physical Fitness Test is a single, pass/fail event. Candidates who are unsuccessful at their initial PFT attempt will be offered a second attempt within a defined timeframe, provided adequate list eligibility remains.

Candidates who fail to appear within the defined timeframe or who fail to finish the full course in five minutes five seconds (5:05) or less will be disqualified from this examination and ineligible to reapply in three (3) months.

United States military and veteran candidates who provide certification of meeting military physical fitness standards within the past year may be eligible for a PFT waiver. The waiver of the CDCR PFT is solely for the selection process. Such a waiver does not apply to PFT given during the Basic Correctional Officer Academy (BCOA) nor the Basic Correctional Juvenile Academy (BCJA) fitness requirements.