New Physical Assessment Test Ramping Up

New Physical Assessment Test Ramping Up

Photo by: U.S. Army

Feb. 13, 2017

The Army is evaluating a four-part assessment designed to measure a recruit’s fitness to handle physical tasks in specific MOSs. The Occupational Physical Assessment Test is being used at a select number of recruiting stations around the Army, and officials expect to expand it servicewide this summer.

The test is designed to measure physical capacity in much the same way the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery measures a recruit’s ability to meet the academic requirements of a particular MOS, officials said.

One of the main drivers of the initiative, developed over more than two years of research, is to reduce first-term attrition among new soldiers.

Officials said the OPAT measures the “five primary domains of physical readiness” that the Army identifies as important for performance: muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiorespiratory endurance, explosive power and speed.

The OPAT consists of four tests, each designed to meet a specific component of physical fitness. The standing long jump assesses lower-body power; the seated power throw assesses upper-body power; the strength deadlift assesses lower-body strength; and the interval aerobic run, performed last, assesses aerobic capacity.