On the Army Physical Fitness Test, the standard scoring scale goes up to 100 percent, but under certain circumstances, scores in excess of 100 percent can be achieved. The APFT measures performance in three areas unless an exception is granted for the two-mile run portion of the testing. Push-ups and sit-ups done within a two-minute time span comprise the first two sections of the APFT. The third part consists of the timed, two-mile run. There are strict technique requirements on the pushup and sit-up tests.
It is possible to achieve a score in excess of 300 for combined testing results, but very specific conditions must be met. As well, results above the 300 score will not be entered into the official record and such scores are only to be used on a local basis for unofficial comparison purposes.
Before a score above 300 can be considered, the tester must already have achieved performance parameters that result in a score of 100 on each section of the test. In other words, any section with a score of less than 100 will prevent the extended scoring scale from being implemented at all. For each extra pushup and sit-up done above the 100 percent cutoff, an additional point will be awarded. In the 2-mile run, every six seconds of time better than the 100 percent cutoff will earn an extra point.
The point scale for each test differs based upon gender and age. A passing score for any test is 60 percent, which happens to be a designated, fixed number for each category. It often happens that a Soldier will exceed the maximum score on a single test, or even on two of them while failing to reach the 100 percent threshold on the remaining test or tests. Strictly speaking, this situation would preclude the use of the extended scale.
Even in cases where the extended scale is properly used, the scores do not become part of a Soldier’s official record. However, it is common for commanders to use unofficial data to reward particular soldiers or to foster competition between units or individuals.
On a quite informal, unofficial basis, individual Soldiers often use the extended scoring parameters to measure their own fitness levels and to have baseline data for future comparison. It is worth noting that the Ranger Physical Fitness Test is scored on a pass-fail basis, thus no extended scale exists. In addition, the RPFT includes chin-ups along with the other three categories, and the run is five miles long.
Author Larry Bell is a professional writer, comedian, and automotive enthusiast whose work can be seen at www.myperfectautomobile.com and many other online publications. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the Thunderbird School of Global Management.