New Jersey Pre-Academy Physical Agility Test
All candidates who are entering a police academy in New Jersey falling under the authority of the New Jersey Police Training Commission (PTC) must be able to meet the following minimum physical agility standards:
- 300 Meter Run in 70.1 seconds or less;
- 24 Push-ups in 1 minute or less;
- Vertical Jump of 15 inches or more;
- 28 Sit-ups in 1 minute or less; and
- 1.5 Mile Run in 15 minutes and 55 seconds or less.
Since the above minimum standards are required for participation in a New Jersey basic police academy, most police departments have implemented the testing as part of their selection process. Several agencies have even converted the physical test to a scored part of their competitive hiring process in combination with the written exam score and a formal scored interview. Every non-civil service agency has the flexibility of establishing their own testing/hiring process, so candidates will find that each process varies.
In some cases, the physical agility test is presented as the first part of the competitive process. Some non-civil service agencies utilize additional exercises (e.g., timed dummy drag, pull-ups, etc.) as well to assess candidates, but the above exercises serve as an excellent guideline for what to expect when taking a New Jersey police physical agility test as part of a competitive hiring process. Regardless of what the individual agencies choose to include in their assessment of potential hires, each trainee will be required to meet the minimum standards within the first three weeks of the police academy or be subject to dismissal.
The most common deficiencies identified during the physical testing tend to be in the area of sit-ups and push-ups (in that order). Not because the standards are too high, but actually due to candidates who are otherwise in good shape not realizing the challenge of the perfect form required in a one-time attempt under strict time limitations. In a hiring process, there are no do-overs. When time is called, if the candidate doesn’t have 28 strict form sit-ups and/or 24 strict form push-ups completed, he or she “fails” the physical. No candidate should go into the this physical test without specifically training to complete these particular exercises well beyond the standards listed.
The following video is available online and was produced by the Police Academy Directors Association to assist candidates in preparing for the pre-academy physical agility test.
It is highly recommended that candidates focus on these specific exercises as part of a well structured physical training routine. DO NOT assume that because you weight lift that you are prepared for the push ups or because you ride a bicycle regularly that you are prepared for the run. As a serious law enforcement candidate, you should maintain top physical shape and conditioning to ensure that you can excel on any physical assessment during the hiring process.