Park ranger at lake with trees

Park Ranger Physical Ability Test

Learn about the Physical Ability Test process, required exercises, and passing criteria.

The Physical Ability Test (PAT)

Updated May 2023

The Physical Ability Test only applies to our fully commissioned law enforcement rangers – Park Rangers 2 and 3.  Park Rangers 1 and 4 are not fully commissioned and not required to take the PAT as a condition of employment. 

Commissioned Park Rangers have many unique responsibilities including law enforcement activities, some of which can be physically demanding and dangerous.  A Park Ranger’s ability to perform these tasks can impact personal and public safety. 

The PAT is always the first test after a conditional offer of employment is made. Candidates must receive a passing grade to move on to the other agency specific testing. Candidates are provided two opportunities to pass the PAT. If you fail the first test, you must complete the retake within a reasonable period of time, typically around 30 days. 

The Physical Ability Test (PAT) is comprised of three tests, listed in the typical order it is administered. The minimum fitness standards identified below are the requisite levels for a ranger to effectively learn frequent and critical job motor skills:

Push-up test - 90 seconds to complete 20 push-ups


This test measures the muscular strength/endurance of upper body muscles in the shoulders, chest, and back of the upper arms (the triceps) used in high intensity self-defense and arrest simulation training.  This is important when exerting force involving the pushing motion i.e., breaking one's fall to the ground, use of the baton, etc.


The procedure for completing the Push-up test is:

  1. Get down on the floor in the front leaning rest position and perform one test push-up to properly locate the foam cube (4 in. held by fitness instructor).
  2. Lower body until the foam cube is lightly compressed and arms are at least parallel to the floor, then push up again. The back must be kept straight, and the elbows should lock in each extension.  Resting is only allowed in the up position.
  3. Perform at least 20 push-ups in 90 seconds to pass. 

Sit-up test - 90 seconds to complete 25 sit-ups


This test measures the muscular strength/endurance of the abdominal muscles, which are used in self-defense and high intensity arrest simulation training. These muscles are important for performing tasks that involve using force, and they help maintain good posture and minimize lower back problems.


The procedure for completing the Sit-up Test is:

  1. Lie on back, knees bent, heels flat on the floor.  Hands should be held behind the head, with elbows out to the sides. A partner holds down the feet.
  2. Elbows must touch the knees in the up position, then return to the lying position (fingers must touch the examiner’s hand) before starting the next sit-up.
  3. Perform at least 25 sit-ups in 90 seconds to pass.

Squat thrusts - 3 minutes to complete 35 squat thrusts


This test measures anaerobic capacity while utilizing nearly every major muscle group.  This test is important to show the ability to get up off the ground multiple times in a row, which is necessary in defensive tactics training and other job-related duties.


The procedure for completing the squat thrusts is:

  1. Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides. 
  2. Push hips back and bend your knees, squat down, and place your hands on the floor in front of you, shoulder-width apart. 
  3. Keeping your hands in place, back flat, and core engaged, kick your feet back to a plank position: arms and body straight, hands in line with and slightly wider than your shoulders. 
  4. Reverse the sequence to return to the starting position. 
  5. Perform at least 35 in 3 minutes to pass.

Scoring the PAT 

Each test element is scored as pass/fail.  You must pass all 3 elements in the correct order to pass the PAT. 

You can watch a video demonstration of the updated PAT testing process on WA State Criminal Justice Training Commission’s website: Update To The Physical Ability Test (PAT).