By Jermyn Chow, Defence Correspondent, The Straits Times, 28 Feb 2015
AFTER a three-month trial, the Singapore Armed Forces has finalised the military's new fitness test that will be rolled out on April 1.
The revised Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT), which will be made up of sit-ups, push-ups and a 2.4km run, is expected to enable more servicemen to pass or do well enough to collect the monetary incentives.
The three-station IPPT, which was unveiled in July last year, will no longer have the shuttle run, standing broad jump and chin-up stations as part of its test.
It is part of moves to make the IPPT less of a chore for NSmen, many of whom used to fail it and had to be sent for remedial training.
After trials involving some 5,000 servicemen late last year, the SAF revised upwards the minimum standards they have to meet to attain the silver or gold award.
This requires servicemen to run faster and collect more points in order to get the awards and qualify for cash incentives of up to $500.
This is because trial results showed that more than a quarter of participants, most of whom had bagged gold and silver awards, clocked slower times for their 2.4km runs than in the current test.
The Singapore army's assistant chief of general staff (training), Colonel Ng Ying Thong, said the latest tweaks will "further stretch and challenge" the fitter group of servicemen to do better, yet not demotivate the majority to train and pass the IPPT.
Overall, most of the participants in the trial bettered their previous performances in the current test.
For instance, 88 per cent of the trial participants did more, if not as many, sit-ups, while 73 per cent of them ran faster or maintained their timings during the 2.4km runs.
Pre-enlistees who want to be exempted from extra weeks of physical fitness training before Basic Military Training (BMT) can start taking the new three-station test from next week.