Saturday 28 February 2015

IPPT Gold, silver standards revised after trial; Implementation of new IPPT from 1 Apr 2015

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.

Corporal Napoleon Parthiban, who went through the IPPT trial and shaved 20 seconds off his previous 2.4km running time to clock 9min 50 sec, said going through fewer IPPT stations helped him to finally hit gold before he completes his two-year NS stint in May.

The 23-year-old, who managed only a silver before the trial, said: "The burden is less and everything then seems a lot easier to do."

Better IPPT scores under new format
By Jermyn Chow, Defence Correspondent, The Straits Times, 27 Feb 2015

SOLDIERS, sailors and airmen who underwent the revised Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) trials bettered their previous performances in the current test, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen.

They did more sit-ups and ran faster, with some shaving as much as two minutes in their runs, he shared on his Facebook page yesterday.

The revised IPPT, which kicks in from April 1, will replace the current five-station physical fitness test of chin-ups, sit-ups, standing broad jump, 4x10m shuttle and a 2.4km run.

The 4x10m shuttle run, standing broad jump and chin-up stations will be scrapped, as part of moves to make the IPPT less painful for NSmen, especially those who failed it and were sent for remedial training.

At least 3,000 servicemen and women, including regulars and operationally-ready national servicemen (NSmen), went through the new IPPT in a three-month trial that began last September.

In the post, Dr Ng said the result showed that the new IPPT format motivates NSmen to "max out" for each station to collect as many points as possible. "This is good because more will likely pass the new IPPT," he added.

Instead of having to meet a passing mark for each component, servicemen will clock the fastest time for the run and count their personal best for how many sit-ups and push-ups they can do in a minute. Points will be accumulated from all three stations.

As servicemen grow older and their fitness levels drop, the required performance standards will change every three years, instead of the current five.


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