By David Wilfong, NDG Contributing Writer
On Sept. 5 there was a small meeting at Germany Park between Dallas-based FBI agents and members of the media. The FBI had challenged members of the local press to take their Physical Fitness Challenge, which is administered to applicants seeking a job with the agency.
Recently the FBI released an app to the public which can be downloaded for free and used to compare a personal score against the agency’s requirements. The invitation to the media to take the test was done to get the word out on its availability.
“The fit test is administered at several points during the process, and we find this test to be the barrier that creates the most challenge for applicants,” said special agent Vicki Marwood, who is also a recruiter for the FBI. “So this is a way to help you be better prepared for this process. We typically see about a 50 percent failure rate when we administer that test.”
The test consists of four parts; sit-ups, push-ups, a 300-meter sprint; and a mile-and-a-half run. Each test is graded on a point system, with applicants needing to score 12 points overall, and at least one point in each exercise.
Once in the FBI, agents must re-qualify by retaking the fit test annually. The number of points an agent must score on the test can be adjusted for age, giving some level of variance. But all applicants must meet the same 12 point standard to be admitted into the training program.
Currently, the FBI is particularly seeking more female agents and people of color, and they are hoping access to the physical regimen can help potential future agents grade themselves before taking the test on the record. The FBI accepts applicants from age 23 to 36. A college degree, as well as at least three years of professional experience in some field, is also required. There are no specific college degrees the field is limited to, though the agency at times looks for specific needs such as those trained language skills or computer science.
The app is available on the FBI website. Once downloaded, it contains special features such as instructions, video demonstrations for proper form and procedures and sample tests using the official scoring system. Users can utilize the app during training with included timers and rep counters.