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What is the beep test police score?

The beep test, also known as the multi-stage fitness test or the PACER test, is used by police departments to assess cardiovascular fitness for recruits and officers. Police officers must meet certain fitness standards to ensure they can perform their duties safely and effectively. The beep test score requirements vary by department, but generally police need to achieve adequate scores to pass training and remain in active duty.

What is the Beep Test?

The beep test, officially known as the 20-meter shuttle run test, is an aerobic fitness test. Participants run back and forth between two points that are 20 meters apart. The test is progressive, starting out easy and getting harder at each level. A recording plays beeps at set intervals, and the runner must reach the other end before the next beep sounds. The time between beeps gets shorter each minute, requiring runners to speed up. If the participant reaches the line before the beep goes off, they stay in the test. If they don’t make it in time, they are out.

The test is scored based on the level and number of shuttles reached before failing to meet the beep two times in a row. The highest level and shuttle number indicate better aerobic endurance. Typically, the test is over when the participant can no longer run at the speed required or they are too exhausted to continue.


Each level of the beep test consists of several shuttle runs between the two points. Levels increase in difficulty as the time between beeps decreases, requiring faster running speeds. The test score equals the level and shuttle number the participant reaches before they are unable to keep up with the beeps.

For example, if a runner makes it to level 5 and completes 7 shuttles at that level before dropping out, their score is 5.7. The higher the beep test score, the better cardiovascular endurance the person has.

Beep Test Requirements for Police

Most police departments have a minimum beep test score requirement recruits must meet to graduate the police academy. Standards vary considerably between different agencies. Typical passing scores fall between level 5 and level 7 on the beep test.

Here are example beep test requirements for police:

  • NYPD: Minimum of level 6.5 for recruits
  • Los Angeles Police Department: Level 6.7 for recruits
  • Chicago Police: Level 7.5 for recruits
  • Houston Police: Level 5 for recruits
  • Philadelphia Police: Level 5 for recruits
  • Las Vegas Metro Police: Level 8 for recruits

Officers may have to periodically retake the beep test and achieve the minimum score to remain on active patrol duty. Standards are sometimes lower for incumbent officers compared to recruits.

Failing to meet the minimum could lead to dismissal from police training or reassignment to a desk job. Officers may undergo additional fitness training to improve their aerobic endurance and beep test performance.

Importance of Aerobic Fitness for Police

Maintaining adequate cardiovascular endurance is essential for police officers to perform their occupational duties safely and effectively. Police rely on aerobic fitness for:

  • Chasing fleeing suspects on foot
  • Rushing to emergency situations
  • Physically subduing combative individuals
  • Dragging or carrying injured people
  • Walking patrol beats
  • Participating in defensive tactics and use of force training
  • Responding quickly to calls and incidents

Officers with poor aerobic conditioning may struggle to handle these critical job tasks, putting themselves, fellow officers, and civilians at risk. The beep test provides an objective way to measure an officer’s cardiovascular capacity required for police work.

Tips for Improving Beep Test Scores

Here are some tips for police recruits and incumbent officers to improve beep test performance and achieve the required minimum scores:

1. Increase aerobic training

The best way to improve beep test scores is to perform regular aerobic exercise. This includes activities like running, swimming, cycling, rowing, and using the elliptical. Work on building endurance with longer, slower cardio workouts. Then add in high-intensity interval training to boost speed and VO2 max.

2. Do sprint intervals

Incorporate sprint intervals into your training routine. Sprints improve speed, endurance, and the anaerobic system needed for the beep test. Try intervals at the distance required on the test, like 20-meter sprints.

3. Train specifically for the beep test

Practice the actual beep test regularly at volumes and speeds required. This trains your body and mind specifically for the demands of the test. Have a partner provide cadence and motivation during practice tests.

4. Increase leg strength

Having strong legs allows you to run faster with less fatigue. Squats, lunges, leg presses, and plyometrics can build lower body strength necessary for the repeated sprints on the beep test.

5. Improve running economy

Good running economy and form reduces the energy needed at any running speed. Work on skills like posture, stride length, foot strike, and arm drive to enhance economy.

6. Lose excess body fat

Carrying extra body fat adds weight and makes running more difficult. Losing fat by improving your diet can help improve beep test performance.

7. Rest adequately between training

Recovery days are as important as hard workout days. Make sure you avoid overtraining, and get enough sleep to allow your body to adapt and become more fit.

8. Taper and carbo load before the test

For a few days before the beep test, reduce your training volume to rest your legs. Also increase carbohydrate intake to top off glycogen stores.

9. Use mental strategies

Having the mental grit and focus to push yourself is key on the beep test. Practice visualization, positive self-talk, and digging deep when you feel like quitting.

10. Stay hydrated and fueled

Drink enough water and eat a light meal a few hours before your test. Have some quick fuel like a banana just beforehand. This prevents dehydration and energy crashes.

Beep Test Standards by Age and Gender

The average beep test scores for recruits and officers vary based on factors like age and biological sex. Younger males often outperform older officers and females. Here are norms for police based on age and gender:

Age Range Male Officers Average Female Officers Average
20-29 10.1 8.6
30-39 9.0 7.2
40-49 7.4 6.1
50-59 6.2 5.4

These averages demonstrate how aerobic fitness measured by the beep test tends to decline with age. Males also typically outperform females. However, keep in mind individuals vary greatly, and these are just norms. With proper training, officers of any age or gender can achieve excellent beep test scores.

Impacts of Failing to Meet Standards

There can be significant consequences for police officers who fail to meet their department’s minimum beep test requirements, including:

Removal from active duty

An officer unable to pass the beep test may be placed on modified duty with a desk job. This restricts them from being on patrol or responding to calls where fitness is essential.

Inability to graduate academy

Recruits who cannot pass the beep test will fail to graduate and become certified officers. This ends the police career path for those individuals.


Some departments will terminate officers who repeatedly fail fitness standards like the beep test. This can end an officer’s policing career.

Legal action

There may be legal implications if an unfit officer is involved in an incident and their lack of fitness is deemed to have contributed. This could open up the department to lawsuits.

Less effective policing

An officer lacking aerobic fitness cannot police as effectively and may be unable to respond adequately when energetic physical activities are required.

Maintaining Fitness and Health

Police officers should maintain good fitness and health not just to meet beep test requirements, but to stay safe and effective in their demanding profession. Here are some tips:

  • Follow a regular exercise program focusing on cardiovascular and strength training
  • Eat a nutritious diet high in lean proteins, vegetables, and whole grains
  • Avoid excessive alcohol, sugar, salt, and junk foods
  • Stay well hydrated by drinking water throughout the day
  • Prioritize sleep and get 7-9 hours per night
  • Manage stress with techniques like yoga, meditation, and socializing with others
  • Get regular medical checkups to catch any emerging health issues
  • Take advantage of department wellness resources and programs


Police officers are required to have adequate cardiovascular fitness to handle the physical rigors of the job. The beep test provides an objective measurement of aerobic endurance needed for critical policing tasks. While specific standards vary, most departments require recruits to achieve beep test scores between level 5 and 8. Incumbent officers also have minimums, although usually lower than recruits. Failing to meet requirements can result in restriction from active duty, termination, or legal impacts. With proper training focused on aerobic conditioning, speed work, and leg strength, officers at any age or fitness level can achieve the beep test scores required by their department.