No decision on changes to IPPT system yet: SAF

The Singapore Army said it has not yet decided on making changes to the Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT). -- ST FILE PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM
The Singapore Army said it has not yet decided on making changes to the Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT). -- ST FILE PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

But some SAF personnel say they have undergone trial of new test

The Singapore Army said it has not yet decided on making changes to the Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT).

The Straits Times reported yesterday that the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) are looking to tweak the yearly IPPT for the first time since 1982.

Sources told The Straits Times that commanders have been briefed about the likely changes, which could kick in next year, while servicemen revealed that they had taken the new tests as part of trials.

Changes could see the standing broad jump being scrapped, a push-up component added and the run extended to 3.2km.

The current test, taken by 116,000 people every year, has five stations comprising chin-ups, standing broad jump, a 4x10m shuttle run, sit-ups and a 2.4km run.

When contacted last week, the Defence Ministry declined to confirm the proposed tweaks.

The Singapore Army said on its Facebook page yesterday "there has not been any decision to change our IPPT system".

It added: "The SAF constantly reviews our training system, including physical training regimes and physical fitness tests, to ensure that they are relevant and effective, and continue to meet our operational requirements."

Some personnel, including operationally ready national servicemen (NSmen) who were recalled for in-camp training in July, said they had a trial of the new IPPT, in which they were asked to do push-ups, squats and the 3.2km run.

It is also understood that the minimum time for a pass on the longer run is 19 minutes for combat-fit soldiers below 25 years old. Currently, the pass grade for the 2.4km run for this group is between 12.21 and 13 minutes.

Ahead of the likely changes, opinions are divided on the removal of the standing broad jump, which some experts have said is not an effective test of a soldier's leg strength.

Nine out of 20 people told The Straits Times they did better on that station than in chin-ups and the 2.4km run.

Former sea soldier Jeremy Sng, 25, said: "It's a pity because the SBJ is easy for me." He worries about the 3.2km run.

In contrast, auditor Alvin Lee, 28, who has barely scraped through his IPPT because of the standing broad jump, is relieved he might not have to attempt another one. "If they do away with the jump, IPPT will be a breeze and I will no longer dread it."

jermync@sph.com.sg

jianxuan@sph.com.sg