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IPPT? To Passing And Beyond.



Ah, just thinking about these lyrics invokes such bittersweet feelings of our army days. Arguably one of the more famous lines in one of the most famous army song sung by the boys of our nation, these lyrics talk about how taking the standard obstacle course, SOC, is an arduous task but yet is still second to taking the IPPT!

What is IPPT?

Now, for those of us who’re unaware, IPPT stands for Individualised Physical Proficiency Test. It is essentially the army boy version of NAPFA, an acronym we’re sure is more familiar to everybody else who hasn’t served NS! NAPFA stands for National Physical Fitness Award Scheme. Please do not ask us why the letters of the acronym do not match up to the first letter of every word; we have no idea why either! NAPFA is the physical fitness test that follows us on our academic journey in Singapore all the way through from primary school all the way up till JC/Polytechnic/ITE.

At this juncture, most girls can probably heave a sigh of relief! No more annual physical tests! Those things are dumb anyway; why run when we can just take public transport, amirite? For the boys, however…

Hi there, congratulations on hitting 18 years of age, here’s your enlistment letter! Please fill out your physical dimensions in this online form, submit yourself to a physical screening at CMPB, annnnddd WELCOME TO THE SAF! You are now a soldier, and you should have the level of fitness befitting one! Oh, you don’t? Not to worry, our Basic Military Training course will whip you into shape; quite literally.

During National Service (NS)

On top of undergoing gruelling training in the various aspects of modern warfare, us boys are going to be subjected to 2 more years of standardised fitness tests! Namely, the IPPT(Individualised Physical Proficiency Test)! Can we get a “Hoo-yah!”? Anyone?

Now, for the most part, the higher ups in your unit will play a role in ensuring that you meet a certain level of physical fitness through wonderfully structured (and not to mention mandatory) Physical Training sessions. Should you not perform up to standard, be prepared to face the full wrath of RTs (Remedial Trainings) on the weekends as well. And if that isn’t enough to whip you into some shape, then perhaps the numerous adventures into the vast wilderness(outfield stints) where you spend your days crawling up and down the jungle would! Or maybe the various fun runs (YAY SOC/VOC!) you have to clock while equipped with at least ten extra kilos of weight in the form of personal body armour, and a rifle would do the trick, we’re sure.


However, today we want to look at more than just the people with access to such meticulous training regimes designed for them to condition themselves physically. That’s right. Today, we want the spotlight to include the “ORD LOH!” Shouting, Pink-IC-on-forehead-Picture-posting, Longer (on average)-Coloured (optional but definitely present)-Hair men! That’s right. We’re talking about you, my good NSmen (not to be confused with the term NSF, National Service Full-time, a term used to describe our actively serving boys in green). Why are we doing this, you ask? Surprise surprise, because even after an NSF had ORD-ed and transitioned into an NSMen, he still has to take his IPPT every year!

Ah, just when you thought you could finally join the girls in saying, “Hey! I ORD already! I don’t have to deal with my sergeant/sir/SM/OC/Co telling me to go sign extra standardised physical tests on an annual basis anymore!”, reality smacks you in the face with the realisation that you are no longer a full civilian. Once you go soldier, you never go back! You are just a part-time civilian now. When war comes a knockin’, the NSMen goes a packin’, and he sure as heck better be in a physically able state to fight a war on behalf of his countrymen!

Still A Soldier

Alright, NSMen! A significant part of the responsibilities as soldier-turned-civilian is to ensure that your fitness level remains at the average level befitting a soldier, and not as merely a civilian.

To help facilitate this responsibility, NSMen have to book IPPT sessions online at ns.sg. Bookings are available at various camps(such as Maju FCC, Kranji FCC, Bedok FCC, and Khatib FCC) or SAFRAS(Jurong, Punggol, Tampines, Toa Payoh) in Singapore. Failing to pass your IPPT will result in you getting a lovely summon to your unit where you will be fined. Do note that if you chose to take your IPPT at a SAFRA, you would not be entitled to any reward beyond just a “pass”. You could check out the exact details by yourself over on mindef.gov.sg, but let’s be honest. You’re not going to do that, are you? This is precisely why this guide is here.

Another interesting, or should we say dreadful, thing to note is that if you fail your IPPT, even if you are an NSMen, it means that you have to go for remedial training. No questions asked. NSFs would most likely have it on their weekends or, if they’re lucky, have the RT sessions woven into their daily training regime. NSMen have it arguably more painful, for there will be a mandatory 20-session RT should they fail their IPPT that they have to book manually and attend after they end work.

Now that we’ve established that absolutely nobody wants to be caught failing the IPPT; let us (finally!) move on to the main event! Introducing Guidesify’s simple 5-step guide to help both NSF and NSMen deal with training for the IPPT!

Related: 125 Singlish Phrases That Define Singapore (Singaporean English)

Jared Soh
Jared Soh
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