KAISERSLAUTERN, GERMANY -- During the first month of using the new Air Force fitness standards, some 20 percent of airmen failed the revised physical fitness test in July—double the rate of airmen who failed the old test.

Air Force representatives said the results still were better than they anticipated, based on a sampling of airmen unofficially tested under the new standards earlier this year. The Air Force previously speculated that the failure rate could be as high as 33 percent.

“We are encouraged that the failure rate is not as high as we expected,” Chief Master Sgt. Mark Long, chief of enlisted promotions, evaluations and fitness, told Stars and Stripes.

On a positive note, about 40 percent of the airmen who took the new test received scores of 90 or higher out of 100 points, which also was double the rate under the old standards. In June, the Air Force revised the new standards so airmen who earn an overall score of 90 or above will only be required to take the physical fitness test once a year, instead of twice per year.

The Air Force is currently analyzing data to determine which parts of the new test gave airmen the most trouble, Long told Stars and Stripes.

The roughly 6,000 airmen who failed the new fitness test (out of 30,000 active-duty, Guard and Reserve troops tested) will have 90 days to try again. Those who fail the test are required to enroll in a healthy living program that targets nutritional education and behavioral changes regarding exercise.