Swim assessments, completed during Orientation, indicate which of our new cadets may participate in Marine Safety and Survival programs immediately, and let us know which members of the incoming class require remedial instruction before they can begin more intensive training.  

Swim assessments are required of all cadets during Orientation week. Keep in mind, the swim assessment should be considered a "challenge exam" that fulfills the prerequisite requirement for many of the classes offered at the Academy, including those required for cadets who will be sailing on board the ship after their first year. 

We encourage you to practice prior to arriving at Orientation, particularly if you are concerned about your swimming abilities.

The Swim Assessment does not allow goggles for the test (the premise is you won’t have goggles if you need to jump off the ship in an emergency). If you wear contacts or have a medical condition that requires goggles you can wear them. We do not have nor provide goggles so if you need them you would need to provide your own.

The following is a list of requirements to pass the assessment:

  1. Each cadet must demonstrate the ability to swim, without stopping, 4 lengths of a 25-meter pool. The assessment is not timed.
  2. Within that distance, each cadet must swim, in order, the following:
    • Breast stroke
    • Back stroke
    • Side stroke
    • "Swimmers choice"
  3. Each cadet will also be asked to swim a short distance under water.

In case you are not familiar with some the swim strokes that are required for the assessment, we have included links to help prepare.

Upon completion of the swim assessment a grade of CR (Credit) is given or you will be given instructions on how to enroll in PE 100. We have included the course description for your convenience:

Beginning/Intermediate Swimming

Lab Hours: 2
Credits: 1/2
Graded: Credit/No Credit

Individual instruction for everyone, from beginning swimmers who need help in learning basic fundamentals and techniques to intermediate swimmers who want to improve their swimming technique and/or conditioning.

Instructional Videos

Breast Stroke


Back Stroke


Side Stroke