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7 Tips for Passing Your Personal Training Exam

Here's How To Pass Your Personal Training Exam

If you are looking for an edge on your personal training exam, you probably won't find any magic pills or special flash cards for purchase. But there is valuable insight available to help you prepare for your test.

Going through the studying process and taking the personal training exam is incredibly stressful. But the moment of reading your letter of congratulations will be one of the best of your life.

When taking the four ACE certification exams and earning their corresponding credentials, you should ask yourself two questions before you begin studying: What should you know? And, how should you study to succeed?

Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions with seven helpful tips so that you can be sure you will pass your personal training exam.

1. Know Your Role

Depending on what role you plan to test on, you should plan differently. Be sure you have done your homework to see what the role of that particular fitness professional is.

Group Fitness Instructor

If you want to become a group fitness instructor, you will need to take a variety of classes so that you can understand the role you will fill. That way you will have the insight to teach different ways and in different environments to make the most of the classes that you teach.

You should consider things like the like the lighting in the room, temperature, use of equipment, sound level, and amount of dialogue throughout the class. That way you can study how the instructor makes changes to meet the needs of the students in the class.

Personal Trainer

If you want to become a personal trainer then you should first become the client of one or shadow them. This will give you insight into the relationship between clients and trainers.

It will also help you learn how to perform client assessment and what to go through in the interviewing process. If you are thorough in your study, you will also learn how to interpret testing information so that you can design effective and safe programs for your clients.

Health Coach

For those on the path to becoming a health coach, you are probably already working as a professional personal trainer or group fitness instructor. To take the next step you should schedule an appointment with a registered dietician.

A dietician will be able to give you a deeper understanding of the body's relationship between physical activity, nutrition, and weight control. That way you will have a better understanding of the needs of your clients who are going through lifestyle changes. This helps you to deepen your relationship with your clients.

Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist

If you already work as a personal trainer and want to become an advanced health and fitness specialist, you should start networking with allied health professionals. These are people like orthopedic surgeons, dieticians, physical therapists. and medical doctors that specialize in metabolic disorders.

In addition, you should consider taking courses that focus on working with a specific population. These could be pre or post-natal clients, people with metabolic diseases, people affected by eating disorders, etc.

2. Break Down the Test

Before you can be successful on your personal training exam, you need to break the test down into a blueprint.

You should know:

  • The outline of the exam
  • What topics are on the exam
  • How the exam is weighted
  • Whether the exam is multiple choice
  • Whether there will be an essay question
  • Whether there will be a case study
  • How long the exam is
  • Whether the exam will be open book
  • Whether there will be a practical component

All these questions are used to help you develop a game plan based on the specifics of the particular personal training exam that you are going to take. Having a game plan is good because that way you can know what part of the material to focus on so you use your time well.

3. Take Several Practice Exams

Practice makes perfect in just about everything, and the personal training exam is no different. If you know what to expect before you get there, you will have a more comfortable exam process. That means that your stress levels will be lower so you will be better able to concentrate on the material.

No matter which of the major certifications you are going for, you should be able to find practice study materials online. Looking at the questions on these practices will help you to have an idea of the questions you will be asked when you take the actual personal training exam.

A practice exam will also help you to review the information you have learned while you were studying and help keep it fresh in your memory. But that isn't the only benefit of a practice personal training exam, they also can help point you toward the areas that you need to work on and show you the places where you excel.

4. Work With Others

Having a supportive community is very helpful when you are preparing for your personal training exam. Whether it is a study group or a mentor, having others to help you learn is a great way to make the process more engaging.

Study Group

If you are taking a class to prepare for your personal training exam, then you already have a built-in study group. Everyone in the class will understand different portions of the course in ways that could possibly help you to learn better.

By studying together, you will be able to pool your resources as well as build each other's confidence in the days leading up to the personal training exam.


If working with your peers doesn't get you the help you need, then turning to a mentor can be a great solution. If you know someone in the fitness community that has already passed the exam you plan to take, then they can be an excellent resource for you while you study.

Contact them and ask them for study tips and suggestions. The more people you talk to and get to discuss their experiences, the better an idea you will have of what the personal training exam will be like when you take it. They can share their tips and plan of action.

5. Use Proper Test Taking Strategies

Before you enter any exam, you should learn how to use proper test-taking strategies to improve your odds of doing well on the test.

Destress to Impress

If you go into an exam stressed out then you may waste all of your hours of studying by blanking out. Don't let the pressure take over!

Before you go to sit down for your exam, take some time to have some fun. Perhaps go to the gym and lift some weights or take a run to kill your nerves. Get the music going in a spinning class or relax with some yoga. Whatever it is, just get your mind off the exam so you can relax.

Arrive Early

In order to minimize your anxiety about the personal training exam, you should be sure to arrive early. You can use the time to think positive thoughts and focus your mind on the material for the exam. If you are really early, you can even use this time to review your notes.

Maintain a Positive Attitude

No matter how difficult the first questions seem to be, you shouldn't allow yourself to get worked up about it. If you let your anxiety get the best of you then you will be wasting valuable time that you could have been using to figure out what the best answer is to the question that you are stuck on.

Save Time for Review

To save yourself from stress during the exam you will need to skip questions that don't make sense to you at first. Once you have read the rest of the test another question makes give you the information you need to arrive at the right answer to a previous question.

But this technique isn't helpful unless you allow yourself time to go back and review the questions that you decided to skip. Give yourself enough time to comb through the information thoroughly and make sure you are selecting the best answer.

Don't Watch for Patterns

Just because the answer to the last five questions was "C", doesn't mean that you should change your selection to any of them. Test questions are often written using software that mixes up the answer selections randomly.

Understand the Questions

Before you answer anything, you should be sure that you understand the meaning of the questions. Too often readers get overconfident and miss a word that changes the meaning of a sentence and causes you to pick the wrong answer.

Pace Yourself

There will be 150 questions on the exam and you will have 3 hours to complete it. There are no bonus points if you finish first, so be sure that you take your time. If you struggle with a question, put a mark next to it. Then later you can come back to it if a future question happens to trigger your memory.

Don't Swap Answers

Before you decide to change any of your original answers consider it very carefully. Most of the time your first instinct on a question is correct. Take some time to reread the question very carefully and try to find terms in the sentence that can give you guidance.

6. Don't Cut Corners

Too many people don't take the time to properly prepare for this exam and end up having to take it multiple times. Don't let yourself fall into the trap of thinking you know everything.

There is no fast track to understanding the information you need to know for your personal training exam. If you are trying to become a professional in this field then you should find the material interesting and want to engage in the work it takes to learn.

7. Understand, Don't Just Memorize

Too often people who are studying for their personal training exam will spend all of their time memorizing bones and muscles. Although it is necessary to spend time on this kind of information to pass the test, the focus is meant to be on the outcome.

The exam isn't going to ask you about specific body tissues, but rather, it wants to know whether you know how damage to those body tissues can affect other parts of the human body.

Passing the Personal Training Exam

If you want to pass your personal training exam, you can't expect it to fall in your lap. You are going to have to work hard to get to know the various parts of the body as well as how they are impacted by various exercises and lifestyle changes.

Be sure that you don't cut any corners because this information is very dense and all works together to create a comprehensive plan for clients to achieve their goals.

Just like for any other exam there are proper test-taking strategies that you should use to ensure you are doing the best you can. It is also a good idea to team up with classmates or a mentor to get a better understanding of the material.

Break the test down into its components and take practice exams to be sure that you know what to expect on your test. If you do all these things then you will be setting yourself up to pass your exam.

Ensuring a Successful Career

Once you have become a personal trainer, you will be in a great position to help others. In today's world, many of us forget that our health is of utmost importance and you will be there to remind us.

To that end, you should never stop learning new training techniques. You will also need to refine your marketing techniques to grow your business so that you can stay ahead of the game.

Xerofit is here to help you manage your time as a trainer and provide better workouts to your clients with the help of cutting-edge technology. Join today to get started.