As one of the most acclaimed certifications for exercise professionals, the ACE CPT test is also regarded as one of the most difficult. It makes sense that it would be; people trust their personal trainers to be knowledgeable, competent, and trustworthy. Most people know when they’ve hit their limit when exercising. But a poorly trained, unqualified personal trainer who isn’t in tune with their client could push to the point of injury or worse.
Only 65-70% of ACE CPT test-takers pass on the first try. The text is nearly 800 pages but there are only 150 questions. That leaves a lot of room for error. Plus, the test is only three hours long; it can be a real scramble coming up with correct answers when the pressure is on and there’s so much to know.
One of the most effective secret weapons you can use when preparing is an ACE practice test. We’ve put together a list of eight additional tips and tricks for stacking the odds in your favor. Read on to find out how to level the playing field!
Read the Textbook
The ACE CPT test isn’t one of those where you can use the book as a paperweight and fake your way through it. Regardless of whatever other study techniques you use, you’ll be referring to the text continuously. It will also be an important reference as you go forward in your career.
Use the Materials
The book is practically stuffed with study materials that can help you get an edge- if used correctly. Taking complete notes can help you narrow down the content and dial in the knowledge you’re most likely going to need. Manually outlining the chapters and highlighting sections of particular interest can be a big help in reviewing the content later.
Sometimes the oldies are still goodies. You’ll need every advantage you can get, so look into tried-and-true study techniques. Turning information into mnemonic phrases, such as jokes, clever rhymes, or melodies, can make it easier to recall both during the test and as a pro. Take advantage of the review section at the end of each chapter and quiz yourself. Space your studies out into 30-minute blocks instead of 3-hour marathons.
Words to the Wise
Nothing can replace solid knowledge of vocabulary in the ACE CPT exam. It will be difficult to proceed if you can’t understand what is being asked or how to answer using the correct language. Another bonus is that thorough knowledge of definitions can help narrow down or eliminate incorrect answers. Flashcards can be an effective way of getting terminology to stick.
A Body of Work
It’s hard to imagine being successful as a Certified Personal Trainer without having extensive knowledge of the body and how it works. You’ll need knowledge of muscles and bones, the respiratory and circulatory systems, and common diseases. If you’ve had prior training in anatomy, brush up on it. Not only will this help you pass the ACE CPT exam, but it will also be indispensable as a professional.
Practice Makes Perfect
Taking practice quizzes can be a lifeline to success in your ACE CPT exam. While they won’t show you everything you’ll encounter, they’ll give you an idea of what to expect and where you need improvement. Get current on your math and science chops, and be ready to tackle questions and analyses drawn from real-life scenarios. Make the most of your full practice exam as well.
It can be a big boost to your progress if you can find other people to study with. Even if you don’t know anyone locally, there are social media groups online you can network with. You may find others who are preparing to take the exam that you can study or practice with remotely. You might even find mentors who’ve taken the test and can provide advice or guidance going into it.
Time is of The Essence
Three hours sounds like a lot of time, but it can sneak by before you know it. Make sure you understand every instruction and every question before answering. Feel free to skip ahead to the ones you’re sure you know the right answer to. Some of the harder questions might be made easier by answering the easier questions, too. Make sure you review your exam in full before submitting it.
Make sure you are well-rested and get a good breakfast. Aside from your ID and admission ticket, you won’t be able to bring anything in. You also won’t be able to wear a sweatshirt if it has pockets or a hood since those could be used for smuggling cheat sheets. You’ll be provided paper, pencils, and a basic calculator. Aside from that, bring your best, most prepared self and ace that exam!