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ACSM Exam Tips

by Erik
(Washington DC)

I recently passed the ACSM personal trainer exam on the first time around. It was hard, but I passed it and I am new to the industry (never certified before and no exercise science degree).

However, I studied hard for at least six months prior to taking the exam, bought all the ACSM study materials, bought additional study materials (flash cards and review book) from an independent source on the web (Morrison Media), and attended the ACSM workshop (not to mention I just read a lot of fitness books and journals in general).

Had I to do it over again I would of only bought the ACSM Resources for the Personal Trainer book and the ACSM Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription book. The review guide that they sell as part of a package deal with the other two books was a waste of time and money as it pertains primarily to the higher level certifications and not the personal trainer exam. The additional study guide and flash cards I purchased from Morrison Media were also of little help and of such poor quality that some of the answers and information were incorrect. I emailed the company about this problem a couple of times and they just told me to write in the correct answers on the flash cards and they would get back to me, which they never did.

In hindsight, I would of bought the two books I mentioned, taken the workshop immediately (I waited until a few weeks before I took the test) and took the test within a month of that. The books and the workshop will still not cover all the material on the test, but in my opinion it will cover more than enough of the material for you to pass the test.

At the workshop they will give you a study guide that you cannot buy otherwise and cover the core concepts which are vital to passing the test. I seriously do not think I would have passed the test without having attended the 3 day workshop.

I have no other certifications under my belt to compare ACSM to, but I have read through other certification books and talked to a lot of people in the industry and best I can tell ACSM is amongst the best and well respected (which is why I chose them). However, I believe it's the trainer that makes the certification, not the other way around. Getting certified is just the start, it's what you do with it and learn on your own after being certified that matters most.

Comments for ACSM Exam Tips

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Thanks
by: Anonymous

Thank you for spending the time to give us this info.

I bought something from Morrison Media while studying for ACE and made them give me my money back.

I'm thinking about doing ACSM as a second cert.

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Thanks
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the info, it helped me a lot...

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ACSM stuyding
by: Anonymous

I purchased the study guide by morrison Media and I am very disappointed as well. I agree stick with what ACSM gives you access to. The Learning portals are great. If you use the book along side of them you should get the full benefit.


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A+ REVIEW
by: Anonymous

Nice insider tips!

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ACSM Exam Prep Tips
by: Anonymous

The 3 day workshop is awesome and of MUCH help in preparation for the exam! Worth every penny spent!

However,I also agree that the flash cards produced by Morrison Media are of very poor informational quality. The grammar is less than adequate, a surprising number of answers are wrong and the context of the whole is such that I want my money back. I was so irritated that I've made grammatical and informational corrections and mailed the pack back to Morrison's editing department. They have failed to respond to my email. Don't spend the money, don't spare your precious time.

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Removed links to Morrison
by: Katie - Admin

After receiving some negative feedback from ACSM folks on the Morrison (momedia) products, we have removed the link from our web site.

When we looked for better resources we were not able to find any. So we decided to build our own exam review course to help prepare people for the ACSM test. We think it is more comprehensive than Morrison and more accurate. You can check it out at the link below:

Exam Review Course

- Katie

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Good
by: Anonymous

excellent piece, agree with the lot

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Thank you!
by: Sari

I'm the same...no degree in health/fitness, and this will be my first 'major' certification. Your comments give me some hope! Thanks a ton for the advice!

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Passed
by: Anonymous

I did it. I passed it.

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ACSM
by: Anonymous

Thank you,
You provided great insights into ACSM and passing the exam.
I am new to the field and will use your info to do likewise.

Regards,

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Passed!
by: Anonymous

I took the test, only self study while juggling 5 kids under 10, no classes or workshops and a college degree that is absolutely not related to exercise or physiology. I passed. It isn't easy, and the questions are worded very specifically, but the review materials from this site were very helpful, definately worth the money.

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Morrison Media Ripoff
by: Anonymous

DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY. These "flashcards" are a mess. Every question begins: "Describe the...", then the opposite side is crammed with tiny print, sometimes running off the card to the one below the perforation. There are spelling and grammar errors as well. The "Secrets" study guide should include the secret to staying in business. What a mess.

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Please help
by: Ranjit Salvi, India

Thanks much, your advice helped and saved us money, where did you do the 3 day workshop and can we do it by correspondence

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Study material help
by: floyd

Im based out of delhi and im not in a position to spend 5 k on the study material for ACSM. If any one in india/ new delhi would be kind enough to lend me the material or even sell it off ( i doubt that).. I plan to give the exam in december 2010. Awaiting anyone's revert on this.thankyou.

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Right on time!
by: Terence

After searching the web thoroughly I came to the conclusion that ACSM is maybe the most respected personal trainer certification out there. But what scared me was how difficult everyone said the test was. I went forward and purchased the material (The kit). Now I said let me see how I must go forward. I heard it would take 300 hrs of study (Two hours a day and that's still six months) Thanks to you post I have a really good idea about how to go about studying and taking this exam. Thank you!

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Two timer
by: Don Juevos Rancheros Del Rico

I took the ACSM CPT exam 4 years ago, and passed. It was more difficult than I expected. I probably only put a couple weeks of study in, but I have a degree in Ex-physiology. I went to ministry school three years so I did not keep up with the CEU's, so now I am retaking the exam. From my recollection, ACSM puts a huge emphysis on special populations (pregnant, children, elderly), contraindications (physical issues which would require physician release, or that would require an abstaince from given expercises), and formulas (BMI, MHR, THR, Reserve HR, RMR, etc.)
Also, having a strong grasp on the joints and their corresponding planes (range) of motion (sagittal, medial, flexion, adduction, etc.) is vital.
I used "ACSM's Resources for the Personal Trainer, 2nd edition" as my only text. It is more than sufficient, however can be difficult to digest on your own. This time I am using as many online practice quiz/tests that I can find, and IMHO are invaluable for appropriate memory retention.

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??????
by: Joe

Hey you said at the workshop they will give you a study guide that you cannot buy otherwise that cover the core concepts any chance anyone who has passed their exam would like to get rid of theirs.

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ACSM
by: Anonymous

The study materials from this website were helpful. Some of the questions on the exam were exactly the same.
A few tips;
Many questions on kilocalories,
nutrition pyramid,
B12 absorption during pregnancy,
many questions on the role of specific antagonists,
many questions on the route of blood traveling through the heart,
know the difference between strength and power,
many questions on determining BMI
good luck!

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ACSM Certified
by: Romeotech

I'm excited because today July 2016 I passed The ACSM-CPT Exam. The CPT exam have approximately 30 questions that are unscored out of the 150. Those are used for psychometric purposes and future exam item testing.

The Exam Prep for this website was the most helpful because there is more than 500 questions. the questions that have calculations and Case Study questions were very helpful in taken the ACSM Exam

All I did was read the ACSM Textbook and the practice exams over and over. Any questions I get wrong I would make sure to look it up in the textbook so I could understand the right answer. Its important that you don't just take it and memorize the answers because it won't be helpful on the real exam. a lot of questions were similar or reworded different and since I understood the question I was able to answer it.

Do the questions and explain to yourself why its the right answer and get yourself a book on anatomy and know your muscles and what they do because those are questions you should not be getting wrong.

I got no college degree and I did not do the workshop. I took this exam to see for myself how difficult it was and was not scared if I had to retake it. Why settle for less when I can get the best. knowing that its the Gold Standard Certification sounds sweet enough to motivate me to get that certification.



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