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I just passed the ACSM exam,my advice to you

by D
(California)

I read a lot about the ACSM exam before I took it,to find out what exactly I needed to know to pass.I wanted as much as an edge as I could get because I am terrible at tests.I'm not a slacker trying to make a few bucks or pick up chicks at the gym,I love the physically active lifestyle and want to help others achieve a better standard of living.Below I'll give my take on the exam,how I went about studying for it,and what you need to do in order to pass!

My background so you can get a better feel for my advice and what it's worth.I lifted weights since I was 16(am 27 now).Took weights classes and a nutrition class in college.Have practiced Kickboxing,Boxing,Jiu-jutsu,Wrestling,yadda yadda Mixed Martial Arts for 5 years and have a few amateur fights under my belt.While I'm certainly no PhD I've more than basic knowledge of health and physical fitness,now then onto what will hopefully help you pass the exam!

Firstly let me make this clear.

This test is no joke. It is difficult, requires comprehensive knowledge of the source material and the ability to put it to practice.BUT THIS TEST IS CERTAINLY PASSABLE WITH STUDYING! Don't listen to those who say it's easy or be discouraged by that elitist douche bag who commented about how only people who are lazy fail it.(Although I'm sure tons of lazy people have failed it and deserved to lol)

Things you REALLY need to know(Labeled thus because there was a large amount of questions regarding these on the test.

Risk Stratification:Have this down & I mean down. There were a lot of questions about this. Your given case examples and require you to know how many risk factors the person has and which ones.You have to choose the most ACCURATE answer as some answers are correct but another answer will be more correct.Vicious,I know. An example of this type of question would be.

Crazy Jake is looking to start a fitness routine,his stats are.
Quit smoking 6 months ago
Serum Cholesterol >240
Waist Circumference 40in
Blood pressure 140/60
Father had myocardial infarction

What risk category does Crazy Jake fall in?
How many risk factors does Crazy Jake have?
What are Crazy Jakes risk factors?

As you can see you have to know the stratification, the diseases and positive or negative risk factors,what hypertension is and its numerical values of note,blood pressure and its values,waist circumference,cholesterol,and many more.DO NOT skimp on studying for this portion of the test or you will lose a lot of points.

Next would be the lowly rotator cuff. Know what muscles compose it,it's ranges of motion(adduction,abduction etc)and Which individual muscles perform which actions.

Know spotting positions
Know the cardiovascular/arteriole/respiratory diseases
Know which muscles do what action*Important!*
Know signs of heat stroke,Heat Syncope,Dehydration,a diabetic attack and what to do in these instances.
Know how many calories are in Carbs,Fats,Proteins,AND alcohol.
Know glycogen,glucos,ATP,aerobic and anaerobic systems.
Know HDL & LDL
Know which muscles make up the larger muscle groups(Pectorals,Quadriceps)AND what actions they perform(Flexion,extension,etc)
Know the planes of motion(Sagital,Frontal,transverse)
Know which exercises employ which muscles
Know all the muscle actions(Extension,flexion,abduction,adduction yadda yadda)
Know what abuterol is and does
Know ACSMs standards for prescribing and designing workout routines.
Know the curves of the spine
Know BMI
Know METS
Know Vo2 Max
*IMPORTANT*Know the skinfold measurements,where they are taken,AND at what angle they are taken(Horizontal,Verticle,Diagonal)
Know the parts of the muscles(sarcomere etc) AND what enzymes they use to do what.
Know ACSM's teaching philosophies
Know PAR Q
Know Malpractice
Know the different types of stretches
and quite a bit more


I only studied for 3 weeks but then again I was unemployed and did nothing but study,had a base knowledge of anatomy,fitness,nutrition,etc, AND was extremely determined to pass. I should have studied longer,definitely. But I had set a goal to get my cert before the end of march so,here I am.

This test is far from impossible,but don't for a minute approach it lightly.I only got 600,the passing score is 550, my lack of study time showed,had I taken a few more weeks my score would have been much higher.

Sorry this was so short and slipshod but I have to go to Newport soon,good luck everyone!




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by: Anonymous

thanks for sharing this info. The ACSM exam is really scary for me.

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