I passed after only 16 days to study and no manual!
(madison, wi, usa)
Wow. What a whirlwind 2 weeks! I signed up for the ACE exam on the Saturday before Easter and just took it today. I did not have enough money to spare to purchase the ace personal trainer manual, so I crammed with what I found on-line. And no, I do not have a background in kinesiology. Learning the muscles and bones was totally new for me!
The test questions I purchased from this site were invaluable. I also loved this site: http://www.albemarle.org/department.asp?department=fire&relpage=7230
It was amazing. combine that with these questions from ACE http://www.acefitness.org/getcertified/homestudy_login.aspx
And I was actually pretty prepared.
You definitely need to know your anatomy and planes. Also BMI, VO2 max and Target/Reserve Heart rate calculations. I highly recommend finding the sample written portion on-line to give you an idea of what the scenarios are like and how they are scored.
Overall an exhilarating experience.