Just Passed the ACE Exam
(Saint Louis, MO)
I had no previous personal training experience, and studied the ACE materials for a month and a half and was able to pass at an average of about 80%.
A few things to keep in mind...
The ACE exam has VERY FEW questions that simply require the recall of information. Most of the questions involve the *application* of the information you learn from the ACE study materials. If you take the practice test, and the on-line practice exam, you will get a good handle for what to expect on the exam. If you can pass both of those, you should be ready for the real thing which is -- in my estimation -- slightly easier than the practice exams.
As far as math formulas go: the majority of the questions involved figuring body fat percentage. Because you can't use a calculator -- remember that multiplication is always the opposite of division. If you can't figure it out with division (my math skills aren't the greatest) use multiplication inserting the multiple choice options into the equation. Other than knowing how to determine body fat percentage, I had one question requiring the Karvonen formula, and another one where I had to analyze a nutritional label.
I was surprised how many questions there were on the exam regarding diet/nutrition information, and how few there were about anatomy. Know the major muscles, and the major actions for each muscle -- but don't stress over it too much. I think fewer than 10 out of the 160 M.C. questions really tested my knowledge of anatomy.
There were also several questions on posture issues -- i.e. Scoliosis, Lordosis, etc.
Make program design, and special populations, a prime focus for your studies. Be sure to know how the body responds to heat, higher altitudes, etc.
Also -- use common sense. Choose conservative programs when you do the simulation section, i.e. don't push them too hard.