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Passed the NASM exam - 1st try

by Samantha
(Los Angeles)

I passed the NASM CPT exam yesterday on my first try. Want to thank everyone on this site for keeping me motivated during my studies. During my first read thru of the materials I was freaking out over all the muscles, tables, charts, and definitions. But, I made flash cards of all the important terms and numbers and took them with me everywhere.

Then, I re-read the textbook two more times one week before the exam. For those of you still getting thru your first read - I know that sounds daunting --it did to me too when I read someone else recommend to do that a month ago. But, I promise the 2nd and 3rd times don't take nearly as long and they really make everything click and you pick up on new things that are definitely on the test.

So, a little about the test. The questions are definitely different than the practice tests. They clearly want to make sure you have read and studied the materials. Things to know very well:
- Like everyone else has said page 169 is crucial.
- Acute variables for resistance training.
- Know which exercises are for Stabilization, Strength and Power for each of the training sections. Study the pictures - while there are no pictures in the exam, this really helps you understand why they are in each phase.
- Had about 5 questions on the heart, blood pressure, cardioresp. system...
- Do read the special populations section and know the special circumstances.

There are no 'trick' questions. If you have read the materials, the answer is pretty obvious. There were only 5-10 questions that I deferred because I didn't know the answer right away. Just make sure you read the questions very carefully.

Good luck to you. Just study and you will do it!! :)

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Passed on 1st Try

by Matt
(Mesa, AZ)

I just passed the NASM CPT on my 1st try.

It was certainly challenging - no doubt. But, I have 0 science background and no prior certifications. I pursued the cert because over the course of a year, I was reading a lot about fitness and nutrition on my way to losing a considerable amount of weight (and it interested me).

My tips:

* Use the study guide. It's not everything you will need to know. But, it covers about 80% or so of what is on the exam.

* Chapters 4 and 5 cover a ton of what I found difficult. Know your muscles, what they do, which are overactive and underactive in your assessments, and how to correct the imbalances.

* Don't ignore the special populations chapter. Nothing on that in the study guide, but it DOES appear on the exam.

* Utilize all the materials they give you. I read each chapter, then watched the videos, then re-read while rewriting what was important according the guide, and then I watched the videos again.

Again, its tough, but that's what makes it worthwhile and of value.

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Congrats on a job well done!
by: Will

I passed a month ago as well and just completed the NASM CES and PES this week! I highly recommend taking them if you are planning to while the NASM CPT materials are still frsh in your head. The CES was really informative!

Any other tips?
by: Christin

Congrats Matt! Im gearing up to take it in the next few weeks. and am totally freaking out! I want to know everything and pass on the first round. But am so scared I wont. I dont do well with multiple choice as I second guess myself. any suggestions??

by: Anonymous

Go with your first guess... that's it. I too suck at multiple choice tests. But, I did just go with my gut more often than not. The system allows you to "tag" certain questions. So, if you are unsure, tag it. You can go back and really examine those few questions. I found this particularly helpful.

Good luck!

Passed it on the First try! Here are some tips.
by: Aaron

ok, so I took the NASM exam and barely passed it with a 70. This test is tough in that the wording is different that what is currently on the current practice test. Some basic guidelines to passing the test

Make note cards based off the review questions/terms in the review guide, Know all the muscle imbalances and corrective measures charts, know the charts for set/reps/# of exercises, and progressions. If you know the review material, plus those charts you should be ok. Use the practice exams as a way to drill some of that info in. There were a lot of questions from the practice exam on my exam, if they werent exact, they were close. The exams from this site is also very helpful. So take and retake all the test until you know them front and back. This certification is not for everyone and NASM, in my opinion, designed the test to produce failures in order to weed out people who dont know the material all the way through. Good Luck!

passed NASM exam on first try
by: Sebastien Leg

I just took the NASM an hour ago and I past it on my first attempt. I want to thank everybody for their post because it helped me get an idea of what to focus on the most. Before I took the test I had read all the comments that people posted online and let me tell you, a lot of it is true and I`m gonna tell you exactly what is true:

The test is not easy,but if you memorized everything while studying without trying to understand the concepts the test questions will seem confusing.

The study material that you can purchase from NASM does help a lot, the questions on the exam are not gonna be formulated the same but if you understand the material you will be able to answer the questions correctly. The material that will give you the most leverage for the exam are the online flashcards(they will help you figure out which section you need to study and look at in each chapter.

In the study guide make sure you understand the word definitions like "vertical loading" which came out on my exam

The most important part of the book you need to focus on is:
1- anatomic locations
2- planes of motion
3- The isolated functions of muscles(very important)
4- the flexibility of movement compensation patterns table on page 169(very important that you understand all of it)
5- the different exercises for core, balance, resistance, and reactive training.(very important)

Now the test is hard, i`m not going to sugar code it, but if you use the standard NASM package that they sale on their website, you take your time to study, dont rush yourself, you cover all the study materials (flashcards, study guide, online practice exams etc), you make sure that you understand all the concepts, you will pass the exam. One more thing, do not panic on the test, stay calm and just read the questions carefully before you answer them.
Good Luck!!!!

Passed the CPT V3 Exam on First Try!!! (4/2011)
by: Rick

So here is my take on the NASM process. I ordered the $650 package from NASM on March 9, 2011. It arrived on March 15 which is also the day I started. I spent about 3 hrs per day reading, doing the exercises in the study guide and watching the videos. I completed the whole process in just over 3 weeks doing a chapter a day on average. After that I spent about 1.5 weeks reviewing and took the final exam on April 15th and as I said I passed it.

I feel that the actual exam was at the same difficulty level as the practice exam. As others have said the actual exam is not just a rehash of the practice exam. The questions obviously cover the same material but are asked in a slightly different way. I'm of the opinion that if you understand the material that's asked on the practice exam and pass it then you should have no problem with the real exam. There were one or two questions that were TOTALLY foreign to me and I'm guessing that they were some of the test questions.

You DEFINITELY need to know the overhead squat assessment with all of the overactive muscles, the appropriate stretches, muscles that need strengthening and the appropriate strength exercises. In reality MEMORIZE the table!!! I also took 5 minutes at the start of the exam to jot down an abbreviated version on some of the provided scrap paper just so I wouldn't have to go through the table in my mind repeatedly. Remember you can't bring ANYTHING into the test room, not even a cup of coffee!!! ARGH!

You'll also need to know the basic exercises for each level of the OPT method as well as how to progress and regress them. One suggestion; if the questions is asking for a strength exercise then look for the word strength in the answer. Usually (but not always) that was a give-away!

Good luck to all!

I Passed March 2011...Here are my tips
by: Victor

I passed the exam and found this site very helpful. Below are the links of the two discussions from this site that I found most useful. Copy and paste to your browser and it will take you right there.

I took these outlines, went through the books and made my study guide. They do not give you the answers which is good because I learned more by having to find them and creating my own study guide.

Go through "The NASM Essential Study Tips". I re-created every Table and scanned every Figure they suggested. I also made this a part of my study guide. Again, this takes time but you will know the material better.

Take the practice exam as many times as you can. I admit that it seems the practice exam could be a lot better if it did not recycle so many questions but you will learn something.

Lastly, regarding all the exercises, progression and regressions, if you truly understand Stabilization, Strength, Power and the concepts of Core, Balance, Reactive, and Resistance training, all of the exercises will be common sense to you.

Check out those links and good luck.

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Passed NASM, But Wasn't As Easy As I Thought It Would Be!

by Angeline
(Naples, FL)

I took the NASM exam for the first time today and passed.
I studied two months for this exam and took the pre-exam several times.
(CAUTION: The NASM pre-exams were nothing like the REAL THING!)

I thought for sure I had this one wrapped up! I thought I would skate through because I really studied hard.
To my wasn't as easy as I thought.

I did pass, but just barely. During the exam I was really discouraged and thought for sure that I had blown it.
(almost to the point of not caring how I did toward the end)
I kept pressing forward and finished.

I waited for the proctor to tell me the bad news, but he said, "The good news is you passed!" Honestly, I was ready to schedule a retake.

I guess my advice would be you must definitely study hard, but even if you get discouraged during the exam -- DO NOT GIVE UP! Keep answering to the BEST of your ability, because you just might surprise yourself. Good Luck! :)

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How I passed the challenging NASM exam
by: Anonymous

I took my test 3 times and 3rd time was a charm. I went in thinking I had it down but the questions were difficult. How I finally passed the test. I wrote down every question off the practice test to study from and there's different questions everytime I took it. I made a spread sheet of all the exercises/progressions and regressions for each phase core, reactive, etc., and a spreadsheet of the program design reps, sets, etc. for each phase. I memorized the muscle imbalance sheet and wrote it down on the scratch paper they give you before I started the test which was the biggest key for me to pass the test. You definitely need to know the planes of motion, all the acronyms, everything in fitness assessment, zones in cardiorespiratory, antomic locations, cardiorepiratory system chap. 3, muscle actions, E-I-C. most used definitions in the video's and Nutrition.

Passed first time what you need to know
by: Adam B

I just passed the test today and wanted to give some quick advice. The only real advice I can give you is STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, I spent about 5 hours a day studying in the library the week before the test and took the practice exam a few times as well. I'm certified through ISSA and NCSF but this is by far the hardest test but is also by far the best certification with the most recognition. I read the posts on here about people with degrees in exercise science failing this test and I was EXTREMELY worried but the reason they're failing is because NASM will only test you on what's in their book so don't let them scare you. I also read that I should take the practice exam a bunch of times because the exam questions are very similar. This is not true I had less than 5 questions on my exam that were on the practice exam. I would reccommend reding the book atleast 3 times front to back, taking the practice exam a couple times, spend extra special attention to the chart 6.6 (I got about 10 questions on this alone), and highlight all the important information and review it the day of the test. Sorry there is no shortcuts on this one! I spent hours trying to research a way to pass this test but there is no shortcuts you really have to know your stuff to pass this one.

It's good to have friends
by: Anonymous

I'm close to taking the exam and I'm worried.
Not just failing but the additional $200.00 it will cost to retake the exam. Thanks to all of you who have posted comments on this page, it gives "new b'S" like me HOPE.

PS congrats to all of you who have passed.

passed NASM
by: Nadina

it was not so bad. just know your muscles and assessments, exercises and OPT model, some obscure numbers like sedentary man needs to drink 13 cups of water/day; many questions are simple and plain common sense. i have never really opened the book, i did their e-learning course twice and made bunch of flash cards. took their practice tests and tests on the book's website. i think understanding is the key, if you get what principles are behind their philosophy, it is easy. my total study time was ~60 hours spread through 2 month of intermittent learning. awesome help was is to actually apply stuff to my clients.

i took ACSM CPT and passed it last year, i think it was a bit harder because ACSM is much more clinical.
and i completed the whole test in 45 min.

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I passed the NASM-CPT 07/27/2009 1st Attempt!

by Will
(Seattle, WA)

I passed my NASM-CPT Exam yesterday 07/27/2009! I don’t have any previous experience in sport medicine or training, but have been working with a personal trainer at 24 Hour Fitness since Nov 2008 once a week. I have BA in Economics and have been working in the finance industry for 9 years, it’s time for a change!

Here is how I studied:

I went through the web presentations twice since it took approximately 1.5 weeks for my study materials to arrive.
I listened to the webinar once, they were somewhat helpful.
Read through the book 3 times and highlighted information that I either found useful as trainer or I felt was important to know for the exam.

I completed the study guide and familiarized myself and learned the terms. I found the section on flexibility section and human movement quite helpful during the exam.

A week before the exam, I skimmed through the books several more times along with the study guide and memorized the fine details.
All in all, I think I over studied and found the exam quite easy.
Contrary to what some have said on this site, I believe the online practice exam and study guide were extremely helpful for preparation.

What came up on MY exam:

The 3 blocks in the OPT Model.

-Parts of the neuron
-Muscle Spindles/GTO
-Muscle Fibers and Their Contractile Elements Pages 31-35

-Blood Page 43
-Functions of the Heart Table 3.1 Page 43
-Structure of the Respiratory Pump Table 3.3 Page 47
-Aerobic VS Anaerobic Page 51

-Planes, Motions and Axes Table 4.1 Page 61
-Muscle Action Spectrum Table 4.2 Page 68
-Know which muscles accelerate and decelerate plantar flexion and dorsiflexion

-Subjective VS Objective
-Beta Blockers
-Circumference measurements can also be used to calculate body fat. Page 114
-The 3 Heart Rate Zones
-Shark Skill Test Page 130
-Upper and Lower Body Strength Assessment Pages 131-132

-Neuromuscular Efficiency Page 141
-Relative Flexibility Page 142
-Altered Reciprocal Inhibition Page 144
-Synergistic Dominance Page 144
-Arthrokinematics Page 144
-Know each of the Static, Active, Dynamic Stretching
-***MEMORIZE AND UNDERSTAND PAGE 169***I had 6-8 questions

-FITTE Pages 179-180
-EPOC Page 183
-Law of Thermo Page 182
-RER and HR Zones Table 7.9 Page 184
-Circuit Training Page 189

-Muscles of the Core Table 8.1 Page 199
-Know each of the core exercises for Stability, Strength, and Power

-Integrated Performance Paradigm Page 220
-How to progress and regress balance training
- Know each of the balance exercises for Stability, Strength, and Power

***Probable research question. KNOW THE DEFINITION OF PLYOMETRICS in glossary. I wouldn’t have gotten this answer correctly without the knowledge from my current training with my CPT.
-Rate of Force Production
- Know each of the reactive exercises for Stability, Strength, and Power

-Frontside and Backside Mechanics Pages 260-261
- Know each of the SAQ exercises for Stability, Strength, and Power

-Adaptation Pages 272-276
-Strength Page 277
-The 3 strength phases
-Resistance-Training Systems Table 12.3 Page 281
-Strength Endurance uses SUPER SET. STABLE followed by UNSTABLE.
- Know each of the strength exercises for Stability, Strength, and Power ( Progress and Regress)

-MEMORIZE the acute variables Table 13.1 Page 328!! This is the only focus you will need for the exam in terms of the number of sets, reps, intensity. Ignore the acute variables in the study guide that focuses on balance, core, and SAQ if you are short on time. But they are good to know, I memorized them anyway…
-Volume VS Intensity
-Bullet points for REST INTERVALS page 332
-Bullet points for TRAINING VOLUME Page 333
-And of course applying the OPT Model…

-Don’t get too absorbed with the acute variables for each special population. Focus on SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

-Page 421 Protein. 8 Essential came up. 4 calories per gram.
-Protein Recommendations Table 15.2Page 426 MEMORIZE!
-Mono VS Disaccharides Page 429 KNOW EACH OF THEM!
-Carbs 50-70% of diet
-Fat 9 calories per gram. 10-15% of diet.
-Water 96 ounces/3 quarts

Don’t recall getting any questions in this chapter.

It seemed like I got many questions in these 2 chapters for some reason.
-Vision, Strategy (SCAMPI), Belief, Persistence, and Learning
-Root cause
-Networks of excellence
-55% Physiology 7% Words 38% Tone of Voice
-Direct VS NON-Direct questions
-Features VS Benefits Page 486


I hope this is helpful. Just put in time and effort and the exam will be a breeze. I pretty much knew I had this exam down when I was half way through. Studied 2.5 months off and on.

Good Luck!

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Passing NASM
by: Kathy

Way to go - Good info. I passed the first time but there are a lot of people that don't.

by: Will

Thanks Kathy! Have you taken the CES or PES? Just wanted to know what your thoughts were if you did.

thank u
by: teagen rose

i truly appreciate you taking the time to walkthrough the test dam near i take the test saturday so really appreciate the advice

by: Anonymous

Will, I have not take the CES or PES yet. I am wanting to take some additional nutrition training and also go into coaching. I have a certification with NFPT and also a kettlebell cert. Can't really afford to take additional certs at this time.

Thank You!
by: Laura, Mountain View, CA

I passed on the first time too. Your outline was very helpful. Thanks!

other experiences??
by: Anonymous

Thanks for this info!!! I'm currently studying and would love to know any more feedback from other test takers!

Congratulations and thanks for the detailed list
by: Miami, FL

I appreciate your detailed list of items on your test.

I'm studying to take my test on Nov 3rd and this gives me a good idea on what to expect.

NASM test
by: Anonymous

The NASM practice test was nice to see in which areas I was weak but some of the questions on the actual test where a surprise for sure. I took the practice exam until I made a 90 at least 3 times before I went in to take my test.

by: sai

Just passed my NASM test on the 1st attempt! Thanks for all your info it was very helpful. If your ever in Los Angeles, I owe you a couple of beers!

by: Will

Thanks Sai! Will do. Any tips you have from anyone regarding the NSCA CSCS cert will be welcomed too! Been TRYING to study that one...

by: Bryan

I am looking to take this exam for the 3rd time this coming tuesday. This helps a lot for me to understand what is going on. I am getting 70-72-some 80s on the pretest, however I am not memorizing the answers, I am getting the concept.

my question is, that if i keep going through these pages will it help me pass this exam? I am extremely nervous and any positive feedback will help me SO MUCH.

Thanks again,


@ Bryan
by: Will

Hey Bryan! Best of luck on the exam this coming Tuesday. I think the above list is pretty comprehensive and covers a lot of material, understanding the information fully will put you in good shape. Of course I'm not making any guarantees. Let me know of you have any questions. I commend you on your tenacity!! YOU CAN DO IT!

Regards, Will

Will Is Right On!!
by: T Scott

I took Will's advice and passed the NASM-CPT on the first attempt on 2 April 2011. If you follow his study guide you will do just fine. Three points I want to highlight:

1) Study the book thoroughly and try your best to understand the training concepts and the exercises thoroughly. Especially the chapter on program design.

2) Learn and ingest the charts on page 169. You have to know which muscles are underactive and which are overactive. You will definitely get 8-10 questions on this chart.

3) Take the practice exams online! Some people advise against this. In my opinion the practice exams were harder than the real exam. I never passed a practice exam so I was worried about taking the test, but when I took the real test the questions were easier. The questions are not exactly the same but the concepts are. The practice exams will show you what topics and concepts you need to work on.

Lastly, know the small things like (R.E.A.D.,communication: 7% words, 38% voice, and 55% physiology...etc) Don't give up easy points by just focusing on the difficult stuff. *** Learn the Nutrition chapter***

Passed the NASM Test yesterday! 1st Attempt
by: Allison

Thank you Will!!
Before even I started studying, I took a printout of your post and marked all the tables that you asked us to concentrate on. I read the whole book, every page, studied 3 hours a day for two weeks and took the exam yesterday and passed it.
After I got my result, my first thought was to thank you.

Passed 1st try!
by: Randy

Thanks for the advice for the test bro! Took it this morning and passed! I had similar questions, but surprisingly only 3 off of page 169. The guide was definitely helpful, and if your in NY, I'll buy ya a beer too!

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I passed 08/22/09, second time

by Diane

This was the second time. I was nowhere near prepared the first time, (and I knew it) but I took the test anyway just so I would know what to expect. My test questions were different than the first so to those of you who didnt pass the first time, expect different questions when you take it again. What really helped me were the tips from this website and printing off the study tips/guide from the NASM website (which I didnt know existed until I read about it on this website). I also took notes, highlighted important information and flagged a lot of the pages that had charts (i.e. acute variables, etc). Also, when I finished reading the book, i went through and made my own flash cards. Then, for two days before the test I studied my notes, my flashcards, highlighted information and the specific charts that were flagged. I have to say, when I went to the testing center this time, I was SO nervous and then SO excited when I passed I literally wanted to jump and down and scream YAY YAY YAY! :o) Good Luck to all!

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Congrats on passing!
by: Will

That is huge!

Passed on 2nd time
by: Anonymous

So I got a 69 on my first test and didn't discover this site or the study tips until after the fact. The second test had a bunch of the same questions from the first test; however there were a few new ones.

This is what you need to do to pass:

Don't bother with the DVD videos; they may cover each chapter, but leave out a few important details.

Read the entire book again, one chapter a day and highlight any that sticks out to you (i.e important numbers, facts, or anything that you think can be made into a test question.) There aren't that many each chapter so don't go highlighting the entire book.
After you've read and highlighted a chapter, write down all vocab and highlighted information (I used my laptop.)

Know the Table on page 169 and the acute variables in chapter 13. Oh, and table 13.9! They had about four questions on that table.

They only had one question from the special populations’ chapter which was on youth.

It seems like they revamped the pretest. It has a lot of good questions on it and looks just like the real test. So take that until you can score a 100% on it.

When it's all said and done, review your notes until test day.

I swear, the second test was way easier than the first. I was so nervous and thought that there would be some crazy questions on the second one that I wouldn’t be able to answer but there wasn't.
Do what I did and you'll pass!

by: Anonymous

thx for ur comment, i will try this retest.i have only one weeks to go.

Just Passed NASM CPT
by: Eb

I just finished and passed the nasm cpt exam 30 minutes ago. I used this site to help focus my studies so I figured it would be only right to throw my thoughts of the exam in.

My background: I have been training for almost a year and received a bs in kines. I also am a former D1 athelete so I have a lot of experience in the field. However, I was told by my employer that a $30,000 didn't mean anything until you take a $600 test...awesome!

How I studied:
In all honesty I read the book twice, I did not buy any packages from nasm or any of these "magical flash cards".

I made sure I knew everything in the study tips provided for free on the nasm webpage. Even if you don't think it will be on the exam just learn it, this is the field you want to go in knowing too much will only help you!

I used this page for direction but my test wasn't anywhere close to the info left on here.

Info you should know:

Yessss know the chart on 169 6.6
Nutrition know the cals in each macro
Know water soluble vitamins
Know the planes- frontal, saggital and transverse
Resistance variables sets reps intensity
Know everything about Stabilization phase most my questions using variables focued on stabilization phase

Don't just study the stuff on this site.
Read the book, understand the concepts in each chapter.
Know the progression and regression of exercises

I went in and took the test highly nervous. After reading all the horror stories and my horrible test taking ability I thought I was doomed. Once I sat down to take it before I did anything I wrote out all my tables I asked the proctor for additional paper and continue to write everything I memorized. Once I finished 8 minutes had past but since I did not start the test no time was wasted. This allowed me to calm down a bit and take the test without the fear of my nerves getting the best of me.

Once I started the test everything was simple. I had the chart for 6.6 in front of me so I did not have to second guess myself. I finished in 40 minutes but went back and checked my answers which was good because I made a few goofy mistakes.

All in all Nasm is not difficult. ($600 for a cert did hurt!) I did overstudy after hearing all the stories of people failing over and over. But reading the book and understanding it helped a lot with the test and how I'm going to continue as a professional. Remember passing is only half the battle, getting clients and steady pay will be the toughest part.

Not sure if this helped a lot but good luck be confident and practice what you preach.

On to the CSCS!

by: Anonymous

I took the exam for the second time and I did not pass. I am excellent trainer besides the fact that I did not past the exam. The wording and re-wording makes the exam complex. I will continue to study these up coming months and will prepare intensely. This is my passion.

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I passed NASM

by Heidi
(Chicago, IL)

I self-studied for the exam and passed the first time. I didn't find it very difficult if you study all the materials and have been working as a trainer for a little while. The certification as a NASM personal trainer is not the most prestigious one in the industry but I've never had anybody question me about it.

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Experience beats studying
by: Katie - Admin

I think the key to your observation Heidi is that you have experience working as a personal trainer. Being able to draw on experience to supplement your book studying will make the NASM exam seem a whole lot easier.


I passed NASM too
by: Brian

Hello Katie.
I am just writing to tell you that I purchased your exam prep course, and I passed the NASM exam last week. The prep course is a very informative and well put together program. This site was a great idea. Very helpful. Anyway I just wanted to let you know that your doing a good job with what you are doing here. Now that I passed my exam, all I have to do is find some clients and I am good to go . Thanks alot.

Passed first time after 6 weeks
by: Jerry

Just passed the NASM-CPT exam on the first try 6 weeks after receiving the course. Read the book, watch the CD's, complete the study guide, and take the practice exams multiple times. I work full time and was able to complete a chapter every 2 days. As you work on more and more chapters, it all becomes easier to understand. My degree is in business and have not background in Exercise Science.

I took the practice exam 5 or 6 times. When you take the exam multiple times, most of the questions were the same, but there were some different or new questions every time. The questions on the final exam are different from the practice exam, but it helps you understand the man principles.

The workshops are also very helpful. Tons of information that help bring everything together. You also spend a lot of time doing many of the exercises.

passed NASM on first try
by: Anonymous

Alright guys. took the exam two days back, passed it at first shot..key things to remember

Initial assessment chapter is the key chapter. You need to learn the table on page 169 but don't memorize it without understanding it. If you understand it, you will automatically remember it. Write the table on a piece of paper and keep on doing it until you get all the sections columns rights

Program design is important as well. Use common sense and read the program design chapter.

The special population chapter is the longest but fortunately not the most important. I read the entire chapter twice but felt it was a drag. The exam did not ask much from this chapter but again use common sense. For eg Hypertension is somebody with high blood pressure/high heart rate so Beta blocker is a medication to lower those and stuff like that...

Nutrition is important as well

All the other chapters, make sure you read it and understand it. Do not skip anything assuming it wont be asked. Reading it once with full attention will get the information into your head and if a question springs up during the exam, you will be able to answer it.

But stuff that I mentioned above needs special attention, as in spite of reading it once or twice, it is difficult to memorize all the information in those chapters, hence you need to read those chapters again and again.

Good luck!

passed on first try
by: Anonymous

I took the NASM CPT test yesterday and passed on the 1st try. I am a 43 yo stay at home mom with a background in marketing. Whereas I was a college athlete and spend a lot of time in the gym, I didn't know but 1/100th of the text book when I started. This site was very helpful for study tips so I thought pass along my experience.

The NASM test is not as hard as it is made out to be by some on I this site. It is not exactly like the practice exam, but it is very similar. Do the practice test a lot and look at how the question could be asked differently.

Things to study have already been described here in detail. Write the chart on 169 as much as you can practice. Come up with "tricks" to remember the muscles. AGE for u.a. muscles in the excess lean..HEL for o.a. muscles in low back (if you have ever hurt your back you know why that is appropriate.)

Know key definitions. Also know progression and regression of exercises..and almost as important is to know what "type" of exercise is used in each phase of training. If you know that most stab. exercises use a ball or on one foot, you will be able to eliminate some of the answers if you are unsure.

The test took me about 35 minutes the first time through and then I went through it again. I flagged about 10 questions and there were about 2 questions I had no idea!!

Just study the main things: table on 169, assesments, acute variables, type of exercises for each phase, and the professional chapter you should be fine.

by: Anonymous

I just recently passed my NASM and it was my first time!! I really thought it was a hard test and I thought I had failed for sure. I did purchase the study guide, but it had a lot less information to prepare me for this exam than I had hoped for. Basically you really need to study like crazy. Read posts on here and it can give you an idea of subjects to focus on, and put in the time. I had the study guide which I was barely missing any on their practice test, the NASM practice tests I was scoring 100%, and I had notes from all the posts on here of what to study. I also went through the entire book again focusing on certain sections that people have previously highlighted in past posts. I will post some helpful info soon of detailed things to study for.

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Passed NASM 10/26/2009- 1st Attempt!!

by Milo
(Los Angeles, CA)

I PASSED... easy!! I previously read many people complaining of how the practice exam is not helpful in gauging your knowledge but I can honestly say that the exam is very similar to the practice. Perhaps I was lucky but the format was reflective of the practice, obviously the questions were not exactly the same although some practice questions did come up. I studied for about two and half months, 4-5 day per week, 2-3 hours per day and my background in science/fitness was minimal/moderate (respectively).

1. I took the advice given by others to learn(or memorize) Table 6.6 (Ch. 6, pg 169)- ITS IN YOUR BEST INTEREST TO DO SO! When taking the test write it out =)

2. I only read the book once but I did a thorough reading of each chapter while taking notes and using the Study Tips from NASM. I took every opportunity to reveiw my notes whenever I had a chance to refresh my mind and correlate the material as a whole.

**You can do like other people: read and re-read the text. It all depends on your study habits**

3. It may sound weird but take the time to observe people at your job, the park, gym, restaurant, walking... anywhere and internally apply what you have learned. If you can do it with family and/or friends you don't have to keep to yourself and can begin to practically implement some of the techniques/exercises.

4. IF you STUDY, THEN you'll PASS. If you have a deep knowledge of human science and fitness then you could possibly skim through the material and pass; otherwise, don't deceive yourself and committ to your studies.

Hopefully this helps!

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by Marcia

First I want to say thank you to others who have posted their experiences - you really helped me!

I heard horror stories and how difficult the test was so when I was finished in 40 min I was scared - it couldn't be that easy could it? I say easy because I studied for 2 months - I read the book, did all the tests in the book, went to the 2-day workshop, listened to my ipod with the chapters on there, did the workbook, and practiced on others. It seems like a lot but if I was going to use this info for a career I wanted to know it! I am a studier - I am almost 46 years old and it has been about 4 years since I have had a college class so I was out of the "study practice mode".

One piece of advice - do NOT take the practice test but maybe one time!! NASM told me not to take that test - study the acute variables, the OPT models, basics of nutrition and know all of the planes - Pretty much just do the study guide, listen and watch the DVDs, go to the worshop and you should be fine!

This is a super site!

Comments for JUST STUDY! I Passed NASM

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I went through the site and printed off all of the tips I could find...then I studied for 4 days straight!! I mean, I didnt go to church, didnt party on Sat night..etc. etc. You MUST know
the number of exercise, the number of sets and the number of reps for an exercises in every phase of the OPT. Ex. In the Hypertrophy phase of opt how many sets, reps and intenstiy would you use to perfrom an exercise and give example of an exercises. I studied my butt off cause I didn't want to pay the 99 to take it again. Plus.. I wanted to get the sucker over with.

Passed on my first try!
by: Anonymous

After reading all of the comments on this site I was really freaked out. I can say becuase of that I over prepared.

I hope this will help someone:

1. Give an example of a monosachoride.
2. How many CEU's do you need within a two year period to get recertified?
3. What is the first step in the CPR process?
4. It asked a lot of questions regarding the different phases of the OPT model. If you know what they are then you are golden.
5. There was only one picture referring to a specific stretch and asking what muscle was being stretched.
6. What part of the heart is responible for pumping blood to the rest of the body?
7. If you take someones blood pressure does the sound get louder, softer, slower?
8. What are beta-blockers used for?
9. Objective VS. subjective information

These are the type of questions that are asked. If anybody would like a copy of my notes you can email me at

by: Anonymous

First off I don't usually do this, taking the time to give back to some site that I used information from while randomly searching "Nasm study tips".

But I promised myself if I passed the test I would take the time to help others because everyone's posts here have helped me so much.

This is my second time taking it, therefore it is a retest, and feeling great that I passed it this time, I'm pretty sure I almost aced it!

The exams I took where a little different but so similar.

Also this time I was not allowed any scratch paper, they have changed that I guess.

I also was in the room alone, so reading out the questions out loud really helped my confidence and let me really listen to how the question is worded.

Tip #1 - Nasm will twist and turn every sentence in weird ways to make the question seem so much more difficult ! You have to read the questions over many times, also look at the answers. If you know your vocab words and most of the material you can choose what seems out of place.

Tip #2 - Take your time. You get 2 hours to take it which was more than enough. Also go through the entire test not just flagged questions at least one more time! You will feel much better about your answers.

Tip #3 - Chart page 169 , or something like that, Underactive, Overactive, Strength exercise, foam roll chart was something I studied so much... because everyone was screaming it! Honestly I got 1 or 2 questions on both tests! Either I was unlucky or they are changing the tests based on what is being heard around. I would know this just in case, but if you know your overactive, it is veryyyyy easy to pick out underactive.

Tip #4 - Know what exercises are in which phase. Had a lot of these questions from both tests. Also including acute variables. ************ SUPER IMPORTANT .. lots of questions!

Tip #5 - Know all of your vocab words. This isn't hard, most of them are common sense but be able to tell the difference with ones that have close meanings. Like Intramuscular and Intermuscular... by the way always on the test!! ***

Tip #6 - Know Assessment. Especially about heart rate, the zones, anything that has charts and percentages or numbers, just memorize it!

Tip #7 - Know your streching

Tip # 8 - Go through the PRACTICE QUIZ. There are so many questions that are very similar or the same just worded differently! TRUST ME!!!

I hope these help, biggest thing is to relax. Feel and be confident. Let your mind work and don't worry about something you don't know. It's probably a research question, and yes they are very bizarre.

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