ACE Exam Experience and Tips
So to give you a little background, I've been weight lifting/bodybuilding around 6 years now and just started personal training this year. I have my ACE and Cooper (which is a joke) certifications and might go for my ACSM cert. Passed both certifications with around 85% for both and studied 3 months for the ACE and just used my knowledge from ACE to pass the Cooper.
I'll tell you right off the bat that the certification to get, if only one, is ACE. They do SO much for you in terms of cec, putting your name out there to get employed, marketing tips, etc. Cooper might be "prestigious" in the Dallas area, but my experience with them was pathetic and unimpressed.
Exam Tips: It has been said before, but ACE probably asked me a total of 5-10 questions pertaining to anatomy, biomechanics and physiology. Concentrate mostly on testing and evaluation, program design and adjustment, CAD risk factors WAS A HUGE part of the test, and for that matter, safety and liability questions definitely were the most prominent area on the exam. Make sure you know your formulas (BMI, deciphering nutrition labels and calories per nutrient, VO2 Max, etc).
And most importantly, use common sense from a safety perspective and REFER TO APPROPRIATE PROFESSIONAL. This will be on a myriad of questions and is the answer 90% of the time. I know that's all the boring stuff to study, but you do what you have to do to pass the exam right?
Sorry for the rant, but if you are debating between which cert to get, ACE is the answer. Most widely known, will learn the most in all aspects of personal training and it will get you a job, whether through a gym or independent. I got certified 2 weeks ago and 3 clients have contacted me through ACE marketing platforms. Good luck and don't hesitate to ask any questions! :)