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Hello all,

first off just wanted to say that the other posts listing some of the topics to focus on are very helpful, please read them and it will help your test score, it did for me.

I passed the ACSM CPT with a 701 score. You need a 550 to pass, there are 150 questions, 120 of which are scored (they use the other 30 for possible future test questions). You have 150 minutes to complete the test.

In my studying I focused on the KSA's in the back to the textbook and the Guidelines for Exercise Testing (small green spiral book). I mostly used the textbook to find the info for each KSA, the Guidelines for Exercise Testing book was very helpful for the largest section of the test, exercise physiology. Here is what I remember from the test, hopefully it will help! I wont give answers because im not sure what was right or wrong.

-Know the 4 muscles of the rotator cuff and the functions each performs.
-Know risk stratification thoroughly, including what constitutes low, medium and high risk. Be very specific here, know it inside out. There were about 10 question on this alone.
-More on risk stratification: Know the definitions of old age for each gender, high overall cholesterol number, HDL and LDL readings, hypertension definition, obesity, and the exact definition of all other risk factors. An example of a question you will probably see is: Male/Female Client who is x years old has a cholesterol reading of x, blood pressure reading of x, quit smoking 15 years ago, has family history of x (etc.), what category risk is this client? what are the risk factors to consider?
-Know the PAR-Q form, what it asks and what is generally on one.
-Know Health history form, what it asks and what is generally on one.
-Neglience definition and applications to the CPT
-Malpractice definition and applications
-When to use an AED
-Sites to take heart rate, name and location of each site specifically
-BMI formula and BMI overweight and obesity thresholds (they will ask if a person of x height and x weight is normal, overweight or obese)
-How blood passes through the heart and through which valves (tricuspid, mitrial, aortic) and what each valve does
-SA Node
-difference between skeletal and cardiac muscle
-Agonists and antagonists of major exercises, as well as during the concentric and eccentric phases
-Incline and Decline walking/running and muscles involved as agonists and antagonists
-Planes in which muscle actions occur (sagital, transverse, frontal)
-muscles controlling forced expiration
-valsalva maneuver and its effects during different exercises
-effects of smoking on acute exercise
-spine curvatures including normal curvature
-how to determine body alignment in a potential client, specifically where to observe from
-anaerobic vs aerobic ATP generation
-type 1 vs type 2 muscle fibers
-HR Reserve and V02 reserve formulas
-must remember inch to cm and lb to kg conversions, used in 4 or 5 questions
-reasons for warming up and cooling down, durations, and % HRmax they should be performed at.
-Order of periodization (hypertrophy, strength gain, peaking, recovery)
-Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness due to Lactic Acid Buildup
-Lactic Acid mostly caused during eccentric phase of lifting
-Static, dynamic and DNF stretching and order of safest to least safe
-Specificity, Overload, Regression and Progression. There was one question on each.
-what to look for when client complains of ankle edema
-definitions of isotonic, isokinetic, isometric
-Specific sites for measuring skinfolds. VERY specific, like centimeters from a bone.
-types of joints and examples of each
-endurance and muscular strength training in children and adolescents and the effects.
-what waist to hip ratio tells about body
-waist to hip ratio warnings for men and women
-waist size warnings in inches and cm for men and women, and where to take this measurement
-RPE values and where ACSM says they should be
-Exactly what informed consent form says
-RICE (rest ice compression elevation)
-IDEA, what it stands for when dealing with a clients problem
-Signs of anorexia, (dont confuse with bulimia)
-Convert V02 to METs
-How to find HRmax
-Visual, Aesthetic, Auditory and Kinesthetic Learners
-calories per gram of fat, protein and carbohydrate (remember to subtract fiber from carbohydrate total)
-Target weight for the client if he wants to stay at the same lean body mass but decrease his body fat to x%
-How often to drink water in general and during exercise
-What to consider when training in high temperature conditions
-What USDA Pyramid says about fat calorie intake
-3500 kcals in one pound of body fat. They will ask how much caloric intake should be decreased in order to lose x lbs.
-DHEA information (made by body, controlled substance)
-Basic understanding of each of the behavioral strategies to use with clients, 3 questions
-Stages of behavior (I wont/cant, I might, etc.)
-SMART goals, what acronym stands for
-What increased activity does to HDL, LDL, systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings
-difference between relative and absolute contraindictions to exercise

The next few you will be able to find most answers in the green spiral Guidelines for Exercise Testing:
-Minutes of moderate exercise per day and per week ACSM recommends all adults get
-Programming for children and adolescents
-Programming for the eldery and the risks associated with the elderly
-Most used cardio fitness tests
-Factors to consider about the potential client when determining the proper fitness test type and program progression
-Order of activities during the initial client screening
-How muscular strength and muscular endurance are tested
-FITT recommendations, and what FITTE stands for (Frequency Intensity Time Type and Enjoyment)
-Proper spotting techinque, I remember 4 or 5 questions asking how to spot on bench presses, shoulder presses, lunges, couple others i cant remember
-Definitions of interval and circuit training and examples
-Asthma - 3 or 4 questions - conditions not to train an asthmatic in, conditions you prefer to train an asthmatic in, what a bronchodilator does, fitness test methods you should not perform if client has asthma.
-What to do if a diabetic passes out, after you call 911
-%1RM and number of sets per muscle group to program for someone looking to gain muscle mass
-Position pregnant women should avoid (prone)
-Muscles that must be strengthened for a healthy lower back
-General guidelines for exercise in healthy population

Thats all i can remember, there's about 100 questions on the items listed above.

Good luck!

Comments for ACSM CPT tips

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Great info!
by: Patsy

Thanks for posting in this much detail....this is very helpful!

by: Anonymous

Thank you for your detailed information. I appreciate your time.

appreciate it!
by: Anonymous

omg! thank you so much for posting this. VERY helpful!

by: pfm

You really have helped me. I thank you so much for taking your time to post all of this. I did not pass the first time and it is so hard to remember all the things that I wanted to and going down your list has helped me so much. I will re-test in about 2 weeks and can now focus on the things I need to. Thank you so much!!!!!

Date of exam
by: Anonymous

Can I please ask you when you took this exam? You have been very helpful

by: Anonymous

I'm about to take the test and everything seems consistent with the study materials. Thank you so much for posting this and all your help!


Test Anxiety
by: Anonymous

Thank you so much for your willingness to help others.I was so overwhelmed by all the information might be on the test ,i really was stressing over what to study.This helps to to get a little more focused.Thanks ang,I will let you know how I did.

by: Anonymous

Great advice. Thank You!

exam help
by: sweenster

Thanks so much for all the detail in your feedback! VERY helpful!! You are awesome!

by: Chase

thanks a lot for these tips. I did my exam today (6 march 2012) and I passed with 700. I got a lot of these same questions but a couple were a bit different. But IDEA came up again, SMART a lot of the human behavioural stuff I hadn't really studied before I came across this forum. So thanks again for your help :)

by: Anonymous

what does "idea" stand for. I've been looking in the book and I even googled it. I still can't find out what it means

Thank You
by: Anonymous

Thank you for taking the time to do this list

by: Anonymous

Wow, I cannot thank you enough for your tips. I studied incredibly hard about 10 hours a day and then you posted more things that were on here I truly believe it made me pass! This test required a lot of application. I recommend taking the 3 webinar classes as well from acsm- it really helped!

by: Anonymous

Hi, thanks for the great info. I just wanted to give you a heads up though that the position that pregnant women should not exercise is SUPINE, not prone, because it inhibits oxygen and blood flow to the baby.
Thanks again, and I'm looking forward to taking and passing my test!!!

by: Anonymous

Great info!! Would like to note that pregnant women should avoid the supine position rather than prone due to obstruction of venous return.

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