Just passed ACSM-CPT, few tips
Few things to remember for when you actually go to the exam: dont bring your own calculator you have to use the one on the screen. in fact you literally cant bring anything. except 2 forms of ID (one with a picture). they will give u some paper and a pen to jot down stuff during the test if you wish, and away you go. 150 questions, 165minutes (which goes quicker than you think, i rushed through my last 10 questions to finish in time)
I bought the study package 2 weeks prior to exam. (Am currently in my final semester of an exercise science degree so already had pretty solid knowledge on a lot of the stuff). You absolutely must get these books they pretty much cover everything that will be on test.
The way i did it:
(bearing in mind i only had 2 weeks until the exam so didnt get to cover everything i wanted to; even though i studied for several hours every day)
I started with the ACSM Certification Review book, going through the most important chapters, highlighting, taking notes, etc.
Then started reading most important chapters in the ACSM PT Resources book, highlighting, notes, etc etc.
Then I went back to the Review book to do the quizzes at the end of the chapters and the comprehensive one of 99 questions at the end of book.
Finally with 2 days until the test i went through all the KSA's (listed at the back of all these books)
Then the morning of the test i reviewed the 30+pages of notes that i typed up on my computer.
The way i wish i did it:
I think it is best to start off by reviewing the KSA's. Because i read the books first and then once i read the KSAs i realized i spent a lot of time on stuff that wasnt even that important in relation to the exam. The KSAs will tell you ALL of the specific things you need to know.
I pretty much focused solely on physiology, prescription and programming. And skimmed through the safety issues, behavior modification, health appraisal, fitness testing, medical considerations. BAD IDEA. If you do this you may be faced with a considerable amount of unfamiliar terms.
I would recommend your main study material to be the PT Resources book. I focused mostly on the review book, which is really great too, especially the quizzes, but the resources book covers the topics more in depth and applies them to practical uses.
You will already know the main things you need to study for but here are a few things that might take you by surprise. You should know the flexors and extensors of the knees and hips, and the muscles controlling movements at the shoulder. Know them and know them WELL. As for metabolic calculations and such just make sure you get all the basics ones down; THR, Ideal Body Weight, BMI calculation, kcals per pound of fat, METS to Vo2 , etc. Also Skinfold site locations, circumference measurement locations, etc etc. And obviously the risk factors are important just make sure you know there thresholds and have the ability to determine some ones risk category.