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Just took it today and passed!

by David


I passed the ACSM PT test with a score of 612. I have a bs in accounting and took no exercise science/personal trainer type classes in college. I studied for 3 months and put somewhere between 120-150 hours into the material. I bought the three books, took the ACSM practice test (DON"T DO IT. TOTAL WASTE OF MONEY!), and bought the practice tests on this website.

If I had to take it again:

1. I would still have read the three books like I did (almost a must if you have no background in any of this)
2. I would not have gotten so hung up in the details of the anatomy section in chapter 3 (or 4 maybe?) of the resources for the personal trainer book
3. I did best studying a lot for one week, then taking a week off (your mind needs breaks, and it is just too much info to cram)
4. 120 hours was about right for me (I am not good at memorizing things, if you are good at memorizing then maybe 75 to 100 hours would be a good amount)
5. I would of came across this site sooner :)

Perceived Difficulty:

I made this thing out to be a huge monster of a test. It was, but not to the extent I thought it would be. The questions were about as difficult as the practice tests on here were, and a little less difficult than the questions in the big book with practice tests after every chapter. Some other wise simple questions were worded strangly so be careful, like "heavy endurance", meaning a lot of endurance :)

Things to know:

1. Risk Factors
2. Uphill/downhill running (the basic effects of each)
3. BMI formula
4. Decent amount of behavior questions, nothing super hard though
5. Shoulder muscles (4 questions for me)
6. Everything else was spread pretty evenly throughout the test (it really is a grab bag of questions thrown together it seems)

The first 5 things to know are just the ones that stood out to me as having multiple questions on the exam

Things I thought would be on there but were not:

1. A problem determining METs/max Vo2 (the only question I had was to convert a single number from one to the other)..So no running/walking formulas on my test :)
2. No questions asking where a muscle is, instead there were 2 questions asking things like "What muscles make up the hamstrings?" Im assuming most questions like this are going to be over major muscles, not little ones
3. Nothing in the way of bones really. The only question I had regarding bones was asking me to identify the type of bone, from a description of its shape
4. No ECG readings (THANK GOD)
5. No pictures or videos (the test was all text with 4 options for each question..and only one was an "all of the above" type of question)

Props to those who can pass with much less hours spent studying, but I did not mind. I want to do this for a living and I really wanted to know my stuff :)

Hope this helped!

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