Fooled by the NASM exam
I don't like to admit that I failed the NASM exam, even after get 100% on the practice exams. No matter how confident you might feel, there is always a chance that your going to fail.
I walked into that air tight room, looked at the first test question, and knew I was going to be beaten down.
Here is a cool tip though:
They give you three practice tests, right?
Well it's only three if you click the finish button at the end of the test. Write down the questions you got wrong, then search for the answers in your book. That way, all you have to do is close the window, and if you just close the window before finishing, then its as if you never had taken a practice test at all!
So you get unlimited practice tests.
The downer is that I only noticed about eight questions that were from the practice test.
Also memorize the muscle imbalances (overactive/underactive) and the whole nutrition section, ugh!
You'd think that after getting 100% on a practice test you'd pass the real one.
I got 69 on the real one.
Dont Rely on the NASM practice exam!!!!
Ok so i just took the exam the other day, and after reading everything on this site heres my take on everything.. But let me back it up for a minute first. So here I am 3 months ago deciding to become a trainer, since I spent so much time at the gym I believed this was my next career move so i bought the NASM course with no prior knowledge in anatomy, muscle function, frontal, saggital , nothin!!. I was overwhelmed to say the least, but I had COMMITTED to it and looking back on everything this is what helped me pass my test the FIRST time taking it.
I followed the course instructions almost to the "T", which means I read every page sometimes ahead of schedule followed by the dvds, and Ipod couses in bed if I couldn't stay awake watching the dvds. I was going to pass this test no matter what. I also believe my passion for training was a driving factor in learning the material for personal advantages as well as Business advantages. as I began reading the material I quickly realized I have forgotten how to study since I haven't studied since high school almost 17 years ago so I was having to read things two and three time just for it to sink in, but thats what i did cause i was COMMITTED to passing this test no matter what. By the time i finished the course 45 days precisely I remember telling myself there's no way I'll remember what i've just read in a million years. I was dumbfounded but I keep pushing on.
The first practice exam I took I made a 58!! This made me feel great here I did this course exactly how it was designed to be taken from the reading to the study guide to the dvds, and I didn't learn squat. Frustration set in yet was determined to do well. On top of this everyone I talked to, and mind you these were master trainers Im talking about, said they all failed the test the first time. Here I am thinking there's no way i can fail this test I've already sunk 600.00 that i had to borrow in the first place just to buy the dag on thing re-taking a test as well as paying a 100.00 re-test fee was not in the plan!!!
So my COMMITMENT to not only learn the material but pass the test the FIRST time was put into over drive. The next thing i did was learn the exam prep material, well when i began to do that it was so much I thought just say KNOW the whole book cause there was no read this, know that specifics they want you to know basically every chart, and acute variable ever created. IMPOSSIBLE!! BUT I did the next best thing for me and that was to WRITE OUT every chart and acute variable because my brain is wired funny like that, if i write it down then I retain it subconsciously.
Anyway after taking 2 1/2 days to do that I took the practice exam again this time I made a 68. Wow 10 points higher I am making progress right.. So in between reading my notes, watching ipod cpt entries, which by the way are an ingenious use of technology , I began taking the practice exam daily multiple times. After about three weeks of that my scores were consistently above 90. I was determined to hit a hundred and didn't want to schedule my exam until i did to assure myself of a passing score.. EXERCISE IN FUTILITY!!!!
Thinking since I am doing so well on the practice exam then Im golden for the real thing. Fast forward to the night before the exam. I feel super confident I make either a 100 or 98, 99 only missing a question cause i was rocketing thru the questions or just didn't read the question right cause I knew the answers to just about everything they threw at me I got this i the bag.
So I show up to the testing facility say a quick prayer in the car that my brain works and i don't screw this up. I get to my station sign in, and begin the test. The very first question I almost lost my mind, I had NO idea what the answer was for a brief moment I panicked cause if this was the first question and I didn't know the answer what is to say about the other 119 question.. So i sat there for a good three minutes trippin. You only get 120 minutes to take the test 1 minute per question so I had to get going. I then shuffled thru about 30 questions to realize I have yet to see even 1 question on the freakin practice exam what's going on, I don't remember reading anything I am being questioned on, Nothing. Now at this point I realized all I prepared for was not going to apply so i've got to pull this off..
The only thing I remember from this website was to think about what there asking you and know that the answer is right in front of you just think it thru and you will do fine. So thats what I did. I took almost the whole time to take the test I also flagged every question I felt unsure about. After finishing the test I went back to every question I flagged and thought about them even more deeply, once i was comfortable with my answers I then went over every other question one more time or all the ones I could before my time was up. With about 5 minutes to spare I turned in my test. All things considered I felt I did my best, and at that point was all i could do. As I turned my test into the proctor I anxiously waited for the results, with my heart beating fast she tells me" well congratulations Mr Ray" I let out a well deserved voiced sigh of relief thanking her and god for the test results. I felt a great sense of accomplishment and a weight being simultaneously removed from my shoulder..
In short don't rely on the practice exam, pay attention to stressed material, and study.. THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS so don't expect them. Your also learning a field that teaches acquired results through belief, and hard work. You only cheat yourself remember that. Plus they have like fifty cameras watching you any way so you can't cheat.
Don't Rely on the NASM practice Test
I took the NASM test this week and if it was not for this site and the mention that the practice test wasn't on the test, I think I would have failed. The advice about how many questions are in each section helped a lot. Some of the questions on the test are on the practice but that was very few. It was tough, it took an hour. I have 3 months experience as a trainer and certified through ISSA also.
(Key West, FL)
Just a warning for anyone taking the NASM examination. I aced the practice exam, knew everything that I had studied on, knew every single muscle and its actions, everything, and the exam still was the hardest test I have EVER taken in my life.
The exam is NOTHING like the practice test that NASM allows you to take. It is hard to explain and I don't even know why it is SO different than the practice test, but it is, and I am not the only person who has this same opinion. I did pass though.
I have not worked at a gym yet because there aren't too many here in Key West, but I have been doing at home training.
NASM exam not what I expected...
(Tampa, FL, USA)
I studied forever for this test. Took the practice test every night for a week and the morning of the test also. I was scoring around 90% on it. I get to the Nasm testing center which is an airplane field and score a 58%. I have no clue what happened, everything was different from what i studied and the questions are so in depth to where you will never use them when training a client....seriously though.
NASM has too many right choices
I have taken the NASM test multiple times and have yet to pass. It seems that when asked about which muscles are tight, they offer 4 choices and 3 out 4 seem to be the right one. I feel that even if I could take my book in with me, I still wouldn't know which one to pick. I am very frustrated to say the least. If there is anyone who has any advice on passing the NASM test. I would be grateful.
NASM Practice Test
(San Antonio, TX)
The practice test sold by NASM was a total and completely waste of study time and money! It absolutely did NOT "mirror" their exam! I'm so pissed that I saved up and spent so much money on the package and was deceived. They shouldn't be charging people for it. Its just totally ridiculous!
I've even emailed them twice and they still haven't emailed me back. If you'd actually seen their so called, "study material" you'd realize that its as bad as figuring out the tax laws, or testing someone over every detail in the Bible. The NASM questions are ridiculous and overly specific on everything which, while that can be good to have and read up on, is still incredibly wordy and confusing overall.
The NASM videos were helpful, I'll give them that, but overall I'm just really upset about the whole thing. Now I have to save up to afford another exam and I have no way to practice or have anyone tell me if my learning is incorrect. Being that a lot of these concepts are visual, its easy to make mistakes on judgment on the basis on assessment overall(which was my weakest point and 25% of the test!).
Similar to the NASM practice exam
by Patrick Koohafkan
(Santa Rosa, CA)
I'm surprised that so many postings here insist the actual exam is completely different from practice tests. I found the opposite to be true. In fact, I'd say I'd already answered at LEAST 15% of the questions on practice exams. While studying for the exam, I read postings on this site stressing the questions are different, extremely wordy, weird etc. and got really freaked out. As a result, I studied like hell, trying to memorize the entire frickin' book, and probably got at least 80% of the questions right (they don't tell you your score if you pass for some inane reason.) I was kind of annoyed, actually, and was going to declare that these folks who didn't pass are full of bull; but now there are even more postings stating that point of view, too many to be shrugged off. I was especially taken aback by the guy who says he was regularly scoring 90% on the practice test and still failed the exam. I was actually going to say here that if you can score 90% on the practice test, you can pretty much rest assured that you'll pass the exam. I don't dare say that anymore.
I can't speak for everyone. All I can say is that for me, the exam wasn't especially harder for than the practice test. I got a lot of questions on which muscles are overactice/underactive based on the squat and pulling assessments. Luckily, I'd memorized all these and I suggest you do the same. It's hard, but using acronyms helps a great deal. I also got questions on the intensity zones, the heart, the number of calories in a gram of protein and pretty much everything, I guess.
What I can with certainty is that the key to passing the exam is memorizing all the tidbits of info in the book. Read the book twice and take notes the second time. Then dedicate yourself to memorizing your notes and scoring high on the practice tests. Also do the exercises in the study guide repeatedly until you get nearly all the questions right. This may seem silly, but this is how NASM designed it.
Even though I'm a certified personal trainer now, I'm not really pleased with the whole NASM experience. There are instances where the book contradicts itself and some segments seem incomplete. The chapter on nutrition is probably the most in-depth, but the chapter on human science movement basically sucks. The pictures that show you the location of all the muscles aren't very helpful and there are no images which show the degree of stress placed on each recruited muscle during various movements. I'd hoped the DVD would show animations of people lifting with the muscles being used in each phase of the movement highlighted; shockingly enough, the DVD doesn't show any images of the muscles at all!
I'm going to buy an in-depth book on muscle movement and get really smart about it so I truly feel ready to be a personal trainer. Understanding the individual muscle groups and knowing instinctively which ones are used in each movement and which ones risk injury when is the most important aspect of personal training; the fact that NASM doesn't teach you much about this is, frankly, pitiful.