NESTA Exam Experience
Just got back from taking my NESTA exam for the PFT2.0 certification. The exam I took (remember that there are different versions) was broken into 5 sections:
3. Program Design
4. Exercise Application
5. Assessment, Safety, and Injury Prevention
In order to prepare, I first read the NESTA manual cover to cover, then went back and underlined/highlighted the answers to the "Exam Alert" questions in the book. I then signed up for Katie's exam prep (a steal at $25) and worked through the series of 20 quizzes until I could consistently pass them.
For the next 2-3 weeks, I alternated between reviewing the answers to the "Exam Alerts" in the NESTA manual and Katie's online quizzes. By the time my NESTA exam date came around, I was in peak mental shape finishing the 100 question NESTA exam in less than 40 minutes (you get 2 hours) and scoring a 93.
Someone else on the forum had suggested really studying chapters 9-13 in the manual and I found that this was really good advice. Katie's online course really focuses on science, nutrition, and exercise application so I was well prepared to name every bone and muscle in the body as well as what muscles are worked in each type of exercise. However, the NESTA exam didn't really cover that much anatomy or physiology. But again, remember that there are different versions of the NESTA exam so maybe your version will include more of these types of questions.
Where I felt Katie's course was kind of light was in the areas of business development and program design. Of course, these topics were specific to the NESTA manual and Katie's course is trying to cover all certifying programs, not just NESTA. Still, I got a lot of questions about how to build your fitness business as well as several scenarios where I was asked to design an exercise routine for an individual with specific physical limitations and/or goals. Again, you need to really study chapters 9-13 in the NESTA manual, especially chapter 9 on Program Design (you really need to know the NESTA "Strength Training Pyramid" - I had 4-5 questions on this) and chapter 12 on the Business of Personal Training.
Would I take Katie's course again? Absolutely. Did it help me prepare for my exam? Positively. Taking Katie's course was like getting Michale Phelps to help me compete in a neighborhood YMCA swim meet -- I blew the competition away! Even though it was major overkill in a lot of areas, it (1) was well worth the money and (2) provided a lot of supplemental information that helped me to understand some areas I was unclear about (even though I didn't realize I was unclear). In short, it's helped me become a much better trainer.
NESTA Certified Personal Fitness Trainer