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Passed the ACE on first try... but not easy!


I just found out I passed the ACE Exam which I took 2/13/09. I got a score of 555, with 500 being passing. I am not sure if this is considered "average" or "below average" but I sure did study quite a bit for this exam. I do work full time at my regular job, so I did not have full days available to me aside from weekends. I studied for 6 months overall, with the first 3 being more general overviewing and the last 3 being straight up "drilling" the information.

I recently graduated college with honors, so I was still somewhat in study mode... but let me tell you this test is tough. I figured since this site was so helpful to me, I would try to help out anyone still studying for this exam.

I knew the entire ACE Manual cold. I have every chapter broken down by sections, and overall had about 2,000 index cards which I studied daily. I did all review questions at the end of each chapter, and knew those cold too. I also purchased the prep course from this site, which I HIGHLY recommend. I would recommend purchasing the prep course as early as possible. But you MUST use the manual as a basis for study.. the prep course is only meant to be supplemental and help point out areas that you might not know that well.

With all that being said, I thought I was completely golden for this test. Sitting down to the multiple choice, it was slightly off-putting. There were ZERO calculations (meanwhile, I obviously was prepard for BMI, bodyfat %, karvonen, etc.) There was little to no anatomy based Qs. ALOT of the questions were subjective and based on dealing with clients. I thought this was slightly unfair, considering they are highly based on opinion and for some of the "issues" ACE had never taken an official stance throughout the manual regarding what was the "correct" action to take.

Here's what you should definitely know:
1)Muscle groups and their relationships (i.e. which muscles relax when the others tense, muslces to strengthen to help lower back pain, movements to avoid for certain muscle injuries, muscle imbalances contrbuting to shin splints, runners knee, etc)
2)Postural deviations... and anything relating to them
3)Special populations (pregnant, old, osteporosis, KIDS/TEENS! --> this was one of the simulation questions which I scored fairly low on. It's very tricky to "design" an ACE program for a high level teen athlete because you want to challenge them but they are still considered "kids" so you don't want to push them too hard)
4)Basic nutrition, calories, etc
5)Client interaction, repore, etc (this is another tricky one because the answers are SO similar. This is not an official question but this is the style of alot of them --> "An example of demonstrating respect for your client would be A)dressing the part B)looking them in the eye C)leaning forward when you talk to them D)listening intently as they speak" -->> ummm, really?

There was obv alot more on the test than that but I would make sure to know all of this information. Just know as much as you can, and try to learn "ACE's stance" on certain issues, so you don't accidentally asnwer with YOUR personal first response. ALOT of the questions are subjective and its really NOT as simple as always checking "refer to physician" because alot of times its unnecessary.

Anyone else who took it... do you agree with this?

Comments for Passed the ACE on first try... but not easy!

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by: Poster

Took the test 2/13/10... can't seem to remember it's no longer 2009!!!

appreciate it
by: Bert

I really thank you for your feedback on the test. I'm looking into the ACE cert and feel it may be my best path for a number of reasons.

However, admittedly the "subjective" nature of many of the questions is a concern, as I personally dislike ambiguity like that.

I have a friend who has taken it, and he recommends economically I should purchase the "personal training online exam review course," and supposedly will help me study for the exam.

I wonder if that's going to be enough. Obviously the premium package would be nice, but money is an issue as well.

Thanks again

recent ACE advice
by: Tweeter

Just took the ACE test this morning and passed with a 550 score. All of the advice on this site is great and definitely helped me a lot. Don't be discouraged by how overwhelming the book is. I only had the book for five days before the test and studied about 2 hours a day. Two things that really helped me though, is that I am also a EMT and played college baseball. My advice to add onto the other comments is know how to break down words. (Example: Prone is to be facing the ground therefore, turning your hand over so the palm in facing down is to pronate.)
If you can break down words to eliminate obviously wrong answers and make a well educated guess, you'll be fine. This got me through the test. After taking the test and before seeing the results, I was very nervous. I felt very confident in only about 20 questions. But commonsense and logical thinking got me through it.
Can't really give much other advice becuase my test was quite a bit different than the advice I received. I saw nothing about pregnancy, diabetes, nor back postures. Mine was more definitions and muscle grouping. Customer relations was very easy just use commonsense. Same with the written portion at the end.

Good Luck and don't stress, it's not so bad!

by: Anonymous

Would you say that you need to study the exercise science book in depth?

need input please
by: shawn waterman

in the millitary right now and ready to begin college soon. I have a couple of questions. when trying to get hired as a personal trainer, which degrees would help and when it comes to this test thing im lost lol , i hear so many opinions on what to get ( ie ACE VS. anything else out there)is there on degree that is better than the other or is this just dependant upon your location and which gyms or jobs you would like to take .

thanks cpl waterman

good advice
by: Anonymous

Seriously thank you for this and congratulations..

I haven't taken the test yet, but even on the practice exams- i agree these questions are subjective.

That being said- GREAT advice re: taking Ace's personal stance. I think that as far as client- trainer relationship goes it's important not to go with what you would do.

Thanks and congrats once again

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