Anyone who is interested in getting certified for being a personal trainer (PT) may have heard of the ACE exam for personal trainer certification. However, just because you’ve heard of the ACE-CPT doesn’t mean that you already know how to pass the exam. It also doesn’t mean you know exactly what the ACE certification program is all about or what it is best for.
Are you interested in taking the ACE exam? And do you want to do your best to prepare for the exam? Or are you just trying to figure out if the ACE certification is the best personal trainer certification program for you? Would an ACE practice test be enough to prepare you?
Regardless of your particular situation, it’s important to find good and helpful resources that will help you with making better-informed decisions.
What is ACE?
ACE, occasionally also displayed as ACE-CPT, stands for the American Council on Exercise.
The ACE PT certification has been accredited by the NCCA, an acronym for the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. Originally founded in 1987 as the NCHCA, or the National Commission for Health Certifying Agencies, the commission is a non-profit.
Additionally, the NCCA was founded by the Institute for Credentialing Excellence or ICE.
How do You Prepare for ACE?
If you’re planning on taking the exam for the ACE, it would be a good idea to prepare yourself thoroughly.
The best way to do this is to take some kind of ACE practice test, or more than one ACE practice test if you have the ability. Why is it a good idea to use an ACE practice test?
An ACE practice test can help you to learn about the different styles of questions that will be on the ACE certification exam. Some of them will even come with explanations for the correct answers, so you won’t need to be in the dark if you don’t have a level of complete understanding. That would be in addition to the answer key, as would be expected.
While it’s pretty difficult to practice with a full-length ACE test, just because of the sheer length and complexity of the exam, an ACE practice test will generally come with at least a few practice questions for each section of the exam.
Additionally, it would be a good idea to find a few more resources for your study in addition to an ACE practice test. One good investment would be for a solid ACE study guide, which would have the ability to fill you in on key information that’s going to be on the exam.
However, study guides for the ACE exam would be an even better way to review for the exam after completely going through the material in an ACE-centered textbook. A good textbook to consider for this particular exam is the American Council on Exercise Personal Trainer Manual, particularly the fifth edition.
What Does the ACE Exam Look Like?
As previously mentioned, the ACE exam is pretty long and difficult. It has a pass rate of approximately 65%, making it one of the harder PT certifications to earn if you’re looking to jump into the health and fitness industry.
Additionally, some have claimed that the exam can be pretty overwhelming if you haven’t had previous experience with exercise science. That makes it even more vital for you to prepare well for the exam if you want to pass on your first attempt.
According to Trainer Academy, the ACE exam is comprised of four different parts or domains that you’ll be tested on. And all of these domains are generally going to be of different lengths relative to each other.
These four domains you’ll be tested on include:
- Client Interviews and Assessments
- Comprising 23% of the exam
- Approximately 35 questions long
- Program Design and Implementation
- Comprising 31% of the exam
- Approximately 46 questions long
- Also, generally the largest portion of the ACE exam
- Program Progression and Modification
- Comprising 26% of the exam
- Approximately 39 questions long
- Professional Conduct, Safety, and Risk Management
- Comprising 20% of the exam
- Approximately 30 questions long
- Also, generally the shortest portion of the ACE exam
Naturally, all of these different domains in the exam will cover different aspects of being a personal trainer and handling various clientele and circumstances in your PT career.
What Does it Mean to be ACE Certified?
Becoming an ACE-certified personal trainer means that you have officially been certified as a fitness trainer through the American Council of Exercise. Because of this, anyone who is willing to pay for an accredited and certified study package, study and learn the material, and then passes the exam can become ACE certified.
However, because there aren’t very many prerequisites for becoming ACE-certified, some people will question if getting the certification is actually worth it. Regardless, the ACE exam and certification can be a great way to make your next steps forward as a personal trainer, as long as the ACE certification feels like it makes the most sense for you and your goals.