The ACE personal training exam is your first step towards becoming a successful certified personal trainer. It’s an exciting opportunity to hone in on your skills and knowledge and be able to move forward as you help others reach their own fitness goals. As a personal trainer, you do more than work you can transform lives.
Well, despite all of that excitement, the ACE PT exam is still an exam. And exams aren’t exactly fun. They’re filled with stress, anxiety, and a lot of sacrificing time. It’s almost like we’re back in high school studying for those dreaded tests, anxious and sweating.
Fortunately, there are ways to prepare for the ACE PT exam to make the whole process feel a lot less intimidating. And, with proper dedication, these preparations can result in a huge pass.
Get ready to ace your ACE. Here are four vital ways to prepare for your ACE PT exam.
1. Make time to study
No one likes to study for an exam. All they do is cause stress, anxiety, and lots of sacrifices (like giving up that time to see friends or family). It’s no wonder so many people fall into the trap of procrastinating—it’s easier than doing the actual work. But all that time spent avoiding, because it’s more fun to do something else, or we’re nervous it’s too hard, just leaves us falling behind on the real work, and real knowledge.
In the end, a lack of studying means a lack of passing the exam. That’s why it’s crucial to make time to study. Whether it’s one hour a day or three (even small increments of 15 minutes every hour can work), create a manageable amount of time that fits into your normal day.
Block out that time on your calendar to eliminate distractions, where you can see the time set and hold yourself accountable. When you make time to study you’re forced to focus. It might not be so fun in the short term but soon, when all of that time stacks up, you’ll be thankful you did it.
2. Find yourself a study group
No two test takers are alike. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses in different parts of any exam, even the ACE. You might breeze through one section but become hung up on another. That’s why a study group can help you prepare for the ACE PT exam. Study groups offer moral and intellectual support.
When you master one section of the study material but need help with another, someone in the study group can guide you through it in a way that you might not have picked up on before. And vice versa. You can help someone else where they struggle, thus building some confidence in your skills, and furthering your understanding of the material while propelling your confidence to tackle spots you were formerly insecure about.
What’s more, study groups are a form of accountability. Sure, you set aside time to study but did you study? It’s harder to skip days or slack off when we have an entire group to report to. And when it comes to exam time, all of that extra support can make a huge difference.
3. Take a practice test
There are so many ACE study guides out there filled with material. But what they also have is an ACE practice test. These tests come with real questions that were on former exams so that you know exactly what to expect. The current exam you take might not look the same as the practice test, nor should it, but what it will do is prepare you and help you understand what to expect.
These guides are a must-have tool for exam preparation since they break down the material by chapter and each practice test comes with all of the answers. Try not to get hung up on the answers, and take a peek at them just because you’re struggling with a question or two.
Take a complete practice test, even if some of your answers are guesses, and see what parts you need to go back and study more. The beauty of a practice test is that it’s only practice, and you can do it as many times as you need.
4. Apply your knowledge
You’ve made the time to study. You found yourself a study group that can support you and builds confidence for the big exam. And you’ve taken so many practice tests that your brain probably hurts. Now what? Apply that knowledge. The goal of the ACE exam is to pass so that you become a certified personal trainer, so why not start practicing now?
Ask a friend or family if you can train them for a day or a week, and treat them the same as you would a real client. Once you can apply your knowledge to real-world examples, you’ll see where you might need a little bit more assistance.
What questions did your practice person ask that you didn’t have the answer to? Where did you lack confidence? Before the exam, prepare by applying the knowledge and then go back and study where you realize you still have some more work to do.
There’s a lot of time and effort that goes into preparing for your ACE PT exam. But with these four tools, you’ll pass with confidence, and be on your way to a successful career as a personal trainer.