I’m so excited to announce that after over 5 months of studying, I passed my exam with flying colors! I was so worried I was going to have to use my re-test voucher considering I had read online that there were people who took the test a few times and didn’t manage to pass it. After all, I didn’t have any background in any kind of science what-so-ever. I’m an English person, so I’m thrilled to know that I’m not science illiterate.
Now I figure those people either didn’t study enough or aren’t actively trying to understand the concepts presented within the material. Otherwise, if you’ve studied (I should say overstudy), the exam isn’t that hard, even though most of the questions are those choose-the-best-answer questions, meaning all the choices are right, but only one is the best.
For those who are just embarking on studying for ACE or are studying to be a personal trainer period, I’ve got plenty of useful tips that’ll hopefully help you pass the first time around so that way you don’t have to stress about that second time.
For the ACE exam, the minimum passing score is 500, and the maximum score is 800. In my opinion, you need to aim to score beyond a 500–which I happily did!
- You need to study the answers ACE wants. Don’t use your experience working out in the gym to determine what YOU think is best because I can guarantee it’s some sort of gym pseduoscience. This doesn’t necessarily mean that when you’re certified, you have to do it ACE’s way. This just simply means you have to do it their way for the exam. After all, keep in mind that their suggestions are backed by science. Another cert may say differently, but give the answer ACE would want. It’s that easy. I promise.
- Overstudy. You can never, ever study too much, but I advise you to overstudy so that way when you do take the exam, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is. I’ve read tons and tons of stories from people who have failed the ACE exam multiple times, and I wonder how? As I’ve said, my background is in English, yet I didn’t even study the full 6 months and still managed to pass with flying colors. I suppose being an English major is advantageous since I can easily read material and digest it, so it may have actually helped me better understand all of the material compared to someone with neither a science nor English background. Some people are convinced ACE creates their tests so that you fail the first time so they can milk you for more money, but that’s absolute nonsense. Again…I DID NOT HAVE ANY SCIENCE-Y BACKGROUND WHEN I BEGAN STUDYING! So how do you overstudy? Well:
- Purchase the entire program. I spent about 800 bucks on the entire program, which includes the ACE Academy Elite. Watch all of the videos, take all of the quizzes, and take the practice exams. Not everyone needs to purchase the entire program to pass, but if you’re worried about failing the first time, I suggest getting it. It is worth it. So worth it.
- Take practice exams. Don’t do just the exams that ACE offers. Find ones online and take every single one you can. I took practice tests with 50 questions, 120, and one with 377. I kept taking these until I passed with more than what the tests wanted. I basically received the equivalent of an A on the 377 question exam. All you have to do is type ACE practice exams into Google, and they’ll pop up. These are HIGHLY representative of what you’ll find on the exam.
- Take notes. Highlight stuff as you read, then go back later and take notes on those highlighted parts. Take notes on stuff you need to study more. Take notes from the practice exams you’ve taken of stuff you had a hard time with. Don’t just accept that you’ve passed the practice exams. Study what you’ve missed. Take notes off the videos you’ve watched as well. Take notes off the quizzes. Just. Take. Notes.
- Do the activity pages and activity workbook and flashcards. Now there weren’t a whole lot of memory recall questions from the exercise science book, but it’ll still behoove you to answer the questions on the activity pages. It’ll be SUPER helpful to complete the activity workbook as well that comes with the ACE manual. Study these answers multiple times. Do the flashcards and study those multiple times. This can only help your career.
- Do more research online. If there is a concept you’re having a difficult time understanding, like the difference between eccentric and concentric contractions, then do more research of it online. I can guarantee you that ACE’s blog will probably pop up in the search results and better help you understand difficult concepts.
- Watch Youtube videos. ACE’s videos don’t always offer full visuals needed for people who are visual learners, so looking up concepts on Youtube can be very helpful. I looked up such concepts like different stretching techniques and postural deviations on Youtube to receive a more thorough understanding.
- Act out what you’re learning. If you really want to understand what exercises work what muscles, act out the exercises to understand that, for example, you work out such muscles as the serratus anterior and rectus abdominus in a push-up–and more, of course.
- Last, don’t convince yourself ACE is trying to trip you up on purpose or steal your money. If you thoroughly understand the manual, you WILL know what sorts of answers ACE is looking for. This is for any cert…period. STUDY that cert’s method and know exactly what answers they would want. This is why I recommend taking loads of practice tests. These tests will help you understand exactly what questions you’re going to come across on your exam.
Now I’m not going to be finding a job immediately. I’m going to Texas next month, so I won’t start seeking until 2016. In the meantime, it gives me plenty of time to really study up on the business and all of that fun stuff, along with acquiring more knowledge that can only benefit my future clients.