September 1, 2009, 03:42PM PT in Exam Preparation Blog |
Does experience really help you pass?
I heard you need experience to pass the ACE exam - but I’ve never worked in a gym before!
Don’t worry! Candidates who sit for ACE exams come from all walks of life. Some candidates have education and experience in the field prior to becoming certified. They’ve gone to school for exercise science and have worked in fitness facilities since they were teenagers. Other candidates begin their studies with years of personal experience working out but no formal training. And still other candidates bring experience and knowledge from another field, along with a desire to help others be healthier.
The exams for all ACE certification programs are designed to assess whether or not an individual is qualified to function as a professional in that particular job (Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant, or Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist) with minimal supervision. By passing the exam, you are indicating you meet the competency benchmark required to work as a professional in that position.
Yes, the Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist Certification requires 300 documented hours of experience in the field. However, our other certifications do not have this same ‘hours of experience’ requirement. Prior experience and/or exercise science education can be helpful for someone preparing for the exam (the candidate may have less total new information to learn), but it isn’t required for someone to be successful on an ACE certification exam.
ACE certification exams are designed to assess if a person meets the qualifications of the job; they are not designed around people who already have experience. Earning a NCCA-accredited certification, such as the ACE Personal Trainer Certification, is a foundational step to a career in personal training. All candidates who site for the exam - experienced or not - have to achieve the same level of competency in order to pass the exam.
So how do you know what areas to study? What knowledge, skills, and abilities you are responsible for knowing? Your Exam Content Outline holds the key! Check last week’s blog for more details.
Special thanks to Todd Galati, ACE Certification and Exam Development Manager, for assistance with this post!