American Council on Exercise by American Council on Exercise
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On August 21, 2023, a new Exam Content Outline for the ACE Personal Trainer Certification exam will go live. Keep reading for more information about updates to the ACE Personal Trainer Exam Content Outline and to help you successfully prepare for the exam. 

Why has the exam content outline changed?

The ACE Personal Trainer Certification exam content outline has been updated to reflect the current job role of a Personal Trainer. The personal training industry has evolved since the previous exam content outline was created five years ago. ACE reviews and revises the exam content outline for the ACE Personal Trainer Certification every five years to ensure content reflects current requirements to enter the job role of a Personal Trainer. An overview of the process ACE uses to update ACE Certifications is included at the beginning of the exam content outline. 

If you would like to view the new Personal Trainer Exam Content Outline prior to its launch on August 21st, you can do so here.

How has the exam content outline changed? 

Two of the domain names have changed slightly and the percentage breakdowns for two domains have changed, as seen in the table below. 

 

Current Exam Content Outline Domain Breakdown

New Exam Content Outline Domain Breakdown (goes live August 21, 2023)

Domain 1

Interviews and Assessments - 23%

Client Onboarding and Assesments - 23%

Domain 2

Program Design and Implementation - 31%

Program Design and Implementation - 31%

Domain 3

Program Modification and Progression - 26%

Program Modification and Progression - 27%

Domain 4

Professional Conduct, Safety, and Risk Management - 20%

Risk Management, Professional Conduct, and Ethical Business Practices - 19%

 

Additionally, the associated task, knowledge, and skill statements for each domain have been updated to reflect the current role of an ACE Personal Trainer. Some key additions include different types of settings (e.g., virtual, in-person, in-home, in-club, public spaces) in which personal training occurs, leveraging technology in program implementation and monitoring, and incorporating social determinants of health and behavior change models. Notably, the largest change to the exam content outline can be seen in domain 4, where there is an expanded focus on risk management, ethical business practices, and staying current with industry standards and scope of practice. ACE encourages you to take the time to dive into this new exam content outline to help guide you through your studies as you prepare to sit for your ACE Personal Trainer Certification exam.

When will the exam change to reflect the new exam content outline? 

The exam will change to reflect the new exam content outline on August 21, 2023. 

New questions are rotated into ACE certification exams on a regular basis each year keeping ACE exams up to date with changes in the industry. This is something ACE does with all four of our certification programs.

Can I still use my copy of The Exercise Professional's Guide to Personal Training to study for my exam?

Yes, you can still use ACE’s textbook The Exercise Professional's Guide to Personal Training and associated online study programs to adequately prepare for the ACE Personal Trainer Certification exam.

You should continue with your current study plan and once you feel prepared for the exam and a career as a Personal Trainer, log into your My ACE account to register for your examination. 

If you purchased study materials that included an exam voucher, you will want to make sure that you redeem it by the expiration date to register for an exam. You can choose an exam date beyond your exam voucher’s expiration date. You will need to be at least 18 years of age and have current CPR/AED information listed in your My ACE account in order to register for the examination.

Additional questions about the exam or how to best prepare?  

Please visit ACE Answers where you can find answers to commonly asked study questions, review exam prep blogs, sign up for free webinars and virtual study groups, and watch helpful videos and recorded lectures. Download the ACE Certification and Recertification Handbook for complete details about earning and maintaining ACE Certifications. 

You can also connect with ACE Study Coaches and other exam candidates by visiting the ACE Answers Facebook page where you can ask, and get answers to, questions as you prepare for the ACE Personal Trainer exam.

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