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What Percent Do I need to Pass the Certification Exam?

What Percent Do I need to Pass the Certification Exam? | April Merritt | Exam Preparation Blog | 5/4/2010


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Passed!(updated May 2, 2011)

I hear this question from exam candidates frequently and the short answer is…I can’t give you an exact percent. But I can give you some details about how the certification exam is scored (which will explain why I can’t give you an exact percent).

ACE certification exams are comprised of 150 multiple choice questions – with 125 of these questions contributing towards your score, and the other 25 questions being introduced as experimental items for potential use on future exams.

When dealing with the multiple choice questions, there are some easier questions – usually the recall type, and some harder questions – usually the application type. (Did you know that application and analysis questions make up the majority of the multiple choice test questions? Yes, we mean it when we say that just memorizing the information and recalling it isn’t the focus of the exam.)  For more details on question type, see my previous post about dissecting multiple choice questions .

Each ACE certification exam is put together using the exam content outline for that certification (check the earlier blog post on Exam Content Outline for specifics). This process helps ACE ensure that each exam for that certification – Personal Trainer or Group Fitness Instructor or HC or AHFS – has a similar composition in each area the Exam Content Outline covers.

So for the team putting together the exams, the first step is to make sure that what is on the test is what is covered in the Exam Content Outline. The next step is to make sure that the ACE Personal Trainer certification exam you take next week is the same level of difficulty as the ACE Personal Trainer exam your cousin takes next month, or the ACE Personal Trainer exam your boss took last year. This involves a lot of statistics and equations, but the end result is that each candidate for an ACE certification exam has a fair chance to show that they meet the level of competence necessary to hold the certification – regardless of the specific certification exam they happen to complete.

In the end, achieving a good score on your ACE certification exam is dependent on your preparation. Rather than focusing on the bare minimum to pass, strive to comprehend as much as possible. Study wisely for the exam and choose wisely when presented with your answer choices. Remember, this is more than just an exam…it’s the next step in your career.

Questions? Contact an ACE Education Consultant at 1-888-825-3636 x782.

Extra thanks to our exam expert Todd Galati for his help with this post.