ACE offers several of pre-exam testing opportunities for candidates. There is the paper sample test, the online diagnostic test (or tests depending on your certification) and the short quizzes at the end of each module of the exam review. I frequently get asked about how accurate are these tests? Are they really like the certification exam? The short answer is…yes. But as usual, I also have a longer answer and we are going to focus primarily on the online diagnostic practice tests. ACE has an online diagnostic practice test for each of our certifications – Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Health Coach, and Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist. When you are preparing for your exam it is recommended that you take your online diagnostic practice test in the last several weeks of your study time. For those of you utilizing the Study Coach Program, this would be about week 10 or week 16. If you look at the description for the online diagnostic practice test it says things like ‘modeled after the certification exam’ and ‘equivalent level of difficulty’ and ‘distributed by topic area’. This last comment is one you want to pay attention to. Remember we talked about the Exam Content Outline? In the exam content outline you will see that distribution of topic area – and it should be reflected that way on the online diagnostic practice test. For the personal trainer that would mean a handful of questions in the Professional Responsibilities domain (Domain 4), a few more in Domain 3, and the majority of questions in Domains 1 and 2 – Client Assessment and Program Design. If you’re taking the Group Fitness Instructor Exam or the LWMC exam you should expect a similar layout to your online diagnostic practice exam. The other comment to pay attention to is the ‘equivalent level of difficulty’ with regards to the online diagnostic practice test questions. This means that the questions you see on the online diagnostic practice test should be about as hard as the questions you see on the certification exam. Not a lot easier, not a lot harder…just about as hard. If you find yourself getting tripped up by the questions or by the structure of the questions on the online diagnostic practice exam, this might be time to review a few blog posts. Check out the ‘It’s not a trick question!’ as well as the ‘Dissecting Multiple Choice Questions’ post for review. One final reminder about the online diagnostic practice tests…remember that the first time you take the online diagnostic is the best measure of how well you do. The more times you take any sample/practice test, the better you may get – although it is usually due to memorization of the questions and answers! So give it your best shot the first time, and remember to let us know if you have any questions. You can reach an Education Consultant at 1-888-825-3636 x782.