7 Important Tips for Passing Your ACE Personal Training Certification Exam

7 Important Tips for Passing Your ACE Personal Training Certification Exam


ACE is one of the most popular and widely recognized personal training certifications. That’s why there are so many searches performed for, “tips for your ACE Personal Training Certification exam.” While it’s possible to retake the exam, there’s also a charge for each new attempt, making it more desirable to “ace” the exam on the first try. At Special Strong, our sister company, we have several trainers with ACE certifications, so we can help!

Embarking on the journey to obtain your ACE Personal Training Certification is an exciting endeavor, opening doors to a rewarding career in fitness and wellness. As you prepare for the ACE exam, arming yourself with essential knowledge and strategies becomes paramount. In this guide, we’ll go over seven key tips to significantly improve your certification preparation. These enhance your chances of success in certification. Important things to master include anatomy and practical application skills. The insights provided aim to direct you towards a comprehensive approach. The goal is to make sure you’re well-prepared and confident on the day of the exam. Whether you’re an aspiring personal trainer or a seasoned professional, these tips are valuable. They’ll assist you on your journey towards ACE certification success.

Here are seven important tips for passing your ACE Personal Training Certification.

1.  Buy (and Read!) the Textbook

Oftentimes, the textbook will be included in the study packages offered by ACE — at least a digital copy, if not a physical one. But because reading takes time, you might feel tempted to just skim the text in the book or skip reading altogether, thinking that the practice quizzes or videos will offer the insight you need to pass the ACE exam. That’s not the case! Actually, reading the textbook is going to help you understand the material better. The concepts will be clearer to you, which will help you retain what you’re learning more easily.

2. Take (and Review!) Notes

The act of taking notes during your study process, though seemingly tedious and time-consuming, is an essential step for significant reasons:

Enhanced Comprehension: The process of jotting down notes while studying enhances your understanding of the material, and prompts your mind to consolidate the information more effectively.

Better Retention: Besides enhancing comprehension, handwriting notes boosts retention. Our brains are wired to remember things that we actively engage with, making this tactile activity beneficial for memory.

Review and Recall: The benefits of note-taking do not end at writing. Reviewing these notes aids in further ingraining the information into your memory. Observing your handwriting stimulates recall, helping your brain retain the details stronger and longer.

Streamlining Study Material: Notetaking allows you to digest voluminous content and make it concise and personalised according to your understanding which can be incredibly helpful during revision.

3. Learn the Lingo

Understanding the terminologies specific to your field of study is critical for your success in the exam.

Versatility of Questions: Exam questions aren’t likely to be straightforward definitions. The terminologies will relate to diverse areas, including the human body, exercise programs, theories, industry jargon, and scientific terminologies.

Need for Understanding: The questions in the exams are framed to test your understanding of these terms, rather than just rote memory of definitions. For instance, without understanding what ‘homeostasis’ means, answering a question like, “Which of the following functions help most with homeostasis?” becomes challenging.

Importance of Terminology: To comprehensively understand what a question is asking and to deliver the right answer, you must be familiar with the lingo. Ensuring you are versed with the terminologies will significantly enhance your chances of success in the exam.

try ace for free

4.  Be Body Positive

To pass the ACE exam, you need to be so familiar with anatomy that you’re positive (not “pretty sure”) about your answers to body-related questions on the exam. The good news is that this should be the easy part. Anatomy is complex, but since fitness is your area of interest, you should more easily retain this information. Plus, knowing the anatomy will do more than help you pass the exam. It will help you be a better personal trainer. Once you know why exercise improves overall health, you’ll be able to get better, more accurate advice to your clients.

5.  Practice, Practice, Practice

When you purchase your study package with ACE, you have a number of excellent materials at your disposal, ones that, if utilized, will help you pass the exam with no issues. The practice quizzes are particularly helpful. They’re not exact replicas of the exam, but they’re pretty dang close, and they’ll give you a good idea of how the exam will go on the Big Day. The more often you take these practice quizzes, the better you’ll feel about taking the test, for two reasons:

  1. You won’t be as intimidated by the exam when you sit down to take the real deal. You’ll already be familiar with the format, and there won’t be anything scary about it.
  2. You’ll have had a chance to test your knowledge before the exam, which will let you know areas that you need to keep studying in order to do well on test day.

6.  Take Your “Toolbox”

Obviously, we’re not saying that you should bring a box of tools with you to your ACE exam. But you do need to be prepared for your exam by bringing certain things with you to the testing site. You’ll need to present your admission ticket (your proof of purchase, essentially) and a photo ID. You won’t need to bring a pencil, paper, or even a calculator, as the testing center will provide all these things for you. Not only does this free up the literal room (in your backpack or in your arms) for you, but it also frees up some mental room — meaning, you don’t have to worry about remembering anything else besides the two items mentioned above and the exam material.

7. Relieve Test Anxiety

Many people have testing anxiety, which makes passing an exam difficult: a self-fulfilling prophecy. Even if people study diligently and thoroughly, testing anxiety (or the worry that they’ll perform poorly on the exam) can still interfere with success and produce a bad grade.

Don’t do all that studying for nothing! Relieve your test anxiety before you get to the testing center and while taking the exam:

Tips to Relieve Your Anxiety During Taking the Exam

  • Power stance: Taking up more physical space boosts your confidence and self-esteem. (Hey, we don’t make the rules. It’s just science.) In the morning before your exam, stand up really tall with your feet wide apart. Reach your arms up and out. You should look like a giant X at this point. Stand like this for a few minutes to get more confident.
  • Breathing exercises: A racing mind also leads to a racing heart, which can make you feel rushed when you’re taking the exam — which can lead to silly, avoidable mistakes. Steady your heart rate by steadying your breathing with breathing exercises. You can meditate, which involves simply observing your breath, not controlling it at all. You can also try “square breathing,” where you breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, exhale for four counts, and then hold the exhale for the same count.
  • Positive affirmations: If you’re new to affirmations, this is going to sound silly, but you should say nice things to yourself — out loud — on the morning of your exam. You can say things like, “I am smart,” “I am capable,” “I have a great memory,” “I am confident,” etc. to stave off testing anxiety.
  • Review the questions: The exam is online, but even the digital format enables you to review all the questions (with options to click “previous,” “next,” or “skip”) before submitting your exam. Go through the test, answering all the questions you know for sure, then go back and answer the other questions you needed more time on.
  • Zone in: Testing sites should offer headphones to test takers. Ask for some, so you can drown out the cacophony of cleared throats, sneezes, and deep, aggravated sighs.

try ace for free

Bonus Tip: Take Your Certification to the Next Level

After you pass your ACE Personal Training Certification exam, you’ll need to consider how you can stand out from the competition. One way to do this is by getting niche certifications to boost your expertise. While ACE includes several niche certifications, they’re lacking in one that focuses primarily on special needs (both physical and cognitive).

When you get a Special Needs Fitness Trainer Certification through Strong Education, you not only widen your clientele reach, but you also expand your opportunity for earning CEUs with ACE. (Each year, you’ll need to renew your certification, and in order to do so, you’ll have to prove that you’ve kept up with the latest news in the fitness industry by earning education credits.) By getting certified with us, you can also obtain certified with ACE’s Special Needs Fitness Trainer Certification.

Strong Education teaches personal trainers and service providers on how to adapt fitness and nutrition for children, adolescents, and adults with autism, Down Syndrome, and other disabilities through our online adaptive special needs certification course.

Tell us where to send your FREE guide:



Get a FREE Adaptive Workout & Nutrition Guide

  • Breaks down Adaptive challenges
  • Breaks down things to Try and Avoid based on Adaptive challenges
  • Gamified challenge to help create new habits
Enter your Email to Receive a 10% OFF Coupon and Download a FREE Sample Exam

Floating 10% Coupon Form

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • 10% off coupon for any certification program
  • Preview our multiple choice sample exam
  • Be the first to know about new monthly adaptive courses
Sale Extended! SAVE 25% & Start for $1!
email tick

Thank you for your interest in Special Strong

One of our local special strong trainers will reach out to you shortly.

Please take a look at this video to know more about what to expect in a training class. Also join our Facebook and Instagram community where we highlight stories of our clients overcoming challenges to live an abundant life. We hope to highlight your story soon.

email tick

Thank you for your interest in Special Strong

One of our local special strong trainers will reach out to you shortly.

In your area we provide virtual in home training. Please take a look at this video to know more about what to expect in a training class. Also join our Facebook and Instagram community where we highlight stories of our clients overcoming challenges to live an abundant life. We hope to highlight your story soon.

Thank you for your submission. Check inbox for coupon code.