One of the most popular posts on this site is the interview I did with an ACE certified personal trainer, and how he prepared for the exam. Because of that, I wanted to do another ACE review to help people get another perspective. In this review, I interview ACE personal trainer and author of Beating Sugar Addiction For Dummies, Dan DeFigio. If you have any questions or need more info to help you prepare, leave a comment below. Also see my other review of ACE for more insights.
JC. How much did the ACE test cost?
DD. Including the basic study materials, $312.
JC. Why did you pick ACE over other organizations?
DD. I am a CEC provider, and I need to have an ACE certification in order to give ACE CECs.
JC. Where did you take the ACE test? List the specific location you took the test.
DD. TN College of Applied Technology Nashville (TCATN). 100 White Bridge Rd., TCATN Testing Center, Nashville, TN 37209
JC. How long did you study before you took the ACE test?
DD. This was a re-test for me, so I spent approximately 6 hours reviewing the study materials. The first time I took the test, I studied hard for about 2 months.
JC. Can you take people through what the day was like when you took the test?
DD. Easy procedure, professional testing environment in an official testing room. One proctor, individual computer stations, about a half-dozen test-takers in the room.
JC. What types of ID did you have to present on the day you took the exam?
DD. People had to provide their test voucher and drivers license or other official photo ID. You will also need your exam ID number that is in your email receipt from ACE!
JC. Were you allowed to keep your cell phone with you during the test?
DD. No cell phones allowed during testing.
JC. What grade was passing on the test?
DD. People needed to score at least 500 out of 800 required to pass. That's a minimum of 62.5% to pass.
JC. Did you find out if you passed that same day or did it take time to find out?
DD. Test score and results are provided immediately after finishing the exam.
JC. How long did you have to take the test?
DD. People have 3 hours to take the ACE test.
JC. Was the test proctored?
DD. Yes. This was to help in case anyone had questions and to prevent cheating.
JC. What books did you use to study for ACE?
DD. I used the ACE Personal Trainer Manual 4th Edition Set
JC. Did you take any practice tests?
JC. If you used practice tests, do you think they helped you?
DD. Sample questions in the study materials were useful.
JC. Did you use any other study materials?
JC. Did you have to get a CPR/AED cert before you were allowed to take the test?
JC. How many questions were on the test?
DD. 150 multiple choice questions.
JC. Did the ACE test involve any math? If yes can you help people understand the types of math questions they may need to do?
DD. Yes but it was mostly simple math for the most part like calculating the % of fat and protein, calculating BMI, calculating heart rate.
JC. Could you use a calculator during the exam?
DD. Yes, each exam station was equipped with a calculator, scratch paper, and pencil.
JC. Was there a practical (hands on) part to the ACE test?
DD. Unfortunately no there was not a practical part to the ACE test.
JC. Did you just study the ACE books or did you take a prep course too?
DD. I Just reviewed the books.
JC. Did the test (or books) cover anything on exercise-induced rhabdomyolysis?
JC. Do you feel the ACE materials adequately prepared you for the test?
DD. Yes I do.
JC. What do you feel was the hardest part of the ACE test?
DD. Only ONE practical exercise question was on the test. Study the rapport building and transtheoretical model of behavior change thoroughly.
JC. How long does the ACE certification last (2 or 3 years)?
DD. The ACE personal trainer cert is good for 2 years.
JC. Can you help people understand what they have to do to renew their ACE certification?
DD. 20 hours of continuing ed (CECs) every two years. Most of which should be from my courses 🙂
JC. Can you give people any study tips to help them prepare?
DD. See above advice about TTM stages-of-change model.
JC. If you could change anything about the ACE exam, what would it be?
DD. ALL the organizations need to do a much better job teaching prospective trainers how to correctly teach exercise. There's far too much emphasis placed on physiology and, in ACE's case, the rapport and stage-of-change bit. Most organizations allow people to pass a certified personal trainer exam without having a clue how to actually teach exercise. Sad.
JC. Did the ACE test include anything on marketing or getting clients?
JC. After you became certified, what surprised you the most about being a personal trainer?
DD. I have been a personal trainer since 1993. One of the big surprises was how much psychological support people need.
JC. If you could give trainers reading this one piece of marketing advice, what would it be?
DD. Make sure you conduct yourself in a professional manner at all times. People in the gym are always watching you, whether you're doing a session or not.
JC. Are there any books you recommend personal trainers read?
DD. Yes I recommend that all trainers get and study the following books:
JC. Do you remember your first client? Do you wish you did anything differently?
DD. I do remember my first client, but I can't say I'd do anything differently.
JC. If you could do it all over again, would you change anything?
DD. After 23 years, apparently I'm doing something right.
JC. How can people learn more about you? List your website:
DD. Sure, people can learn more and reach out to me these ways.
Did you take the ACE personal training cert? Do you have any questions to help you better prepare? Leave a comment below so we can help you.