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How will I know what is on the exam?

The examination for each level of certification is composed of multiple choice questions from the Job Task Analyses found in the ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 9th edition. Each level of certification also includes unscored questions that are being tested for future examinations. These unscored questions are randomly distributed throughout the exam and will not be counted in the final results.

Certification Exam Scored ItemsUnscored ItemsTime Limit
ACSM Certified Group Exercise Instructor100152.5 hours
ACSM Certified Personal Trainer120302.5 hours
ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist125253.5 hours
ACSM Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist100353.5 hours
ACSM Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist125153.0 hours
ACSM/NCHPAD Certified Inclusive Fitness Trainer100102.5 hours
ACSM/ACS Certified Cancer Exercise Trainer12053.0 hours
ACSM/NPAS Physical Activity in Public Health Specialist90352.5 hours

Competency Areas/Exam Blueprints

The approximate distribution of exam questions across each competency area for each ACSM certification is as follows:

ACSM Certified Group Exercise Instructor

ACSM Certified Personal Trainer

ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist

ACSM Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist

ACSM Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist

ACSM/NCHPAD Certified Inclusive Fitness Trainer

ACSM/ACS Certified Cancer Exercise Trainer

ACSM/NPAS Physical Activity in Public Health Specialist 

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