National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) is the place to go to obtain certification to become a personal trainer. To get that certification, you need to take a test, and it pays to be well prepared. Nearly four in 10 test takers failed the test, according to the NASM’s 2016 results. This guide, along with the tools offered by Mometrix, can help you better under the test, and offer some tips on how to study for the examination.

How long does the certification last?

Two years. After that, you can be recertified, provided you’ve taken the required number of continuing education courses.

What do I need before taking the NASM exam?

You must have a current CPR (Emergency Cardiac Care) and AED (Automated External Defibrillator) certification.

What type of education do I need before taking the test?

If you want to explore a career in personal training, you have to meet a few requirements before taking the test. You must have a high school diploma or its equivalent. You must be within 90 days of graduation in order to register for test.

Once I enroll, how much time do I have to take the test?

From the time you enroll, you have 180 days to take the test. During that time, you must make sure you meet the CPR and AED requirements. You can apply for a 90-day extension period at an additional cost.

When should I enroll to take the test?

At least 60 days before the date you want to take it.

How many questions are on the NASM test?

There are 120 graded questions on the test. There are another 20-research question that don’t count against your score.

How long does the test take?

Two hours.

What score do I need to pass?

70 percent.

What’s on the test?

The test is divided into six separate areas, called domains, and they are:

  • Basic and applied sciences and nutritional concepts -15%- Tests your knowledge of anatomy, hydration concepts, diet myths, and several other areas.
  • Client relations and behavioral coaching -15%- Tests your ability to react professionally with your client
  • Assessment -16%- This section tests a number of areas including your ability to interpret assessments and your knowledge of medical risks.
  • Program design –20%- Tests how you take the assessment results and develop a program for your client.
  • Exercise technique and training instruction -24%- Tests how you teach exercise technique to monitor safe movement.
  • Professional development and responsibility -10- Tests your ability to adhere to professional standards while growing your business.

What are the costs associated with taking the NASM test?

Course materials cost $699, and the exam costs another $599.

What do I need on the day of my exam?

Three things — a government issued identification, your letter from the NASM confirming your examination date, and your CPR/AED certification card. There’s an important note on the government issued ID – the name on your identification must match the name on file with the NASM.

What else do I need to know about taking the exam?

You can only take the exam at the location you requested (the location at which you’ve registered). You won’t be allowed to switch locations. Once you’re in the room, you can’t leave, unless there is a scheduled break. If there is a break, you’re prohibited from taking about the test to anyone else who happens to be taking it.

Can I reschedule the exam?

Yes, you can reschedule the exam at no cost as long as you do so 24-hours in advance.

What happens if I don’t cancel or reschedule?

Anyone who doesn’t cancel or fails to reschedule 24-hours in advance loses the exam fee.

What happens if I’m late?

If you arrive late to your exam location, you will not be allowed to take the test on that day. You’ll have to reschedule, and will be changed a late cancellation fee.

Can I bring books or electronics into the testing room?

No. There’s a long list of items not allowed in the testing room, including reference books, cell phones, electronic tablets, watches, calculators, radios, and the like. In other words, no electronic devices of any kind are allowed in the room.

What happens if I fail the test?

After the first time, you can retake the test following a one-week waiting period. Those who fail the test a second time must wait at least 30 days before retaking the test. Anyone who fails the test after a third attempt has to wait a year before trying again. In each case, additional retest fees apply.

If this all seems a bit overwhelming, it really isn’t. Mometrix has a number of tools that can help you study for the exam.

Our comprehensive study guide had been researched by a team of professionals with years of experience helping students prepare for exams just like this one. The guide provides specifics on how to tackle the questions you’ll be asked.

Mometrix’s large, easy-to-read flashcards help you learn through repetition, and the questions cover every content area of the exam. Not only that, the cards make it easy for a friend or relative to help quiz you on the questions you’ll need to know in order to meet your dream — becoming a certified personal trainer.

NASM Exam Study Guide and Flashcards

Get practice questions, detailed study lessons, and complex subjects broken down into easily understandable concepts.

NASMStudy Guide