RCEP Test Overview

The Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist (RCEP) Exam is a certification examination written by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) designed to determine if an individual possesses the skills and knowledge necessary to help patients recover from a variety of conditions through exercise and physical activity.

RCEP Test Study Guide and Flashcards

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

RCEPStudy Guide

This exam assesses the individual’s knowledge of the techniques used to evaluate the health and fitness of each patient, the exercise techniques used to aid in the treatment of various conditions, fundamental concepts of human behavior, safety procedures, injury prevention procedures, risk factors that can be involved in treating a patient through exercise, exercise science, and a variety of similar topics related to treating patients through the use of exercise.

This exam is required in order to become certified as an ACSM registered clinical exercise physiologist. However, an individual may not need the ACSM RCEP certification if he or she already has another similar certification or if a certification is not required for the particular position that the individual is pursuing.

The exam consists of approximately 125 to 150 multiple-choice questions that relate to the following areas:

  • Health Appraisal and Fitness Exercise Training (Approximately 25%)
  • Exercise Prescription/Training and Programming (Approximately 21%)
  • Exercise Physiology and Exercise Science (Approximately 19%)
  • Medical and Surgical Management (Approximately 13%)
  • Pathophysiology and Risk Factors (Approximately 9%)
  • Human Behavior (Approximately 5%)
  • Safety Procedures, Injury Prevention Procedures, and Emergency Procedures (Approximately 4%)
  • Program Administration, Quality Assurance, and Outcome Assessment (Approximately 4%)

The exam-taker will have 3 hours to complete the exam and the exam will be scored on a scale of 200 – 800 with 550 set as the minimum score considered as passing for the exam.

In order to register for the RCEP Exam, the individual interested in pursuing certification must:

  • have a master’s degree or higher in exercise science, exercise physiology, kinesiology, or movement science from an accredited program
  • have a current Basic Life Support Provider certification or a current CPR Professional Rescuer certification
  • have an ACSM Exercise Specialist certification or 600 hours of experience in a clinical setting related to treatment through exercise

If the individual meets all of the necessary requirements, he or she may register for the exam by submitting an application to ACSM by mail.

The individual will then receive an approval letter with instructions on how to schedule a testing date with Pearson VUE. The current registration fee for the exam is $239 dollars for ACSM members and $299 for nonmembers.