ACE personal trainer textbook on table with ACE exam info for preparation for the CPT exam.

PT Pioneer, what’s up?

Welcome to my article on the complete breakdown of the ACE personal training exam questions for 2024, where you will learn all about the ACE PT exam, including:

  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is the ACE Test?
  • ACE Exam Requirements
  • ACE Exam Questions and Other ACE-Certified Personal Trainer Study Materials

Besides your ACE personal trainer manual and ACE personal trainer textbook, there’s no better way to prepare than with a copy of the ACE cheat sheet and ACE study plan.

My PTP students report cutting their ACE study time and effort in half with Trainer Academy. 

Benefit from the Exam Pass Guarantee and Retake Fee Guarantee. Plus, take advantage of my current discount code PTPJULY for 35% off the MVP Program (Ends July 19th, 2024). 

Try it out for free here to see if it’s right for you, or read my detailed review for further insights.

With that said, let’s stop wasting time and get right into this article!

ACE exam passing score

The ACE exam passing score is 500 out of 800, which corresponds to answering 90 out of 125 questions correctly.

ACE CPT Study Series

ACE Exam FAQ in Video Form

ACE CPT EXAM FAQ 2023 - ACE Exam Pass Rate, Test Difficulty, and Info ✔️

PTPioneer’s ACE CPT Exam FAQ

Below are the most commonly asked questions regarding the ACE personal trainer final exam.

Whereas PTPioneers provides you with the ACE personal training exam cheat sheet and ACE personal trainer exam answers on the study guide, this page was designed to answer all questions you may have regarding the ACE test questions and study program.

Briefly put, I want to help you ACE the exam.

Yes, pun intended.

So let’s dive in!

What is the ACE CPT test?

The ACE CPT test is the American Council on Exercise Certified Personal Trainer exam.

Is the ACE CPT exam hard?

The ACE exam is hard for some people, and can be difficult to pass on the first try without proper preparation. However, there are ways to prepare more adequately for the exam to ensure a first try pass.

What is the ACE personal trainer exam pass rate?

With a pass rate of 65%, you are more likely to pass the ACE personal trainer exam than to fail. That said, the lower pass rate means that you would work harder to nail down information by using multiple study guides and working through different practice tests.

What are the ACE CPT exam prerequisites?

To qualify for the ACE CPT exam, you must be 18 years old, hold a current and valid CPR/AED certification (from an approved course provider), and have a high school diploma (or the equivalent, GED).

How long do I have to prepare for the ACE CPT exam?

To become ACE certified, you will need at least 3 – 6 months of academic studies after you enroll for the exam, set a date, pass a 3 hour exam of 150 multiple choice questions, and pass the exam.

How much does the ACE personal trainer certification cost?

ACE provides different packages to choose from, each containing various study materials. For example, the ACE CPT exam-only option costs $399 and comes with no study materials, not even the primary textbook.

How many questions are on the ACE CPT exam?

The ACE CPT exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions. You will have three hours to complete the test.

What happens if I fail the ACE CPT exam?

If you happen to fail the exam on your first try, you must pay a retake fee of $199. Take full advantage of the free ACE practice tests. It may get expensive if you keep on failing.

Can you see your ACE certification exam score?

Yes, you can see your exam score whether you pass or fail the exam. After taking the exam, you can log into your ACE account online and view your score under the “My examination information” section. You can see how well or poorly you did in each of the four domains. If you fail the exam, you can use this information to refocus your studies.

What score do I need to pass the ACE test?

Numerically speaking, the ACE personal trainer exam passing score is 500/800.
Out of the 150 questions on the exam, 25 of them are sample questions that won’t be graded. Out of the 125 graded questions, you must answer approximately 90 questions correctly.

How long does the ACE personal trainer certification last?

As with most personal trainer and fitness certifications, maintaining a current ACE CPT is done by demonstrating your continued competence through completing and submitting continuing education units (CEUs) and certification renewal every two years.

Is the ACE CPT worth it?

I believe obtaining an ACE CPT to launch your fitness career is a great place to start.

Is the ACE CPT a respected personal training certification?

Yes. ACE is NCCA accredited, meaning the National Commission for Certifying Agencies has identified its coursework as reputable and meets the criteria for what is considered a high-quality program within the personal training industry.

What is the average annual income for ACE-certified personal trainers?

According to the most recent statistics, the average salary of an ACE personal trainer is $52,537 per year.

What, if any, other certifications or specializations does ACE offer?

ACE offers other certifications and specializations, such as group fitness instructor, fitness nutrition, physical activity for seniors, corrective exercise, pilates, and more. Visit and see what you’d like to specialize in.

How long is the ACE Personal Trainer exam

The 3 hour long ACE personal trainer Exam is standardized with four different certification exams. Each exam consists 150 multiple-choice questions, 125 of which are scored, and The remaining 25 questions are experimental and must be completed in 3 hours.

You will need to score at least 500 out of 800 to obtain ACE Certification and pass the ACE Certification Exam.

The exam for personal training covers a wide variety of topics, including exercise science, program design, coaching techniques, and professional conduct. It is crucial for candidates to be fully prepared for the exam, which evaluates both theoretical knowledge and practical applications in the field of personal training.

What does the ACE Test look like?

On July 1, 2018, ACE completely changed the exam content and how they broke it down.

The biggest reason why this is important is that many “test prep” websites or services have not updated their material accordingly, leading to people focusing on the wrong content. As such, the ACE mock exam that you take matters substantially, so be sure to stick with PT Pioneer or Trainer Academy.

Here at PTPioneer, you can rest assured that I have updated my content accordingly to provide the best test prep information available online in 2024.

The exam is broken down into four primary domains of exercise science and fitness content, and each domain occupies a certain percentage of the test questions.

I will discuss here what each domain is, their percentage on the test, and the relative number of questions from each domain.

Domain I: Interviews and Assessments – 23% (approximately 35 questions)

Information for this domain is found in chapters 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8.

You will be tested on obtaining clients’ comprehensive medical, health, exercise, and lifestyle information using interviews and questionnaires to determine their risk for exercise participation. You will be tested on your ability to assess client readiness for behavior change and evaluate their attitude toward exercise to build rapport and establish goals.

You will be tested on movement assessments and observations to develop appropriate exercise programming for enhanced function, fitness, health, and performance.

You will be tested by conducting baseline physiological assessments.

Domain II: Program Design and Implementation – 31% (approximately 46 questions)

Information for this domain is found in chapters 5, 9, 10, and 11.

You will be tested on your ability to establish appropriate functional, fitness, health, or performance goals based on your assessments and data to design specific exercise programs.

You will be tested on your ability to apply appropriate exercise principles and guidelines to improve muscular strength, cardiorespiratory fitness, endurance, and flexibility.

You must know about appropriate exercise equipment and how to integrate them into programs for improving function, fitness, health, and performance.

Domain III: Program Modification and Progression – 26% (approximately 39 questions)

Information for this domain is found in chapters 2-15 (new chapters being 13, 14, and 15).

You will be tested on your knowledge of promoting exercise adherence through education, motivation, and modification.

You will be tested on your ability to recognize and respond to problems with exercise adherence by noticing barriers and providing solutions to these barriers.

You must know how to modify programs by evaluating client progress using observations, data, and client feedback.

Domain IV Professional conduct, safety, and risk management – 20% (Approximately 30 questions)

Information for this domain is found in chapters 1, 15, 16, 17, and 18.

You will be tested on your ability to apply risk management strategies following guidelines, standards, laws, and regulations to protect yourself and your client.

You must know how to secure client information, communications, and progress following confidentiality and liability.

You will need knowledge of injury prevention and identifying potential hazards.

ACE CPT Exam FAQ Conclusion

Well, ladies and gentlemen, this concludes my full breakdown of the ACE CPT exam FAQ and test.

Overall, this test is extremely difficult but definitely a worthwhile certification with its industry gold standard NCCA accreditation. I highly recommend you take many practice questions before you sign up for the exam. Mock questions and mock exams are a must, especially if you have not gone to college for something exercise science related.

You can also consider tutoring to learn the curriculum, but generally speaking, the PT Pioneer guides and Trainer Academy course are far superior to taking a general class since you have the independence, flexibility, and guarantee of the program.

Just read through your ACE personal trainers manual, take the practice exams, and prepare with the respective study materials, including the free exam prep that PTPioneer offers.

With all of this said, becoming an expert at fitness coaching requires an exceptionally serious commitment to long term continuing education. After all, you don’t just become an expert because you pass a single class, and the same is true for every fitness certification.

If you are still unsure whether ACE is the right certification for you or not, then I recommend you take the quiz to find which certification best fits your training style.

ACE CPT Exam Info [year] - Pass Rate, Costs, and More 3
ACE CPT Exam Info [year] - Pass Rate, Costs, and More 4

Best wishes to you on your journey to becoming a personal trainer certified by the one, the only ACE!

Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

Tyler Read

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31 thoughts on “ACE CPT Exam Info 2024 – Pass Rate, Costs, and More”

  1. Hi Tyler, I rescheduled my ACE exam for two weeks from now because I got nervous and was worried I may not be ready. I did buy the Trainer Academy ACE MVP Package and it has been helping me alot. I got an 85% or better on 3/4 Practice Tests. But, I also bought some of the Practice Exams from ACE and didn’t do as well because I am struggling with how they word their anatomy questions. I know you said, “There are practice exams that come from ACE themselves but they are reported by many students to be very different from the actual exam”. Do you have any suggestions or advice for me?

    • Hey, I would just try to get as much practice testing experience as you can, and in the long run you will be even more prepared. It sounds like you have prepared to a great extent, and I am sure you will do well on your certification exam.

  2. Hi Tyler!

    I love your content! I take my ACE PT exam on Saturday, but I feel discouraged because I get 70% on all my practice exams. Do you have any advice for me?

  3. Hi Tyler,

    glad I found your website before I even booked the exam! I’m thinking to take the exam before June ends, which leaves me about 2 months. Do you think it will be enough time?
    I’ve been into the whole fitness thing for 5 years, from nutrition to bodybuilding, all the backgrounds I have for the exam are from my experiences and common sense.
    I really want to get this done before ASAP, do you think the time would be too tight?

    • I think the two months will definitely give you enough time. Especially since we are all locked down, there’s nothing better to do but to study as hard as you can. You shouldn’t have no trouble.

  4. I noticed that the sections in the ACE CPT Essentials of Exercise Science are not covered on your study guide. These cover the anatomy portion which is what I’m struggling the most with. I apologize if I missed it but will you be adding this or have any suggestions on how to tackle this?

    • Yes I do not cover that simply because a lot of the same information is in the primary textbook as well. I definitely recommend memorizing the overactive and underactive muscles for a lot of the postural assessments.

    • You can take the American Council on exercise exam as many times as you want but you will have to take a retest fee that is approximately $150 each time you want to take the exam if you fail. I do not think there is a limit to how many times you can take the exam though as long as you keep paying the exam fee.

  5. Hey Tyler!

    I have about a month to study for the ACE test and I’m going to have to really hustle. I delayed studying since I ran into some long weeks at my 9 – 5 and now I’m in a bind. Which one of your packages on Trainer Academy do you think will help push me past the finish line?


    • Hey Amanda,
      if you are forced to cram for the American Council on exercise than I definitely recommend going with their MVP program as it is the most comprehensive and provides study blueprints and cram guides for you to get the job done in time.

  6. I’m 71 and in great physical shape. I have been working out for 53 years now and have owned two very large fitness centers. I understand the equipment well. I have put hundreds of people through workouts already, but never bothered to get certified because I owned the fitness Centers.
    I’m retired now, but I was thinking about working part time as a trainer at a Fitness center near me.
    I have taken several practice tests online, but have not studied at all. I usually get around 55% correct each time just using the common sense that I have learned throughout my years.
    Do you think it is possible for me study your free materials and pass the test without without getting all the materials from ACE?

    • Hey Danny,
      it’s great to hear that you are looking to get certified. I know a lot of people that have been training for a long time but are not officially certified by any certifying agency. It seems more and more common that most gyms are requiring every single one of their trainers to be credentialed. It’s never a bad idea to get a certification after all because you can brush up on some knowledge and learn about some of the current trends and scientific studies that have been done over the last couple decades. I think that you could use my free study materials and do very well. However, if you really want to guarantee that you pass your training exam, I suggest checking out Trainer Academy as they have the best personal training study materials online.

  7. Hi, Tyler. First of all, thanks a lot for all the amazing material and help you offer on your site.

    I have a question regarding your practice exam questions, are these
    very similar (or in cases, the same) as the questions found on the ACE Exam?

    • Hey Lews,
      The practice exams that we do here on PTpioneer try to replicate as much as we can the real exams that you will see from the American Council on exercise test. That being said, we cannot copy exactly the questions and answers used on their real exams otherwise that would be illegal. We do try to create our own questions that are as similar as possible though. I hope this helps.

  8. I studied exercise science at uni over a decade ago but never completed it due to my athletic commitments. I booked the ACE test a few weeks after signing up thinking it’d be a walk in the park. Man… I was greatly mistaken! The difference in the testing is that ACE has just one final test, you don’t get tested on each subject then move on to the next subject. There’s so much information to retain.

    Don’t take this test lightly guys.

  9. Hey Tyler, i got the ace personal training study material in 2015. Once I received it I couldn’t believe how complex it was! I did the first assignment and quit. I recently got an email from ace saying my study material is only good til Jan 1st 2020 because they’re changing some of the material. I decided to look at the material again tonight and honestly got pissed. I can’t believe they expect you to learn all this shit. Fricking frustrating! My wife is an RN and was surprised by the material. I’m very discouraged. I need to get my mind right. I feel a lot better with all the help your giving on this site. Thanks man.

    • Hey Mike,
      the ACE CPT is definitely a difficult exam to pass. I am glad that you find my study materials helpful. I also recommend checking out Trainer Academy as they have some excellent study guides and practice tests that will help point you in the past the exam. Just looking at the American Council on exercise textbook can be very overwhelming for most people. Getting the correct guidance is very important. Good luck with all the studying and you got this!

  10. This may sound like a dumb question but if I went though the course by the cooper institute but have found not alot of gyms want their cert and I still have the study material will any of it apply to a different exam like ACE? Or should I study ACE specific materials?

    • Hey Mark,
      You will need to pick up the new study materials from ACE if you want to study praise. Obviously, some things will transfer over such as anatomy and general exercise science concepts, but for specific program design, you will need to study ACE in particular. You probably will not do very well on the test if you don’t.

  11. I have purchased the ace personal trainer study guide. I’m about a third to half way through. I haven’t schedule the exam yet but I think I need to take it by October. I’m getting very nervous bc there is a LOT of material I need to cover in a short amount of time and I’m nervous I’m not retaining it all. There is just so much reading and bold text and the quizzes seem very granular so I’m not sure what I really need to focus on as Ace makes it seem like everything I read is really important. Maybe it is? Should I continue with the ace study guide until I finish and then check out your study guides, flash cards, practice exams? Or should I switch over and start checking out your stuff now? I guess my question is, is your material “in addition” to the Ace study material… or “instead of” the ace study material? Thank you so much for help!


    • Hey Sarah,
      Which study guide did you pick up for ACE? My study materials for the American Council on exercise exam is merely supplemental information to the textbook. I recommend checking out Trainer Academy as this will give you the best chance to really focus on what’s needed to pass the exam in a short period of time. Is this the study guide that you already picked up? If it is, make sure to go through each assignment question in their study guide in that is going to be enough to help you pass the exam. Let me know


75 ACE Practice Q's