ACSM Exam Prep - ACSM textbook on table with journal for prepping for the final ACSM test.

Hello PTPioneer Readers, and welcome to the ACSM CPT Study Guide Exam Preparation.

This ACSM-CPT exam prep hub will serve readers with many articles to help you prepare for the exam with various materials.

All in all, the basics covered in this article will be:

  • How to navigate this ACSM Study Hub
  • How you can pass the ACSM Exam with simple tips for using PTPioneer Study Materials
  • The next steps to take in your studies

Get your copy of the ACSM CPT exam cheat sheet and our study plan. It helps immensely in studying for the exam.

Make sure to check out Trainer Academy for premium ACSM CPT study materials. Each material component is a serious asset towards getting a passing score on every section of the ACSM exam.

The certification process for ACSM credentials can be punishing. The Trainer Academy guide breaks down the course material into learning modules in their online course that are much more practical than other options.

Plus they have tons of practice test questions that drive you quickly towards your study goals.

They will reduce study time by 50% and have an exam pass guarantee. Read my full review of them here. You can save $100 on their MVP study system with the code: PTPSUB.

Let’s dive in and look at our study hub first and see how you can start your studies to become an ACSM certified Personal Trainer.

ACSM CPT Study Series

ACSM Exam Prep

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How To Navigate The ACSM Study Guide

You can navigate our study hub through a few different functions.

The navigation at the top of the page after the intro allows the quickest navigation for those familiar with the layouts on PTPioneer.

From that part of the study hub, you can immediately skip to the most interesting information. This is ideal if you are a returning reader and already know how to use the hub.

You may use the sidebar on your mobile device to reach the topic you wish to go through first.

Our study hub will have all of the study materials you need for studying for the exam, plus some recommendations if you wish to expand your studies with an external resource.

In this order, we have this exam prep page and pages for a study plan, study guide, practice test, flashcards, cheat sheet, and exam faqs.

At PTPioneer, it is best to follow these study hub materials in their order for the best study experience, but once you have visited all of the pages, use the ones that work best for you.

The PTPioneer Study Hub Materials: Tips for Usage

Within our PTP materials, 7 study hub pages hold four main study materials to review and three pages for tips and advice on the American College of Sports Medicine personal trainer certification exam.

Let’s look at the primary study materials that PTPioneer suggests for you to use, along with how you can utilize them.

ACSM Exam Prep

This is the page you are currently on, where we introduce the ACSM materials and give tips for going through our website and getting started in your journey of becoming a certified ACSM personal trainer.

Make sure to read through the exam preparation and familiarize yourself with how to study for the ACSM and all things dealing with passing the ACSM exam.

ACSM Study Plan

The PTPioneer ACSM study plan gives readers a blueprint for the study process so they can visualize some ideal ways for learners to organize their study time.

Our study plan is downloadable as a high-quality PDF, and within this PDF, we offer four standard timeframes for studying.

The four timeframes we see most often used for learners getting a CPT certification will be the 1-month, 3-month, 6-month, and 1-year timeframes.

The downloadable PDF will organize the major study materials found on PTPioneer for the ACSM exam prep to match these timeframes listed above and help provide a schedule for readers that prefer to learn that way.

ACSM Study Guide

The PTPioneer ACSM Personal Trainer Study Guide is a chapter-by-chapter study resource that highlights the most important topics of each chapter within the ACSM official textbook. This is great for your professional development as well as bringing yourself closer to passing the exam.

All 22 chapters are detailed and discussed throughout the pages, and it is easy to go through the pages one chapter at a time, just as you would in the ACSM book, the ACSM’s Resources for the personal trainer.

The chapters will cover major topics like exercise programming, biomechanics, general exercise science, kinesiology, initial client consultation, and more.

This is the first of the primary study materials we offer, and most readers choose to follow along with one of the study plans to help organize when and how often to study the free ACSM study guide here on PTPioneer.

The flashcards are also organized on a chapter-by-chapter layout, and you should ideally study them together, although flashcards will be continuously studied to keep materials fresh more often.

ACSM Practice Exams

The fourth Study Page on PTPioneer for the ACSM CPT certification is the set of practice exams and quizzes.

Here the breakdown is one full practice exam split into two parts and one domain quiz for each primary knowledge domain throughout the ACSM CPT program.

You can access these free materials at any point in your studies, and it is even encouraged that you take the practice tests before embarking on your study journey, just so you make sure that you know not only what needs to be learned but also what you might already have a grasp on.

If you are coming from another CPT or fitness certification, you can see if there are many differences in the knowledge of this cert, and if you are completely new to fitness, you can see what to expect.

Make sure to focus on the practice exam and each domain quiz, as they cover specific chapters and knowledge domains within each.

Practice questions have been proven to help with studying for obvious reasons; they imitate the final ACSM-certified personal trainer exam.

ACSM Flashcards

The flashcard study system is very beneficial for our learners, and besides the study guide, it is the most used study resource.

The flashcards cover each chapter individually and hold the most important topics and terms found within the textbook’s associated chapter.

If you were to follow the study plan’s layouts, then you would be studying these flashcards only once you have read the accompanying chapters, and then these would be thrown into a daily or semi-daily study routine for flashcards.

Some premium ACSM study plans will offer spaced-repetition flashcards, which serve to increase the effectiveness even more.

Still, flashcard study is quite valuable for learners to remind themselves regularly of important terms and topics.

ACSM Cheat Sheet

The PTPioneer ACSM Cheat Sheet comes from our Affiliate Trainer Academy, which is a site that offers premium study materials for all of the top organizations and guarantees a pass on the certification exams, or you get a refund.

The Cheat Sheet is a one-page sheet of the most important information and topics in an easy-to-locate resource.

Ideally, this resource is used for minor reminders during practice testing and simple memorization studying. It is proven quite helpful on practice exams.

Some other materials we don’t offer but are seen in a few high-end ACSM test prep programs would be mnemonics, audio guides, and similar offerings.


The final source of information for readers and learners here on PTPioneer is the ACSM FAQ page, which tackles the most frequently asked questions from people across the internet regarding the ACSM CPT materials.

Whether it is exam questions, general test preparation, a test retake, or fitness professional advice and recommendations, you will find some frequently asked questions to shine a light on these topics.

Make sure to go through these questions to ensure you are not missing some of the information that many people search for online.

Next, let’s look at where you should head after this Exam prep page.

Next Steps in Exam Prep

If you have not already done so, reading the PTPioneer ACSM certification review could be beneficial for getting more of an idea of ACSM exam prep free.

The best way to study for the ACSM exam would be, in our opinion, to follow the study hub, which would lead you to the study plan page next.

The study plan will prepare you for knowing all you need to do to pass the ACSM cert and also how to prepare for the ACSM exam in terms of a timeline.

If you are unsure about the ACSM CPT program, make sure to read our reviews or study hubs for the NSCA CSCS, ISSA CPT, NASM CPT, and ACE CPT, which are some of the other top programs along with ACSM.

You may also want to go ahead and start looking for specializations to add to your personal training credential after completion. These specializations will add to your professional responsibilities, your ability for program design, and even more specific areas like group exercise, risk management, and other specialties of physical activity like athletic resistance training.

The final next step could also be going straight to our practice test to see where your knowledge level is already with personal training and get a quick start on seeing how you would do with the ACSM exam if it were taken today.

Good luck with your ACSM studies!

ACSM Test Prep Conclusion

ACSM test prep conclusion

In closing, I cannot stress the importance of preparation enough. You will fail if you are not properly prepared for the ACSM CPT certification exam. And that’s just a waste of your money and time.

So the key advice over and above preparing properly is don’t rush! Even if you start with a background in the world of fitness, don’t just think you can ace the exam.

Take your time, review the textbook, use ACSM’s online adaptive quiz platform to help you study and prepare, use flashcards to build up your knowledge in areas where you struggle, and take as many practice quizzes as you can.

And don’t forget a decent study guide!

If, after reading through this post, you are still unsure if the ACSM CPT certification is the right one for you, take our quiz to find which certification best fits your training style.

ACSM Exam Prep [year] - How to Pass the ACSM Exam on the First Try 3
ACSM Exam Prep [year] - How to Pass the ACSM Exam on the First Try 4

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below, and I hope this blog post has helped you.

Happy studying!

Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

Tyler Read

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