ISSA CPT exam info - ISSA personal trainer textbook placed on table with exam information

Hey everybody, coach Tyler here!

Welcome to the ISSA CPT Exam FAQ page.

You’ve made it this far in the ISSA CPT Exam Prep Study Hub, so you must be serious about your studies and on-track for your exam.

The purpose of this article is to answer the most popular questions that people have regarding the ISSA CPT and ISSA study materials, and I’ve broken down the following:

  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • General ISSA CPT Certification Information
  • ISSA Exam and Other ISSA Study Material Questions

I also highly recommend that you take the quiz and find out which ISSA certification is best for your career goals.

What type of Certification are you looking to get?

Don’t forget your copy of the ISSA exam cheat sheet and ISSA study plan.

There’s no better way to prepare!

My PTP students report cutting their ISSA 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 45% 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 get straight into it!

ISSA CPT Study Series

ISSA CPT Exam FAQ - women diplays ISSA Exam FAQ, exam pass rate, difficulty, and other info

ISSA Exam FAQ in Video Form

ISSA CPT Exam FAQ 2023 [ISSA Exam Pass rate, Test difficulty, and Info] ✔️

ISSA Exam FAQ in Audio Form

ISSA Exam Format

ISSA CPT Exam Format

The entirety of ISSA is delivered online, and there is no practical or real-world sit-down component of the final exam.

But why online?

In my perspective, it’s a really great way to deliver this level of education, and our world today is shifting more towards this type of learning.

You might ask what the benefits are, so here are a few:

  • No printing, filing, or storing any paper or hard copy material
  • No worrying about naming and signing everything; you log in
  • No waiting for postal or courier services for material delivery.
  • Saving on postage and shipping costs
  • No worrying about errors when writing that can’t be corrected
  • The exam is automatically sent to the grading center upon submission
  • Self-paced, flexible study and exam arrangement
  • 24/7 educational support team availability (except holidays)

Now let’s get down to the meat and potatoes of this article, which is, of course, the ISSA CPT exam FAQ all on this one page for your convenience.

PTPioneer’s ISSA Exam FAQ

ISSA CPT Quizzes

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the ISSA CPT final exam.

What is the ISSA CPT?

The ISSA CPT stands for the International Sports Sciences Association Certified Personal Trainer, which is one of the top personal training certifications in the fitness industry as of writing this.

What is the ISSA CPT exam pass rate?

Currently, the ISSA CPT exam pass rate is 90%, so it’s hardly the most challenging certification out there. But don’t assume this means it’s easy; you may still fail without proper preparation.

What are the ISSA CPT exam prerequisites?

To qualify for the ISSA CPT exam, you must have a high-school diploma or the equivalent (GED), and your current and valid adult CPR/AED/First Aid certification.

How long do I need to prepare for the ISSA CPT exam?

From the moment you register, you have about 6 months to study and complete the final exam. However, if you update your enrollment with a new or additional course, then you will have an additional 8 months from that upgrade date.

What study materials does ISSA provide?

ISSA will provide you with access to both a hardcopy and ebook version of the course textbook, as well as a PDF study guide and practice tests. Additionally, there’s a 10-week guided study plan. But although the ISSA study materials are decent, for premium ISSA study materials, Trainer Academy is always my go-to for cutting study time in half.

What does the ISSA textbook cover?

There are 6 main sections with 31 sub-units spread across, which include:
Anatomy and Physiology (3 units), Kinesiology and Biomechanics (4 units), Health and Physical Fitness (4 units), Program Development (5 units), Nutrition (4 Units), and Fitness for All (11 units).

What does the ISSA CPT exam cost?

The stand-alone ISSA CPT exam costs $599 (depending on what deals you come across). The payment can be made once-off or in monthly installments. If you get other specializations or certifications from ISSA, then the price may be higher, but the deal is always worth your investment.

What does the ISSA CPT exam cost?

The stand-alone ISSA CPT exam costs $599 (depending on what deals you come across). The payment can be made once-off or in monthly installments. If you get other specializations or certifications from ISSA, then the price may be higher, but the deal is always worth your investment.

How many questions are on the ISSA CPT final exam?

The official ISSA CPT final exam is comprised of 200 multiple-choice questions spanning all 6 sections.

Is the ISSA CPT exam open book?

Yes, the ISSA CPT is open book.

What happens if I fail the ISSA CPT exam?

If you are one of the 10% who don’t pass your first attempt, then worry not. ISSA gives you your first retake for free (provided there is no cheating or plagiarism), which must be done within 30 days of receiving your failing grade; otherwise, you will have to pay a $50 retest fee.

When will I receive the results of the ISSA CPT exam?

3 weeks after your final exam, your certificate will be mailed to the address you registered with.

How can I pass the ISSA CPT exam?

By preparing and studying thoroughly, you will increase the likelihood of passing your ISSA CPT exam. Aside for the study materials offered by ISSA, Trainer Academy has more premium options which will no doubt cut your study time in half. Make great use of your time and check them out.

How long does the ISSA personal trainer certification last?

ISSA requires you to renew your certification every two years, by fulfilling 20 continuing education units (CEUs). ISSA has one of the cheapest recertification fees at just $99. However, this fee is waived if you earned all your CEUs through ISSA.

Is the ISSA CPT worth it?

In my perspective, the ISSA CPT is a high-quality, respected personal training certification. It is one of the best fitness certifications out there. Worth it? Shut up and take my money!

Is the ISSA CPT a respected personal training certification?

Founded in 1988, ISSA is a legitimate personal training certification respected by many fitness employers and became the first fitness training organization to earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) and is now also accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

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

According to the latest statistics, ISSA CPT average annual salaries currently range between $41,000 (25th percentile) to $79,000 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $125,000.

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

ISSA offers four accredited exams, and besides the CPT, there’s yoga instruction, group exercise, nutritionist, strength training specialist, and more.

ISSA CPT Exam Conclusion

ISSA exam information - ISSA logo

Hopefully, I was able to answer all of your questions and ease all of your concerns about the ISSA CPT final certification exam. Students who take ISSA courses before testing are almost guaranteed to score higher on the exam. Even better, take a look at the Trainer Academy certification course packages. They provide a certification program for almost all organizations covering multiple subjects and areas while also having tons of test questions in all areas and topics, providing tons of value with incredible study program design. Plus with the exam pass guarantee, you can avoid shelling out for the proctor fee in vain.

With a 90% pass rate, it would be hard not to think ISSA was a bit of a strange walk in the park.

The thing is, they have a COMPLETELY different approach to delivering knowledge and skills.

And if you are not sure whether or not ISSA is the right certification for you, then I highly recommend you read my article on the top five personal training programs.

ISSA is a training academy, not a grading system, and from my experience with ISSA, it is designed to progressively train you to build a solid foundational understanding of all things fitness.

Unlike most other certifications that give you a bunch of stuff to learn and then try and see how well you remember it, ISSA aims to help you gain knowledge that you can apply to be your best.

Best wishes on your pursuit to become the personal trainer you’ve always wanted to be!

Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

Tyler Read

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18 thoughts on “ISSA CPT Exam FAQ – ISSA Pass Rate, Difficulty, Cost”

  1. Hello Tyler! This is great information and thank you for providing it. I am working my way through the quizzes now, but I have a little anxiety about the test. Thanks for easing my anxiety a little. I want to do my absolute best!

    • Glad you are enjoying the content. I’m sure you will do great since you are taking the time to do practice tests and properly prepare for your exam.

  2. Hello
    love the articles you post. Hope to get to work with you as soon as im done with the Sports Nutrition test Which has essays.

      • First off, I’m a big fan; love your style and approach to fitness.
        I am currently preparing for my ISSA PT test. Are you serious that it’s only MC?! Doesn’t that make the test super easy?

        • Thanks for the kind words, yes it is only multiple choice as of this moment. Yes it does make the test easier but to be fair all certifications in the industry follow the same format.

  3. Hey there! This is a very helpful article so thank you! But I’d like to know your thoughts about the Bodybuilding specialist course.

    • The bodybuilding specialist is a relatively new certification. Overall, you should definitely start out with a general personal training certification first, and then specialized afterwards. The bodybuilding specialist would be something you would do afterwards.

  4. Hey there! Great article! I would like to get the ISSA ELITE TRAINER certificate, but before that I want to make sure it will be acreditated in Romania by the work ministry since I intend to get a freelance company (not really a company more likely as an authorized person who does certain services such as a personal training sessions ) I checked everywhere but I can’t find this information. Thank you in advance!

    • Hello Alex,
      all of the information that I put up on my website is geared towards people trying to become a trainer in the United States of America. If you want to know whether a certification is accredited and recognized in any other part of the world, you will need to do some research on your own. I suggest calling up some of these gymnasiums and asking them which certifications they accept and which ones they prefer.

      • Hi,
        I’m doing Elite personal trainer course from ISSA. But I want to do bachelor degree in exercise science from ISSA college. What’ll you please provide me comprehensive information about that specially about fees. I live in India so I’ve to pay $440 for each credit and to be graduate I need 180 credits it means $440×180= $79200. It is too high to pay I think it is then become world’s most expensive course right.

  5. Thanks for this! I was worried about the time frame so I was postponing taking the exam once I had a free weekend but now it makes it a little easier.

    • Hey Eman,
      I am glad you enjoyed my article. ISSA is a fantastic certification but you should definitely take your time studying so that you can absorb all of the information on exercise science before you take the test. Good luck with all the studying!


100 ISSA Practice Q's