Free ACSM study guide - ACSM textbook placed on table in preparation for ACSM CPT studying.

Hello ACSM learners, and welcome to the PT Pioneer Study Guide page. This article is the meat of the study materials and will provide most of the study content.

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

  • Chapter-by-Chapter Study Guide
  • Navigation and Study Tips
  • Recommendations on Combining this Material with our other ACSM Study Materials

Secrets to Passing the ACSM Exam

Secret #1:

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

Secret #2:

My PTP students report cutting their ACSM 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 PTPJUNE for 35% off the MVP Program (Ends June 20th, 2024). 

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

Secret #3:

The PT Pioneer ACSM study guide will take numerous sessions to complete. I don’t expect you to knock it out in one shot. With that said be sure to bookmark this page to ensure you can find it for your next ACSM Study Session.

Alright, let’s dive into the best ACSM exam prep, the ACSM CPT exam study guide!

ACSM CPT Study Series

FREE ACSM Study Guide + ACSM Practice test + Flashcards

FREE ACSM Study Guide Updated for 2024

FREE ACSM Study guide

Using the PTPioneer ACSM Study Guide

The PTPioneer study guide for ACSM and all other Certification Study Guides within this website will cover each chapter in its current order. Some of our materials will detail older materials if the newer edition changes a lot.

With the ACSM, the current textbook is in its 6th edition, and there were mostly minor changes from the 5th edition and a small reorganization and replacement of one of the chapters.

FREE ACSM Study Guide [year] - Studying Made Simple 3

Ideally, readers will go chapter by chapter throughout this study guide while also studying the textbook, but our study guide can help condense the information compared to the textbook.

When using the great free study guide on this page, make sure to utilize the flashcard study system within the study hub.

The flashcards will shine a light on the terms and topics throughout each chapter, and partnered with this free study guide; you will get a pretty good breakdown of the book’s contents.

It won’t fully replace the text, so I recommend giving those chapters in the official textbook at least one read-through to accompany your studies.

If you want to help organize the reading of these chapters, look into our study plan, which serves as a basic calendar to follow and help learners organize their study time.

Next, look at some basic study material tips for other materials you may seek.

Other ACSM Study Material Tips

ACSM Study Tips

Although I pride myself on having a pretty decent ACSM study guide and other study materials, these are by no means meant to replace the full textbook. These are just tidbits to help you along the way.

Below is a complete list of additional study tools and study materials that I highly recommend you check out so that you can rock the test with a hundred percent confidence. These study materials should be your go-to guides if you want to pass the exam guaranteed.

Premium ACSM Study Guide

The free study guide here on PTPioneer is a decent place to start and might be the best free online study guide.

That being said, there are definitely better-paid options out there that will greatly reduce your study time and focus on the most important parts you need to pass the final ACSM exam.

My study guide has lots of information, but it is not meant to help you save time by any means.

The company that I recommend the most is Trainer Academy. They have a fantastic group, and every student I send their way only tells me fantastic things. Their study guide avoids all the fluff material that you won’t get tested on. This is a fantastic study guide to use whether you have a year to study, especially if you need to cram as much information in a short time.

More ACSM Practice Tests

The ACSM Practice test that I have on my website only contains 50 questions. If you want to feel extremely confident about taking the final exam, you will need a lot more practice using practice tests.

I recommend taking at least 3 to 5 practice exams to know if you are 100% prepped. Many of my students have told me they failed the exam. Typically the number one reason is that they had never once taken a practice exam before taking the real thing. They would have realized that they were not prepared enough if they had.

The best ACSM practice tests can also be found over at Trainer Academy. The ACSM exam they have five full 150 question practice tests. On top of this, they also have a timer for 2 1/2 hours to simulate the real testing environment.

If you pass all five of their practice exams, you will know you are ready to dominate the real thing.

Spaced Repetition ACSM Flashcards

Whenever I start talking about space repetition learning, people pause me and say, “Tyler, what the heck are you talking about?”.

Well, let me tell you. If you have not heard of spaced repetition learning, you are wasting a lot of time studying.

Spaced repetition flashcards help you separate the flashcards that you know well from those that you have a hard time with. From there, you will be continually shown your more difficult cards more frequently and your easier cars less frequently. It is basically a learning algorithm that will save you hours of study time.

Although my flashcards are pretty decent, they use the standard study technique, which does not consider the flashcard’s difficulty.

The team over at Trainer Academy has put together a deck of 700+ spaced repetition flashcards for ACSM that will save you hours of study time.

ACSM Mnemonics for the Tough Parts

If you asked me which study technique is the best for keeping the information in your long-term memory, I would hands down respond with study mnemonics.

Although study guides, practice tests, and flashcards are very helpful for studying in passing your personal training exam, these do not help concrete the information in your long-term memory.

This is where studying mnemonics come in. Learning personal training concepts using weird, funny, and unusual mnemonics will make it much harder to forget these principles. This is true even years after you have studied the material.

I highly suggest either creating your own study mnemonics or picking up some premade ones. The team over at Trainer Academy has also created an excellent deck of 35+ mnemonics to help you study for the ACSM exam.

ACSM Cheat Sheet

A cheat sheet is a handy way to get all the most important information on one simple page.

It can be a good way to study by making your own or simply clicking this button below to use our own Cheat Sheet.

Okay, everybody, that’s the end of my ACSM study portal. I hope you have gone great use of the study materials. Make sure to come through here a few times to use the study guide to obtain the knowledge to become an excellent personal trainer!

Go ahead and start our free study guide for ACSM by clicking the button below!

FREE ACSM Study Guide [year] - Studying Made Simple 4
Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

Tyler Read

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PTPioneer Editorial Integrity

All content published on PTPioneer is checked and reviewed extensively by our staff of experienced personal trainers, nutrition coaches, and other Fitness Experts. This is to make sure that the content you are reading is fact-checked for accuracy, contains up-to-date information, and is relevant. We only add trustworthy citations that you can find at the bottom of each article. You can read more about our editorial integrity here.

Ask me a question and I will reply ASAP

4 thoughts on “FREE ACSM Study Guide 2024 – Studying Made Simple”

  1. How do the ACSM study guides from both your site and Trainer Academy work together? We’re asked to download both, your free version and Trainer Academy’s paid version. I don’t understand how they’re compatible. Please clarify 🙂

    • Hey Loni, I am not associated with Trainer Academy. That is a separate site, with which I have recommended their guides for some of the different certifications, but outside of that, there is no relation with the company. My free study guide is comprehensive and does help learn the materials while condensing the textbook, but the Trainer Academy and other third part paid study materials are much more intensive and with more study options and variety. Let me know if that makes sense.

  2. Isn’t the answer for the question “What is the R in SMART stand for?” incorrect? It should be relevant – not realistic

    • Hey Laine, I believe ACSM uses Realistic and not Relevant, or at least that was definitely the case at the time of the article being written. It is possible newer materials changed this. I will research and possibly change this information. Thank you for pointing that out, Laine.


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