Free ACSM practice tests and study guides 

The ACSM is the largest exercise science and sports medicine organization in the world. ACSM certification is essential for people who wish to become a personal trainer, exercise instructor, or any other certified health fitness professional. Preparing and taking an ACSM exam can be a stressful time. This is why it is crucial to prepare in the best way possible and use the best guides that will help you pass. In this article, we will help you pass your ACSM exam by providing you with a fully comprehensive ACSM CPT exam preparation guide, including the study materials you will require.

ACSM Study Materials

While preparing for an ACSM CPT exam, you will need to have the best study material to help you know what to answer during the exam time. The materials you will require include; official textbook from the ACSM, ACSM practice tests, ACSM flashcards, and spaced repetition flashcards


You can prepare for your ACSM exam using the official ACSM textbook written by the American College of Sports Medicine. This book is known as ACSM's Resources for the Personal Trainer 5th edition is fully comprehensive and contains 22 chapters. You can get this book from the ACSM website or even from Amazon. By thoroughly covering all the chapters in this book, you will be more prepared for the final exam.

Practice test

Students can also use ACSM practice tests while prepping for the final exam. The ACSM practice tests mimic the real exam. It comes as a multi-choice test where candidates must complete the practice test within 2 hours and 30 minutes. It has 150 questions, 30 of which are unscored, while 120 questions are scored. The questions are then divided into four primary domains of the study, similar to the real exam. 

Below are the four essential parts of the study and the percentage of questions in the test.

  • Domain 1 covers initial client consultation and assessment and represents 25% of questions.
  • Domain 2 covers Exercise programming/implementation (it represents 45% of the questions)
  • Domain 3 covers Practice leadership and client learning (it represents 20% of the questions)
  • Domain 4 covers Legal and professional responsibilities (it represents 10% of the questions)

These tests are usually timed to simulate a real exam environment. Also, at the end of the ACSM practice tests, the candidate gets the score and a breakdown of the performance on every study domain. Besides, you will know whether you have passed the practice test or not. The results will help you refocus your studies because you will identify the areas you perform poorly and need more attention. A practice test covers the most likely questions to appear in the exam. This will help you to tackle the real exam. It also gives you answers to the problems you struggle with. 

It would be best to work on the ACSM practice tests as many times as possible until considering yourself ready for your final ACSM CTP exam. Also, make sure you take the practice test with updated information to properly reflect what you will get in the real exam.

Practice test offers a wide range of benefits to the candidates preparing for the ACSM. Using the best and updated practice test guarantees success since you are likely to get similar questions on the real exam. Also, it reduces the study time needed by half. 

Taking the many practice tests exposes the candidate to the knowledge required quickly, making it unnecessary to cover the hundreds of pages of materials found in some of the ACSM textbooks.

Spaced repetition ACSM flashcards

In addition to the textbook and practice test, learners can also use spaced repetition ACSM flashcards.  Spaced repetition is one of the learning techniques that can save you a lot of time while studying. The method entails separating the flashcards you find difficult knowing and the flashcards you know well. Then you are repeatedly presented with your more difficult cards while the easier cards are shown frequently.

Using spaced repetition helps you in memorizing complicated definitions and topics. It does so by setting different study intervals whereby more challenging issues are shown more time, allowing the learner to stick the memory in the long-term memory.

Premium ACSM study guide

Another study guide that you can use while preparing for the ACSM exam is the premium ACSM study guide. Although a free guide is a good starting point, memorizing the many pages can be a daunting task. There are paid study guide options out there that can significantly reduce your study time by enabling you to focus only on the critical sections you need to pass your final ASCM exams. A good premium ACSM study guide avoids all the contents that will not be tested on the exam. That saves you a lot of time and enables you to focus on the crucial details you need.

ACSM Mnemonics

Mnemonics is a study technique that is best for storing information in your long-term memory. Although practice tests, flashcards, and study guides help pass your ACSM exams, they do not help keep information in your long-term memory. When you learn personal training concepts using unique mnemonics that are either weird or funny, it should be hard to forget those concepts even for years to come. You can either pick premade study mnemonics or create your own. They will help you memorize the most challenging areas of your ASCM exam by helping you connect the study concepts.


You will want to make you take at least a few ASCM practice tests before taking the ACSM exam. This will give you the best chance of receiving a passing score on your first try.  With the study techniques, we showed you in this article, you will be able to avoid spending tons of time and energy trying to memorize all the details found in the ACSM textbooks. Hopefully, these techniques will help you focus to remember the important topics and improve your chances of passing your ASCM exam.