Hello, friends!! I hope y’all have been having a wonderful day.
It has been a hot minute since I have blogged. However, for once, I actually have a good reason as to why lol. Back at the end of February, I signed up for the self study program through NASM– the National Academy of Sports Medicine- to work towards getting my Personal Training Certification. You have 6 months from the time you register to take your exam and well… this girl waited until the very last minute to sit for her exam lol oops.
But, this past Saturday i sat for my exam and i can proudly say…
I AM A NASM CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER!!!
I am honestly so excited and so proud of myself for setting out to do this and accomplishing it.
Which is what this post is about…
Taking the NASM CPT exam and how you, too, can pass on the first try.
I just wanted to share my insight with y’all just in case this is something you were interested in or planning to do in the future. Let’s dive right in…
- FIND YOUR IDEAL STUDY ENVIRONMENT. This was super crucial for me. I am the type of person that cannot study at my apartment. I get distracted by what the cats are doing, what’s on tv, what morgan is doing, what i want to eat, when I’m going to have it… you get the point… TOO many distractions. So for me, my ideal study environment is at a local coffee shop. I set up shop for a few hours, put my headphones in, and dive headfirst into the information without all the distractions. The week leading up to my exam, i literally lived at Starbucks… and spent way too much money on almond milk lattes lol. But it was definitely what i needed in order to best retain the information. So find which environment gets your productivity juices flowing, go there, and get to work.
- BUY A HARDCOPY OF THE TEXTBOOK. No matter what online package you buy, i am pretty sure the hardcopy of the textbook is NOT included. You do get an e-copy, however, i personally think it is way difficult to read that large of a text book on the computer screen. I think the hard copy is $30 ish? Well worth it so you can highlight, sticky note, and mark it up as much as you please. Plus, you can look back to certain charts, tables, etc, as needed.
- SET A DATE. Sooner rather than later. I found it a lot easier to make studying a priority when I actually knew the date of my test. Once I had that set date and time in the back of my head, i knew that i had to buckle down and really start absorbing the information. It could also be helpful to come up with a study schedule. Figure out how many chapters you need to read and understand in a week, in a month, in two months–to make sure you aren’t cramming in all the information at the very last minute.
- USE THE TOOLS AND ONLINE ASSESSMENTS. When you sign up for the online course, you are given videos, assessments, and various quizzes for each section and chapter of the text. The videos really clarify what in each chapter you really need to focus on. If you skip the videos, you may miss that valuable piece of info. The quizzes also ask you questions that are VERY SIMILAR to the ones that you see on the exam. I personally took the quizzes over and over and over again and found them to be very helpful.
- DOWNLOAD THE POCKET PREP APP. This app was honestly a life saver. This question has hundreds of multiple choice questions that are broken down into different test categories such as: Assessments, Basic and Applied Science and Nutritional Concepts, Client Relations and Behavioral Coaching, Exercise Technique and Training Instruction, Professional Development and Responsibility, and Program Design. You can build your own exams, flag questions you have trouble with, and it’ll even break down the questions you got wrong. It will tell you the right answer, why the right answer is correct, and where to find it in the textbook. So helpful, right?! Now, there is a “free” and a “paid” version of the app. I believe i paid $16 for the upgrade and I am so glad i did. The upgrade has 500+ questions and has a lot more material so it was well worth the price. Plus, some of the questions on this app were definitely on the exam come test day. Just trust me, and buy this app if you are going to sit for the CPT exam. We are always on our phones. So this made it easy to constantly be studying even when i was ending the night in front of the television.
- FOCUS ON THE ASSESSMENTS. This is key. If you do not know the assessments, chances are very likely that you are not going to pass your exam. The Overhead Squat Assessment, Push and Pull Assessments, and Single Leg Squat make up a large amount of the questions come test day. You need to know:
- What each assessment is testing
- Which muscles are overactive
- Which muscles are underactive
- What exercises and stretches need to be done to correct those imbalances
This was a large portion of the exam questions and it is crucial that you know all of the above information. It is also important to know Common Distortion Patterns seen in the body, the shortened and lengthened muscles also involved in that and how they can be corrected.
7. USE A STUDY GUIDE. Once you have read and feel as though you understand every chapter and concept, i recommend filling out a complete study guide. My friend sent me a copy of her (blank) study guide and it was over 20 pages of questions related to the text. I found this to be super helpful. It highlighted all the crucial points and it also helped me to pinpoint the information i was still unsure about. Once I filled out the study guide and determined what i was still iffy about, i was able to go back and really study that information before moving on. Once i had the study guide completely filled out, i was able to read and reread it over and over and use it as a study tool.
Come test day, I would recommend waking up early and pulling yourself together. Ladies, do your hair, put on some makeup… if you look good, you perform good… (I’m pretty sure I’ve heard that saying before somewhere? lol). So that’s what i did. I then went to Starbucks (hello, consistency haha), journaled, read a chapter of my book, and used the last few minutes I had to review the information. I didn’t cram a lot of studying in at this point, or the night before, because honestly, if i didn’t know it at that point, i wasn’t going to… so don’t stress. Arrive at the testing center 30 minutes early as instructed. Bring your AED/CPR certification and your ID.
When you sit down for your test, breathe… don’t stress. Read the questions carefully. Pay attention to the key words and if you don’t know the answer, chances are if you do the process of elimination you can come up with the one answer that isn’t like the rest. So breathe, relax, and do your best. If you don’t know the answer, “mark” it and come back. You have 120 minutes to answer 120 multiple choice questions. I was in and out of there in like 45 minutes lol and…. I PASSED! So if i can do it, you can too!
I am honestly still living on Cloud 9. I am so proud of myself and I’m just so excited to help others become the healthiest and happiest version of themselves. I can’t wait to see what is in store for me going forward…
Oh… And I almost forgot the most IMPORTANT tip…
Believing In Yourself!
It sounds cliche but you have to believe in yourself. Speak that ish into existence. I have become a HUGE fan of affirmations as of late and you best believe every single morning i was journaling… “I am a NASM CPT. I am smart. I am capable of retaining this information. I will pass my exam”…. you get the idea. A little cheesy but hey, it worked. I quit doubting myself and stopped questioning myself and my abilities. If you put in the work, study, really learn the information, and BELIEVE you will pass… YOU WILL!
If you have taken the NASM CPT exam, or are currently studying, what study tips have you found helpful? Please share your study strategies below so we can all help each other.
Please be sure to “Subscribe” to my blog, if you are not already. Now that i am no longer studying for my exam, blogging is back on my priority list. If you have ideas for future posts- nutrition, training, healthy living, supplements, mindset, bikini prep, whatever!- please comment and let me know below so i can get that information out to you.
Big things coming y’all… Talk soon,