The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) is the global leader in producing high-quality certified personal trainers (CPT) through their evidence-based certifications. However, before you can become a NASM CPT, you must pass the rigorous NASM CPT exam. Even before you can consider taking the NASM CPT exam, you must be at least 18 years old and have current CPR and AED certifications.
What is on the NASM CPT Exam?
The NASM CPT exam consists of 120 questions and is split into seven scored sections with one un-scored section:
- Basic and Applied Sciences (15 Questions).
- Assessment (15 Questions).
- Exercise Technique and Training Instruction (20 Questions).
- Program Design (25 Questions).
- Considerations in Nutrition (12 Questions).
- Client Relations and Behavioral Coaching.
- Professional Development, Practice, and Responsibility (8 Questions).
- Pretest Questions (20 Questions) – These do not count toward or against your score; however, you will not be informed which questions are pretest questions. This is to ensure fair and statistically valid exams.
NASM Exam Study Guide
NASM offers a CPT Study Guide for purchase directly from their site. However, if you are looking for an overview of the exam, check out the break down below.
Section I (Basic and Applies Sciences) will cover anatomy concepts and structures, the functions of exercise physiology, and the principles of human movement science.
Section II will assess your ability to perform, interpret, and record subjective assessments, objective assessments, movement assessments, and postural assessments.
Section III will measure your exercise execution skills following kinetic chain checkpoints (such as stating and ending positions), select exercise modification, utilize safe training methods, and knowledge of cueing techniques.
Section IV ensures you can understand and apply the fundamentals of the program design, design client-specific programs based on assessment data as well as create client-specific cardio-respiratory programs, understand the needs of special populations and take them into consideration when designing exercise programs, create and employ program modifications based on modalities, and understand the physical activity guidelines for Americans.
Section V ensures you have know the basic nutritional concepts, the risks and benefits of nutrition supplements, weight management concepts, and the nutritional guidelines for improving athletic ability.
Section VI covers the communication components of client relations, how to facilitate your client’s goals, and how to apply lifestyle and behavioral coaching strategies.
Section VII assesses your knowledge of the NASM code of professional conduct, your ability to follow proper procedures during an emergency, and how to execute goal setting strategies and procedures.
How Much is the NASM Exam?
NASM offers a variety of study aids for purchase to help you prepare for the exam; these aids range from $19.99 for just the practice exam itself to $199.00 for a hands-on in-person CPT Exam Preparation Workshop. They also offer exam prep bundles to include both variations of the practice exam with the option to add on flash cards as well.
To take the exam itself, there are a variety of options ranging from $599.00 to $2399.00; this post will discuss your options under $1000.00. The least expensive is simply the exam itself and is intended for individuals with active CPT knowledge. It costs $599.00.
The next option is the CPT self-study, which allows you to learn at your own pace. It comes with the certification exam, an online practice exam, textbook, 7+ hours of online content, an online exercise library, interactive learning activities, interactive program design module, and an electronic flash card bundle. It costs $699.00
You can also opt to enroll in the CPT self study option plus the live workshop. If you planned on taking the live workshop already, this option will save you $50. This package also includes the exam prep super bundle instead of only flashcards. In total, it costs $849.00.
The final option swaps out the live workshop for an online classroom called CPT eTeach. While this option costs $999.00, it also has the benefit of an instructor led 9-week course with videos, quizzes, study guides, a mid-term, and more to help you successfully pass the NASM CPT exam.