Hello, hello! Sorry I have been M.I.A. since yesterday morning.
I was a little pre-occupied taking the test to become a certified personal trainer through NASM and I am ecstatic to share the good news!
(Oh, just ignore me holding the thought bubble the wrong way. #fail)
I actually took this picture months ago after a spin class at the IDEA World Fitness Convention. I found this sign and had the bright idea to snap a photo so I could use it to make the special announcement with you when the time came.
Well, I guess my photo opp stop was worth it because I am now officially certified as a personal trainer!
I received this piece of paper to serve as a temporary report until my official certificate comes in the mail in the next 4-6 weeks.
You will never really know just how excited I was to see the word “Congratulations!” appear on that single sheet of black and white printed paper. I shall name her and keep her forever.
I strategically scheduled my exam at 2 p.m. in the afternoon so I could stay up late until I felt comfortable going to bed the night before, then have enough time to refresh and review the entire morning before having to drive to the test site. That strategy always worked for me in college.
I spent the entire day of the test reviewing everything I could and browsed around online for last minute test taking tips.
I plan to share a Study Guide of sorts in the near future going through exactly how I prepared for the test as well as everything I wish I knew (well… sooner than the night before) prior to going into the exam. For now, you can look over my Tips for Studying with NASM if you are preparing for your own exam!
I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, but after reading about the big test day on blogs and forums it didn’t seem too terrifying. I took the practice test several times and felt confident in my knowledge when I left the house just after lunch yesterday.
Every city is different, and requires you go to a testing facility to take the examination. Mine took me to Southfield, which is just under forty minutes away. I ran low on gas halfway there and just prayed to get there safely and early. I didn’t want anything to hold me up or distract my thoughts!
I read in a confirmation email to get there thirty minutes early and I pulled up fifteen minutes before that. I was under the impression that I couldn’t bring anything inside besides my form of identification, my proof of CPR certification, and my car keys.
I sat in the parking lot plugging away, answering as many questions as I could in my NASM Test Prep app on my iPhone for a good ten minutes before running inside.
I brought all of my study materials with me in the car, but didn’t take them out. Instead of going through everything again, I stuck to re-reading the material I got wrong on the practice tests.
It was raining, so I literally ran inside. I went upstairs and circled the hallway before seeing a group of people waiting to take all different types of tests in the upstairs lobby. I asked a worker for directions to the nearest bathroom, and by the time I came out they had all moved to the testing room.
One by one, they called us and made sure we were registered for the right exams. Everyone was given a scratch piece of paper to take in with them, except for me and a woman taking a test for cosmetology certification. I’m not gonna lie, that paper would have been comforting.
The test practitioners did a great job setting everyone up and the main guy who relayed the rules had a great sense of humor. Listening to him crack jokes settled a lot of my nerves. I was one of the last people to go into the room, so by the time they called my name I was overly ready.
You have 120 minutes to take the exam and I expected to be done early. There are 100 graded questions and 20 extra ungraded research questions they throw in to gage the success or fail rate for possible future test questions.
You have the opportunity to skip and mark questions along the way and can go back to re-answer those specific questions later on.
I utilized this option and marked absolutely everything I thought I might get wrong. I wanted to see how I did before I submitted it, or at least how I thought I did. I have a feeling I marked a lot of the research questions.
I finished the exam in about an hour, then spent another half hour going through my marked questions. I originally had 30 questions marked out of 120, so I felt good about my score.
While looking online the night before, I gathered that some of the wording on the questions are tricky and didn’t want to miss anything for that reason alone. I ended up spending the rest of my allotted test time re-reading everything and making sure I answered the way I meant to. I’m glad I did too, because I changed a couple of answers.
After a quick survey about the test, I was expecting to see my score to pop up and it didn’t. My heart was racing!
I walked back into the lobby and a different set of test practitioners greeted me. One sat me down, printed out the piece of paper you see at the top of this post and said, “Congratulations, you passed!”
My eyes lit up, I said “thank you,” and hurried back to my car to inform my friends and family.
Choosing to get my CPT through NASM was a lot of work, drained a lot of my free time, was very overwhelming at times, but one hundred percent worth it. I did it, and that feeling of accomplishment is one you can’t replicate.
It was a great afternoon, indeed!
So there you have a full break down of the test day, for anyone wondering how it all goes down.
I would like to know what I scored on the test, but they only give you that information if you don’t pass the exam. I sat in a lot of traffic on the way home, but I didn’t care. I was proud of attaining this huge goal of mine and I am excited to see where the certification takes me.
All right, I need to get movin’.
I’ll be back later with an at-home dumbbell strength training workout!
Questions of the Day
• Is there anything about the CPT test or process you’d like to know?
• Any specific questions you would like me to address in the Study Guide?
Feel free to ask away. Blogs and online forums were a huge help in my study process and I only want to share the love!
Congrats!! Welcome to the wonderful world of being a certified personal trainer. Enjoy it, and then immediately start thinking about your next certification, as we have to keep on learning!! 🙂 hehehe just kidding! Hope you get a little time to relax now that you can close the books for a while.
Thanks, Ashley!! I’m really excited about testing out the waters and see where I fit best. Ha, I’m already thinking of my next one (or two), don’t worry. I’m sure Scott will love that. Ha. 😉
CONGRATULATIONS, Heather!!! My niece Bianca want to take the Youth Exercise Specialist course, so I’m sure she’ll have plenty of questions..
Go splurge on cake, hehe. You deserve it!! Proud of you girl 🙂 xo
Thanks, Olga! Oh last night was definitely about splurging… just on nachos and wine. 😉 Feel free to send over any questions!
Leslie @ Life Begins at 30?
Congratulations!! That’s awesome!
Thank you Leslie!!
Shannon @ Skinny Sometimes
So exciting! Congrats!
Woo hoo! Thank you 🙂
Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie
Congratulations! All your hard work paid off! 🙂
Hehe, I guess it did. Thanks, Brie!!
Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment
So excited for you, Heather! Well deserved – congrats! 🙂
Thank you so much! Good Luck with the rest of your studying and exam!
Kelly Runs for Food
Congratulations, that’s awesome news!
Thank you Kelly!
Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate
Congrats to you! This is great information- I hope to sign up and take this exam within the next year too!
Thank you, and good luck with your own CPT journey! <3
Congratulations!!! I am hoping to become certified sometime soon, too!
Thank you! Let me know if you have any specific questions!
Liz @ I Heart Vegetables
Congrats, girl!! That’s awesome! 🙂 You’ll be an awesome trainer!
Thank you, I’m looking forward to getting started!
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
Huge congratulations girl! XOXO
Thank you Rebecca!
Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers
Congratulations!!! So psyched for you!!!!!! 🙂 You worked so hard for this — hope you’re going to celebrate!!!
Thanks friend! And yes, I fully plan on celebrating in a big away… most likely after my half on Sunday! 😉
Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries
Wahoooooo! Congratulations Girl!! I KNOW how draining studying for that exam can be. It feels so good to be done with it, I’m sure! Way to go! Now go celebrate!
Thank you! And yes, you probably do! Hehe, thanks, I’m already on it! 😉
wahoo!!! i knew you would pass 🙂 so thrilled for you, friend. xoxo
Thanks, Gina!! xo
Congrats! I love those cropped leggings! Where are they from?
Thanks! Yes, they are the Gaviota Capri from Fabletics. You can see my full review here: https://lifeinleggings.com/fashion/fitness-fashion-fabletics-giveaway/ <3
Congrats Heather!! That is fantastic news and such a HUGE accomplishment 🙂
Thank you so much!! xo
Ange @ Cowgirl Runs (@cowgirlruns)
Congratulations! that’s awesome 🙂
Thank you, Ange! 🙂
Ericka Andersen Sylvester
Hey there! Was excited to see your post because I’m in the middle of studying for the exam. My question is…were there many questions about more common sense stuff like how to interact with clients, etiquette, etc. The stuff seemed so common sense to me but wondering if I should focus on it. Also…were the questions mostly multiple choice or fill in the blank? I feel good when I have multiple choice but when I’m asked to define things without much other context, its hard.
Woo hoo! I bet you will be excited for test day to get here and over, huh? To answer your question, there were a few questions covering those chapters. It seemed like common sense, and you could probably answer them correctly without studying CH. 19 & 20 too extensively, but I would know the basic definitions and concepts like SMART goals, open-ended questions vs. closed-ended questions, and look over the Code of Conduct Handbook for tax and other basic info. I would say at least 5 questions came from that material. Also, every single questions is multiple choice. (Yesss!) I’ll be sure to touch on this with my Study Guide next week. Best of luck studying!
Congratulations! I’m so excited for you! 🙂 I’m hoping after this basketball season I can study and get certified. I want to do it but know its close to impossible while in season.
Congratulations on your certification. Such an exciting time. I was certified back in March and it is such a great feeling.
Thank you! And congrats to you as well! xo
Glitz Glam Gluten-Free
Congratulations!!! That’s so exciting! I’m so happy for you! Love the pic too! I totally thought you just inserted the text in, how cool that you had the forethought to take that pic!
Ha, thanks girl!
Rachel @ Live. Learn. Lift. Repeat.
Congrats girl! I remember when I found your post about getting the materials 🙂 I am working on my ACSM CPT right now. It is very very similar to what you have talked about so this has actually helped me too. Plus I am ordering that coloring book lol!
Thank you!! Best of luck on your CPT test! I think you’ll enjoy using the coloring book. That was my favorite part! 😉
Which coloring book did you buy? I’ve looked around and I haven’t been able to find any mention of the one you used. Can you point me in the right direction? Thanks!
I chose The Human Body Coloring Book on Amazon and it was a great tool to help break it all down one muscle at a time. There are several out there you can get to just by searching for “anatomy coloring book”. Here’s the link to mine: http://amzn.to/1I93kBO. Best of luck to you!
I literally just googled “excited to become CPT” and found your blog, and so glad that I did.
I just registered with NASM the other day and I’m impatiently awaiting the arrival of my study guides. In the meantime I’ll be looking at your blog and all of the links you posted about taking the exam 🙂
Wow, that’s awesome Kay. Thanks so much for stopping by! Please let me know if you have any questions about the test. Good luck!
I just recently stumbled across your blog and I love it! I came across this post and it’s super informative! Thanks for the tips! I’m a certified group fitness instructor and I’m definitely thinking of becoming a CPT this year, too! I’m curious what made you decide to go with NASM instead of ACE or ACSM?
Thanks for the great post and I look forward to browsing your site for more info! 🙂
Both ACE and ACSM seem like great options, but I ultimately chose to get my CPT through NASM because it seemed the most accredited. After talking to trainers in person, most said the same thing, but I have also met some who went through the other two schools you mentioned above. It’s really a personal choice!
Awesome news! I passed mine with a little help from a company I found on Instagram of all places! I got a NASM CPT study guide for under $100 and finished my exam in like 75 minutes! Boom! Thanks Fitness Mentors! http://www.fitnessmentors.com/
I just signed up today for the NASM Self Study. Your blog posts will be my new bible as I go through the course. Thanks so much for posting your experiences from studying all the way through the exam! Is the career turning out to be everything you hoped it would?
I’m excited to take my exam after reading this! Thanks for sharing your experience. 🙂
I am wondering why you weren’t given a piece of scratch paper? Anyone else who took the test, did they give you scratch paper?