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!