I’m a PT!

I’ve been very quiet on recently but with good reason – I’ve been studying for my personal trainer exam with ACE. The good news is that I passed with flying colours on Friday! Since I qualified I’ve had a lot of questions about why I choose ACE, what’s involved & what is the exam like, so here are some pros & cons of ACE certification in my experience:


  1. Cost was a major factor. Access to the ACE materials which included two textbooks, a study guide and a wealth of online resources cost $749 (it was a special offer, but they’re always running deals of some sort). This included the exam fee, practice tests and personalised help from the ACE study counsellors if you need it. You can get an installment plan to pay if you wish.
  2. You can study the materials in your own time. You’re not tied to particular days of the week and you can take as long as you need (up to a point – you have to sign up for the exam within six months of buying the package, but you can then choose a date as far out as is available, giving you plenty of time to study).
  3. The material is very comprehensive. You cover a wide range of topics including the business side of being a PT. I really felt like I learned a huge amount.
  4. It’s internationally recognised – if you want to travel with your certification ACE is recognised worldwide.
  5. The exam is multiple-choice, and you have more than adequate time for it (3 hours for 150 questions – I was finished in an hour and a half after reviewing all questions three times).
  6. You find out almost straight away if you’ve passed (longest 30 seconds of my life…) – no waiting weeks for results.


  1. Because the material is so comprehensive there’s an awful lot of learning to do. I completely underestimated how much time it would take. In-depth knowledge of what various muscles & joints do is required, and that stuff isn’t easy if you haven’t ever studied anatomy before.
  2. There’s no practical hands-on learning. There are many videos in the resource centre that help explain the various concepts but it doesn’t compare with having someone there with you to show you step-by-step.
  3. The multi-choice questions often seem to have more than one correct answer, you have to choose the ‘most’ correct one based on the ACE materials. You therefore need to know the PT manual backwards. Guesswork won’t help!

That’s pretty much it! If you have any questions on the exam itself or the process, leave a comment below.


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