Personal training can be a rewarding career, but it's not an easy one to pursue. To be a personal trainer, you need to take a personal training education course and pass a personal training certification exam. Knowing what kind of questions to expect before you take the exam can help you prepare for the test, so seek out sample questions when available.
American Council on Exercise
The American Council on Exercise offers several certification programs, such as group fitness instructor, lifestyle and weight management coach, and personal trainer. According to the American Council on Exercise's official website, the personal trainer exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and a written portion that tests your decision-making abilities in a client scenario. The written scenario will prompt you with information about a client's goals, physical fitness level and medical conditions, and you will have to decide which questions to ask and how to train the client. A sample question for the American Council on Exercise may ask you what primary muscle the barbell curl targets, and you would be asked to pick from triceps, biceps, pectorals and rhomboids, with biceps being the correct answer.
National Strength and Conditioning Association
The National Strength and Conditioning Association, or NSCA, has a three-hour exam with 140 questions. According to the NSCA website, 35 questions focus on a video that covers the basics of fitness testing, anatomy and exercise techniques. Other topics include consultations, emergency issues and program planning. Questions may ask you to make nutritional and body composition calculations and exercise program design recommendations. A test question could ask you to calculate the total calorie intake of a client who consumes 100 g of protein, 300 g of carbohydrates and 50 g of fat; the answer would be 2,050.
National Federation of Professional Trainers
The National Federation of Professional Trainers, or NFPT, offers an exam with 120 questions, 20 of which are not scored but are for research. Questions on the NFPT exam may test your knowledge on physiology, anatomy and kinesiology, such as asking you to identify in which plane of motion a particular movement occurs. You may also be asked to identify the importance of assessments such as body composition tests, which can help establish a client's fitness level.
National Academy of Sports Medicine
The exam for the National Academy of Sports Medicine, or NASM, features 120 multiple-choice questions, and you will have two hours to complete the exam. The questions on the NASM certification exam may ask you for statistics pertaining to exercise and injury, how you should make recommendations when clients are on specific medications and how to assess client body composition.