Personal Trainer Certification Exam
Tools for Success
All NFPT package options include the tools and recourses needed for a successful exam sitting
Want a sneak peek?Preview the Manual
NFPT’s comprehensive education material will provide the fundamental knowledge, laying the foundation for trainer/client success.
Exam Prep Resources
The NFPT Personal Fitness Trainer Manual will be your main study resource. It’s a comprehensive guide through the fundamentals of personal training, and will provide an understanding of exercise science principles and training methodologies for safe and effective fitness program design.
Supports your review and understanding of the Personal Fitness Trainer Manual. It includes 365 questions designed to reinforce the course learning objectives. Answer keys are provided for self-assessment. (digital workbook is included with all package purchases)
Online Chapter Quizzes
Study one chapter at a time with chapter summaries and quizzes, this will gauge your understanding of the concepts as you complete each chapter. You can complete the quizzes as many times as you need to retain the information. (available through your online account with all package purchases)
The digital Personal Fitness Trainer Manual, Trainer Workbook, and Online Chapter Quizzes are included with all package purchases and will be immediately available upon creating your NFPT Account. If you do not want to be tied to a computer to study the manual, and do not have the ability to print the digital manual from your account, you can purchase the hard copy Personal Fitness Trainer Manual and read it on the go. The hard copy manual is included in the Premier Package, but can also be added to the Standard Package purchase.
Exam Quick Facts
- Test Center or Remote Testing
- Flexible Exam Scheduling
- 120 multiple choice questions
- closed book exam
- 2 hour time limit
- 750/1000 to pass
- Instant test results
Exam Content Categories
Principles of Human Anatomy – 20%
Principles of Human Physiology – 19%
Fitness Components – 23%
Training Program Development, Implementation and Modification – 33%
Professionalism and Communication Skills – 5%Content Category Details
Personal Trainer Certification Exam
What’s on the exam?
There are five major categories in which you will be assessed, each with a different weighted percentage:
Principles of Human Anatomy — 20%
Human anatomy is the scientific study of the form and structure of the human body. Whether at work or rest, in peak condition or not, the human body is an amazing example of coordinated systems acting together for one purpose. Your body is like a machine with many working parts that come together for your overall benefit. Learn just what you have at your disposal when your human machine works by design to perform voluntarily at your command and involuntarily to sustain life. NFPT provides you with insight on the most vital parts of the human body related to fitness programming.
Principles of Human Physiology — 19%
Human physiology is the scientific study of the activities and functions of the human body and its support systems. Every breath you take, every beat of your heart and almost all of the calories you consume sustain life on a cellular level. Approximately 60% of cells in the body are muscle tissue cells, demanding the constant attention of all of the body’s support systems. The human body is a fascinating collaboration of necessary systems functioning in concert. NFPT education will comprehensively break down these processes to help you understand how the body functions.
Fitness Components — 23%
Anatomy and physiology meet in this category so you learn to design, gauge and maximize fitness programming for specific needs, abilities and goals. The five components of fitness are cardiorespiratory conditioning, muscular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility and body composition. You’ll learn to recognize and apply these components to understand how a training program can work for each client. NFPT lays out a foundation for applying your knowledge to actual fitness screening and program design.
Training Program Development, Implementation & Modification — 33%
Put your knowledge to a real-world test: assessing a client and implementing an appropriate exercise program to meet and exceed their goals. NFPT recommends conducting a step-by-step screening and consultation before designing any exercise program. Knowing the steps will take your foundational understanding of theory to a new level of success in practice. Remember, RESULTS = RETENTION. NFPT will help you learn how to develop, implement and modify a training program for long-term results.
Professionalism and Communication Skills — 5%
Appropriate, effective communication and problem-solving skills are critical for the motivational aspect of exercise. Maintaining professional standards and staying within your scope of practice provide protection to you and your clients. NFPT will walk you through strategies for effective communication, professional conduct and legal considerations that often are overlooked.
What’s the format and exam expectations?
You will be given a 2 hour exam sitting (with a test administrator) to complete this 120 question, multiple choice, closed book exam. Each questions has 4 answer choices. There are 5 weighted categories, as address above, so each question is valued accordingly.
Electronic devices, books, calculators, notes, or other items that distract or assist you during the exam, are prohibited in the exam area. Test sites offer secure storage areas for you to store these items while you’re there.
What’s the purpose of the exam?
The NFPT certification exam is designed to assess your understanding of fundamental exercise science principles and training methodologies for safe and effective fitness program design. Passing the assessment solidifies your understanding of the required knowledge and skills becoming of a qualified personal trainer. These skills include, but are not limited to, applied exercise science, such as anatomy, physiology and biomechanics; training methodologies and fitness components; injury treatment and prevention and professional practices. Upon successful completion, you will meet the fitness industry standards and expectations of an entry-level personal fitness trainer.
Is there an additional fee for the exam?
Each package includes one exam sitting, however, a re-test can be purchased at a reduced rate if needed. You are not required to purchase a package to sit for the Certified Personal Trainer exam. If you feel you already possess the knowledge, becoming of a Personal Trainer, then you can proceed with the purchase of the Exam Voucher. Upon enrollment, you will receive a welcome email with instructions on creating your online account to access the detailed scheduling instructions.
How long do I have to prepare for the exam?
The average time spent on exam preparation is 60–70 hours, over a 2-3 month period, but you can take as long as one year to schedule your exam.
How should I prepare?
Since not everyone is a hit-the-books learner, NFPT offers a variety of top-quality education options to help you learn. Whether you prefer a hands-on experience from an expert in a gym or recorded demonstrations you can watch repeatedly, you can choose the method that helps you learn best. If you struggle with test anxiety, no worries, read some test tips from our blog to set your mind at ease.
Where can I take the exam?
After purchasing a Certification Package, you will have immediate access to the digital study material and test scheduling instructions through your NFPT Account. The Personal Trainer Certification exam can be completed at a Test Center near you, or in the comfort of your home with a virtual proctor through Remote Testing. Both test options have flexible exam dates and times, with the ability for same day testing. Please review the ProProctor User Guide for system requirements when utilizing the Remote Testing option.
As soon as you complete the exam, you may print your instant test results. When passing the CPT exam, your digital certificate will be available through your NFPT Account within 1-2 business days for quick verification and a hard copy certificate (for framing) will arrive by mail within 7-10 business days…hard copy certificates only available in the US and Canada.
When will I get my results?
As soon as you complete the exam, you may print your instant test results. When passing the CPT exam, your digital certificate will be available through your NFPT Account within 1-2 business days and a hard copy certificate (for framing) will arrive by mail within 7-10 business days…hard copy certificates only available in the US and Canada.
What if I pass?
Congratulations, you’ve passed the CPT exam! You now hold the NFPT-CPT credential and have a wealth of resources, through your NFPT Account, to help launch your career. We encourage you to check out the NFPT Blog for advise on how to kick start your new career, while also gaining valuable knowledge on health/fitness topics that relate to your clients specifically. However you choose to build your career, NFPT is here to support you during this step of the certification process. You worked hard to attain your Personal Trainer Credential; let us help you continue to grow and thrive. Keep that credential active and move the fitness industry forward…and don’t forget to create your database listing through your online account, you earned it, get noticed!
What if I don’t pass?
You can take the exam twice during your one-year eligibility period, so if you don’t get it on the first try, you’ve got another chance. The re-test fee $119. Review your education materials and the exam details and brush up using these study tips. If you take the exam while the testing experience is still fresh in your mind, you’re more likely to pass on your second try. Don’t give up! You’ve come so far already.
What score do I need to pass!
You need to score 750 out of 1,000 possible points to pass the NFPT-CPT Exam. It’s important to answer all of the questions, since each section of the test is weighted differently. Follow these study tips from the NFPT Blog.
How was the exam written?
The NFPT Certification Exam was developed and is regularly updated under the approval and oversight of the NFPT Certification Council using an established test development process. This process follows nationally accepted best practices for certification programs under the regulatory authority of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. NFPT’s test development process is facilitated by the psychometric staff of Schroeder Measurement Technologies. See NFPT’s Certification Handbook, Exam Activities and Job Analysis Executive Summary for more on exam development.