Free ACE CPT Practice Exam 2021

This is useful to study for the ACE exam and it partners well with the Ace CPT study guide we have on this website also.

The ACE personal trainer exam has a pass rate of 65%.

To ensure that you make it into the 65% of passes, you should use this ACE fitness exam review.

A lot of people find the ACE exam challenging and possibly overwhelming when they come in without exercise science experience, that is why it is important for this page to exist, so we may show some of the thinking that goes behind questions in the certification exam.

This can be thought of as an ACE exam review in a way.

When going through this Ace personal training test, we have split it into the four domains that you will be tested on, so you might see similarities within these domain questions.

There will be 10 questions per domain, and the goal is for you to answer them on your own, and then use the accordion accompanying each question to see the reasoning behind the answer, or to confirm your answer as correct.


Domain 1: Client Interviews and Assessments

This domain will represent 23% of the exam, or around 35 total questions.

The information in this domain is going to cover the obtainment of lifestyle, health, exercise, and medical information from your clients in order to determine the risk they may have when participating in exercise programs.

The test will also go over the ability for assessing the readiness of clients to change their behaviors and evaluation of their attitude to exercise in order to build rapport and establish their goals.

There will also be significant questions on the movement assessments and the observations used for making the right exercise program in order to enhance function, health, fitness, and performance.

The last major thing to know in this domain is the baseline physiological assessments and nutrition information we can inform our clients about.

10 Questions and explanations from Domain 1

Question 1: Why would the prime mover of the gluteals become dormant during hip extension and allow the hamstrings to become the prime mover?

A) Reciprocal inhibition

B) Hypertonicity

C) Synergistic dominance

D) Co-contraction

Question 2: Which postural deviation is your client experiencing if she has a lateral spinal curvature?

A) Scoliosis

B) Lordosis

C) Sway-Back

D) Kyphosis

Question 3: When starting an exercise program with your client, you have determined that he checked “yes” to 4 risk factors on the Health Questionnaire. What is the next step in the training process?

A) Ask to speak to his physician to obtain approval for exercise.

B) Apologize to the client and let him know that you can’t train him since he has 3 or more risk factors.

C) Give your client a form to be signed by his physician.

D) Design adaptive exercises that will work around his risks.

Question 4: In which of these assessments can a personal trainer determine possible movement compensations that are associated with poor posture?

A) Balance and core assessments

B) Static postural assessments

C) Body composition assessments

D) Movement screens

Question 5: Which antihypertensive medication could be preventing your client’s heart rate from increasing?

A) Angiotensin-II receptor antagonists

B) Diuretics

C) Angiotensin-converting enzyme Inhibitors

D) Beta-blockers

Question 6: Libby is 25 years old and wants to lose weight and improve her lower body strength. Which of these is an example of an effective SMART goal for Libby?

A) Libby will eat healthier within two weeks.

B) Libby will complete 30 body weight squats in two minutes in one week.

C) Libby will lose 5 lbs…

D) Libby will complete 30 squats in two minutes.

Question 7: What effect would you expect to see on her heart rate response during exercise, when a client is on a diuretic?

A) Exercising heart rate down

B) No significant change

C) Resting heart rate down

D) Resting heart rate up

Question 8: What stage of learning is a client in when they are trying to understand how to perform a squat after you’ve explained the skill?

A) Cognitive stage of learning

B) Autonomous stage of learning

C) Feedback stage of learning

D) Associative stage of learning

Question 9: A new client has metabolic syndrome. He is cleared for exercise by his physician. Which of these recommendations is best to begin training your new client?

A) Clients should begin with 500 minutes’ total for the week.

B) Low impact activities. Twice a week of resistance training.

C) Clients should exercise 7 days a week with low intensity.

D) Moderate impact activities. No resistance training.

Question 10: Bryan is a man who is 45 years old who stopped smoking 2 months ago. Bryan hasn’t participated in an exercise program in the last 2 years. His BMI is 32. What are the exercise testing recommendations according to risk stratification based on his cardiovascular disease risk factors?

A) Low risk, medical exam not necessary.

B) Moderate risk, medical exam necessary before vigorous exercise.

C) Moderate risk, doctor’s supervision needed.

D) High risk, medical exam before moderate exercise.

Domain 2: Program Design and Implementation

This domain is going to represent 31% of the whole exam and around 46 questions in total. It is generally the largest portion of the exam.

This domain will test your ability for establishing the right health, performance, fitness, and functional goals that are all based on your assessments and data gathered so that your exercise programs can be specific to the client.

Here you will also be tested on the ability to apply the right principles and guidelines to exercise so that the clients may improve their muscular strength, cardiorespiratory fitness, and flexibility.

It is important to have a firm understanding of the equipment and how we integrate the equipment into our programming for the improvement of function, fitness, health, and performance.

10 Questions and explanations from Domain 2

Question 1: Which of these is not a benefit of resistance training?

A) Increased tensile strength in tendons

B) Increased bone mineral density

C) Higher cardiac output

D) Increased muscle fiber size and contractile strength

Question 2: Which of these can be the cause of muscle imbalance?

A) Poor exercise technique

B) One side dominance

C) Structural issues

D) All answers are correct

Question 3: Above which of these levels is someone exercising using the talk test?

A) 9 rating of Perceived Exertion

B) First Ventilatory Threshold

C) Second Ventilatory Threshold

D) Lactate Threshold

Question 4: How many contacts per session should a client be completing with low-intensity drills if they are at an intermediate level with plyometric training?

A) 140 to 200

B) 100 to 150

C) 200 to 220

D) 80 to 100

Question 5: The latissimus dorsi and teres major are the prime moving muscles for which movement?

A) Shoulder adduction

B) Scapula elevation

C) Scapula flexion

D) Shoulder abduction

Question 6: What type of muscle fibers are typically smaller and have more aerobic capacity?

A) Slow-twitch

B) Type II

C) Both a and b

D) Fast-twitch

Question 7: What stretching technique should you perform after a 5K interval workout?

A) Dynamic and ballistic stretches

B) PNF and dynamic stretches

C) Myofascial release and static stretches

D) Myofascial release and dynamic stretches

Question 8: Which joint is not responsible for stability?

A) Lumbar spine

B) Glenohumeral

C) Foot

D) Knee

Question 9: What training principle would focus on the latissimus dorsi, teres major, biceps, and forearm flexors to improve rope climbing ability?

A) Overload

B) Reversibility

C) Specificity

D) Progression

Question 10: Women lose about half a pound of muscle per year. At 30 years old, Ashley weighs 130lbs with 25% body fat, which is almost 98 lbs. of lean weight. If Ashley weighs the same at 50 years old, then how many lbs. of body fat will have been gained?

A) 30 lbs. of body fat

B) 10 lbs. of body fat

C) Not enough information is given

D) 25 lbs. of body fat

Domain 3: Program Progression and Modification

This domain represents 26% of the whole test, and around 39 questions in total.

This domain will go over the knowledge of promotion for adherence to exercise through the use of education, motivation, and modification.

This part of the exam will test you on how well you recognize and respond to the problems in adherence to exercise by taking notice of any barriers or providing a solution for the barriers found.

You will also need to know how to evaluate the progress of your clients with the use of observations, data, and client feedback in order to modify the programs.

Question 1: A client is walking on a treadmill at 4.0 mph and on a grade of 5%. Fifteen minutes into the workout, you are asking her questions about how she feels. Your client only answers with 3-4 words comfortably. What training zone are they likely in?

10 Questions and explanations from Domain 3

A) Training zone 3

B) Training zone 2

C) Between zone 1 and 2

D) Training zone 1

Question 2: A client who is recovering from a stroke. They have clearance from her physician and recommendations to use a recumbent bike and to work on balance exercises. How long should her activities last?

A) 30 minutes with rest periods

B) 10-15 minutes with no rest

C) 3 – 5 minutes with rest periods

D) 20 minutes with no rest

Question 3: Your client has properly performed a bilateral chest press from a seated position without making contact with a backrest after 4 weeks of training. What is the next progression of this movement?

A) A seated single-arm press

B) A standing press with a split-stance

C) A single-arm press with an ipsilateral stance

D) A single-arm press with a contralateral stance

Question 4: Which of these are a positive progression in functional movement and resistance training?

A) Standing two-arm cable press to Shoulder bridge

B) Woodchop to Pelvic tilts

C) Lunges to Wall sits

D) Plank to Prone lies on a stability ball with torso movements

Question 5: Using the SAID principle, what would be implied to meet your client’s goals if they want to run a half-marathon?

A) Goals should include muscular hypertrophy.

B) The program should involve at least 3 days of speed work.

C) The program should progress to mimic the demands of the activity.

D) There should be different intensities that stress both the aerobic and anaerobic systems.

Question 6: Carson has been resistance training with you for a month. He has been performing sets of 10-15 reps on the leg press. You have been gradually increasing the exercise workload, and he can currently perform 15 leg presses per set with 200 lbs. What is the best way to progress?

A) Increase the number of reps per set to 20.

B) Decrease the number of reps to 10.

C) Increase the resistance to 210 lbs.

D) Increase the resistance to 220 lbs.

Question 7: What do you do if a client is asking for supplement advice?

A) Refer the client to a registered dietitian or qualified physician for further guidance.

B) Advise your client on only the supplements you are knowledgeable about.

C) Refer the client to a nutrition store.

D) Show the client only the supplements your gym carries.

Question 8: A diabetic client has been screened thoroughly by his physician and has clearance to exercise. The blood glucose level should be measured before and after each exercise session. When should the exercise session be postponed?

A) If the pre-exercise blood glucose level is above 300 mg/dL

B) If the pre-exercise blood glucose level is above 200 mg/dL

C) If the pre-exercise blood glucose level is below 100 mg/dL

D) Both a and c

Question 9: Which of these is recommended for exercises for youth resistance training?

A) One to three sets of each resistance exercise

B) Resistance that permits six to 15 reps

C) Resistance increases of 5% – 10% increments

D) All answers are correct

Question 10: What phase of the healing process is someone in if they suffered an injury and are showing signs of pain, redness and swelling?

A) Phase 1-inflammation

B) Phase 3-maturation and remodeling

C) Phase 4-rehabilitation

D) Phase 2-fibrolastic

Domain 4: Professional Conduct, Safety and Risk Management

This portion of the exam represents the smallest percentage at 20%. There will be about 30 questions in total here.

In this domain, you will be tested on your abilities in application of risk management strategies while following the many guidelines, standards, laws, and regulations for the protection of your client and yourself.

It is important to know how to secure the client’s general information, communicate with the client, and progress the client while following through with confidentiality and liability.

10 Questions and explanations from Domain 4

You should have knowledge of preventing injuries and finding the possible hazards in training.

Question 1: Which of these is considered within your scope of practice if a client wishes to lose 10 lbs.?

A) Explain some of the best diets on the market

B) Show the client how to read nutrition labels

C) Outline a dietary weight loss program

D) All of these

Question 2: From the perspective of the trainer what would be an advantage of the direct-employee model?

A) Employers pay for all equipment and the rest of the expenses of the facility.

B) Per-session fees are often lower than normal

C) Employers may need a minimum number of hours of work for the trainer

D) Trainers need to conform to the grooming standards of the employer.

Question 3: Your client has hypoglycemia. When is the best time to schedule his exercise?

A) He should exercise in the morning before a meal.

B) He should exercise in the evening before a meal.

C) He should never exercise.

D) He should exercise in the morning after a meal.

Question 4: Which of these scenarios would be considered negligence?

A) You don’t allow a client to exercise without clearance from a physician because they are undergoing radiation for cancer and they are anemic.

B) You monitor a client’s exercise intensity with the Karvonen method. They take beta-blockers and are hypertensive.

C) A client who is currently recovering from hip replacement is now cleared for exercise. You focus your training on hip/leg abduction, strengthening, and lateral movements

D) You recommend to a diabetic client that you will monitor their blood glucose levels prior to and after exercising.

Question 5: Which of these is associated with an independent contractor versus an employee?

A) Oversees fitness center procedures.

B) Receives payment specific to job duties performed.

C) Receives health benefits from the fitness center.

D) Receives training from the fitness center.

Question 6: Which statement is inaccurate regarding Degenerative Disc Disease?

A) It is more common in the thoracic spine.

B) The intervertebral disc gradually gets worn down and eventually degenerates.

C) It occurs between the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae.

D) It occurs in individuals between the age of 30 and 50.

Question 7: Upon approaching a client who is unconscious and non-responsive, what should you check and in which order?

A) Breathing, airway, and circulation

B) Airway, circulation, and breathing

C) Airway, breathing, and circulation

D) Circulation, breathing, and airway

Question 8: Which of these would mean a plaintiff’s case would be dismissed in favor of the trainer?

A) The defendant doesn’t keep up the standard of care required for that duty.

B) Harm or injury was caused by a breach of duty by the defendant

C) Harm or injury to the plaintiff did not occur.

D) The defendant was required to protect the plaintiff from injury.

Question 9: Which of these presents a safety hazard?

A) Allowing a client’s friend to watch their session

B) Allowing a client to finish their set while you leave

C) A client stopping the treadmill to get a drink of water

D) A client who is wearing old tennis shoes and a torn t-shirt

Question 10: Which of these modifications should you recommend for a client with carpal tunnel syndrome?

A) Movements should involve full wrist extension.

B) Movements should not involve stretching finger flexors and extensors.

C) Movements should involve full wrist flexion.

D) Movements should focus on the mid-range positions of wrist flexion and extension.

The randomized 40 question ACE CPT exam 

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