Free NASM Practice Test 2023 - Helpful NASM test questions

Welcome to our Trainer Academy NASM-CPT Practice Test. 

We will be covering the most essential facts, figures, and frequently asked questions regarding the NASM-CPT exam prep as well as with a practice test for NASM training.

We’re going to kick things off with a short but sweet introduction.

The NASM CPT practice test was designed to challenge you on what we’ve identified as the most difficult questions in the exam.

In this article, we cover test prep materials, and exam information for the NASM-CPT looking in-depth at:

The time and exam requirements for certification
The questioning styles used on the actual exam
The vital breakdown of the NASM textbook
NASM certification cost and level of difficulty

We assure you that this free NASM-CPT Practice Test will help to give you an idea of the styles of questions you will be faced with on the certification exam.

So make sure to bookmark this page!

Don’t forget to download our 14 step NASM-CPT exam preparation checklist to ensure that you pass the test.

Check out our premium NASM-CPT MVP study materials here. Reduce your study time by half and receive an exam pass guarantee.

Let’s dive into the basics and then into the practice questions!

The National Academy of Sports Medicine, or NASM, divides their personal trainer certification curriculum is into 6 distinct domains.

These domains tackle different topics someone learning how to become a personal trainer would need to master.

After that, we’ll go in-depth into each domain, peeling the hood back so you can gain a proper understanding of NASM study focal points.

The NASM examination is pretty straightforward in terms of structure, but we would also like to give you some insight into the NASM test difficulty just so you know what you’re getting into.

For this, we will be looking at the NASM exam pass rate, giving you an edge on how to pass the NASM CPT certification exam.

Make sure to also look at our NASM study guide prior to reviewing these questions so you can pass them with ease!

NASM-CPT Practice Test

The NASM free practice test vs real test is just a question of how the test is administered, but as far as the actual questions are concerned, you’ll be able to engage with authentic NASM questions right here.

As mentioned, we’ve picked out what we’ve identified as the most challenging NASM personal trainer practice test questions.

You’ll be going through each domain, answering 10 questions from each domain, giving you a grand total of 60 questions for you to practice with.

It’s important to note that each of these exam domains is weighted differently based on what NASM regards as the most essential points of skill and knowledge for a fitness professional.

The 6 domains are broken down as:

  • 10%   Professional Development and Responsibility
  • 12%   Client Relations and Behavioral Coaching
  • 17%   Basic and Applied Sciences and Nutritional Concepts
  • 18%   Assessment
  • 21%   Program Design
  • 22%   Exercise Technique and Training Instruction

This free nasm practice test will challenge you on each domain, but you’ll ultimately need to focus on the big ones.

Domain 1: Basic and Applied Sciences and Nutritional Concepts (17%)

At 17% weighting, this domain rounds off the bottom 3. 

Here you will be tested on your scientific and theoretical knowledge of nutrition and human biology.

A common colloquial idiom that goes “gains are made in the kitchen” is pretty much the premise for half this domain of the certification test.

We do feel NASM could have gone more in-depth with the methodology around nutritional coaching and less on just the theory side of things.

Other certs are also guilty of this like the ACSM personal trainer certification, but we still consider it essential to know about nutrition as a trainer.

In fact, we recommend an actual nutrition certification for anyone who wants to be able to speak to their clients about food, or if you want to become a nutrition coach in the future. There is a NASM nutrition certification which will also give you some extra education credits you might consider.

In any case, for the present moment your concern is what you’re challenged with within the actual NASM CPT test.

When it comes to nutrition, pay attention to concepts such as macro and micronutrients as well as supplements.

The other half concerns human biology.

The focus being human biochemistry (energetics, metabolism, endocrine system, cardiorespiratory system) and human biomechanics (neurotransmission, kinesiology, and basic principles of biophysics).

10 Questions and Explanations from Domain 1

Domain 2: Assessment (18%)

The bottom of the top 3 domains in terms of weighting, assessment deals with topics and concepts around determining where your client is at, what they can or can’t do, and what it will take to achieve their goals.

Assessment is the crucial first step in dealing with a client and as such, is considered an important domain, and weighted accordingly.

This domain of the NASM online practice test covers a wide variety of assessment protocols and methodologies for the PAR-Q and other questionnaire formats as well as more hands-on approaches such as the various strength tests (overhead squat, push, pull, postural assessment, etc…)

You have the tools to nail this domain of your CPT practice exam, and ultimately, your real test!

All you will simply have to do is study and understand each assessment type, perhaps even try them out in real-world situations so you can match what the book says, with the skills you’re actually equipping.

This section is one place that NASM excels as compared to other certs. If you compare NASM vs ACE, for example, NASM come out on top.

10 Questions and Explanations from Domain 2

Domain 3: Program Design (21%)

The program design is the meat and potatoes of acing your personal trainer tests and eventually being a successful PT!

Whether you’re an in-person coach, or a virtual online coach, your ability to create a structured plan of action that is both evidence-based and results-driven is your primary objective–it’s one of the major personal trainer responsibilities.

The two best PT certs for program design are NASM or NSCA, so learn all the gems this program has to offer.

In recognition of this, NASM has made program design the second most focused domain of the lot. In fact, it barely falls behind the number one spot.

This is therefore one you need to focus on.

One of the biggest aspects of program design as it concerns NASM is the OPT model or optimal performance training.

This is the framework on which NASM delivers fitness, so it will be integrated into most program design questions.

A firm understanding of periodization will also count in your favor. 

Other areas of focus include:

  • Exercise principles (GAS, SAID, Overload, Variation)
  • Periodization methodologies (linear, undulating)
  • Overtraining
  • Current trends

10 Questions and Explanations from Domain 3

Domain 4: Exercise Technique and Training Instruction

This is the most prominent domain in the exam, but only by a single percentage.

In this portion of the NASM study guide, you will assess your ability as a coach in real-time, real-world scenarios.

You will also be assessed on your knowledge and ability to identify and execute proper exercise protocols and forms of technique.

The aim is to optimize your ability to achieve results and achieve them safely.

Focus on all the main training methodologies such as SAQ, resistance, flexibility, balance, and core training.

You will also need to successfully categorize different exercises based on which training methodology they fall under, and understand different types of equipment and apparatus for exercise instruction.

Focus on the different training methodology charts, understand the modalities, and memorize a few exercises in each category.

Other points of focus include:

  • Cueing techniques (kinesthetic, visual, and auditory)
  • Exercise regression/progression
  • Spotting techniques

10 Questions and Explanations from Domain 4

Domain 5: Client Relations and Behavioral Coaching (12%)

The next domain of your NASM personal trainer practice test free online, right here, right now, from smallest to biggest is Client Relations and Behavioral Coaching.

This encapsulates a concept many like to call “change psychology”.

That’s because as a health coach, your main goal is actually to inspire a change of habits and behaviors from ones that lead to negative health impacts, to those that lead to more positive outcomes.

This is achieved through successful and effective communication, which is why questions from this domain will test you mainly on the quality and methodology of communication as a PT.

Topics in this domain include best practices for listening such as active listening, providing support, as well as the quality and nature of feedback.

You will also be assessed on your ability to identify barriers to success towards client goals.

Behavioral coaching can be really effective for one-on-one coaching and for groups if you decide to become a fitness instructor.

We have a list of the top group fitness certifications if you want to add group coaching to your knowledge arsenal.

10 Questions and Explanations from Domain 5

Domain 6: Professional Development and Responsibility (10%)

This domain holds the lowest weighting and is therefore the one you need to focus on the least.

Having said that, we do feel this domain is important for personal research and education as it covers the business and entrepreneurial fundamentals of personal training.

Essentially, as a qualified PT, you are a business person running a business.

But back to the exam, and how this domain relates. It’s quite a narrow assessment of the topic, and only really tests you on some broad stroke basics of generating income as a PT.

Common concepts in this domain are the four P’s of marketing (product, price, place, and promotion) as well as effective sales strategies.

We wish NASM spent a little more time on business end of things.

There are one or two other certs that cover this, like if you compare ISSA vs NASM you see that ISSA gives you a few more tools than NASM in terms of business strategy.

If you want to learn how to be a successful online trainer, or just how to make money as a personal trainer you need a good plan.

10 Questions and Explanations from Domain 6

The Randomized 60 Q NASM-CPT Exam

Click the "Next"  button to begin the exam

NASM-CPT exam breakdown

Now that you’ve taken a whack at some of the NASM-CPT Test questions, let’s take a look at how the exam is actually structured so you know your way around.

NASM-CPT provides you with a 6 month enrollment period from the time you purchase the program to the time you’re required to take the test.

It’s available in 4 packages, each with a different pricing tier based on the quantity and depth of study material provided.

Sometimes life happens, and you may not quite be able to take the exam within the 6 months. If that’s the case, NASM allows you to extend your enrollment by an extra 3 months.

This does however come at an additional cost of $75.

Now let’s get to the actual exam itself.

The NASM Certified personal trainer exam consists of 120 multiple choice questions, of which you will need to land at least 70% to pass.

The final exam runs through most of the core concepts you will find in the course text.

These concepts are categorized according to the 6 domains of study you’ll have become familiar with during your NASM practice exam.

Exam Administration

The NASM CPT exam is 120 minutes long, which means you essentially have a minute to spend on each question on average.

To take the exam, you must either register for a spot at a PSI testing facility. Simply search for the one most convenient for you, which would normally mean the center closest to you.

Here, you will take the exam in a room with other candidates, monitored by an exam proctor.

Your second option is to register for live remote proctoring. This is a new option that allows the NASM test to be taken completely online while still preserving the quality control of a real-world proctored exam.

This is done through your computer’s laptop which will be used to keep an eye on you through the duration of the exam.

NASM Test Difficulty

An important consideration with any test or exam is roughly how challenging it is to pass.

This article will work as not only a prep guide and prep material but also as a NASM test review.

As we’ve mentioned, NASM-CPT requires that you achieve a minimum grade of 70% in order to pass.

This seems to be a common standard across the board with most big-name certifying agencies.

The NASM personal trainer certification, however, is comparatively more difficult than most other CPT certifications like the ISSA CPT.

The main two domains that will test your skills and knowledge are of course the two most prominent domains, Program Design and Exercise Technique and Training Instruction.

These are designed to be challenging because the bulk of your activity as a professional fitness practitioner will involve these areas of focus.

In terms of how long it takes to become a personal trainer with NASM, it’s going to depend on your ability and time commitment. Studying could take one month, it could take four.

So is the NASM test hard? Let’s look at the pass rate to figure that out.

NASM Exam Pass Rate

Coming in with a pass rate of 64%, means that test takers are likely to pass, but also have a chance of failing.

NASM-CPT is a popular certification, so it must mean enough people pursue and pass it, there’s no reason you can’t be one of them.

All you need to do is prepare adequately of course. 

That means focusing your study engagements on the domain layout we’ve just indicated as well as making sure you tap into the best study material options.

NASM provides a neat selection of study packages as we have already mentioned.

But in order to guarantee success and optimize your odds, we suggest you go for a third-party suite of study materials such as what we offer here at Trainer Academy.

In the meantime, why not get acquainted with the NASM-CPT exam by trying out each domain’s most challenging questions, since nasm practice test questions are one of the best ways to prepare for the exam.

Don’t forget to download our 14 step NASM-CPT exam preparation checklist to ensure that you pass the test.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We recommend NASM as a top tier certification with the potential to earn you a high personal trainer salary. It is one of the better NCCA personal trainer certs and certainly the most popular.

Trainer Academy has other study resources should you decide to pick another certification test.

If you decide on the ACE personal trainer test, we have an ACE practice exam and an ACE study guide.

For the NSCA CSCS there is a CSCS practice test and CSCS study guide.

We also have a NASM vs ACSM comparison as well as ACSM vs ACE and ISSA vs ACE, so you can find the right cert for you!

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