Study materials come in many forms. After you decide what program you are going with you will have the choice of buying a number of study materials. They can range from none-at-all, to web-based materials, to study guides, to practice tests. Are they worth it though?
You can only purchase the exam in some instances but we highly recommended against that. Straight up, don’t do that. When it comes to study materials it depends on how experienced you are at working out and your common knowledge of physiology.
A large portion of the test and program covers muscle groups, stretching, and nutrition. These are all things that you may have learned in high school or college. The more experience you already have in these areas, the easier those sections should be for you. Either way its better to have too much study materials then not enough.
We highly recommend buying study guides and practice tests. These are critical and incredible beneficial. They allow you to get a feel for the types and difficultly level of questions on the test and give you insight into the areas of the program that you need to study more. This can literally be invaluable. When it comes to practice tests, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) tells us that their practice test (and all other organizations more than likely) is very similar to the real test in format, content, and difficulty. Bottom line: buy the practice test.
You probably understand your learning style. Are you a visual learner? Do you have to write things down over and over to retain it? Do you need flash cards? Do you need study guides? Whichever type of learner you are you need to take that into consideration when purchasing study materials. Buy however much you need to allow you to have the best chance to pass the final exams. You can’t have too much of a good thing and you can find several refreshers online or make your own study guide!
One last tip: If you have been attending the same gym for awhile you may have become good friends with some of the professional staff. If their certification is through an accredited organization that we recommend (they most likely are) that you are interested in, ask them if you can borrow their study materials on condition you will give them back after the test! It’s a great way to save yourself some money! We don’t recommend you choosing a program solely on the fact that you can get free study materials, but it can be a supporting factor.
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