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10 Tips for Passing The ACE Fitness Group Fitness Instructor Exam



As you may remember from my old blog I became a Cize LIVE! Instructor about a year ago. I've been teaching ever since. Teaching that class made me realize that I wanted to take my love for fitness to the next level and become a Certified Group Fitness Instructor...

There are many reasons why this career path was right for me. I wanted the freedom to create my own workouts. I wanted the ability to teach wherever I wanted. Most gyms require that you have a GFI cert. I also wanted the knowledge that came along with being nationally recognized as a fitness professional.


After studying for about 5 months I was able to pass this exam on the first try. I want to share my best tips, advice and experience with you. It was very hard for me to fit studying into my life with a husband and three kids but I am so glad I was able to make it work. 

Before we get into studying tips let's talk about why I chose ACE. I chose ACE because they are accredited and you get tons of benefits as an instructor (interview guarantee, discounts, USReps registry) I also loved the fact that they offered a payment plan. And to be honest that's what made me choose them. 

ACE Fitness Group Fitness Instructor Exam

So how did I go about studying for this thing? Here are the steps I took to pass the exam on the first try.....

1. I read the textbook all the way through and completed the online classroom activities and quizzes along the way.

2. Then I read the textbook again while making notecards for every bold keyword and tables.

3. I read chapter 3 over and over and over again. And again. And again. And again.

4. I used the exam outline located in the back of the textbook for a checks and balances guide.

5. I made sure I could apply the keywords to actual scenarios I might face in class.

6. I memorized as many keywords as I could.

7. 30 days out from my exam date I began taking the practice test in the online classroom. I took the test several times to see as many types of questions as I could. (And I would also like to add that you must take the test several times to see different questions because you get the same questions on each exam with a few new Qs sprinkled in.)

8. Two weeks out from the exam I made sure that I was strong in Domains II and I.

9. I created notecards for muscles groups and common exercises.

10. I never left the house without my notecards. Any time I had a moment to skim through them I would.

Now with all that said let me give you my thoughts on my ACE Fitness experience as a whole...

My exam had a little something from each chapter on it. (I've heard that some exams don't have any anatomy) I would say that the exam was moderately difficult. There were definitely some questions on the exam that I wasn't prepared to answer. I'm not sure where anyone would've learned that information because it wasn't in our textbook or the online classroom. This is one of the biggest gripes that I read about in the reviews on FB too.

I think most people can past the test with no problem if they study for a couple hours daily for three months or so. The Facebook study group that they offer is absolutely useless. That place could be a gem if it were fully utilized. The online classroom is helpful but it doesn't necessarily prepare you for the test since the quizzes tend to be keyword (memorization) based. The majority of the test was application style questions so it's very important to study with  that in mind.

I did use the phone tutor assistance that they offer. I'm not sure if it actually helped me or not, LOL! The woman I spoke to was nice though so that's a plus.

I would recommend ACE to anyone looking to obtain a fitness certification. For the GFI cert you may not need the most expensive package (the one I used with all the extras) to pass. In my opinion you could absolutely pass with just the textbook and some notecards.

Good Luck! If you have any questions about the exam or about my experience with ACE I would be happy to answer them.

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