National Council on Strength & Fitness
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Personal Trainer Certification Exam
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Personal Trainer Certification Exam FAQs


How do I register for the Personal Trainer Certification Exam?

Exam candidates must register for the Certification Exam either over the phone with an NCSF representative, through the online registration process, or through the mail using the NCSF downloadable registration form. Upon registration for the exam, a unique eligibility number is generated and sent to the test candidate.


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How much does the exam cost?


U.S. and Canada

First-time candidates $299.00
Re-take candidates $99.00


Non U.S. and Canada

First-time candidates $299.00
Re-take candidates $299.00


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Where do I take the Personal Trainer Certification Exam?

The exam is administered by appointment at Prometric testing centers. With over 400 testing centers located throughout North America as well as our extensive network of international sites, Personal Trainer Certification Exam candidates are provided with convenience and full access to the latest testing technology and award winning customer service.

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How long is the Personal Trainer Certification Exam?

You will have three hours to complete the 150 question multiple choice exam, which is broken down into nine subject categories.


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How often is the Personal Trainer Certification Exam offered?

The Personal Trainer Certification Exam is offered 6 days a week, year-round at the Prometric Testing Centers throughout North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. Exam candidates are not constrained to only a few test dates at remote locations. By teaming with Prometric, the NCSF is able to offer its National Board Exam on-demand. You, as the test candidate decide where and when to take the exam and in what language. The only time restriction within the entire process is that the exam must be taken within six months of the initial test registration date.


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How do I find a testing center?

Locating the Prometric testing center closest to you is as easy as clicking on the heading title Certification Exam. Look for the link named “Exam Center Locations” that will lead you to a list of US & US Territories and Canadian exam locations. Simply click the location you wish to take the exam in and a list of the testing facilities in your selected location will be displayed. A "Map It" button is provided for each testing facility that provides you directions if needed.


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How do I make my testing appointment?

Upon registration for the Personal Trainer Certification Exam, an eligibility package will be sent to you containing an eligibility number as well as the scheduling website and toll free number for Prometric. Making your appointment is as easy as calling the toll free number or logging on to their website and inputting the necessary information concerning which test you are sitting for (National Council on Strength and Fitness Certified Personal Trainer) and the State and test center where you would like to sit for your exam.


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How can I change my appointment?

Once your test appointment has been made, canceling or changing that date is possible. In order to do so, test candidates must directly contact Prometric within 72 hours (3 business days) of the scheduled appointment. The initial appointment must be cancelled and a new test date re-scheduled. The $249.00 test fee will be assessed by Prometric and becomes nonrefundable if the appointment is cancelled inside of 72 hours from the scheduled appointment. There are no exceptions once the exam is scheduled as that test seat is secured by Prometrics.


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When should I arrive at the Testing Center?

Plan to arrive 30 minutes before the scheduled appointment to allow time for check-in procedures. Candidates who arrive late will not be allowed to test and will incur a penalty fee for lost computer time.


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What should I bring with me to the Testing Center?

In order to sit for the exam at Prometric you will need to have at least one form of a government-issued, signature bearing, photo ID. Acceptable forms include a valid driver’s license, valid passport, official State or Government ID, or National Country ID card. No valid form of ID can be expired. Unacceptable forms include: Social Security card, birth certificate, or documents that are not originals (faxes or photocopies).


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When do I get my test results?

Upon completion of the Certification Exam administered at Prometric Testing Centers you will walk out of the testing facility with a full score report. Although unofficial, test candidates will know right then whether a passing grade has been achieved. Due to the nature of the Board Exam exact question breakdown cannot be released, however test candidates will walk out of the test with a hard-copy analysis of the nine exam content areas. Official scores are released within three business days pending no irregularity reports from the test center.


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What do I receive after passing the Personal Trainer Certification Exam?

Upon successful completion of the Certification Exam you will receive a complete certification package. Included in your package will be a certificate suitable for framing, which indicates that you have met the certification standards set forth by The National Council on Strength and Fitness Board for Certification and have earned the title of NCSF Certified Personal Trainer. You will also receive an accompanying wallet-sized professional membership card signifying your certified status, and complete continuing education information. This package will be forwarded to you within two weeks of passing the Exam.


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