The title kind of gives it away… but I PASSED MY NASM CPT EXAM!! Honestly, I felt really ready by the time my exam date rolled around, and it felt SO GOOD to get it done and over with.
I want to share my experience with NASM, and with the self-study course with you guys – how the course was, how studying went, and how I think the exam went! A lot of you have been asking about it and what to expect so I thought I would just write a detailed blog post about my experience!
I originally signed up for this course back in August 2017, and started studying right away! As soon as I got access to my course online I started reading the PDF version of the textbook and watching the videos. At first I felt a little overwhelmed with the long list of modules and chapters and tests/practice exams, but after a while reading the content and learning some of the concepts I started to feel more excited than overwhelmed!
This is something that I have wanted to do for the last couple years, so I felt like I was motivated to study every day and I was excited the whole time. I’ve taken many exams over the years and I’ve been super stressed and nervous, but this time it was different. The passion for this is here, and I know this is something I want to do with my life!
Once I got the textbook in the mail, I hit it hard. I read every word of every chapter, highlighting key points and important concepts. I took notes on every single chapter on lined paper so it sunk in more than just reading it. With each chapter there are videos to watch, and practice tests to take – so I did all of those too.
Once I read the entire textbook, I went through each chapter again a bit quicker, but I focused on all the key points I highlighted or took notes on. Once I was through with that I went over to the Domain study guide and exams. There are different ‘Domains’ for each portion of the final exam and they told you how much of that domain would be on the final exam (22%, 17% 12% etc). Knowing this, I knew that I needed to really know my stuff in the domain that had a higher percentage.
Once I studied the CRAP out of the study guide with the domains that they provided for me, I then went to the domain exams! I seriously did these domain exams til I was getting 100% on all of them. And when I say that, I’m not saying just memorize the question and answers. Really KNOW them, know the concepts and know how it all works. The exams questions change and some of the smallest words change, so each time it could be different. Especially when it comes to the final exam. There were similar questions, but worded completely different. SO, know your stuff you guys – and you will be set.
I ended up taking my exam the last possible day that I could (6 months from your sign up day), and a month or so before that, I felt like I was ready. I could have moved my test up but the dates they gave me didn’t work with my schedule at all, so the waiting game began! While I waited, I tried to keep my mind fresh by taking every chapter exam, domain exam, practice exam and the final exam. Over, and over, and over again. I was scoring 100% on all of them by the time my actual exam rolled around!
Every single free moment that I had the last couple months, I was studying. My life was work and studying basically. I needed to pass this exam – I wanted (so bad) to pass this exam!
THE FINAL EXAM
Going into the final exam, I was a little nervous. I always get test anxiety, no matter what it is. Playing a game where I have to make a decision (cards against humanity), I get anxiety when I have to pick the best card HA! Even though I felt ready, I still had some butterflies flying around in there.
Once I got to my computer and started the exam, those butterflies all flew away and my confidence came back. I only flagged about 10 questions out of the 120 given, and once I was done I went back through the flagged questions and only changed a few answers! Once I had all the answers ready, I went back through each question just to double-check.
I hit submit, and that was it. All my hard work.. and it was over (hopefully).
I went out of the testing room, and the guy who was running it asked me if I changed any of the answers that I flagged (because 90% of the time your first guess IS your educated guess, and you shouldn’t change it). I told him I had only changed the ones I for sure KNEW the answer was wrong, and he said “Good, because you PASSED!” And then we fist bumped.
The feeling after he said that, was a bunch of WEIGHTS lifted off of me. Holy HELL. I did it! I am so fricken excited about this and proud of myself, you guys!
THOUGHTS ON NASM
I would 100% refer NASM to anyone wanting to get their CPT. Nothing but good things to say about them! The self-study course had enough resources, quizzes, videos, the final exam – it has everything you need.
For those of you who have taken their CPT through NASM what did you guys think? Or if you’re thinking about doing it, drop your questions below – I’d love to help answer them if I can!