2024 Edition

NSCA-CPT Practice Exam

Take this free NSCA Certified Personal Trainer practice exam to get an idea of the type of questions that appear on the actual certification exam.

The NSCA Certified Personal Trainer exam is comprised of 155 multiple-choice questions based on four subject areas. These subject areas are as follows:

  • Client Consultation and Assessment
  • Program Planning
  • Techniques of Exercise
  • Safety, Emergency Procedures and Legal Issues

For complete practice, check out the NSCA-CPT Practice Exam Kit with 400 questions and fully explained answers.  It was written by Amanda Chismar and Christy Hamilton, certified personal trainers and health and fitness writers, holding certifications as NSCA Certified Personal Trainers. 


Client Consultation and Assessments

1. Which of the following is a questionnaire that serves as a non-invasive, minimal health-risk appraisal designed to determine contraindications to exercise?
2. In which situation should the trainer refer the client to a dietitian?
3. What information does the Health History Questionnaire collect?
4. What information does the Informed Consent form collect?
5. What blood pressure measurement is considered to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease?
6. Which of the following is outside of the scope of practice for a personal trainer to do during their initial consultation with a new client?
7. In which of the following situations must a personal trainer refer a new client to their physician for medical clearance, prior to beginning a new aerobic training program?
8. A female client is 200 pounds and has 30% bodyfat. How much fat free mass does this client's body contain?
9. A client shares that they have not exercised in the most recent 12 months. However, they share that they exercised for a consistent three year period over 10 years ago. How would you classify this client?
10. Which of the following is important to build during your initial consultation with a client?
11. A client who comes to you and plans to begin exercising in the next 30 days is in which of the following stages of change?
12. A client shares that they feel most motivated to exercise when their success is verbally affirmed by others. What type of behavioral feedback is this?

Program Planning

13. ATP is resynthesized from ___________ in the phosphagen system.
14. What is the correct sequence of connective tissue found within the muscle from largest to smallest?
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15. What is the fuel source in the sliding filament theory?
16. What is considered the basic contractile unit of a muscle?
17. Torque produces ___________________.
18. What is the biomechanical definition of Work?
19. What is the upward phase of a bodyweight squat?
20. Which of the following muscles is an agonist during the pull up?
21. Which of the following muscles is an antagonist during the bench press?
22. Which of the following is true of a skeletal muscle fiber?
23. Which of the following is the equation for power?
24. Which of the following describes a muscle fiber splitting in order to increase muscle size?
25. Which of the following resting heart rates is considered to be within a normal range?
26. Which of the following is considered the monomer of stored muscle glycogen?
27. Which of the following is a type of programming best fit for a beginner?

Techniques of Exercise

28. Nina has been training with you as a client over the past 4 months and wants to increase her muscular strength. Which of the following rep targets would be most appropriate for her goal?
29. A client is performing a superset. How many exercises will this client perform back to back before resting?
30. A client is aiming to increase their jump height. Which of the following exercises will best support this?
31. An elderly client begins an aerobic training program in addition to their current resistance training program. The client shares that they have osteoporosis in their knees and are unsure which aerobic activities are safest for them to perform. What should they focus on?
32. Which of the following typically refers to around one week's worth of programming?
33. Which of the following energy systems is most relevant for a client interested in running marathons?
34. Beth is a 28-year-old woman who is looking to improve her overall fitness. How long should she rest for in between sets on a leg press exercise?
35. Abigail has been training with you for a year. She has begun seeing less results lately and is becoming discouraged. What is the best way to increase the results she is getting when she has reached a plateau and is unable to increase resistance or number of repetitions?
36. What is the general idea behind periodization?
37. Which training modality cannot utilize a 5% increase in training intensity as effectively?
38. James has been training for and competing in triathlons for 5 years. He wants to increase running speed and cycling power. How many times should you suggest he train per week?

Safety, Emergency Procedures and Legal Issues

39. Which of the following is an absolute contraindication to stretching?
40. When on the treadmill your client becomes dizzy and passes out. She hits her head on the ground. She is unconscious and non-responsive. What is an appropriate action to take?
41. Howard is a diabetic client whom you have been training for 3 months. While exercising he begins to show signs of hypoglycemia. What is the best course of action?
42. Upon approaching a client who is unconscious and non-responsive, what should you check and in which order?
43. You are training a client with Epilepsy and he begins having a seizure on the leg press machine. Which of the following is an appropriate action to take?
44. Which of the following is true of ballistic stretching?
45. When should an AED be used on an individual who is receiving CPR?
46. A healthy client shares that they haven't eaten before beginning a workout with you and that they are feeling lightheaded. Which of the following may help?
47. What does the R in RICE stand for?
48. What is the first step to take when approaching an individual who appears passed out?
49. As a personal trainer, in which of these situations would you most likely need to purchase insurance?
50. Which of the following is considered an inappropriate distance between pieces of exercise equipment?

NSCA Personal Trainer

Quality starts with who wrote the material.
Our practice exam writer
Amanda Chismar
is a NSCA certified personal trainer and prior owner of a CrossFit gym. She has also managed fitness centers for various government agencies, including the military and law enforcement. Amanda is also certified as a NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist, CrossFit Level 2 Trainer and as a USAW Sports Performance Coach. She received her Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology from Penn State University.

Christy Hamilton
is an NSCA certified personal trainer and health and fitness writer.. She is also a group fitness instructor and ACSM inclusive fitness trainer.
The NSCA Certified Personal Trainer certification is for professionals who work with both active and sedentary clients in one-on-one situations.

Exam content covers:

Client Consultation/


Initial Interview

Health Appraisal

Medical History Review

Fitness Evaluation

Basic Nutrition

Weight management
Program Planning:

Goal Setting

Program Design

Training Adaptations

Special Populations
Exercise Techniques:

Resistance Machines

Free Weights

Cardiovascular Machines

Non-machine Exercise Techniques

Safety, Emergency Procedures and Legal Issues