Most organizations that certify personal trainers require applicants to have a high school diploma or its equivalent. A GED usually meets this requirement. The high school degree requirement means that you must have good enough grades to finish high school.
Some high schools give you a diploma for completing all of the required classes. Other high schools require students to have a minimum GPA to graduate. As long as you can show the certifying agency that you have your degree or a GED, your high school grades are sufficient.
You must also meet the certifying organization’s other minimum standards to qualify to take the personal trainer’s exam.
Although finishing high school is the bare minimum requirement, what you learn in many of your classes can help you succeed in your personal training coursework. In a high school biology class, you learn the major systems of the body. Knowing the bones, muscles, and major organs of the body can make it easier for you to pass your personal trainer certifying exam. Knowing biology and anatomy can also make you a more effective trainer.
You Can Learn From Your High School Classes
Getting good grades in other high school classes can also help your career as a personal trainer. If you take a course in weightlifting, it can be a great introduction to your personal training studies. You can learn valuable things in a general physical education class.
Even classes that aren’t related to exercise can help. You can benefit from doing well in your business, marketing, and English classes. Doing well in these classes can help you learn how to sell your services and manage your career in the best ways possible.
Requirements to Pass the Exam
If you meet the qualifications for certification from the organization of your choice, the next grade that matters is the grade on your exam score. In most cases, you must pass one exam to earn a personal trainer’s certification. The certification exam to become a trainer is usually multiple choice and a few hours long. It may have as many as 150 questions.
Just like each organization sets their own qualifications to take the exam, the organization also decides what kinds of grades you need to pass the exam. For example, the ACE test for personal trainers consists of 150 multiple choice questions. They score 125 of the questions, and another 25 questions are sample questions for future exams.
Of the 125 scored questions on the ACE test, an applicant needs to answer about 90 questions right to pass. That’s about 72 percent of the test questions. The answer is approximate because ACE scales the test based on the difficulty of the questions and in relation to the scores of other test takers. You receive a scaled score between 200 and 800. You must get a score of 500 to pass.
The National Academy of Sports Medicine uses a similar system to scale their test results. They scale their test results between 0 and 100. They require a 70 scaled score to pass. Because it’s the scaled score that counts, the raw score that you need may be different.
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â Grades for First Aid and AED Certification
If your certifying organization requires you to have First Aid training or proof that you know how to use an AED, the requirement is usually pass/fail. Many organizations that offer First Aid training don’t grade participants. Instead, they simply issue a certification.
Just like your high school education, you learn valuable things in First Aid training that can help you study for your personal training certification even though there typically isn’t a specific GPA that you need to get this prerequisite.
College Coursework May Have Additional Requirements
You may want to pursue a college degree in an exercise-related field. A college degree for a personal training career might be a bachelor’s degree or an associate’s degree. A degree program may have grade requirements set by the university.
You may need certain grades in high school to be accepted to the university. In addition, you may need certain grades to choose the program as your major or concentration. You may also need to reach a specific GPA to graduate from the program.
Building Your Brand
Even though there’s no grades or GPA requirement beyond passing your exams and getting a high school degree, good grades can help you build your career. When you apply to work as a personal trainer or you work to recruit clients, they want to know why they should hire you instead of another trainer.
One way that you can stand out is by getting great grades.
Scoring well on your personal training exam as well as earning good grades in high school can give you the credentials you need to convince clients that you’re a great choice for a personal trainer. Your grades can also set you up to get advanced certifications and other additional training. It may also qualify you for a leadership position such as a manager or supervisor of other trainers at a gym.
Making the Grade
As long as you have a high school degree or its equivalent and you pass your certifying exam, you have the grades to become a personal trainer. Most training exams set the passing score around 70 percent or a C equivalent. Some certifying organizations scale their tests, so it’s impossible to know the exact grades requirement. Working for the best grades possible can help you land new clients, grow your business, and explore new career opportunities.