What’s the Easiest Way to Study for the NASM?

When it comes to getting the best score possible for your NASM, you don’t want to cut any corners. This is a big exam that takes a lot of time, dedication, and skill to pass. That being said, just because an exam is challenging doesn’t by any means imply that you shouldn’t find the easiest way to study for it. You’re probably familiar with the old saying, work smarter and not harder. Well, if you have been planning on taking the NSAM and you’re wondering how to best prepare, here is everything you need to know. 


The NASM or National Academy of Sports Medicine CPT exam is no easy walk in the park. The test is comprised of 120 questions and you have a two hours time limit to achieve a 70% or higher to pass. This exam is hard, but it’s not impossible to pass. It covers six different domains, and it also contains 20 research questions that are not graded. All in all, this is a hefty undertaking and the study materials for the NASM are not light. 

Finding the best way to maximize your knowledge by optimizing your study time is key. It’s important to prepare in a way that actually helps you toward your desired grade. This is key because there are is no hard and fast rules when it comes to what is right and what is wrong in studying. Everyone is different and every person has a unique learning style that is a mixture of different methods, techniques, and styles. 

Some things to keep in mind when preparing for the exam isn’t just the knowledge that you need to answer the questions correctly, but the stamina it takes to complete the exam. 120 questions are not child’s play, and these questions are specifically designed to test your knowledge and push your capacity. That means that you need to develop the right kind of endurance necessary to focus and concentrate during the exam to get the best grade possible. 

Find the Right Balance

When you are preparing for an exam like the NASM CPT, it’s vital to find the right balance. When studying for a large exam it’s actually possible to do two things that can really hurt you on assessment day. First, you can obviously understudy for the exam. Most people, at some point in their academic careers, have faced this terrifying realization. As the exam starts, that gut-wrenching feeling of dread wells up inside of you as you guiltily realize you did not adequately prepare for the challenge.

On the other hand, you can actually spend too much time studying and over prepare for an exam. How is that a bad thing you may be asking? When someone spends too much time studying for an exam, it can result in them experiencing increased levels of stress and anxiety. Excessive stress has been shown to be detrimental to memory and can have negative effects on your test day performance. 

So How Do You Find the Balance?

So how do you avoid the pitfalls of not studying enough, but keep yourself from spending so much time in your books that you neglect your life? Here are some easy tips to help you find that perfect balance that will have you studying enough to get the grades you need! 

First, try and plan out your time appropriately. This can look like grabbing a calendar and putting deadlines and goals on paper. If you have access to practice exams, this is where a practice exam can really help you hone your study time and build your skill. 

Set goals for practice assessments and then plan up to them appropriately. Part of what it means to plan appropriately is to prioritize things other than studying. This is where having a calendar is helpful so you can make informed decisions about your time usage. How much time will you spend at work? What kind of events is coming up you don’t want to miss? 

Another good thing to help you stay balanced is to prioritize social interactions on your calendar and healthy exercise! 

Use a Study Guide

One of the most powerful ways to make sure you are studying smarter not harder is by using a NASM study guide. These study guides are designed to help you navigate the massive amount of material that you are intended to know for exam day. These guides act as a road map to help you focus where you need to focus so you don’t waste your precious study time on information that won’t be emphasized on your exam. 


The most important thing to remember when studying for the NASM is that this is a test that you are more than capable of getting a passing score on! Yes it will be hard and it will take a good amount of work, but with a positive attitude and a good work ethic, this is something you can accomplish. 


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