ACSM Certified Group Exercise Instructor (ACSM-GEI) Exam is changing on Dec 3, 2018. Here’s what you need to know.

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ACSM Certified Group Exercise Instructor (ACSM-GEI) Exam is changing on Dec 3, 2018. Here’s what you need to know.

Francis Neric, MS, MBA |  Aug. 27, 2018


The ACSM-GEI Exam update may affect you - this FAQ explains how and why


• The ACSM-GEI exam will change on December 3, 2018.
• The exam crosswalk document (below) compares the 2010 and 2018 versions of the ACSM-GEI exam.
• The exam content outline (below) provides specific topics you need to know and/or be able to perform.

Why is the exam changing?
The ACSM Committee on Certification and Registry Board (CCRB) performs job task analyses (JTAs) of its exams on a regular basis. JTAs survey currently practicing professionals in what they are expected to know and be able to perform for their job. In addition, the JTA captures important changes in industry and standards of practice.
The role of a Group Exercise Instructor has undergone tremendous change in the past decade. As a result, the ACSM CCRB has revised the ACSM-GEI exam to be consistent with the ever-changing demands of a Group Exercise Instructor.

How do I get started?
STEP 1. A good place to start is to review the exam crosswalk document. The crosswalk provides an overview and side-by-side of exam changes from 2010 to 2018. 

2010-2018 ACSM-GEI crosswalk

STEP 2. Next, you should review the 2018 exam content outline. This document provides a deeper dive into job tasks and specific knowledge and skill statements.

2018 ACSM-GEI Exam Content Outline

FAQ: Do current ACSM-GEIs need to retake their exam?

They do not.

FAQ: What are cognitive levels?
The ACSM CCRB included a new section on the exam content outline called “cognitive level.” The job of a Group Exercise Instructor can range between simple to complicated tasks. Much in the same way, the ACSM-GEI exam is written at different levels. Cognitive level is a way to describe how complex certain job tasks are.

ACSM uses three cognitive levels: recall, application and synthesis.

is remembering certain facts.
Application requires you to understand a process and know what to do with it.
Synthesis requires you to examine a complicated situation and provide an answer based on new information.

You can find sample questions in the Exam Content Outline

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Good luck on the ACSM exam! We look forward to you becoming a part of the ACSM-certified family!

In health,
Francis Neric, MS, MBA
ACSM National Director of Certification