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« Sara's AFAA Study Session | Main | Pumpkin Pie Muffins + Friendly Farmers Market »

September 12, 2009


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Michelle @ A Shade of Gray

Congrats on surviving! Wow! That seemed like a lot - I had no idea it was so involved. I am sure you did just great and will be getting that certification in the mail Halloween :-)

Thanks for sharing your experience. I know this post will be so helpful for others out there thinking of or in the process of getting certified. Have a great RELAXING rest-of-the-week! (you deserve it!)


Great post!! SOunds about right!!! study people!! do the study guide and you should be fine! i think. I'll let you know more once I get my results!

Tammy (Norman's Woman)

I was at the AFAA certification in Charlotte on Friday too! Woo-hoo! I'm sure you did great :)


Can't wait to hear how you did. Just took the it in VA. Thanks for your comments it helps.


How long did it take to receive your results? I took my test September 26 and still have no results! Each day I am anxious to see if it's in my news!!


I'm taking AFAA primary group cert. in December and now I'm nervous haha! (I'm also a zumba instructor!) How did you end up doing? You answered a lot of questions i had, thanks for the post! I'm going to go study some more now haha!

D Marsteller

I studied and studied that study workbook and practice test. I found too that many of the questions on the exam weren't in the study manual. I thought it was one of the longest days of my life! I did pass and that was 2 years ago. I sent in my recertification last week. It was a good feeling when the certification came in the mail saying I had only missed 10. Yeah!!! Study and I feel any diligent person will pass the test. Debra

Tia Mi

Thank yoy so Much!


Finally got my results back. I am now a certified group fitness instructor!!!!


Thank you for the tips and post your experience. I am scheduled for APEX in NYC Feb 14 (Happy Valentine's Day, LOL) - very nervous and extra anxious over the practical. *DEEP BREATH*

Maria Z

I am in for the APEX in February too!!! Thank you for all the useful information!
I am still very nervous about the certification, but your recommendations help me a lot! Thanks again :)


This was a great summary. I took the same AFAA exam last Friday and have no idea how I did in the practical. I was the only male in a group of about 50. One lady said that she admired me for having the guts to go through with it. I never did so many push-ups in one day, so I did an aerobics routine for my individual. I'm glad I went through with it, felt I learned something, and hope they will be kind in grading a 52-year-old guy.


Hello!! I'm taking the AFAA primary cert in March. I took the written exam before and failed even though i used the study manual to study. I think it was hard! But, I never had the pre-exam book to study from.
Do you guys know if the pre-exam book helps??
Is it worth using to study or am I wasting my time with it?? thanx!

Curvy Diva

Thanks for your article it really helped me pass! Thanks for sharing. ;)


Your hints were pretty useful. My cert class only had 12 people so it was a bit different. My suggestions: Complete the entire study guide and read it cover to cover every day. It's only 30 pages or so, but it helps. Also, commit 3 Hi/Lo moves and a transition move to memory, then repeat like crazy. They are only looking for 3 movements and how to intensify them. Just make sure you can maintain good form because that is key. Last, call AFAA before the test day and get clarifications. They encourage simplicity, while we instructors try to make everything so hard.


What kind of cardio do they want in our individual presentations? I am taking the test this saturday and panicking. I am not at all sure what they expect. If anyone can give me some tips and make me feel better I would really appreciate it!

Diana @ The Chic Life

Hey Sam,

Most people in my group did push ups or sit ups. You want to do
something that you can easily show at 3 different levels and something
you can give good verbal cues for on form, safety (i.e. don't
overextend your knees on a squat, etc).

A handful of people did cardio presentations. I showed a merengue and there was another girl did that, too.

Good luck!


Thank you SO much for posting this. I'm taking my AFAA Primary Certification exam next Saturday and I've been absolutely freaking out about it and cramming as much studying as I can in the last couple weeks. This has really helped me calm down a little about it.

Diana @ The Chic Life

Hey Amanda! You're very welcome! Glad to help! Good luck! :) Diana


Hi there! I found your blog through searching for tips and this was very helpful (thanks for sharing!). I'm currently a student and was planning to take the test in September but may be postponing it until the next APEX opportunity in February to allow time to study. I have never taught an exercise or aerobics class but thought this would be a good cert to obtain for future use. Do you know if experience is mandatory to take the test?

Cheryl Woodhouse

Hello, I took the test Feb 2010 at Fort jackson, South Carolina as well and I passed the practical, but not the written. I missed a lot of the naming of the muscles. Written, I didn't do bad, but I am down to one week before my test, need some advice on what area's of the book to focus more on. I also heard AFAA recognized that the test was too hard, so they changed the test and you can now get 25 wrong, BUT, I called and was told I will take the same exact test with the same maximum amount of 20 wrong, bummer. The book is the hardest part to study, too much reading and too many area's. Advice pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

Diana @ The Chic Life

Hi Cheryl!

I recommend filling out the study guide completely. Most importantly, while you fill out the study guide, really read the sections that are related to the question in the study guide. I think a lot of the questions came from content that wasn't part of the answer to study guide questions, but was related instead.

Maybe make flash cards, too for some of the obvious things.

Good luck!

:) Diana

Krista Riddley


What a great resource! Thank you.
I signed up for APEX in Feb. but was unable to go. There is an APEX next month but the book and study guide have changed now (since June 30 apparently) I hesitate to spend another $100 given that I have the previous books. Does any one know how different they are? I'm just wondering if I can get away with using the old books. I have a personal training cert so have background on the muscle groups etc. What will be harder for me is the practical I think. Thanks.


To everyone...
Thanks so much for the great info! I am scheduled to take my test on sept 18th. I have been studying 1-2hrs a day for the last week and have another 3 1/2 wks to go but still feel very nervous! Wish me luck!

Annette Daly

Hello. Your posts and comments are very helpful. I have not yet signed up to get the group certfication with AAFA yet. I have looked at the ACE program online too. ACE recommends that you prepare at least 3 months for the exam. Can you tell me how long you prepared studied for the exam?

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