Frequently Asked Questions

A: Your Personal Trainer Certification CFT package should include the following:

  • Fitness: The Complete Guide (the largest book in the package; 727 pages)
  • CFT Workbook and Study Guide
  • Fiscal Fitness
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • "How to Complete your Course" information packet
  • Section Quizzes
  • Practice Examination
  • Dr. Arria's welcome letter
  • Selected reminders and promotional material

A: The "How to Complete your Course" information packet contains step-by-step review and preparation information for each of the three available testing options: Home Study Examination, Online Examination and Seminar Examination. Review the packet for study options and testing procedures.

A: The Practice Examination is not required, but it is highly recommended.

A: The Workbook and Study Guide provides assistance in the retention of the course material. You are not required to submit the workbook in for grading. However, experience has shown that individuals who faithfully use the Workbook and Study Guide achieve greater understanding of the course materials than those who do not use a workbook. ISSA recommends that you actively use the Workbook and Study Guide to prepare for the fitness course examination.


  • Submission of all course quizzes
  • A score of 75% or better on all sections of the final examination
  • Proof of current Adult CPR/AED/First Aid
  • All fees paid in full
  • International Students: If AED training is not available in your country, you must file an AED Exemption with Student Services. Please call 1-805-745-8111 and be prepared to provide documentation of the absence of training opportunities.

A: Yes; you must submit all course quizzes as part of your completion requirements.

A: Yes! Online testing, for both quizzes and final exams, is the preferred testing method. Online testing saves you the hassle of organizing and photocopying your answer sheets, saves you from a trip to the post office, saves you postage for registered mail, and keeps track of your submissions in your Member Account. What's more, online testing produces a much faster turn-around time for grading!

A: When you complete all of your course quizzes, you will be able to access and begin your final examination.

A: No; quiz scores do not affect your final examination score.

A: You may submit any number of quizzes at a time (a single quiz or a group of quizzes), but you must submit the quizzes in order. If you take the quizzes online, your Member Account will track your quizzes for you.

A: We highly recommend that you take your quizzes online at Not only will you avoid the hassle of photocopies, registered mail, and a trip to the post office, you will receive immediate feedback on your performance. In addition, your Member Account will track all of your quizzes for you.

A: Submission of all of your course quizzes indicates that you have studied all of the course material and have enough background information to begin your final exam.

A: Yes; submission of all quizzes is a requirement for course completion. You may submit the remaining quizzes separately or you may submit them at the same time as your final exam.

A: Yes. You may submit your quizzes entirely online, entirely by mail, or by using a combination of both.

A: Our server tracks and documents all of your quiz attempts and scores. This information is tied to your personal Member Account.

A: You may take the quizzes as many times as necessary, but we highly recommend that you do so online. If you request additional answer sheets to submit repeated quiz answers by mail, you will be required to pay an administration fee plus shipping and handling costs. Retaking quizzes online is free of charge.

A: Yes; as an enrolled student you are free to use all of the available resources at your discretion. If you would like to take your quizzes online but mail in your final examination, feel free to do so. However, taking your final examination online will reduce the hassle of organizing and photocopying your examination, and save you a trip to the post office and money for registered postage. Also, you'll get your results much faster!

A: You have three testing options and are at liberty to select whichever version best suits your learning and testing style. The examinations are not without difficulty. Remember, if becoming a professional in any field were without challenge, the profession's credibility would be questioned. Also, communication skills are essential to being a successful CFT. We have seen countless trainers who were quite experienced but lacked the communication skills necessary to succeed financially and professionally. Being able to express yourself verbally and in writing is imperative to your success. Don't forget: Our Educational Support Team is here to help! Please contact our Educational Support Team with any questions. Any student caught soliciting another person to take an exam will be immediately dismissed from the ISSA.

A: Yes! The home study and online examinations are identical, but there are distinct advantages to submitting your examination online:

  1. You do not have to print, organize, or photocopy your work for your records
  2. You do not have to make sure your name is on every page of your examination; our server tracks your submissions for you
  3. You save yourself a trip to the post office
  4. You save on postage for registered mail (and overnight postage if you are in a time crunch)
  5. You don't have to worry about your exam being lost en route or wonder when your exam was received
  6. Your examination is logged into our grading center the moment you press "submit"
  7. The Educational Support team will receive your examination on weekends as well as weekdays, leading to a quicker turn-around time

We strongly recommend online testing for all students, especially those with potential job offers or time-sensitive pay increases.

A: Yes! While all three final examination options accurately gauge and assess your readiness to enter the market as certified fitness professionals, the benefits to attending and testing at a seminar include:

  1. Instruction, insight, and advice from top trainers, already successful in the fitness industry
  2. A multi-sensory approach to learning (seeing, hearing, doing) to reinforce your distance-learning efforts
  3. Practical, hands-on experience with specific exercises in the gym, including proper form and safety considerations
  4. A proctored (monitored) examination--some employers require that you take a proctored exam
  5. Networking with fellow trainers and potential employers in your area

A: If you take your examination online, our secure server will organize and track your examination for you. Exams submitted by mail must be stapled or bound in a manner that keeps the coursework and examination organized. All final examinations should be typed, not handwritten. Students must be sure to include their name on every page of their exam. We do not allow plastic page dividers, sheet protectors or binders of any kind.

A: Home Study/Online Examinations: If you fail any portion of your Home Study/Online Examination, you will be offered the opportunity to resubmit that portion of the examination, free of charge. (This is known as your second attempt at the examination.) Each retest beyond the second attempt (e.g., third attempt, fourth attempt, etc.) will incur a $50 administrative fee.

Each retest beyond the second attempt (e.g., third attempt, fourth attempt, etc.) will incur a $50 administrative fee. This administrative fee is in addition to seminar fees, if applicable (i.e., if you choose to retest for the third, fourth, fifth time, etc. at another seminar, you will be subject to both the $50 administrative fee and the $149 seminar fee).

A: If you do not finish within 4 months, your student account will become inactive. If you fail to complete the program requirements within 4 months, you may request a 2-month extension, free of charge. If you fail to complete the requirements during your first extension period, you may request a final 2-month extension for a non-refundable fee of $99. Completion of the program beyond the final extension period requires re-enrollment.