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Cooper Institute Certified Personal Trainer (CI-CPT)

CI-CPT logo

For fitness professionals who want to enhance the lives of healthy and medically-cleared persons by:

  • Conducting basic fitness assessments
  • Creating and leading effective exercise programs with the goal of improving and maintaining the health-related benefits of physical activity
  • Supporting and motivating clients to begin and to continue with healthy physical activity behaviors

Quick Facts:

For complete information be sure to read the CI-CPT Candidate Guide

Eligibility: 18 years of age
Current adult CPR certification with hands-on training (online CPR not accepted)
*International CPR is accepted from a recommended CPR provider in the country your exam is administered. See the CI-CPT Candidate Guide (956 KB pdf) for more details.

Exam Information:

Questions cover four content areas from a national Personal Trainer job analysis:

  • Screening and Assessment (21%)
  • Goal Setting and Programming (21%)
  • Exercise Science (49%)
  • Professional Responsibilities (9%)

Computer-based testing:

125 four-option multiple choice questions (100 scored, 25 nonscored*)
*Nonscored items are being pretested and are not included in the candidates score.
Passing score is 65/100 (65%) correct responses
2.5 hour exam session
Nationally accredited


Cost: $350
$195 retest
(Contact CI certification department at 972.341.3200 for a discount voucher before scheduling a retest with Pearson VUE.)

Suggested Resources:

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a question below to view the answer.

No. You must register at least 24 hours before an exam date. Exam dates and times depend on availability.

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Current adult CPR certification with hands-on training (online CPR not accepted)
    *International CPR is accepted from a recommended CPR provider in the country your exam is administered. See the CI-CPT Candidate Guide (956 KB pdf) for more details.

Yes. Contact Pearson VUE at least one business day before your exam appointment. Exam fees are not refunded for no-shows or for cancellations/transfers with less than 24 hours notice.

Accepted forms of adult CPR certification must include a hands-on training component, such as American Heart Association or Red Cross. Online, correspondence, and abbreviated certification courses are not accepted. If your CPR instructor has not issued your certification card, you may use a copy of the course roster. The course roster must show the name of the course, your first and last name, that you successfully completed the course, the instructor’s name, the date and location of the course, and the certification expiration date.

You will not be allowed to take the exam. Your exam fee will not be refunded.

Pearson VUE provides all items needed to take the exam.

Personal items are not allowed in the exam room.

The exam is 125 four-option multiple choice questions (100 scored, 25 nonscored*). *Nonscored items are being pretested and are not included in the candidates score.

  • Screening and Assessment (21%)
  • Goal Setting and Programming (21%)
  • Exercise Science (49%)
  • Professional Responsibilities (9%)

You should be ready to apply knowledge from all content areas to job-related situations. Readiness to take the exam can only be decided by the candidate.

You are allowed 125 minutes. The exam appointment session is 2.5 hours.

65 correct responses out of 100 questions, or 65%. The cut score has been validated using generally accepted psychometric principles.

Initial results are available at the test site when you complete the test. Official results will be mailed from The Cooper Institute two weeks after your exam date.

Yes. If you are successful on the exam and earn the certification, you may use the initials “CI-CPT” after your name. You also may request to use the Cooper Certified™ identity mark.

The CI-CPT certification is valid for three years as long as you remain in good standing with The Cooper Institute Certification Board (CICB). A certification can be revoked by the Certification Board if a formal investigation shows just cause. Certifications that are kept in good standing are eligible for certification renewal every three years.

The Certified Personal Trainer (CI-CPT) Candidate Guide provides the reasons an exam score can be appealed and the appeal process.

The Cooper Institute’s certification department can verify a CI-CPT credential status at 972.341.3200.

Everyone comes to this career with different fitness backgrounds. Go to The Cooper Institute’s website to view resources that best meet your needs. Please remember exam questions include the application of knowledge and skills required to perform the job of Personal Trainer.

Yes! 50 question practice tests have questions from all four content areas. Practice test questions were developed in the same way as the items on the CI-CPT exam, but are not exam questions. Results of the practice test can help you identify areas that need further study but should not be used to predict performance on the certification exam.

Yes, after you receive the official results from The Cooper Institute you may schedule a retest with Pearson VUE for a discounted price.

Candidates may retake the certification at any time, subject to availability at the testing centers. Candidates are encouraged to prepare for a retest. The preparation time for a retest varies with each candidate.

Some factors to consider when preparing for a retest:

  • What is my plan for preparing for a retest?
  • Which areas need improvement?
  • How much time can I dedicate to my studies?
  • When are exam appointments available?

Special accommodation requests must be approved by The Cooper Institute before you can schedule your exam through Pearson VUE. Call the certification department at 972-341-3200, and allow at least 5 business days to process a request.

Last updated 2017-06-06