How to Take the PES Certification Exam


If you're currently working as a personal trainer, you may want to take the next step in your career and become a Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES). Offered by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), the PES is the highest-level advanced qualification in the industry. If you don't currently possess a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) certification or hold a four-year degree in certain science or business-related fields, you can still petition the NASM to take the PES exam.

Things You'll Need

  • Completed PES petition form
  • College transcript
  • Determine if you prequalify to take the PES exam. In order to do so, you must already hold a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) certification or an international REPS certification at level 3 or higher (if you're not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident) or a four-year degree in any of the following disciplines: athletic training, biology, biomechanics, chiropractic, community health, ergonomics, exercise physiology, exercise science, health science, human movement science, kinesiology, nutrition, physical education, physical therapy or sport science.

  • Register for the exam online at if you meet any of the above qualifications. Point your browser to the link listed under "References," click the option that most closely matches your qualification, then click "Continue." Verify your order, click "Checkout," then enter your first and last name, your email address and select a username and password in the fields under the "New User" pane. Click "Create New," then select an exam time and location, enter your payment information to pay the fee -- $579.00, as of January 2011-- and hit "Purchase" to complete the purchase of your exam.

  • Download and print a PES Petition Form if you wish to take the exam but lack the qualifications the NASM generally requires. Point your browser to the link listed under "Resources" to access the form. Fill out the form completely, inputting your name and contact information, as well as your educational history, any other certifications you currently possess and information on your current employment situation, including the name and phone number of your direct supervisor.

  • Mail your completed form -- along with a college transcript, if you're using an academic degree as a means of establishing your qualification to take the exam -- to the following address:

    7500 W. 160th St.
    Stilwell, KS 66085

    The NASM will contact you with a decision once it has decided if you can take the examination.

  • Attend your NASM-designated testing center on the day of the exam, should you be approved to take it.

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