EPC Preparation


The ASEP Board of Certification of the American Society of Exercise Physiologists is responsible for preparing the Exercise Physiologist Certified (EPC) examination, overseeing its grading and maintaining the EPC Registry. Candidates preparing to take the examination can be aided by knowing its purpose and general objectives. Information about the areas of academic knowledge, hands-on skills, and abilities tested is also needed to prepare properly. Successful completion of the certification examination is required to practice as a Board-Certified Exercise Physiologist or EPC.


The Exercise Physiologist Certified (EPC) examination is given as often as a qualified candidate is interested in sitting for it. As mentioned earlier, the examination consists of 200 multiple choice questions that use the four-option format. The exam is administered over a four-hour period. The use of multiple choice questions broadens the coverage of the examination. Each multiple choice item consists of a stem, which includes factual data or describes a situation, and four answer-options -- the best answer and three distractors.


The multiple choice questions represent a combination of information taught predominantly in such courses as:

1. Exercise physiology (cardiorespiratory/training): 72 questions (36%)

 2. Cardiac rehabilitation (including ECGs/GXTs/HFAs): 37 questions (18.5%)

 3. Exercise metabolism and regulation: 23 questions (11.5%)

 4. Kinesiology (including neuromuscular): 21 questions (10.5%)

 5. Research: 13 questions (6.5%)

 6. Sports biomechanics: 12 questions (6%)

 7. Environmental exercise physiology: 12 questions (6%)

 8. Sports nutrition: 10 questions (5%)


The textbook entitled “Introduction to Exercise Physiology” is endorsed by the American Society of Exercise Physiologists (ASEP) as "the" study guide for the ASEP's Exercise Physiologist Certified (EPC) exam. For information to purchase the book, go to Jones and Bartlett Learning to place an order for “Introduction to Exercise Physiology” or call 1-800-832-0034.  You might also find it at retail or online book stores/sites.  We urge those interested in becoming board-certified to own a copy of this text to prepare for the exam and as a reference tool for your future practice.

Preparing for the EPC Examination

 Several factors should be considered in preparation for the examination. For example, a candidate:

1. Should have a positive attitude toward the examination. Passing the examination is an attainable goal, but it does require substantial effort.

2. Should be motivated and disciplined to review broadly via self-study and application of core content.

3. Should take the examination as early as possible after becoming eligible.

4. Should determine strengths and weaknesses in the different requirements and study accordingly.

5. Should formulate a rigorous plan of study and review, setting forth time to be spent on each.

6. Should acknowledge that daily short study periods of two or three hours may be more productive than a weekend marathon.

7. Should look to study all areas of the examination and especially the parts with demonstrated inter-relatedness where review for one enhances the preparation for the others.

8. Should read and re-read the major parts of the examination that are typical chapters in exercise physiology, kinesiology, and sports nutrition textbooks.

9. Should not spend excessive review time studying subjects that are considered strengths, but should concentrate on the weakest areas.