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Steven Wingo 01-19-2015 06:45 PM

Level 3 (CCFT) Test
I posted this is one of the forums with lots of traffic. Over 640 views and zero comments. So I will give it a try here hoping for more luck:

I'm close to satisfying the coaching hours requirement needed to qualify to take the new Level 3--CrossFit Certified Trainer (CCFT) test. This morning I did a search for trainers and see there are not too many out there yet--less than 150 total and quite a large percentage appear to be members of the CrossFit HQ staff.

I've started reviewing the materials CrossFit has provided, which are quite voluminous. Here is a link:


It appears to me this test will be quite difficult based on the volume of material in the handbook, the difficulty of the Level 1 test, and the difficulty of portions of the CrossFit Online Judges' Course (those who take it each year know what I'm talking about--judging movement in real time on video is no joke).

Anyone taken this test yet? What are your perceptions about difficulty level? How long did it take for your to go through the application process before you were cleared to take the test?

I appreciate any info you can provide. I'd like to take the test once I comfortably pass the hours requirement, but am trying to gauge just how much studying I will need to do and whether I might want to go get a few other courses under my belt first (in particular the weightlifting and gymnastics courses which I tend think will be helpful in gaining the level of knowledge necessary to pass the CCFT test).

Chris Aitken 01-27-2015 09:54 AM

Re: Level 3 (CCFT) Test
Quick info about me: I am CFL1, CFL2, CF Kettlebell, & CF Gymnastics cert'd, along with being an ACSM Certified PT. I meet the training hours for the CFL3 (almost for the L4, actually) and am planning to take L3 once I finish the CF Kids cert in Feb.

My opinion:

The CFL3 seems similar in scope to the ACSM test, for which I studied about 6 weeks and passed with a 95%. For the ACSM test, I split the material into a 6 week blocked plan, studied 7 days per week, with new material and review every day. I tested myself on material weekly and reviewed areas where I lacked on Sundays. I also had my wife pimp me on questions from the text, both pre-made tests chapter by chapter as well as pulling stuff out at random to him me with. That helped a lot.

I recommend blocking like this over 6-12 weeks, and schedule your test about that far out. This will motivate you to study, since usually it's not refundable. Flash cards, practice tests, etc. are all very useful. STUDY EVERY DAY, like clockwork, and make it a habit.

Find someone who is interested and talk to them about the material. Teaching someone else is a great way to cement the info in your own mind.

Side Note:

When I talked to the CFL2 staff about the test, they said that about 60% of them failed their first go through of the L3 exam. A big part was not taking the study material seriously and putting in the weeks of prep necessary to really understand it.

Hope that helps!

Steven Wingo 01-28-2015 05:47 PM

Re: Level 3 (CCFT) Test
Thanks for your response Chris. Good luck on the test when you take it. That is interesting info from a Level 2 staff member. I suspect it is a difficult test.

Kevyn Piascik 04-08-2015 06:39 PM

Re: Level 3 (CCFT) Test
About me: I have my CFL1, CrossFit Football, USAW Sports Performance Coach, USAW Advanced Sports Performance Coach, CSCS, and TSAC-F. I have worked as a college strength and conditioning coach (various sports and genders) and football coach for over a decade before getting involved with private athletic training and now own an affiliate in New Jersey.

Chris that is a great recommendation in regards to studying and I took a similar approach to studying for my TSAC-F exam which I took in January of 2015 a few weeks before first sitting for my CFL3, and had similar results (around 95%) in passing my exam. However on my CFL3 exam I scored lower/significantly lower on every domain on the exam. The issue with studying for the CFL3 is that for other certifications the study materials are presented with sample exam questions and a desired end result (ie: a passing score is designated). With the CFL3 exam the the "study materials" are just a collection of CrossFit Journal Articles and Videos with little direction or examples of questions to prepare for. Although I will let you both know that 49% of the test is on coaching. I am not surprised at the low pass rate of people on the exam especially since they give you no actual feed back on the results beyond a simple rubric style response to how you performed on each domain (ie: you scored significantly lower on this section than those who passed this exam; you scored lower on this section than those who passed this exam; I am assuming etc. because this is the only "scores" I received). You are assigned no numerical grade or feed back on specific questions that you answered, and are told that ~85% of people who retake certification exams pass successfully. You then need to wait a mandatory 90 days before you can sit for the exam again.

In regards to the types of questions on the exam there is a tremendous amount of video (Steven I might have responded to your earlier post...I know I responded to someone looking for feedback on the exam, but not sure). For example you are shown 7-10 athletes performing a movement in real time and then asked which athletes are performed the movement the "best":

Athlete 1, 3, 8
Athlete 1 and 2
Athlete 3, 4, 7

The number of choices for most questions varies anywhere between 4 and 12 but the majority are in the 5-7 range making them more open ended than typical 3-4 multiple choices exams. You can play the video clips as many times as you like, and I watched each video several (3+ times) before deciding on an answer as the difference are subtle.

I hope this helps shed a little light on the exam guys.

Steven Wingo 08-22-2015 12:54 PM

Re: Level 3 (CCFT) Test
Any others out there taken the Level 3 test and have some insight on the difficulty and recommendations for preparing for the test?

I'm getting ready to apply and start ramping up my efforts to study the handbook materials (although continuing education is an almost everyday event for me just not necessarily the CCFT handbook itself).

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