CSCS Exam Content

Posted by on Jan 3, 2013 in Exam Preparation, FAQs | 0 comments

Before I even start studying for an exam, I like to take a broad look at what kind of topics will be covered and if possible, try and get an idea of what questions will be asked.  Knowing these two things will help when studying, as I will know what to look for.

First place to start is the NSCA website, which has some great resources to get the ball rolling.  Know that the CSCS Exam is split into two sections:

  • Scientific Foundations (1.5 hours / 90 questions)
  • Practical / Applied (2.5 hours / 110 questions)

If we analyze all four hours of testing, the questions per topic break down like this:

  • Scientific Foundations
    • Exercise Science – 57 questions
    • Nutrition – 23 questions
  • Practical / Applied
    • Exercise Technique – 30 questions
    • Program Design – 40 questions
    • Organization and Administration – 40 questions
    • Testing and Evaluation – 11 questions

For a total of 201 questions.  In order of greatest exam content to least, and assuming you know nothing (big assumption), you should prioritize your study time in the following order by topic:

  1. Exercise Science (28%): Anatomy, bioenergetics, exercise physiology, biomechanics, acute and chronic adaptations to anaerobic and aerobic exercise, etc.
  2. Program Design (20%): Anaerobic and aerobic training programs based upon an athlete’s sport, strength and conditioning levels and training goals
  3. Organization and Administration (20%): Policies and procedures, staffing, layout and safety guidelines of a strength and conditioning facility
  4. Exercise Technique (15%):  Correct flexibility, conditioning, plyometric and resistance training exercise techniques
  5. Nutrition (~11%):  Factors affecting health and sport performance.
  6. Testing and Evaluation (~5%):Proper performance test selection, administration and evaluation of results based on the athlete’s sport, strength and conditioning levels and training goals

However, assuming you know nothing and going about studying would be foolish…as there are no doubt questions you already know the answer to because you already have an interest in exercise science & fitness.

In my next post, I will detail my strategy for evaluating knowledge gaps so that I can efficiently spend time studying.

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