4 Key Things to Prepare for Exam Day (Plus Bonus Book Topic!)

Posted by on Jan 23, 2014 in Exam Preparation, Study Strategy | 7 comments

1. Do, and redo all 3 practice exams
2. Challenge yourself with every review question in the book
3. Know your anatomy & biomechanics
4. Know your energy systems (phosphagen, glycolysis, fast glycolysis, oxidative, lactic acid)

Bonus Topic (Book Sneak Peak!)
Know your testing and evaluation statistics!

A huge part of the second half of the exam (the practical/applied section) is knowing how to spot an athlete’s weakness based on stats. The questions will usually rattle off 3-5 stats about an athlete, some in the paragraph mid-sentence and some summarized in list form.

You know what stats I’m talking about? They look like this in the book:


And there are a couple dozen of these tables in the book, how can you expect to memorize all of them? Well, you could use some mnemonic techniques and spend a lot of time and get every table down nearly perfect…but a far more efficient technique is to simply memorize the average value.

See if you look at the above table in the book, they also list some numbers that describe the statistics they used to come up with this table.

Those numbers are the mean, the standard deviation, and n – the number of sample subjects measured.
See most statistical processes follow a pattern, and in the case of the above table that pattern would look something like this.


The mean describes where the center is, and the standard deviation describes how packed together the samples are.

Notice that the mean, and the 50th percentile don’t always match up perfectly…this is normal and nothing to worry about. For the purposes of the CSCS exam, just pick a value that is close and easy to remember. In the case of 1RM squat for high school football players age 16-18, I would tell myself:

“Average squat for 16-18 year old High School football players is about 350lbs”

Put that on a notecard, practice it, and get a feel for it. Think about it in relation to your own squat, do anything that helps you remember it.

So the take away message here is: Don’t memorize the whole table, just a number near the 50th percentile mark. Then when the question comes, identify which stat falls way below the 50th percentile mark and that is the athletes weakness and should point you to the answer.


  1. Do you have to remember all of the ages for the testing and statistics and evaluation.

    • Hey Alvin,
      You don’t have to remember them all exactly as they are in the tables – but you should at least have a good feeling of what they are. Memorizing the mean values from all the tables, or at least attempting to – really isn’t that many values (25 at most?) and while you won’t remember them exactly come exam day – having a general idea is all you really need in order to answer the questions correctly. Usually one value will be obviously off.

      • Ok. I just didn’t know if I had to know the values for the older population. Or you only have to know the college age athletes.

      • I am sorry. My question is, are their a lot of questions about the older population. Like 30 to 65

        • Alvin – there could be on the exam. Every exam is different. Just make notecards with the average (50th percentile) value of every table and be going over those in the days leading up to the exam and you’ll be fine.

          • Great thanks so much! You were a great help. I am going to purchase your book today.

          • No problem Alvin – I love helping out my readers. Always feel free to ask me questions =)


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