Become a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCS)

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Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists® (CSCS®) are professionals who apply scientific knowledge to train athletes for the primary goal of improving athletic performance. They conduct sport-specific testing sessions, design and implement safe and effective strength training and conditioning programs and provide guidance regarding nutrition and injury prevention. Recognizing that their area of expertise is separate and distinct, CSCSs consult with and refer athletes to other professionals when appropriate.

Exam Registration and Scheduling

Exams are administered at hundreds of Pearson VUE testing centers worldwide. 

When you have finished studying and are ready to take the exam, you will need to register for the exam online. Within 2-3 business days after registering, you will receive an Authorization to Test email from Pearson VUE with instructions on how to schedule your exam. At that time, you will be able to select the date, time and location you wish to take your exam. Candidates can view exam appointment availability after registering for the exam. To locate the nearest Pearson VUE testing center click the button below.

Locate Testing Centers

Exams must be taken within 120 days of registering.

  • Exam eligibility start and end dates may differ for exam retakes. After registering for an exam, your eligibility dates will be listed on your Authorization to Test email.

For more details on rescheduling exam appointments and the cancellation policy, refer to the NSCA Certification Handbook (PDF).

CSCS Exam Registration Fees 

    Member Rate*     Non-Member Rate 
Registration Fee   $340     $475
Retake Fee for Both Sections   $340     $475
Retake Fee for One Section   $250     $385

* NSCA Members save money when registering for exams. Interested in becoming an NSCA Member? Learn more about membership and how it can benefit you! 

Exam Description and Content

Candidates must pass an exam that will test their knowledge of Scientific Foundations and their Practical/Applied knowledge. Click below to learn more.

More Content Details

Prerequisites

Candidates must have at least a bachelor's degree or currently be enrolled as a college senior and have a current CPR/AED certification. Click below for more information and details on how to submit the required documentation.

Prerequisite Details

Exam Preparation

Since candidates come from wide and varied backgrounds, we offer several different approaches to studying for the CSCS Exam. Click to learn more.

How to Prepare

Exam Study Materials

We offer a variety of study materials to help candidates prepare for the exam. Click below to see available materials.

View Study Materials

Exam Retake Policies

  • Candidates must wait 90 days to retake an exam from the most recent date the exam was taken. The waiting period is industry standard to ensure adequate preparation.
  • Candidates can register online to retake the exam during the 90 day waiting period (please wait 4-5 business days after a failed exam before registering for a retake).
  • There are no limits to the number of times a candidate may attempt an exam.
  • Candidates do not need to resubmit eligibility documentation unless their CPR/AED certification has lapsed.
  • Candidates that failed only one section of the CSCS exam, only need to retake the failed section. However a passing score must be achieved within one-year or both sections will need to be taken again.

Accreditation of NSCA Certifications

The NSCA strongly believes in adhering to industry best practices and established accreditation standards in the administration of its certification programs. The CSCS, NSCA-CPT, and TSAC-F certification programs have earned accreditation by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). The CSCS earned NCCA accreditation in 1993, and was the first nationally accredited strength training and conditioning certification program. In 1996, the NSCA-CPT became the first certified personal trainer program accredited by the NCCA. In 2014, the TSAC-F program was the first of its kind to earn NCCA accreditation. Through the accreditation process, the NSCA has demonstrated that the CSCS, NSCA-CPT, and TSAC-F programs meet or exceed NCCA Standards. The NSCA is currently in the process of earning NCCA accreditation for the CSPS program. For more information about NCCA accreditation please visit:  www.credentialingexcellence.org/NCCA.

RSCC Designation

The NSCA’s Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach® (RSCC) is a designation that signifies that a CSCS certified coach has demonstrated experience and knowledge in their field.

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CSCS Exam Available in 5 Foreign Languages

NSCA certification exams are provided at any authorized Pearson VUE test center in the world. The CSCS and NSCA-CPT exams are available in Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish

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