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Notice: The NSCA website is scheduled to undergo system maintenance from 2:00 AM - 2:30 AM EST. During this time, there may be short service interruptions across the site and some parts of  the site may not be accessible. We apologize for any inconvenience while we work to improve the website experience and security.

How to PRepare for the CPSS EXAM

One of the most common questions received is, "How do I prepare for the CPSS™ exam?" Preparing for any NSCA certification exams begins with a plan that includes study materials. The steps below give guidance on how to prepare with confidence.

STEP 1 | Planning

STEP 2 | Get Your Study Materials

Start with the CPSS Textbook

NSCA's Essentials of Sport Science delivers a holistic overview of the knowledge and skills required to support athlete and team performance as a modern-day sport scientist. ​

Learn More
Additional Resources to Consider

Biomechanics of Sport and Exercise, 4th Edition
by Peter McGinnis

Research Methods in Physical Activity, 7th Edition
by Jerry Thomas, Jack Nelson, and Stephen Silverman

Performance Assessment in Strength and Conditioning 
by Paul Comfort, Paul A. Jones, and John J. McMahon

Statistics in Kinesiology, 5th Edition
by Joseph Weir and William Vincent

 

The above resources are valuable tools to help you prepare for the CPSS exam. The CPSS Study Guide (coming soon) and Practice Question Bundle (coming soon) are based on the CPSS Job Task Analysis and Detailed Content Outline. These materials have been put together by a group of educators and experts from across the field to help you better understand exam content, how to focus your preparation, and assess your current knowledge.

**The NSCA does not require or endorse any specific study guides, preparation materials, or review courses. Candidates who choose to use or purchase NSCA preparatory materials are not guaranteed a passing score on certification exams offered by the NSCA.**

STEP 3 | STUDY

  • Read and understand the CPSS Exam Description and Exam Outline.

  • Review the CPSS Application and Registration Process to be prepared when you are ready to sit for the exam. 

  • Review the recommended study materials and identify your level of comprehension for each domain, and across each overlapping concept.

  • Develop a consistent study schedule, with an emphasis on your weaker topics, but covering all topics.

  • Use the online practice questions (coming soon) to identify areas of weakness and assess your knowledge.

  • Seek additional topic-specific webinars, articles, and references to further address areas of weakness and increase your breadth of understanding. NSCA.tv is a great place to find cutting-edge sport science content!

  • Keep in mind that the CPSS exam assesses your ability to apply the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to be a practicing sport science professional. Don't rely on simple memorization or recall of content. Study in a way that enables you to apply your knowledge to various situations. 

STEP 4 | Apply for the Exam

An application process is required prior to registering for the exam. You must submit all required documentation to be reviewed, along with a $25 application fee. The review process may take up to 30 days. If your application is approved, you will receive instructions on how to register for the exam.

How to Apply

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