NSCA-CPT Exam Study Materials

The NSCA-CPT® examination is based upon the critical knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA’s) needed to safely and effectively work as a personal trainer. These KSA’s are developed following a job analysis and are used to create the NSCA-CPT Detailed Content Outline (DCO). Therefore, the materials developed by the NSCA serve as the primary resources for preparation but they should not be considered as the sole sources for the exam.

NSCA Official Resources

NSCA-CPT Exam Content Description

This booklet provides candidates a description of the role and scope of practice for the personal trainer and the most current DCO (2014) upon which the exam is based. Also included is a basic explanation of the NSCA-CPT exam, instructions on how to read and understand the DCO, self-assessment questions, and a list of additional references.

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Essentials of Personal Training, 2nd Edition Textbook

This is the essential text for those seeking to become personal trainers. This comprehensive resource, created by 30 expert contributors in the field, explains the key theories, concepts, and scientific principles of personal training.

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Exercise Technique Manual for Resistance Training, 3rd Edition

The Exercise Technique Manual is a practical resource for current and aspiring strength and conditioning professionals and personal trainers. This full-color reference explains 70 resistance training exercises with step-by-step instructions, photos, and online video demonstrations.

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The NSCA-CPT Online Practice Questions

Domain-specific practice questions are available to help candidates become familiar with the type, scope, and difficulty of the questions on the NSCA-CPT Certification exam. The questions assist in developing a better understanding of the content and help to assess a candidate’s relative strengths and weaknesses. Questions can be purchased by individual domains, section bundles, or as a complete bundle.

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NSCA-CPT Essential Package

The NSCA-CPT Essential Package contains the most common exam prep material used by candidates who have a background in the field to study for the exam. Visit the NSCA Store for more details of what is included in the package.

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NSCA-CPT Essential Plus Package

This study package contains the most common exam prep material used by candidates, plus the online study course and additional resource for exercise technique. This package is ideal for a candidate who is new to the field, does NOT have a background in the field, or just wants all of the study materials NSCA provides.

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NSCA-CPT Exam Prep Live Clinic

The NSCA-CPT exam is challenging and to support all candidates, the NSCA offers Live Exam Prep Clinics across the country. These clinics are designed to help candidates understand what is included on the exam, to improve candidates understanding of the most relevant content as it pertains to the exam, and to provide candidates the opportunity to interact and question industry experts. Your time is valuable; spend it efficiently by gaining focus and understanding!

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NSCA-CPT Study Material Comparison Chart 

The resources identified are those recommended by the NSCA for preparation but are not a comprehensive list of all available materials. NSCA official materials can be purchased individually or within packages. The Essential Package provides the most relevant study materials for exam preparation and is best recommended for those with a background in exercise science. The Essential Plus package is recommended for those who do not have a background in personal training or exercise science.

NSCA Membership can help you save on exam preparation materials and as well as $135 on the exam registration fee.

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NSCA-CPT Study Material Comparison 
A La Carte 
Essential Package 
Essential Plus Package 
NSCA-CPT Content Description Booklet 
$27.00 
$287.10
 
 
$506.70
     
Essentials of Personal Training 
$109.00 
NSCA-CPT Complete Online Question Bundle 
$164.70 
Exercise Technique Manual  
$84.00 
Not Included 
Online Study Course (Not sold individually) $269 combined price 
$160.00* 
Not Included 
TOTAL 
$544.70 
$287.10 
Member Savings** 
Save $57.30
Save $50.40
Save $55.80

Additional NSCA Resources

NSCA-CPTOnline Study Course  

This self-paced course is recommended for those candidates who do not have an exercise science-related degree. The course content reflects the weighting and scope of the NSCA-CPT exam and is supplemented by content from the Essentials of Personal TrainingFeaturing over 160 interactive learning activities, this online study course assists candidates in the studying process. 

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Other Resources

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