Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator Exam Description

The Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator® (TSAC-F®) exam is comprised of 130 scored and 20 non-scored* multiple-choice questions that tests candidate's knowledge, skill, and ability in the following domains:

1. Exercise Sciences 
2. Nutrition 
3. Exercise Technique 
4. Program Design 
5. Organization and Administration 
6. Testing, Assessment, and Evaluation 
7. Wellness Intervention

To pass any NSCA certification exam, you must earn a scaled score of 70 or higher. More information on scaled scores can be found on the exam scoring page.

In 2022, 85% of candidates passed the TSAC-F exam.


TSAC-F Detailed Content Outline (PDF)

Changes to the TSAC-F Exam in 2024

Important updates were made to the TSAC-F Exam in early 2024. Review these changes for accurate preparation.

See DCO Changes


Domain Percent of Exam Number of Questions
Exercise Science 18% 24
Nutrition 12% 15
Exercise Technique 19% 25
Program Design 23% 30
Organization and Administration 8% 10
Testing, Assessment, and Evaluation 11% 14
Wellness Intervention 9% 12
Non-scored Questions*      - 20
Total 100% 150
Length of exam   3 hours

Exercise Sciences
Anatomy and physiology (muscular, bone and connective tissue, and cardiopulmonary); Neuromuscular anatomy and physiology; Biomechanics; Bioenergetics and metabolism; Physiological adaptations; Detraining and retraining; Environmental concerns; Endocrine responses.

Nutritional factors affecting health and performance; Nutritional strategies; Altered eating habits and disorders; Common dietary supplements.

Exercise Technique
Teach safe techniques; Dynamic warm-ups; Resistance training techniques (free weights, resistance machines, alternative implements); Plyometric exercise techniques; Speed/sprint techniques; Agility techniques; Aerobic endurance techniques; Flexibility techniques.

Program Design
Needs analysis; Circumstantial/lifestyle factors; Current health, fitness, and performance status; Design training programs; Incorporate mental skills.

Organization and Administration
Design and organize; Policies and procedures; Safe training environment; Professional and legal responsibilities.

Testing, Assessment, and Evaluation
Administer tests; Evaluate results.

Wellness Intervention
Advantages of various types of physical training; Risks and outcomes of inappropriate training; Mitigate risk factors; Common ergogenic aids; Lifestyle and occupation affects on health, wellness, and performance.

The information above is only a summary of the information on the exam. The detailed content outline is available in the NSCA Certification Handbook (PDF).

Explanation of Non-Scored Exam Questions

The TSAC-F exam contains non-scored questions that are being evaluated for future use. Including this type of question allows the TSAC-F Exam Development Committee to collect meaningful information about new questions that may appear as real scored questions on future exams.

Pretesting is accomplished by interspersing new ("untried") questions throughout the exam (20 nonscored questions appear in the TSAC-F exam). Only this small number is included so that additional testing time will not be needed by exam candidates. These questions are not scored as part of a candidate’s certification exam, and they do not affect an individual’s pass/fail status. The non-scored questions are scattered throughout the exam so candidates will answer them with the same effort that they give to the actual scored questions.

To keep the TSAC-F exam reflective of current job-related duties, new questions must continuously be introduced and evaluated. Pretesting is an accepted testing practice that creates a statistically sound standardized exam and allows candidates to receive scores that are based only on previously used (“tried”) questions.

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