CSCS Exam Study Materials

The NSCA has developed several optional preparatory materials for individuals preparing for the CSCS exam. However, the NSCA does not require, provide, or endorse any specific study guides, preparation materials, or review courses. Candidates who choose to use and/or purchase NSCA preparatory materials are not guaranteed a passing score on certification exams offered by the NSCA.

  • CSCS Study Guide | This guide will provide a better understanding of the exam, exam development, exam format, method of scoring, and best recommendations for studying.
  • CSCS Quizzes and Practice Tests | Individual domain quizzes and a full-length practice test provide candidates exposure to the content being assessed as well as the type and difficulty of questions found on the exam. You can purchase the Scientific Foundations and Practical/Applied sections together or separately.    
  • Exercise Technique Manual, 4ed | This book includes links to online videos demonstrating the performance of a variety of free weight and machine exercises.
  • Essentials of Strength Training, 4ed | A great resource for students and practicing strength and conditioning professionals. This comprehensive resource explains the key theories, concepts, and scientific principles of strength training and conditioning as well as their direct application to athletic competition and performance.
    • Individuals can select to bundle the text with the Human Kinetics Online study course that provides a guided reading plan.

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

Additional NSCA Resources

The following are additional resources that can aid in both exam and professional preparation depending upon your educational background and practical experience.

CSCS Exam Prep Live

The NSCA Exam Prep Live Clinic provides exam candidates with study recommendations and a comprehensive review of the most challenging content found on the exam. These clinics can help you narrow your focus of study. Your time is valuable; spend it efficiently by attending a clinic with subject matter experts!

*Exam Prep instructors do not have inside knowledge of the exam, their courses are based off of the publicly-available detailed content outline (DCO). Instructors use their classroom and industry expertise to provide a comprehensive review of the DCO. 

Attend a Clinic

NSCA's "Guide To" Series - Tests and Assessments; Program Design; Sport and Exercise Nutrition 

These comprehensive texts offer candidates and strength and conditioning professionals more extensive information on the topics as identified. Readers are provided guidelines for converting scientific research into practical application. Books can be purchased individually or as a bundle. 

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NSCA's Sports Performance Series  

The NSCA, in collaboration with top subject matter experts, has developed a series of books designed to provide strength and conditioning coaches research-based recommendations, assessments, analysis, exercises and drills, and programming for a variety of performance factors. The Core; Endurance; Speed; Agility and Quickness; Power. 

Learn More

Other Resources

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