Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator® Exam Description
  • Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator® Exam Description
    To become a Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator® (TSAC-F®), candidates must sit for an exam that will test their knowledge in five areas: Exercise Science; Nutrition; Exercise Technique; Program Design; and Organization, Administration, Testing, and Evaluation. Exams are hosted in testing centers around the world. Read on to learn more about how the TSAC-F® exam is structured.
  • Description

    To earn the TSAC-F® certification, candidates are required to pass a challenging examination that includes five exam domains:

    The examination contains 130 scored and 20 non-scored* multiple-choice questions. 

    The pass rate was 92% for candidates attempting the exam for the first time in 2017.


    Domain Percent of Exam Number of Questions
    Exercise Sciences 20% 26
    Nutrition 10% 13
    Exercise Technique 20% 26
    Program Design 35% 46
    Organization, Administration, Testing, Evaluation 15% 19
    Non-scored Questions*      - 20
    Total 100% 150
    Length of exam   3 hours

    Exercise Sciences
    Anatomy and physiology (muscular, neuromuscular, bone and connective tissue, cardiopulmonary); Biomechanics, Bioenergetics and metabolism; Physiological adaptations; Detraining and retraining; Anatomical, physiological, and biomechanical differences of tactical athletes; Phases of rehab; Environmental concerns.

    Nutritional factors affecting health and performance; Strategies for optimizing body composition and maximizing physical performance and recovery; Signs, symptoms, behaviors, and performance variations associated with obesity, and altered eating habits and disorders; Effects, risks, and alternatives of common performance-enhancing substances, supplements, and methods of use.

    Exercise Technique
    Warming up; Resistance training; Alternative modes; Plyometric exercise; Speed/sprint technique; Agility technique; Flexibility technique.

    Program Design
    Programs that maximize performance, reduce injury risk, and increase long-term wellness; Programs for an injured trainee; Population specific considerations.

    Organization, Administration, Testing, Evaluation
    Design, layout, and organization; Duties and responsibilities; Policies and procedures; Safe training environment; Selecting and administering tests; Testing protocols and procedures; Evaluate and interpret test results.

    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.