In order to become a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, an individual must pass the CSCS exam. This exam was developed by the National Strength and Conditioning Association to identify those individuals who have knowledge in the scientific foundations of strength and conditioning, and the skills to apply that knowledge.
The CSCS exam has two sections. The Scientific Foundations section consists of 80 multiple-choice questions, and must be completed within 1.5 hours. The content areas covered on this portion of the exam are:
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- exercise science (72.5% of the section)
- nutrition (27.5%)
The Practical/Applied section of the exam consists of 110 multiple-choice questions, and must be completed within 2.5 hours. The content areas covered in this portion of the exam are:
- exercise technique (35.5% of the section)
- program design (35.5%)
- organization and administration (9%)
- testing and evaluation (20%).
Forty of the questions in this section of the exam will relate to a video.
Candidates will receive a score report in the mail six to eight weeks after the day of the exam. In order to pass the exam, the candidate must receive a scaled score of 70 on both sections of the exam. Unsuccessful candidates can retake one or both of the sections of the exam as many times as they like. The CSCS exam is administered by an independent testing service.