Practice exams are an excellent way to prepare for the NSCA CSCS certification exam. These can be taken before studying and at various checkpoints during the process to see how you are progressing and if you are prepared.
While no practice questions guarantee success, they can help to prepare you and build your confidence. They can also familiarize you with the format of questions. Below are your options for practice CSCS test questions:
The NSCA has released a CSCS Complete Online Question Bundle. With it being put out by the NSCA, you can trust that the general format, style, and difficulty of the questions will closely mimic that of the exam. This bundle includes all sections, including: exercise science, nutrition, exercise technique, program design, organization and administration, and testing and evaluation. This is delivered in an online format.
The Human Kinetics Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Study Course includes a practice test in the cost of the course. You are meant to go through the entire course and then check your knowledge to see if you are prepared. As this course is recommended by the NSCA, you can also be confident that the practice test will mimic that of your actual exam.
Pocket Prep has a CSCS Exam Prep app. You can find it on Android here. The app comes with a limited number of practice questions for free. If you like that, you can upgrade for around $12 to get access to hundreds of questions.
What is great about this app is that you can pick the number of questions you want to be asked and it will keep a record of what you scored, with a breakdown by category. This is particularly helpful for comparing results over time. Additionally, if you notice you consistently have a weakness in one section of the exam, you can study/take practice exams on only that category. I also found that it was convenient to have on my phone so I could run through a short practice exam whenever I had a bit of free time.
The Flashcard Study System for CSCS Exam comes with practice questions. If you prefer using flashcards as a form of test prep, this appears to be the most popular option. It covers the the major topics and categories that are on the exam, and flashcards have proven benefits for learning of many kinds. I personally did not try this system out, but this is definitely something to consider if you like the format of flashcards.
The Secrets of the CSCS Exam Study Guide also includes a practice test at the end of the book. It also is a complete study guide system and includes a review of all major sections of the certification of the exam. This is nice because you can bundle a study guide with the practice exam questions. The review sections of the book are relatively quick to run through if you already have a decent grasp of the content.
You may be able to find used exam prep materials at various different websites online, but be careful with what you buy. You don’t want to get stuck with materials that would only prepare you for an old version of the exam. Try to get updated materials whenever possible. The old versions may have some valuable stuff, but you’ll want to weigh the cost with how confident you are in the content.
By testing your current ability frequently, you can find your weak points so you know what to focus your studies on. You can then try more practice exams to see if you have improved.
The practice questions are only as good as who made them. You may find that some more closely mimic exam questions than others. Remember that no practice test will guarantee success, but is a useful tool for building confidence. You can check out the CSCS Certification Exam guide for more information on preparing for your certification.