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Hello everyone. I’m going to be taking the CSCS exam at the NSCA national conference (Spokane, WA July 11), and I was wondering if any of you had any helpful hints/tips in terms of the exam and studying for it. I have a pretty good background in kinesiology (I just received my bachelor of Human Kinetics degree), and am more concerned about the other stuff that will be on the exam (exercise form, program design, etc). Any and all help would be appreciated. And if any of you t-guys and gals will be attending the conference, I’ll see you there…there’s going to be an awesome strength challenge type of thing with Bill Kazmaier and Magnus Samuelsson! Thanks

Hey, jonah! Sorry, I don’t have any helpful hints/tips really, just wanted to wish you luck. I’ve been a student member of the NSCA for the past year and have really enjoyed the journals and publications. I’m currently studying Movement and Sports Science and look to go on to get my Masters and Doctorate in related Exercise Phys fields. What are your career objectives? This may be stating the obvious, but have you studied the Essentials manual put out by the NSCA? I’ve browsed it and it’s chock full of valuable info! Well, good luck, buddy:-) Let us know how things go.

The test is fairly easy. Study Essentials textbook. With your background, you shouldn’t have to worry about anything. Get a practice exam. Those help too. Good luck.

I’m going to be taking CSCS in August. So I would also be very interested if anyone has any helpful tips.

I wrote the exam in Toronto in Oct. 2000. It’s not easy but also not too hard providing you read the book thoroughly. Get a practice exam, do all the questions at the end of the chapters as quite a few exam questions are taken from these. A lot of questions are “which answer is more right”. What I mean is two answers could be rationalized. This is when you’ve gotta be clear what the book said.
The biggest piece of advice I can offer is carefully think about each question and don’t start second-guessing yourself. If you don’t know the answer 100%, move on and come back. Start second-guessing yourself and you’ll just get frustrated. There are a fair number of questions that’ll do this to you so don’t panic, and good luck

thanks for the tips guys…Timbo, i’ve read the Essentials text but that was a while ago, so I’m going to review it again. Career goals…short term I want to be a Strength and Conditioning Coach for a US College team…long term, maybe doing the same with a pro football team (dream job for me), or getting my PhD and teaching Uni classes. NK - be sure to get the new edition of the Essentials textbook…all cscs exams after July 2001 will be based on that edition.

Study the book. As far as exercise form, you will not be asked any questions like “What is this squatter doing wrong”. Instead you will be shown a video of a guy squatting and asked whether knee extension or flexion is occuring, or what vertebrae the bar is resting on. Or what sport will this plyometric exercise help. You can buy a video, but I didn’t have one and got a perfect score on that section. For program design, the questions involved solving a problem after being given an athlete’s statistics. So if a runner complains of knee pain and it says they can use 150 lbs on the leg extension and 20 on the leg curl, obviously stronger hamstrings. One hint is that marathon runners commonly can only vertical jump 6 to 10 inches, so if you see this statistic, don’t worry and don’t write that they need increased vertical power. The questions about group program design were very simple. (There are ten circuit training stations. Each athlete takes 3 minutes at each station and one minute to move to the next station. How many athletes can do the circuit in an hour?) Some of the questions are vague and poorly written. For example, what do you guys think about this one?

A football lineman is 6’3 and 180 lbs. He wants to gain weight. Which nutritional supplement would you recommend.
A. and B were ridiculous, like smilax and chromium picolinate.
C. Pre-workout carbohydrate supplement
D. Creatine monohydrate
I didn’t know how to answer this one. I think over the long term, drinking 400 kcal of carbs every day for a year will add more weight. However, creatine products have been shown to add weight. And also remember that the NSCA is not a big supplement fan. What do you guys think the answer was?

Read the book and take all of the practice quizes, twice. They make these chapter quizes specifically from the type of questions on the exam. I sure hope you are involved in the training of athletes and not just yourself and really know what you are doing. I have seen too many morons try and get involved in this field and make most of us look really bad. The exam is actually really easy. Much to easy as far as I am concerned. It troubles me that some complete idiots can even take the exam even though they have absolutely no experience with athletes. A new certification is and organization has started for college coaches and maybe this will help. Know your exercises, study the book (the entire thing), take all the practice tests in the book and you should be absolutely fine. I have worked with others in preparting for the exam and the biggest mistake they make is not understanding what the NSCA wants and not what they think is best.

rafael…i’d say the answer was the carb supplement…when i’m trying to gain mass, i usually consume a carb drink during my workout, and like you said, the NSCA isn’t too big on supp’s so I think the Creatine may not have been the answer.
r-dog, don’t worry, my fellow tman. I have experience dealing with athletes and am one myself. I am not some couch potato trainer that takes one test and considers himself certified…experience with many different individuals and methods of training are the best teachers, and i am constantly learning…