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FREE CSCS Study Guide + CSCS Practice Exam + Flashcards for 2020

CSCS Practice Exam

Hey ladies and gentlemen and welcome to my free CSCS study hub for the NSCA CSCS test. On this page, you will find a free CSCS practice exam (and answer key), A full CSCS study guide and a helpful CSCS flashcard bundle to assist you with your studying. Make sure to bookmark/star this page for future reference.

I also highly suggest checking out Trainer Academy for excellent study materials. The team over there has a great study bundle for the CSCS exam. Overall they will help reduce your study time I have and even offer an exam pass guarantee. I even have a special limited-time discount for my readers on their website. If you want to know more about them, check out my detailed review on Trainer Academy here.

Get the CSCS exam cheat sheet for free here. Courtesy of Trainer Academy.

The menu at the top of this page will answer any question related to personal training that you have. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment here (I’ll respond within 24 hours). Also, visit the home page for the most recent and popular articles.

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    My Bitmoji counterpart will be walking you through the CSCS study guide to make sure that you are on track for passing the CSCS exam. Say hello to Tyler-Moji.
    Your Guide for NASM

    If you are still unsure about which strength and conditioning certification to choose, I highly recommend that you Take the quiz to get an estimate on which strength and conditioning certification is the best fit for you overall.

    This CSCS Study guide covers all 24 chapters of the essentials of strength training and conditioning fourth edition by Gregory Haff and Travis Triplett. In my CSCS study guide below, you will find 24 separate links that will take you to each individual chapters study guide.

    FREE CSCS Study guide: 4th edition 2020

    CSCS Study guide

    FREE CSCS Practice exam for 2020

    CSCS Practice exam

    The CSCS practice test is really broken up into two separate practice tests.

    The first CSCS practice test is the Scientific foundations Exam. The scientific foundations exam Consists of questions from the first two domains (out of six total) from the CSCS textbook.

    • Domain 1: exercise science (74% of the questions)
    • Domain 2: nutrition (26% of the questions)

    The second CSCS Practice test is the practical/applied exam. The practical and applied test consists of questions from the four remaining domains of study.

    • Domain 3: Exercise technique (35% of the questions)
    • Domain 4: Program design (35% of the questions)
    • Domain 5: Organization and administration (12% of the questions)
    • Domain 6: Testing and evaluation (18% of the questions)

    Practice test answer keys below ⬇️ (Don’t Peek Until After!) 🙄

    CSCS Scientific Foundations Practice Test Answer Key


    Q1:  With consistent aerobic training, what are the possible adaptations?
    A1:   Rise in capillary density in muscle fibers

    Q2:  What is affected by the size principle?
    A2:  Motor neuron recruitment order

    Q3:  On which plane of the anatomy does the human body perform a vertical jump?
    A3:  Sagittal

    Q4:  A glass of skim milk, a whole wheat tuna sandwich, and a green salad with a vinegar dressing are consumed. What is the source of omega-3 fatty acids in this meal?
    A4:  Tuna

    Q5:  Which electrical occurrences are undetectable during a normal electrocardiogram (ECG)?
    A5:  Atrial repolarization

    Q6: While skating, which of these hip movements depends on the gluteus maximus for a hockey athlete?
    A6: External hip rotation

    Q7:  What is the name given to the intensity or relative intensity of an exercise that promotes a build-up of resting concentrations of blood lactate levels?
    A7:  Lactate threshold

    Q8:  what is the daily recommended protein intake per kg of body mass for a rowing athlete?
    A8:  1.4 to 1.7 g

    Q9:  The series elastic component (SEC) reserves energy for plyometric action in what body structures?
    A9: Tendons

    Q10:  Which of these actions describes transverse plane abduction of the shoulder?
    A10:  backhand tennis stroke

    Q11:  Which of these, when changes occur in them, influence the muscle spindles?
    A11:  Muscle length change

    Q12:  Which of these substances is not banned by the NCAA?
    A12:  Creatine

    Q13:  What term describes the act in which red blood cell mass is increased artificially?
    A13:  Blood doping

    Q14:  A gradual decrease in which of these can lead to fatigue?
    A14:  Phosphagens

    Q15:  Which joint is stabilized by the following: supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis and teres minor?
    A15:  Glenohumeral

    Q16:  What does a nutritional supplement containing leucine stimulate?
    A16:  It buffers muscle protein catabolism and stimulates protein synthesis

    Q17:  While performing resistance training, which structure of the knee is most vulnerable to injury?
    A17:  Patella (knee cap) and surrounding structures

    Q18:  Which of these physiological variables is likely not to decrease due to aerobic training?
    A18:  Levels of ATP stores

    Q19:  Relative to the latissimus dorsi, where is the trapezius positioned?
    A19:  Superior

    Q20:  Which of these is an indicator of protein quality?
    A20:  Protein digestibility corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS)

    Q21:  Which joint action is occurring when an increase in the angle between the radius/ulna and humerus occurs, what joint action is responsible?
    A21:  Extension

    Q22:  The force-velocity curve is influenced by a rise in rate of force development in what way?
    A22:  Shifts the curve to the right

    Q23:  What knee motion immediately follows push-off during a running motion?
    A23:  Flexion

    Q24:  A 250 pound football linebacker, is recommended a weight loss plan by a nutritionist. What is the ideal daily protein intake recommendation for such a plan?
    A24:  204 to 306 grams

    Q25:  For an abdominal crunch, what is the name of the starting body position?
    A25:  Supine

    Q26:  An activity that involves active muscle engagement and a rebound-like motion where the end position is not maintained is known as what?
    A26:  Ballistic stretch

    Q27:  Which circumstances of chronic performance can result in overtraining?
    A27:  High volume, high-frequency, minimal rest intervals

    Q28:  Initial weight loss due to a low carb diet results from what?
    A28:  decrease in water weight

    Q29:  What effect does arginine have on the circulatory system?
    A29:  Stimulates vasodilation

    Q30:  Which of the quadriceps muscles is positioned closest to the center line of the body??
    A30: Vastus medialis

    CSCS Practical/Applied Practice Test Answer Key


    Q1:  What term describes the methods prescribed to achieve maximal force in minimal time?
    A1:  Plyometric movements

    Q2:  A strength and conditioning professional’s acceptable duties’ legal guidelines are defined as:
    A2:  Scope of practice

    Q3:  What is the minimum suggested number of fans to ventilate a 400sqft strength and conditioning facility
    A3:  8

    Q4:  What is the term given when training intensity or duration decreases or training stops completely due to program intervals, disease or injury?
    A4:  Detraining

    Q5:  Low speed muscular strength is defined by which other term?
    A5:  Maximum muscular strength

    Q6: For medicine ball plyometric throws, what is the ideal stance for movements such as the two hand overhead, two hand side-to-side and chest pass throws?
    A6: Parallel feet at the width of the shoulders

    Q7:  Where should the handles be relative to the body with the pec deck machine?
    A7:  Aligned with the middle of the chest

    Q8:  As compared to training on a level surface, what is the percentage of total power achievable by training on an uneven surface?
    A8:  Up to 70%

    Q9:  When administering jump tests for vertical, reactive and standard long jump, what is the allowable number of trials?
    A9: 3

    Q10:  Which values are affected by repetition volume?
    A10:  Intensity

    Q11:  Melissa is preparing to execute a one-arm DB snatch with the right arm. this is her positioning:  foot placement a bit wider than hips,  dumbbell placed in between foot position,  Shoulders are higher than hips Neutral spine,  eyeline is straightforward,  The dumbbell is marginally behind her right shoulder,  Is this initial stance ideal? Otherwise, what changes should be made? 
    A11:  This is the appropriate position

    Q12:  What adaptation will be achieved by an athlete performing at 70-85%  of their 1RM for 8-12 reps
    A12:  Muscle hypertrophy

    Q13:  Which of these options would support training focus for a training block with a significance on optimizing acceleration?
    A13:  Incline sprinting

    Q14:  For maximum muscle growth and an allowance to train daily, what would be the suggested training method?
    A14:  Split workouts

    Q15:  Relative to the hips, what is the preferred shoulder position during the max velocity phase of a sprint?
    A15:  Directly above the hips

    Q16:  For every inch of elevation, how many inches of horizontal surfacing must be provided for a wheelchair ramp in a strength and conditioning facility?
    A16:  12″

    Q17:  For administration of an aerobic endurance test in hot conditions, which of these is an important guideline?
    A17:  Make a reasonable determination of temperature, wind and humidity

    Q18:  Name the PNF method that starts with the same initial phase as the hold-relax, but the second phase is a contraction of the antagonist muscle through a complete range of motion against partner applied resistance?
    A18:  Contract-relax technique

    Q19:  What is the first necessary step before a release or waiver form is signed by an athlete?
    A19:  Informed consent

    Q20:  Which of these sorts of plyometric drills is of the highest intensity?
    A20:  Depth jumps

    Q21:  When the cable handle is pulled to the chest, which muscles are involved?
    A21:  Latissimus dorsi, teres major, middle trapezius, rhomboids, and posterior deltoids

    Q22:  During a fast-foot speed drill, how high should the swinging leg swing?
    A22:  Mid-shin height

    Q23:  The measurement of human body attributes such as weight, height and girth are known as what scientific study?
    A23:  Anthropometry

    Q24:  The dip occurs at what phase of the push-jerk?
    A24:  Setup phase

    Q25:  A 16-year-old athlete has been training for two years with a strength and conditioning coach. he is considering use of creatine and asks the coach which brand he should use. how should the coach respond?
    A25:  Recommend the athlete consults a qualified nutrition and diet expert

    Q26:  Whats are the common goals of a resistance program during the prep period?
    A26:  To optimize size, endurance and strength of muscles

    Q27:  What is the ideal spacing between cones for the set up of the 300-yard shuttle when testing for anaerobic capacity?
    A27:  25 yards

    Q28:  Male decathletes have what average body fat %
    A28:  8-10%

    Q29:  The stretch involving pulling an arm over the chest with the other targets which muscles?
    A29:  rear deltoid, mid trapezius and rhomboids

    Q30:  Which of these describes a group of sequenced reps executed before rest?
    A30: Set
     
    Q31:  In order to manage aerobic intensity, which of these is not an ideal method?
    A31:  Blood pressure

    Q32:  With the initial pull of the power snatch, which of these is true?
    A32:  Maintenance of torso angle as bar passes from the shins to the knees

    Q33:  How does race-intensity training contrast to pace/tempo training?
    A33:  Same or marginally lower intensity

    Q34:  Which of these is not advisable as a landing position during performance of lower body plyometrics?
    A34:  The torso should be upright on landing when viewed from the side

    Q35:  A supinated grip would be ideal for which exercise?
    A35:  Chin-up

    Q36:  Which grip forms should be used by the lifter and spotter during the downward phase of a barbell tricep lift?
    A36:  Lifter: pronated grip; Spotter: supinated grip

    Q37:  Which of these training types is can be described by a superset involving a back squat followed by cycled split squat jumps
    A37:  Complex training

    Q38:  “The following are the results of a 20 year old, division 1 college level basketball player. based on this data, which area of performance needs more work?  1RM power clean: 200 lbs,  1RM back squat: 300 lbs,  1RM bench press: 240 lbs”
    A38:  Maximal power

    Q39:  For female athletes, which of these requires additional consideration when creating an exercise program as opposed to men?
    A39:  Prevention of ACL injury

    Q40:  Which of these suggestions is relevant for a sophomore college football athlete with a 315 lbs 1RM bench press who wants to put on some mass?
    A40: Bench press 4 x 10 with 240 lbs; Back squat 4 x 10 with 320 lbs

    CSCS Flashcards for 2020

    CSCS Flashcards

    CSCS Study tips

    CSCS Study tips

    The CSCS study guide located on this page is meant to supplement the full 4th edition Of the essentials of strength and conditioning. This is the primary textbook for the CSCS test. S go over some additional study tips and techniques I have for you guys so that you guys can ACE the CSCS exam without any difficulty.

    Here are some excellent CSCS study materials/study techniques that I like to use with my students.

    CSCS Practice Tests:

    In addition to the CSCS practice exams that I have on this page, I also suggest picking up additional practice tests and practice quizzes for each of the individual domains of study in the CSCS (there are four domains). My practice test only has 70 questions in total and I recommend practicing with at least 10 times this amount in order to get fully accustomed to how the CSCS will word their questions .

    Practice exams are extremely important because they let you know if you are 100% ready to take the real exam. I have had hundreds of students come to me asking me why they failed the CSCS exam. It turns out that most of them never took one full practice exam. How can you know if you are ready if you have never gotten back from a practice exam? Personally, I recommend checking out the practice exams over at Trainer Academy. Check out my review on Trainer Academy right here.

    CSCS Study guide:

    Although this study guide here is a great place to start, it really goes over a lot of content and is not organized in the best way possible. This might seem counterintuitive, but the best study guides or the shortest study guides. What I mean is that the best study guides will point out exactly what you need to study in order to pass the exam. My study guide on the other hand, basically goes over everything but does not pinpoint the most important parts to study. I suggest picking up the Trainer Academy CSCS study guide if you want to save the most time while studying for the CSCS.

    Spaced repetition flashcards:

    The old school way of using flashcards is done. Physically writing down the information on hundreds of flashcards is tedious and time wasting. In addition to this, the flashcards you study after you create them are not Nearly as effective as they could be.

    What you need to use is spaced repetition flashcards. This is the flashcards system I have used to learn Spanish as well as study for all of my personal training certifications. It has really worked fantastic for me as well as for all of my students that have tried it.

    Spaced repetition flashcards uses an algorithm to learn which flashcards you already know, and which flashcards you have trouble with. The program will continuously show you your difficult cards until you know them well. The cards you already know well will show infrequently. This saves you a ton of time and really drills the difficult concepts until you have mastered them.

    CSCS Mnemonics:

    The last study tip I have for you for the CSCS exam is to use memorization mnemonics. Using these can really work wonders for difficult to remember topics from the textbook. The key to these is to make an incredibly weird and memorable mnemonic story in your head. Honestly the weirder the story is, the most memorable it will be.

    Well, that’s it ladies and gentlemen for all of my CSCS study tips. If you utilize all of these tips that I have given you, I am sure you will have no problem passing the CSCS test. Good luck and get to studying!

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    28 thoughts on “FREE CSCS Study Guide + CSCS Practice Exam + Flashcards for 2020”

    1. How we have to study for exam .language of book is very tough .
      Can you please tell me that which part of book comes under the exam.(1) scientific foundation
      And which chapter comes under the (2 )practical applied exam

      1. Hey Lais,

        I have been working with trainer Academy for about a little over a year now. They have great study materials and all of my students that I send their way always have good feedback from the experience with them. Hope this helps

    2. I think it’s looking so hard but genuinely i interested and I don’t have much money so please tell me easy way to complete this please

      1. The certified strength and conditioning specialist certification is definitely one of the hardest personal training certifications out there. I would definitely start here with the free study guide in practice test but if you want a full suite of study materials and a much better chance of passing the exam I suggest checking out the trainer Academy study materials. Here is a link. https://traineracademy.org/nsca-cscs/

    3. Is CSCS the best option for someone looking to become a strength and conditioning coach? I would be working in a smaller privately owned gym and with athletes in specific. I’m prepared to study as long as I need but am stuck on which certification would be best as I did not major in a related field.

      1. Hey Tori,
        The certified strength and conditioning specialist certification is definitely seen as the gold standard in terms of strength and conditioning or working with athletes. This is definitely what I would go for but the only thing is that they do require a four-year college degree before you can even sign up to take the exam. It does not have to be a degree in a health-related field, just a four-year degree in any subject will do.

        1. Hey Tyler. I do hold a Bachelors in Business Administration from DeVry University ( Private Accelerated University) . I looked within the NSCA handbook for 2019 and DeVry University does not fall under the accreditation for the CSCS prerequisite qualification being that it is accredited through the Higher Learning Comission. What should I do? I would really like to pursue a career in strength and conditioning for baseball players and mma fighters/boxers .

          1. A four-year bachelors degree should be all that you need in order to be eligible to take the certified strength and conditioning specialist certification. I suggest that you petition it or even called them up to see if there’s anything that you can do with your degree in order to take the exam. That is pretty cool that you are wanting to train mixed martial artist fighters! That is a super dynamic sport that would be fun to train somebody in.

      1. Hello, I do believe that the certified strength and conditioning specialist certification can be done in Spanish. You will definitely need to double check with the NSCA on this. In terms of having study materials for it on my website in Spanish, I only have study materials in English but that would be a cool option to be able to have both. Thanks a lot for the suggestion!

    4. Hey Tyler,

      I recently took the cscs exam but failed because of the nutrition section e.g calculate how much protein calories does X athlete has in this diet chart.

      I also came short because of volume load questions too.

      Basically my maths was not good.

      i look forward to your reply. thank you.

    5. Hi Tyler,

      Thank you for very helpful information. Now I’m living in Vietnam, I wonder that if I take CSCS course, can I take the exam and that exam is online test or something else Tyler?

      Furthermore, I have read on NCSA website and it say that I need to take the test at Pearson VUE testing centers worldwide, but I can find any center working in Vietnam. Can you give me some information about the Exam Registration and Scheduling Tyler?

      Thank you so much Tyler

      1. This is true, you will need to find a testing center near you. I’m not sure if they have any testing centers in Vietnam or where the nearest one is. You will have to check their website for this information. You cannot take the final exam online, you will need to go into a testing facility. Good luck with your personal training career and I’m sure you will figure out the right solution.

    6. Nevan Dominguez

      Tyler, I recently took and passed my CSCS exam. I wanted to thank you for this overview of the chapters which helped me to study along with the textbook.

      1. I’m so glad that you passed your CSCS exam! That is a fantastic step towards becoming an awesome strength and conditioning coach. Good luck with your career.

    7. Hi Tyler-

      Would you say that the practice questions included above are pretty much what the questions on the actual CSCS are going to be like? I am finding that most of the practice questions online are of similar difficulty and easier to dissect, but the practice questions that I purchased directly through the CSCS website are waaayyyy harder. Any insight would be helpful. Thank you!

      1. Hey there, it’s hard to tell which questions are going to show up on the exam as they change them frequently. Also, my sample practice test does not cover nearly as many total questions that you will see on the final CSCS exam. That being said, I would definitely suggest heading over to trainer Academy as they have three full practice exams.

    8. Hey Tyler,
      I am very much interested in this fitness training domain. Currently do not have any certification, in a rush to get one certification and get a job + start of as an online training personal coach. I’m confused with which certification is the best ACE or CSCS? I do have a 4 year bachelor’s degree in engineering.
      Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

      1. If you have a four-year bachelor’s, I definitely recommend the certified strength and conditioning specialist as it is the highest regarded personal training certification.

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