Welcome to the Trainer Academy CSCS Practice Exam.

Before beginning this CSCS practice test, be sure to download the CSCS exam preparation checklist to ensure you pass your CSCS test.

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So, let’s dive right in!

CSCS Practice Test Overview

So you want to become a strength and conditioning coach?

A strength and conditioning coach works with athletes to improve their overall fitness, speed and agility, aerobic adaptations, anaerobic adaptations, and athletic preparation geared toward their specific sport.

The skills of a strength and conditioning coach are also translatable to working with non-athletes, given that working with a general population usually requires a less in depth knowledge of exercise programming, exercise prescription, and foundational sciences than working with athletes.

Strength and conditioning professionals strategically combine various training modalities to induce very specific performance related adaptations in their clients. For athletes, this serves to increase their performance in competition.

Coaches are knowledgeable about body systems, including structure,  and functions, response to external stimuli, such as the response of the endocrine system to specific types of exercise and training.

Coaches may even share some tips on performance-enhancing supplements and provide appropriate nutrition strategies.

According to the most recent statistics, the typical strength and conditioning coach salary is roughly $46k or more. However, there is a lot of variation in the data on either end of the spectrum. Part time strength and conditioning coaches who support athletes seasonally do not make very much money. On the other hand, strength and conditioning coaches who work with professional teams in popular sports, like coaches who work with the NFL, make much more money.

Of all the traditional exercise science careers, strength and conditioning coaches are paid the most on average. They also have the most upwards mobility if you continue to work with higher level athletes as your career evolves.

This is especially due to the number of years it takes to go through schooling and gain relevant experience, which most positions out there require experience. Those who hold the CSCS have a bachelor’s degree at a minimum and by 2030 all new CSCS holders must have a bachelor’s degree in a field related to exercise science. Despite this, pass rates for the CSCS are notoriously low contrasted to other fitness industry certifications.

Completing an online strength and conditioning certification, or CSCS personal trainer certification, is easy.

Said no one ever!

This Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Certification offered through NSCA is quite the challenge and revered in the fitness industry.

Trainer Academy has put together this page to help explain the test and offer insight into the phrasing and formation of the questions you will run into when taking the test for your strength and conditioning license.

This article looks at the CSCS practice tests, which cover the following:

  • CSCS course online review and CSCS requirements
  • Preparing for your Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist exam and study tips
  • FAQs regarding the CSCS personal training certification

Whether you are already deep into studying for your CSCS certification test or looking at where to start your studying for the first time, this free CSCS study guide should assist you in the process.

Completing the CSCS exam practice questions is important. These CSCS exam questions give you CSCS test practice that matches the exam’s difficulty. Sample practice questions for the C.S.C.S. fit well into the study schedule you need to earn your NSCA CSCS certification. Be sure to stick to your study plan and study calendar to guarantee you can pass the exam. Like professionals in the athletic arena, CSCS coaches never quit.

You may feel fatigue as you learn the skills, but stick to it, read your notes, study the explanation, and pull out all the tricks to keep your nose to the grindstone and get it done.

CSCS Domain Breakdown

The following section breaks down the subjects covered on the CSCS exam. Candidates must have a clear understanding to successfully pass their Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist exam.

Success on the CSCS exam hinges on successfully completing these requirements.

You need to score a passing grade on every single section, so if you fail one part, you will fail the whole exam regardless of your final score across all domains and answers.

Domain 1: Exercise Science

This section forms the bulk of the scientific foundations section and includes key topics like metabolism, the cardiorespiratory, skeletal, muscular, and endocrine system.

You’ll get deep knowledge of hormones including growth hormone, testosterone, and more. Additionally, this section covers signs of overtraining you need to monitor in your athletes.

This section spans a ton of science knowledge and is very challenging. You will need to take extensive notes, especially if you do not have an exercise science background, you’ll need to pull out all of our CSCS study tips and tricks to ensure you pass the exam.

Domain 2: Sport Psychology

Sport psychology receives a lesser emphasis on the CSCS exam, but that does not mean it is less important since you still need a passing score on this section. In fact, you can’t afford to miss many of these questions, so if anything, you need an even deeper knowledge of this topic.

It is also important to understand this material from a practical standpoint because although athletes are going to have an easier time adhering to training than the average client, psychological factors will influence performance both during training and in competition.

This section includes psychological discussions about the fight or flight responses, arousal states in athletes, and even watching for eating disorders in your athletes.

Managing arousal and relaxation with your athletes is a must for ensuring effective performance, and the questions definitely place an emphasis on these skill sets, among a variety others.

Domain 3: Nutrition

The CSCS nutrition section focuses on the key nutritional needs for performance in athletes. This includes daily macronutrient and micronutrient requirements, and nutritional factors affecting performance.

It also covers methods for how to advise athletes on food choices based on their sport and specific goals, such as muscle gains, weight loss, recovery, or competition performance.

This is one of the spots on the CSCS curriculum you cannot afford to skip over because there are a lot of numbers and calculations you will be expected to know in order to achieve completion of your exam and earn your CSCS certificate, complete with the NSCA logo and stamp of approval.

Domain 4: Exercise Technique

This section dives deep on the different exercise techniques and training modes you need to train athletes and clients and links them to performance and other fitness goals.

The curriculum includes bodyweight training like push-ups, as well as traditional strength training with barbells, dumbbells, and machines. It also covers alternative implement training with kettlebells and strongman implement training.

Of course, it also covers field drills for agility, sprinting, and plyometric training.

It’s great to have as many exercise options as possible when training athletes to ensure their success and your ability to modify your programs to work with each athlete’s unique needs.

This CSCS exam section includes videos of exercise techniques that you must assess for proper form and corrections if needed.

Domain 5: Program Design

Program design is among the most important and broad topics in the practical section. Programming is key to the success of any training program.

The CSCS coverage looks at microcycles, mesocycles, and macrocycles that form the basis for science-backed program design to progress athletes toward their performance goals.

Domain 6: Organization and Administration

The organization and administration section covers the various aspects of running a strength and conditioning facility as well as general liability for running facilities.

This is very important for ensuring the safety of your athletes and avoiding liability issues with regard to training athletes and providing these services at the professional level.

After all, each person you train places their life in your hands, so ensuring safety is a must.

Domain 7: Testing and Evaluation

Testing and evaluation are key for establishing baseline performance in athletes and determining what you need to focus on within your training programs.

This is another area on the CSCS exam where the number of questions is smaller, which can trick you into thinking that you can spend less time on it.

However, in reality, it means you cannot afford to miss many of them and still pass the exam, so absolutely ensure you can pass this domain when you take the CSCS practice test.

NCSA-CSCS Exam Information

The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is one of the most well-respected companies in the industry. As a not-for-profit company and organization, the NSCA only cares about promoting the very best in scientific strength and conditioning approaches.

Its online certified strength and conditioning coach program is at the top of the list when looking at strength and conditioning certifications.

It is one of the top NCCA-accredited certifications for strength and conditioning and even for personal training with its NSCA-CPT certification.

The actual CSCS examination is broken into two sections, the scientific foundations and the practical/applied questions.

The CSCS textbook, The Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, is packed full of 25 chapters, written and put together by Gregory Haff and Travis Triplett. .

The information within this CSCS book can get specific and hits on things not otherwise found in other personal training and strength and conditioning certification courses.

And, it goes hand-in-hand with your strength and conditioning certification online coursework and study materials.

The entire CSCS certification exam has a pass rate of only 56%, so this should tell you just how tough it is.

The CSCS practice questions are broken down into sections, which are broken down into the Domains within.

When you are going through these CSCS sample questions, try to answer them on your own.

However, you can look to the page or chapter as a reference point in the book to help with the answer.

The drop-down box will then contain the answer key and the reasoning below the answer.

Once you have completed this, and even before starting, you should test your knowledge with the practice quiz containing all of these questions to see where your knowledge currently stands.

100 CSCS Practice Questions

What are the common methods to determine body composition?

Determining body composition involves methods such, as by using calipers, hydrostatic weighing and DEXA scans. Other methods are also used such as air displacement plethysmography and bioelectrical impedance analysis. It’s important to note that each method of testing has its own flaws and relies on measuring body composition through different methods. DEXA is the most accurate, while the least accurate is either skinfold calipers or bioelectrical impedance analysis. The reason that this is a toss up is because caliper accuracy is highly dependent on the skill of the professional using those calipers, so measurements can have both low validity and low reliability with an unskilled tester. If the tester is more skilled, they can be more accurate. Bioelectrical impedance analysis devices are diverse with their accuracy being dependent on the strength of the electrical impulse used to measure body composition and the parts of the body the device is designed to measure the composition of. It is also worth remembering that different methods of measuring body composition are confounded by different factors. For example, performing bioelectrical impedance analysis after a sweat producing workout will make you appear to have a higher body fat percentage than if you performed it before a workout.

Table answering What are the common methods to determine body composition?

Which types of lifts require spotters?

For over-the-face or over the head exercises like the bench press or exercises like the barbell squat, having spotters present is generally recommended for safety reasons. This is the case because dropping the weight in either instance can lead to significant and lifelong injury. Spotters should not be used on exercises that do not occur over the head or face.

Why should a good warm-up include stretching and activity-specific warm-up actions?

A proper warm up routine should include both stretching exercises and specific movements that increase muscle temperature and flexibility because they prepare the body for the upcoming workout. This is broken down into a general warm up focused on increasing body temperature without increasing fatigue, and a specific warm up that increases the active range of motion of joints that will be involved in the main workout. Stretches performed during the specific warm up should be dynamic rather than static. This best increases performance without neuromuscularly inhibiting muscle spindle activity, as opposed to static stretching which does inhibit it.

Which of the following is an example of the exhaustion stage of the General Adaptation Syndrome?

The exhaustion stage of the general adaptation syndrome is characterized by fatigue and an overall decline in performance.

Table answering which of the following is an example of the exhaustion stage of the General Adaptation Syndrome?

What is overtraining?

Overtraining is the process that occurs when an individual exceeds their body’s capacity to recover from training sessions, leading to decreased performance and potential injuries. Overtraining syndrome most commonly results in physical, psychological, emotional, and hormonal changes. However, the specific form it takes can depend on a number of factors such as the degree of overtraining and the specific exercise program that led to overtraining.

Why is spot training considered a myth?

The concept of spot training as a targeted approach for loss is considered a myth since fat loss occurs systemically rather than in specific localized areas that can be influenced by targeted exercise. This does not mean that fat loss is inherently uniform throughout the body, as the location of fat loss and sequence in which fat will be lost will be dependent on genetics. Although localized calorie burning is technically increased with training in a specific area, its effects are insignificant and minimal to such a level that it has no practical or applied value.. 

What distinguishes active isolated stretching from other stretching exercises?

Active isolated stretching involves holding each stretch for 2-3 seconds while focusing on isolating muscle groups during stretching exercises, whereas other stretching exercises involve stretching multiple muscle groups at the same time.

How does the FITT-VP principle apply to the development of a successful personal fitness program?

The FITT-VP principle is a key factor when designing fitness programs as it considers the frequency, intensity, time, type, volume, and progression of exercises as they apply to a sport-specific athletic adaptation.

Table answering How does the FITT principle apply to the development of a successful personal fitness program?

What are the components of an effective weight-training program?

Effective weight training programs address the key variable components such as consistency, overload, progression, specificity, recovery, and variety. It is important to note that variety for the sake of variety is only helpful from a behavioral standpoint, which isn’t necessarily beneficial for many athletes. Variation should be strategic and have explicit value in how it supports an athlete’s overall training goal. Each element of a program should support the goal of the level of programming organization that it is in. Each exercise should support the goal of the targeted workout it is within. Each workout should support the goal of its microcycle. Each microcycle should support the goal of its mesocycle. Each mesocycle should support the goal of its macrocycle. 

Table answering What are the components of an effective weight-training program?

Why is a recovery period between bouts of exercise important?

Allowing for recovery periods between exercise sessions is crucial for muscle repair, replenishment of energy stores, and preventing overtraining. This can lead to greater overall training volume through the course of a workout, since athletes would perform less overall reps if each set was performed with minimal to no rest.

Table answering Why is a recovery period between bouts of exercise important?

If a runner is doing anaerobic vigorous exercise for a period of 30 seconds, what results from the anaerobic cellular process?

There are many metabolic byproducts that result from chemical reactions involved in vigorous anaerobic exercise. Due to the nature of how the body produces ATP to fuel its cells, energy systems often have an interactive relationship with one another. Although most ATP will be produced from fast glycolysis, otherwise known as anaerobic glycolysis, the phosphagen system will also be involved to some degree, particularly during the earliest several seconds of the runner’s bout of exercise. The phosphagen system will result in the formation of ATP as well as creatine as a by product. Anaerobic Glycolysis results in a net gain of 2 ATP and 2 lactic acid molecules. It will also produce 2 NAD+ molecules that get converted into NADH in order to facilitate the breakdown of more glucose molecules.

How can the principle of overload be applied to a sport, such as tennis or basketball?

It is best to focus on using the overload principle in the context of exercise that has a high specificity to the sport in question. This will serve to best increase performance in the sport itself. Increasing the intensity or duration of sports practice may not be beneficial in most cases if it no longer replicates the demands of the sport that the athlete is training for. As such, it’s often best to focus on overload through alternative means of training.

Which type of stretching must be done with the support of another person?

Assistance is needed when practicing PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) stretching. This is because PNF stretching requires two people in order to perform. It can be difficult for someone without training experience or knowledge to properly facilitate PNF stretching in a way that is effective, so it is recommended that PNF stretching be trainer facilitated. 

What is the definition of muscular power?

Muscular power refers to the ability to exert force rapidly, typically associated with explosive movements like jumping and sprinting. However, power is just a metric. You can measure power output during a slow walk just as well as you can during a sprint.

How does the overload principle apply to a successful fitness program?

Overload refers to the process of progressively increasing the exercise variables. These include time, intensity, type, volume, and frequency of exercise. Progressive overload is a requirement for driving successful adaptations to exercise. This can be applied through a variety of different programming schemes such as undulating and non-undulating periodization.

table answering How does the overload principle apply to a successful fitness program?

Which is a negative effect of using human growth hormone as a performance-enhancing drug?

Use of HGH for performance enhancement poses an increased risk of developing cancer, diabetes, and other serious health conditions. However, HGH that is naturally released by the endocrine system following heavy high volume resistance training can facilitate muscle building as it strongly upregulates muscle protein synthesis.

Table answering Which is a negative effect of using human growth hormone as a performance-enhancing drug?

What type of non-caloric supplement can improve exercise performance and capacity?

Consuming creatine supplements can enhance exercise performance and capacity. This is because creatine is involved in the phosphagen system, and having excess creatine saturating muscle tissue can allow for the body to more readily resynthesize ATP from ADP + Pi when you are training at a high intensity. In practice, this means creatine will allow athletes to sometimes perform an extra rep or so during sets of resistance exercise. This in turn increases the training volume of the workout slightly.

For which developmental age range does supervised strength training become appropriate?

Supervised strength training becomes appropriate for children between the ages of 7-8 years old in most cases. However, the exact age depends on the emotional maturity of the child. Children who are able to do strength training in a safe way are able to do so, and this strongly depends on the personality and maturity of the child. Children who engage with strength training will also require adjustments to programming contrasted to adults because they are operating in a different hormonal environment, which means that training stimuli have different effects on their bodies. This most importantly influences how children build muscle, since hormonal pathways for muscle protein synthesis will not be very potent until children reach puberty.

Which of the following is an example of proper movement for a biceps curl?

To perform a biceps curl start by standing with your feet shoulder width apart. Hold the weight in a grip where your palms are facing upward. Bend your elbow while keeping your arm still and then return to the starting position.

What type of resistance exercises mimic the natural movements of the body, such as jumping?

Exercises that involve similar joint actions through a similar range of motion will be most translatable to the corresponding natural movement due to the principle of specificity. It is worth noting that specificity also applies to other acute programming variables. For example, if a baseball player were to train with a weighted bat, their performance in competition would decrease, rather than increase. This is because the neuromuscularly adapt to a force production curve necessary to use a weighted bat, rather than a regular bat. This is why it’s important for highly specific resistance exercises to focus on one element of a natural movement as opposed to purely replicating it. If someone were to want to improve their jumping ability, for example, performing a squat variant would help them in doing so.

Which statement best describes how muscle fibers respond to weight training in the 6 to 12 repetition range?

When you engage in weight training your muscles respond by being broken down. Afterwards, if your body has access to the appropriate nutrients, your body repairs those muscle fibers and increases their capacity through the process of either hypertrophy or hyperplasia. In hypertrophy, the size of the fiber grows, increasing muscle size. In hyperplasia, the number of muscle fibers grows. Hyperplasia is purely theoretical and would account for at best a small percentage of total muscle growth, around 5% or less. Given it is theoretical, hyperplasia may not exist, but the NSCA recognizes that some research suggests that it may.

Which of the following acute training variable changes will increase training volume?

If you want to increase the intensity of your training you can do so by adding sets or repetitions. This will help increase the volume of your workout.

Which of the following is an example of positive punishment?

Giving drills, as a consequence for making mistakes during practice is an example of punishment if it is the case that the athlete does not like performing drills.

Why does increased oxygen consumption continue after exercise?

After exercising there is an increased oxygen consumption called post exercise oxygen consumption). It occurs following workouts that result in a significant oxygen debt due to the ATP production and oxygen demands of the workout outpacing the body’s ability to meet them. The body compensates for this after the workout concludes by increasing oxygen consumption to help with recovery and helps return your body’s metabolic processes to their baseline.

What type of resistance training equipment has a fixed range of motion?

Machines like leg extensions or chest presses provide a fixed range of motion for exercise.

Why should you measure your level of flexibility?

Measuring flexibility can be beneficial as it helps identify areas where there might be tightness or imbalances. This knowledge can aid in preventing injuries during activity.

Which of the following is least important to consider before choosing a fitness activity?

When choosing a fitness activity, the brand of equipment used is not as important as factors to consider.

Which of the following is a benefit of static stretching after an exercise session?

Performing stretches after exercising helps reduce muscle tension and can contribute to improving flexibility over time by increasing passive range of motion. It does this by gradually increasing pain tolerance to stretching, which reduces how strongly your nervous system resists stretching your muscles.

Which of the following best describes cardiovascular fitness?

Cardiovascular fitness refers to how effectively the heart, lungs and blood vessels supply oxygen to working muscles during physical exertion.

Which of the following is not a benefit of cool down activities?

Cooling down does not significantly enhance performance capabilities, for workouts.

What is the ability of the body to function successfully and efficiently during physical activity?

Physical fitness refers to how capable our bodies are in performing various physical functions as well as adapting and responding to the stresses of various types of physical activity.

Which of the following statements about maintaining a fitness program is true?

Consistency plays a role in maintaining a fitness program to reap long term benefits.

Which of the following statements best explains why the standing long jump is a test of power?

The standing long jump distance covered increases as a function of how fast the athlete exerts force. Since bodyweight remains constant, a longer jump corresponds to more rapid force production and thus, increased power.

Which of these is a physical health benefit provided by playing team sports?

Playing team sports offers benefits such as improved health and overall well being.

What is the main difference between health-related fitness and performance-related fitness?

When it comes to fitness there are two focuses: health related fitness, which aims at well being and disease prevention, and performance related fitness that focuses on enhancing athletic abilities.

Table answering What is the main difference between health-related fitness and performance-related fitness?

Which of the following is considered an individual sport?

Examples of individual sports include swimming, running, and any sport where performance does not depend directly on teamwork.

Table answering Which of the following is considered an individual sport?

What are the characteristics of a player who is a good sport?

A good sport embodies qualities such as play, respect for opponents and displaying respectful behavior whether winning or losing.

Table answering What are the characteristics of a player who is a good sport?

Which of the following statements about stretching is not true?

Contrary to popular belief, stretching should not be painful. It should be done comfortably without causing discomfort or pain. Full range of motion stretches involve stretching the muscle to just before the point of significant discomfort.

Which of the following is not an appropriate result of healthy stretching?

Stretching should not lead to pain or injury when done properly and responsibly as part of a routine.

Which of these team sports affects both health-related fitness and skill-related fitness?

Engaging in soccer has effects on both health related fitness aspects like health and skill related aspects like agility and coordination.

Warm-up routines increase body temperature. What other effects do they have on the body?

Incorporating warm up routines before activity helps increase blood flow to the muscles while preparing them for exertion. The general warm up is designed to increase body temperature because cells in the body produce chemical reactions that support meeting exercise demands. The speed of these chemical reactions is dependent on the temperature of those cells. Since heat increases the speed of chemical reactions, there is an ideal temperature for the body to reach to optimize performance. That being said, it is still possible to increase body temperature too much. When that happens, the body starts to sweat to reduce and regulate body temperature. This is why a single bead of sweat is a bio indicator that your general warm up should be concluded, because continuing it further will no longer serve the goal of the general warm up.

What type of stretching features contracting a muscle as a part of stretching?

Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) stretching requires you to contract a muscle as a part of stretching it. The exact timing and way in which you contract the muscle will depend on the specific type of PNF stretching you are engaging in.

Which energy pathway is dominant for activity generally lasting 10 seconds to 2 minutes?

For activities lasting between 10 seconds and 2 minutes, the glycolytic pathway is the primary energy pathway. This can be further divided into aerobic (or slow) glycolysis and anaerobic (or fast) glycolysis.

Which statement best describes the benefits of muscular fitness training?

Engaging in fitness training helps improve muscle strength, endurance, power and overall metabolic health. The exact way that you train will alter which training goals are more emphasized than others.

Table answering Which statement best describes the benefits of muscular fitness training?

Which of the following is an example of moving properly for a push-up?

To perform a push up, maintain a line from head to heels without allowing the hips to sag or pike. Keep your elbows slightly angled away from the body.

What are the 3 conditions necessary to support an effective long term aerobic fitness training program?

To achieve aerobic fitness training effects, three conditions must be met: overload, specificity and progression. However, it is still important to factor in all acute programming variables present in FITT-VP.

table answering What are the 3 conditions necessary to achieve the training effect for aerobic fitness?

What is hypertrophy?

Hypertrophy refers to the enlargement of muscle size as a result of the growth of its cells, called muscle fibers.

Which factor is a component of skill-related fitness?

Agility is a component of skill related fitness that enables changes in direction or speed.

Which body composition measurement utilizes calipers?

The skinfold measurement technique utilizes calipers to measure fat in parts of the body. This method measures subcutaneous fat at a fixed number of sites in the body and is used to extrapolate total body fat from those measurements. However, this method is not effective at picking up visceral fat stores, so can misclassify individuals easily. The best way to account for this is to use population specific equations when calculating body composition from skinfold measurements. This method still has a sizable margin of error, but it will result in a lower margin of error than plugging measurements into a general equation.

What are two methods of hydrating the body after exercise?

There are two methods for rehydrating after exercise; drinking water and consuming sports drinks infused with electrolytes. The latter provides the additional benefit of supporting cell functions that sweat loss inhibits. You lose electrolytes from sweat, such as sodium, which can inhibit the function of the sodium potassium pump in your cells. Drinking a liquid with electrolytes can help account for this post workout. Water is important for your cells to function as well, and you should drink an amount of water, or sports drink, equal to the amount of weight you lost from the moment before you started your workout to the moment after. If you didn’t consume anything or use the bathroom during your workout, then all the difference in weight you lost comes from what you sweat out.

Table answering What are two methods of hydrating the body after exercise?

Which of the following represents a healthy fat intake for an athlete?

For athletes it is generally recommended that healthy fat intake should make up around 20% to 35% of their calorie intake.

Which statement is true about the factors affecting physical fitness?

Physical fitness is influenced by a combination of factors including genetics, environment, behavior and how these elements interact with each other.

Table answering Which statement is true about the factors affecting physical fitness?

Which of the following operant conditioning concepts is an example of positive punishment?

Providing drills as a form of punishment after making a mistake during practice is one approach that can be used if the athlete does not like performing drills.

Which of the following are primary neural adaptations to anaerobic training?

The primary neural adaptations resulting from training include increased firing rates and recruitment of motor units. Both serve to increase force production. Increased recruitment of motor neurons is only an early stage adaptation to resistance training. If an athlete is not new to working out, this won’t be a factor that is worth considering in programming. 

Which of the following is an adaptation in tendons from high-intensity anaerobic training?

Engaging in high-intensity training can lead to improved tendon strength and stiffness.

Which of the following describes the change in responsiveness of a receptor to insulin?

A change in how responsive receptors are to insulin is referred to as insulin sensitivity or resistance. This impacts health and performance significantly during anaerobic activities. It can also have a mitigating effect on the onset of chronic diseases that significantly impact the quality of life of many people throughout the world, such as Type II Diabetes Mellitus.

What should be the starting point of any successful nutrition plan for an athlete?

To create a nutrition plan, for athletes it is important to start with a personalized assessment and set goals. However, it is important to keep in mind that nutrition prescription is something that a registered and licensed dietitian should be responsible for as it is outside of the professional scope of practice of many strength and conditioning coaches. That being said, it is important for coaches to support athletes in making dietary decisions that best suit their goals.

Which of the following are characteristics of anorexia nervosa?

Anorexia nervosa is characterized by calorie restriction, a fear of gaining weight and an altered perception of ones body.

Table answering Which of the following are characteristics of anorexia nervosa?

How does the intermittent recovery test differ from the intermittent endurance test?

The intermittent recovery test emphasizes brief exercise intervals followed by rest periods while the intermittent endurance test measures sustained endurance.

Which of the following is a physiological role of growth hormone and its superfamily?

Growth hormone plays a role, in promoting tissue growth, muscle protein synthesis and fat metabolism.

Which of the following is an exercise strategy during the fibroblastic repair phase of an injury?

During the healing process of an injury it is common to incorporate exercises that promote tissue alignment and collagen synthesis without putting much stress on the healing tissue.

Which of the following is a symptom specific to nonfunctional overreaching?

Nonfunctional overreaching is identifiable by a prolonged decline in performance ability that necessitates recovery periods. It may exhibit symptoms similar to overtraining syndrome . Without significant psychological or emotional impact. Overreaching can sometimes be functional as a driver of progress, but if it is sustained too long or performed at too high of a level, then the athlete is not accumulating additional useful training time. 

Which of the following contributes the most to total energy expenditure?

The basal metabolic rate (BMR) plays the role in determining total energy expenditure. It represents the energy utilized by the body for functions while, at rest.

Table answering Which of the following contributes the most to total energy expenditure?

High-Intensity strength exercises such as sprinting and powerlifting use which type of muscle fibers?

Strength exercises that focus on such; as sprinting and powerlifting primarily engage Type II muscle fibers, also known as fast twitch fibers. However, due to the size principle of motor unit recruitment, heavier exercises will involve both Type I and Type II fibers. Fibers tend to be recruited in ascending order from smallest to largest as exercise intensity increases. This isn’t a purely linear process because fibers are recruited by motor unit. Motor units are made up of motor neurons and the fibers that those motor neurons innervate. If a motor unit sends an action potential to its fibers, multiple fibers get activated and perform a single muscle twitch.

Which is an example of a positive reinforcer?

An example of a reinforcer can be giving praise or a reward after exhibiting desired behavior.

For resistance training, how is intensity expressed?

When it comes to resistance training intensity is often expressed as a percentage of one’s maximal strength for an exercise, which is the maximal amount of weight they can lift for a single repetition (1 RM).

What effect does physical activity have on body composition?

Physical activity can influence the size and volume of tissues in the body. This occurs in both short and long term ways. An exercise session that causes an athlete to sweat will alter their body composition immediately by reducing the amount of water retained by their body. Long term, physical activity can influence the amount of fat, muscle, and bone tissue an athlete has.

Which type of muscle fibers are more easily stimulated and, thus, is recruited first?

Type I muscle fibers (also known as slow twitch muscle fibers) are easily recruited first during physical activity.

What safety factor must be considered any time someone is working with free weights?

When working with weights it is important to have appropriate and safe equipment, as well as spotters when exercises require a spotter. Spotters are only necessary for over the head and over the face exercises.

A training intensity of 67 percent or less is most closely related to which training adaptation?

Typically speaking when targeting endurance during training sessions, an intensity level below 67% is usually recommended. This works best for sets of 12 repetitions or greater.

Which statement is true regarding warm-up sessions?

Preparing the body for physical activity is done through warm up sessions which helps increase body temperature and blood flow to muscles.

Which of the following statements about weight training is true?

Engaging in weight training can result in improvements in muscle strength, endurance and hypertrophy (muscle growth).

What are the branched chain amino acids?

The branched chain amino acids consist of leucine, isoleucine and valine.

Table answering What are the branched chain amino acids?

Which of the following movements trains a client in all three planes of motion?

A lunge with a twist allows for training across all three planes of motion. The sagittal plane of motion, the frontal plane of motion, and the transverse plane of motion.

Table answering Which of the following movements trains a client in all three planes of motion?

How does strength training improve body composition?

Incorporating strength training into your routine can improve body composition by increasing muscle mass. This is especially the case if you are in a slight caloric surplus. If your caloric surplus is too great, you will gain more fat and your body composition will worsen. If you are in a caloric deficit, you may experience little to no increase in muscle size, but the extra calories burned by engaging in physical activity will support reductions in body fat. In either instance, body composition may improve if consuming the appropriate number of calories.

Where are epinephrine and norepinephrine produced?

Epinephrine and norepinephrine are hormones produced within the adrenal glands.

What is the ideal landing position when performing the squat jump exercise?

The ideal landing position after the feet leave the ground is in the quarter squat in most but not all instances. When landing, it is important to squat in some way because this causes the shock of the landing to be dissipated as you go through the range of motion, absorbing the ground reaction force through eccentric muscle contractions. If the squat is deeper, your muscles will have a longer period of time to disperse the ground reaction force over, which means peak force at any given point is lower. Having lower peak force will be protective of sensitive tissues like ligaments in your knee such as your anterior cruciate ligament, which is very susceptible to injury. The heavier you are and the greater your peak height, the deeper your landing squat should be to disperse and absorb the force safely. Similarly, if connective tissue in your lower body is weak for a known reason, it’s more advantageous to squat more deeply.

Which event stimulates contraction of cardiac muscle?

The contraction of muscle is initiated by a signal generated by the sinoatrial node. It is considered the pacemaker of the heart.

Which of the following would not be considered a component of health-related fitness?

Ball handling skills would typically not fall under the category of health related fitness components as it relates to skill.

What two parts make up velocity?

Velocity consists of both speed and displacement. This differs from speed which is independent of displacement.

What is carbohydrate loading?

Carbohydrate loading involves consuming larger volumes of carbohydrate prior to an event and is a strategy employed to optimize glycogen stores in muscles before endurance events.

Body composition can be best determined using which of the following?

Energy X ray absorptiometry (DEXA) is the most accurate methods for assessing body composition. However, it requires expensive equipment and a specially trained professional to use, so it’s not often accessible to the average coach.

Which of the following is a benefit of increased flexibility?

Increased flexibility offers advantages, including better performance in many activities and a reduced risk of injuries.

Table answering Which of the following is a benefit of increased flexibility?

Which of the following is a temperature-related effect of a well-designed warm-up?

Increased tissue extensibility occurs as a result of the temperature increase following a proper warm-up.

Pushing against a stationary object for eight seconds is what type of exercise?

Performing an eight second push against a fixed object constitutes an isometric exercise given that the length of muscles involved does not change for the duration of the exercise. 

Which of the following athletes would be most likely to peak the earliest?

Gymnasts often reach their peak performance earlier in their careers due to the demands and nature in their sport. 

What are the two major determinants of athletic performance?

Genetics and training are recognized as the factors influencing performance. However, there are many other factors that significantly influence performance, such as diet and psychological environment.

Which of the following statements best describes muscular endurance?

Muscle endurance refers to the ability of a muscle to contract repeatedly without getting tired, over a period of time.

What is a disadvantage of active stretching?

One drawback of active stretching is that it is not as proficient in increasing passive range of motion as passive or static stretching, and therefore is less effective at supporting long term improvements in overall flexibility. However, it is effective at acutely increasing dynamic range of motion and dynamic flexibility, which improves performance during immediate activities.

What is a static stretch?

A static stretch involves holding a stretched position at the end of a joint’s range of motion for an extended duration, typically at minimum of 30 seconds.

What is the definition of agility as it relates to the element of reactive training?

Agility refers to the capability of efficiently changing the direction of the body in response to stimulus.

Why is a jump-down exercise considered more advanced than a jump-up exercise?

Jump down exercises are considered advanced compared to jump up exercises because the act of landing in a jump down requires control of muscles and absorption of impact. If not executed correctly there is an increased risk of injury.

Which of the following describes an athlete’s maximum lactate steady state?

An athlete’s lactate steady state refers to the intensity at which lactate production matches lactate clearance resulting in stable lactate levels in the bloodstream. This occurs just before OBLA, which is the point at which onset of blood lactate is established.

What is interval training?

Interval training involves alternating periods of high intensity exercise with periods of rest or lower intensity recovery.

Which of the following describes the clavicles?

The clavicles, also known as collarbones are slender. Have an S shaped structure. They horizontally connect the sternum to the shoulder blades.

Which of the following are metabolic effects of a high-carbohydrate diet for athletes?

A high carbohydrate diet for athletes can have metabolic effects that include increased storage of glycogen in muscles and the liver. This can enhance aerobic endurance performance.

During a squat, the lowering phase would be described as what type of muscle action?

When performing the exercise, agonist muscles go through an eccentric contraction where they lengthen under tension. This is known as eccentric muscle action.

Chart answering During a squat, the lowering phase would be described as what type of muscle action?

What is the name for the minimum strength of stimulus necessary to generate a muscle contraction?

The minimum level of stimulus required to initiate a muscle contraction is called the threshold stimulus.

Which of the following refers to one neuron and all the skeletal muscle cells it stimulates?

A motor unit refers to the muscle cells and the neuron that is responsible for stimulating their contraction.

Which exercise primarily strengthens the gastrocnemius and soleus?

The standing calf raise primarily strengthens the gastrocnemius and soleus.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is the CSCS exam hard?

While the CSCS online course is no walk in the park, the CSCS can be quite a challenging test as well. Its pass rate is right around 56%, so you are almost as likely to pass your first test as you are to fail. The percentage needed to pass is 70%, which is generally considered generous as far as certifications go. The CSCS test questions are known to be more challenging than simply defining what something is or simple true and false questions. So, the CSCS is considered to be a long and challenging test, so you will need to pay attention.

How many questions are there in the CSCS exams, and what is a passing grade?

The CSCS exam is split into two sections. Section one has 80 scored questions and 15 questions that are not scored. The second section of the test is made up of 110 scored questions and 15 non-scored questions. The total number of CSCS questions is 220, and these are all multiple-choice questions. A passing score on the exam is a 70%. It is a good idea to take CSCS mock tests and really examine the CSCS practice questions test.

Where can you take the CSCS exam?

You can take the mock test CSCS and the regular test at the nearest Pearson VUE testing center. There are several of these centers throughout the nation. Make sure to look into the Pearson site to find the closest one to you, and check the calendar for CSCS test dates. There will be many CSCS exam dates to choose from, so be sure it fits in your schedule and that you are ready to test.

What happens if you fail the CSCS exam?

You have a slightly higher chance of passing than failing, but still, it is a high chance of not passing. For this, consider the option of a retake. To qualify for a retake, you have to wait 90 days to retake the exam since the last time it was taken. You can register for a retake 5 days after a failed exam. The option to take the exam again is unlimited. You will only need to resubmit the AED/CPR information if it has expired. One really good thing is, if you only fail one of the sections, you will only need to retake it, not the other one, so it is important to note that. 

How long after the exam will I receive the certificate?

After the NSCA CSCS exam has been completed and passed, you will receive the certification package in 6 – 8 working weeks. The certificate is not available in any form online.

How long is the certification valid?

The certification is good for 3 whole years from the date of passing the CSCS exam. The exam will need to be retaken before this certification expires. If the certification has expired, you may petition for being reinstated as long as you have all of the CEU during the normal period of 3 years, you submitted proof of them being earned, you have a verified and current AED/CPR certification, and you have paid the reinstatement and recertification fees in the right time frame. 

How much does the CSCS exam cost?

For a member of the NSCA, the exam registration fee is 340 dollars, the retake for both sections is 340 dollars, and the retake fee for just one section is 250 dollars. For someone who is not a member, the exam registration fee is 475 dollars, the retake fee for both sections is 475 dollars, and the retake fee is 385 dollars for just one section.

Where can I find more study materials and test prep for the CSCS?

CSCS online study guides are helpful for preparation. When studying for CSCS, it is important to get as many CSCS practice exam questions as you can, as the material is quite challenging. The strength and conditioning test from NSCA is challenging, and you can’t go wrong with additional study materials offered here on Trainer Academy, and also the free study materials from PTpioneer.

What other study materials can I use to prepare for the CSCS?

Studying for the CSCS NSCA offers can be challenging and requires a good amount of time to prepare. I offer some great resources here at Trainer Academy. The paid CSCS exam study guide will ensure a passing grade. We also offer support study materials such as CSCS flashcards and audio guides in the paid study systems. If you want to check out more free study items and CSCS prep, PTPioneer has excellent CSCS study materials and CSCS study questions. It is important to get as much CSCS exam prep as possible. They also have NASM materials and much more.

Conclusion

The last study tip I have for you for the CSCS exam is to use memorization mnemonics, which can really work wonders for difficult-to-remember topics from the textbook.

This is an excellent way for students to take the education and hammer it home with details that anyone, everyone, and all individuals and learners can utilize to ensure the CSCS training courses have the intended effect: passing the CSCS exam.

Another great technique is using spaced repetition flashcards.

These use an algorithm to learn which flashcards you already know and which flashcards you have trouble with.

Implementing these into your studies makes it easier for you to pass your final exam and earn your precious strength and conditioning cert.

If you want to become a personal trainer, then I recommend the NSCA-CPT, but also the following:

These are all rated as some of the best personal trainer certifications.

For example, take a look through some of the personal trainer certification practice preparation from NASM vs. ACE.

There are also more great materials and exam information found when exploring NASM vs. ISSA.

One good thing about exam cheat sheets is that they reduce the overall time it takes to become a personal trainer, or in this case, a strength and conditioning coach.

They are all accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), which is a non-profit organization and the gold standard accreditation in the fitness industry.

NCCA-accredited certifications also open the door to many great career opportunities.

In case you want to become a nutrition coach, there are plenty of nutrition certifications to choose from.

It’s also worth sharing that having more than just a personal trainer certification will increase your overall personal trainer salary.

Areas similar to fitness and wellness and maximizing performance is always expanding, hence why the personal trainer job outlook is expected to continue to flourish.

Even if you want to become a group exercise instructor, there are a ton of group fitness certifications up for grabs.

Just do your research.

And with the popularity of the internet, I wouldn’t be surprised if you want to become an online personal trainer.

If you put your mind to it, and you want to make money as a personal trainer, then there’s no question you’ll make it as a successful online trainer.

Overall, the NSCA CSCS is one of my all-time favorite strength and conditioning courses, and I hope my article taught you a lot more.

References

  1. Weldon A, Duncan MJ, Turner A, et al. Contemporary practices of strength and conditioning coaches in professional soccer. Biology of Sport. 2021;38(3). doi: https://doi.org/10.5114/biolsport.2021.99328
  2. ‌Seo MW, Jung SW, Kim SW, Lee JM, Jung HC, Song JK. Effects of 16 Weeks of Resistance Training on Muscle Quality and Muscle Growth Factors in Older Adult Women with Sarcopenia: A Randomized Controlled Trial. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021;18(13):6762. doi: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136762
  3. ‌Lin TY, Hsieh SS, Chueh TY, Huang CJ, Hung TM. The effects of barbell resistance exercise on information processing speed and conflict-related ERP in older adults: a crossover randomized controlled trial. Scientific Reports. 2021;11(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-88634-5
  4. Haff, G. G., & Triplett, N. T. (Eds.). (2015). Essentials of strength training and conditioning 4th edition. Human kinetics. 
  5. Knudson, D. V., & Knudson, D. (2007). Fundamentals of biomechanics (Vol. 183). New York: Springer.

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4 thoughts on “Free CSCS Practice Exam 2024 – 100 Helpful practice questions”

  1. Great resource for passing the CSCS test! I’m excited to try out these practice questions and see how well I can do. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Asked them to hear, we have crafted these CSCS practice exams to be extremely helpful. I hope you found them valuable in that you crush your CSCS exam. Good luck!

      Reply
    • Hey sean, I hope you’re well. You can see the results of your practice exam after you complete the last question. It will show you a full breakdown of all of the questions you got right and which ones you got wrong. I hope this helps and good luck studying for your CSCS exam.

      Reply

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100 CSCS Practice Q's

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