Free CSCS Practice Test 2023 - Helpful CSCS exam questions

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 combination of endurance and strength training via bench press, resistance exercises, with alternative modes, such as flexibility training, keeps athletes in tip-top shape.

Coaches are knowledgeable on body systems, including structure and functions, such as endocrine responses to 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 and over.

Of all the exercise science careers, strength and conditioning coaches are paid more.

This is especially due to the number of years it takes to go through schooling and gain related, and in most cases, requires experience.

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.

Don’t forget to download the 22-step NSCA-CSCS exam preparation checklist to ensure that you pass the test.

Check out this premium NSCA CSCS MVP study materials here. Reduce your study time by half and receive an exam pass guarantee.

So, let’s dive right in!

NCSA-CSCS Exam Information

The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is one of the most well-respected companies in the industry.

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 foundation, 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.

Section 1: Scientific Foundations

This section is the first of two in this CSCS review, and it covers the fundamental principles used to govern exercise science. 

The material here is basic and needed to know for how you actually apply information in client scenarios. This whole section is 1.5 hours total of the test. 

Section one has 3 domains of the 7 total ones.

Domain 1: Exercise Science

This domain will represent 55% of the first section and around 44 questions in total.

The subjects covered here are anatomy, biomechanics, biochemical activity, and psychology.

Domain 2: Sport Psychology

This section represents 24% of the whole section and around 19 total questions.

The topics covered here are psychological techniques and knowledge used for enhancing training environment with psychology

Domain 3: Nutrition

This represents 21% of the whole section and around 17 total questions.

The topics covered in this section are focused on nutrition as it affects the general health and performance of candidates.

The other nutrition topics revolve around nutritional choices, macro monitoring diet-related psychology, and disorders. 

Section 2: Practical/Applied

This section is 2.5 hours of testing and it contains a total of 125 questions.

As for the application, you’ll be applying the principles throughout section 1 and putting them into action for use in program design for your clients.

There is also a focus on the administration portion of operation as a Personal Trainer. This includes the image and video resources for testing your competence across the domains. 

Section two is made up of the remaining 4 domains out of 7. 

Domain 4: Exercise Technique

This domain is 36% of the whole section 2 and around 40 questions.

This domain is going to test you on the training styles of resistance, agility, sprint, and plyometrics.

We also will have information on the energy systems, ATP cycle, and conditioning of the metabolic systems. Flexibility conditioning and spotting techniques are also touched on throughout these questions. 

Domain 5: Program Design

This domain represents 35% of the whole section and around 38 total questions.

This domain looks at proficiency in crafting plans and programs tailored for clients.

The focus is on the concepts, methods, and modes of training, the selection of exercises, the order, and intensity of exercise, finding the proper volume, progressive overload, unloading, and reconditioning of clients, in order to avoid overtraining and fit client metabolism.

We also need to know the functional ranges and the one rep limits as well as the protocols for recovery in order to have a full understanding of the topic.

Domain 6: Organization and Administration

This is the smallest percentage of the entire examination at around 11% and 12 questions.

This domain looks to test your knowledge of the things needed to run a business in the UK, and across the world.

The test will cover organizational structures, administrative layouts, legal and ethical standards, and insurance and bookkeeping.

Domain 7: Testing and Evaluation

This is the final domain covered and it represents 18% of section 2 and has 20 total questions. This domain will test you on the test selections of tests and test administration.

Practice test interpretation, along with how to read, evaluate, and apply test results are covered as well.

Randomized 70 Question CSCS Practice Exam

Here is a randomized 70 question CSCS free practice exam.

This free CSCS practice mock exam will help familiarize you with the real CSCS examination.

With adequate CSCS test prep, you’ll always be one step ahead.

Click the "Next" button to begin the practice exam

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


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.

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 make 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.

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