It doesn't matter if you are preparing for the NSCA CPT exam or the CSCS exam, you are going to need to put in a lot of study time. And then NSCA helps motivate you to get it right the first time by implementing a huge $185-220 retake fee ($305-340 for non-members) for Pencil/paper exam or $235 ($355 for non-members) for computer-based exam. Of course, you don't want to have to retake a three hour test regardless of the fee.
Passing the NSCA Exam?
The NSCA exam is now available in a computer based testing format in addition to the traditional paper based exam. The main benefit of the new format is that you get your results immediately upon completion. The exam can be taken at more than 150 H&R Block locations in the United States and in major cities worldwide.
You have three hours to answer 150 questions. But only 140 of them will be scored. NSCA includes 10 unscored questions to test out potential new exam questions. Of course, they don't tell you which questions count and which ones don't so you need to budget your time to answer all of the questions.
There is a video portion of the exam where you watch a video and then answer 35 questions. Be sure to pay careful attention to how the personal trainer interacts with the client. Obviously, safety should be a prime factor and there are some easy giveaway questions on this topic. The four major exam topics include:
Client Consultation/Assessment(28 questions): initial interview, health appraisal/medical history review, fitness evaluation, basic nutrition and weight management
Program Planning (49 questions): goal setting, program design, training adaptations and special populations
Safety, Emergency Procedures and Legal Issues (14 questions)
Preparing for the NSCA Exam
The NSCA will recommend that you use all of their courseware in order to prep for the exam. That's good advice, although a pricey option. But you can buy used materials on ebay and save some money. You should definitely take our exam prep course. At only $24.95 it is a cheap insurance policy against having to pay up to $340 and spend three hours of your life to take the NSCA exam again (not to mention all the additional exam prep time).
Budget at least 50 hours of study time if you do not have a degree in exercise science.
The section below gives our readers the chance to talk about their experience with the NSCA exam. After you take your exam, remember to come back and tell us how you did and what worked for you!
Have You Taken the NSCA Exam?
Share your tips and experience with taking the NSCA personal trainer exam.
NSCA Exam Insider Tips
Our readers submit some great tips about passing the NSCA personal trainer certification exam. Read the tips and add your comments and ratings to each tip.
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I passed the NSCA-CPT with a scaled …
Math on the NSCA Exam I am taking the NSCA in 2 weeks. I was told no calculators are allowed. What type of math can I expect if no calculators are permitted? Thanks
NSCA Exam Study Planning I just received the textbook NSCA Essentials of Personal Training and I am curious if anyone can help me study!! My main concern is, do I have to know …
NSCA CPT Exam Study Tips Here are some tips.....
Get the 3 practice exam set! and take it early on....when you print out the questions and answers it will give you a very accurate …
NSCA CSCS Exam Study Tips I am certified by the NSCA as a CSCS and am looking to get another certification (maybe NASM-CPT) I thought the CSCS was a hard test to pass, I had to …
NSCA study materials At the NSCA website there are lots of different choices on what on what to buy for study purposes. obviously id like to do this as cheaply as possibly …