MJHUSKERS

10+ Year Member
Apr 12, 2009
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Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
I know there are a couple of people on here who are also interested in human performance and are either preparing for the CSCS exam or have it. I plan to study for the exam for the next few months before I start PT school in the fall. My undergrad background is in biology and exercise science, but not a lot of strength and conditioning...beside being an athlete myself. I have some questions for you guys:

--Do you suggest taking the exam before PT school or after? I thought it would be a good way to review anatomy, phys., kinesiology, etc. before PT school starts and earn a certification in the process.

--What did you use for study materials? Did you purchase practice exams and the works?

--Do you have any study material you would like to sell or loan for a payment?

--I know this question varies amongst everyone's diverse backgrounds...but how bad was it?
 

atstudent

Certified Athletic Traine
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Jun 3, 2009
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I haven't taken the CSCS exam yet, but I am considering doing so this summer. I'm an athletic training student graduating in December. I have been told that we should be ready to take the exam after our Resistance Training class that we took last fall. I have the Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning or whatever it's called. Our instructor told us that would be the most useful thing to study from..
 
Sep 28, 2009
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Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
i am also considering stuyding for and taking the CSCS exam this summer. i will be graduating with an exercise science degree and i also have the essentials of strength training and conditioning book. im also interested in advice for preparing for the exam, if any of you have taken it recently please share your tips!
 

MuscleHead

10+ Year Member
Feb 13, 2009
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Ambler, PA
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Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
question:

what are the prereqs to get this certification (not just passing the exam) and how would it be benefit a physical therapist? i notice a lot of PT (not just those with ATC's) who have this cert.

i am also considering stuyding for and taking the CSCS exam this summer. i will be graduating with an exercise science degree and i also have the essentials of strength training and conditioning book. im also interested in advice for preparing for the exam, if any of you have taken it recently please share your tips!
 

MJHUSKERS

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Apr 12, 2009
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The only prereq right now (it's changing) is a B.S./B.A. and a lot of money. However, there is talk that they will require students to be exercise science majors in the near future to obtain this certification.

The CSCS is currently the "gold standard" if you are interested in training athletes. I used quotes because it doesn't mean this is the best human performance training in the world. In fact, many of my professors and strength coaches recommend to learn the NSCA stuff for the test and then dump as soon as you are done with the test. Many coaches don't agree with what the NSCA preaches, but it gives everyone a starting point.

Anyways, get it if you are interested at all working with athletes in physical therapy. If you don't have it and you claim to be "physical therapy and human performance" at your independent clinic...no athlete will take you seriously without the CSCS.
 

MuscleHead

10+ Year Member
Feb 13, 2009
207
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Ambler, PA
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Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
The only prereq right now (it's changing) is a B.S./B.A. and a lot of money. However, there is talk that they will require students to be exercise science majors in the near future to obtain this certification.

The CSCS is currently the "gold standard" if you are interested in training athletes. I used quotes because it doesn't mean this is the best human performance training in the world. In fact, many of my professors and strength coaches recommend to learn the NSCA stuff for the test and then dump as soon as you are done with the test. Many coaches don't agree with what the NSCA preaches, but it gives everyone a starting point.

Anyways, get it if you are interested at all working with athletes in physical therapy. If you don't have it and you claim to be "physical therapy and human performance" at your independent clinic...no athlete will take you seriously without the CSCS.
interesting...what if im not an exercise science major..
 

atstudent

Certified Athletic Traine
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Jun 3, 2009
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The only prereq right now (it's changing) is a B.S./B.A. and a lot of money. However, there is talk that they will require students to be exercise science majors in the near future to obtain this certification.

The CSCS is currently the "gold standard" if you are interested in training athletes. I used quotes because it doesn't mean this is the best human performance training in the world. In fact, many of my professors and strength coaches recommend to learn the NSCA stuff for the test and then dump as soon as you are done with the test. Many coaches don't agree with what the NSCA preaches, but it gives everyone a starting point.

Anyways, get it if you are interested at all working with athletes in physical therapy. If you don't have it and you claim to be "physical therapy and human performance" at your independent clinic...no athlete will take you seriously without the CSCS.
There are a lot of people looking toward the Performance Enhancement Specialist or Corrective Exercise Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. I think I will eventually get one of these two, but I have to first get the ATC credential and probably the CSCS to start with. But I don't think you can go wrong with the PES or CES either..
 

MJHUSKERS

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Apr 12, 2009
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NASM's PES and CES are good too, but even more expensive to take their exams and CSCS is still the gold standard that athletes look for first
 

lee9786

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Feb 3, 2009
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Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
The only prereq right now (it's changing) is a B.S./B.A. and a lot of money. However, there is talk that they will require students to be exercise science majors in the near future to obtain this certification.
Surely DPTs would be able to get the certification no?
 

MJHUSKERS

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Apr 12, 2009
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Not sure with future changes? I know they will stop people with art/theater/etc. majors and completly unrelated fields in the near future. I would expect it will be something like exercise science or exercise science related majors (Bio, AT) can sit for the exam. It's to turn away all those horrid personal "trainers" that you see out there today as they will also require a degree to get the NSCA-CPT (certified personal trainer). Personal trainers right now need no education beyond high school....

One physical therapist told me is was extremely easy test after going through PT school and taking the boards. Obviously there is some overlap there.
 

MinnDasota

10+ Year Member
Apr 10, 2008
446
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NYC
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DPT / OTD
I have been studying off and on for the CSCS as most of my co-workers have the cert. They said it wasn't hard, just need to devote some time to study the material.

I am glad to hear that they are making it more difficult to get the cert.
 

MJHUSKERS

10+ Year Member
Apr 12, 2009
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Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
Minn,

Are just studying from the Essentionals Text or did you purchase study guides? Please detail everything you are using for the exam.
 

MinnDasota

10+ Year Member
Apr 10, 2008
446
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NYC
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DPT / OTD
I have the book and some of the practice exams. That's it. Another one of my colleagues is studying for it also and he has all the discs, etc (although I don't think he will use all of it to study). Our current PT interns took the exam in November and all she did was study the book for a week and took the exam. She passed.

Most of my colleagues have kines/exercise science backgrounds so a lot of it is just review. However, I think the hard part for us (since we usually don't engage in high level strength and conditioning) was learning the interval training stuff, different types of lifting techniques, and gym set up.
 
Jan 25, 2010
27
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Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
I took it last year and passed both sections. A lot of the material comes from the tables in the essential's book. Most exercise science undergrads should not have a problem with the written portion that relates to the science. However the practical video portion causes people fits. The video examples show multiple things wrong and ask for the "best answer" I would find someone with the video's and go over them. If you get a video about the 2nd pull of the power clean and the subject on the video looks like he is doing the worm.......whats the best answer?
 
Jul 20, 2009
18
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Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
I took and passed the CSCS exam senior year of my exercise sci undergrad. They didnt even wait until i graduated and gave me my cert like 6 months before i graduated.

I basically used the 3 practice tests and the dvd that came with it and the textbook. When i took the first practice exam before reviewing anything I got like just under 70% correct. (you need 70% to pass) It took me about a month to prepare all in all.

Heres what i did:
1.)i took a practice exam and used the grading section to see what topics i was weak in.
2.) i read the whole book, every chapter paying special attention to the weak topics. After each chapter i answered the multiple choice study questions at the end.
3.) after i finished reading the book, i took another practice exam. Again i analyzed on what types of questions and topics where i was weak.
4.)then about 1 week away from the exam i took the exam 3. corrected it.

5) for the next week until the exam, i took all the questions i got wrong on any of the 3 practice exams and the study ques. and went back into the book and read those corresponding page numers(for each question on the practice exam they have corresponding page numbers where you can read the information)

the practice exams really help alot, because they help you get used to the whole layout and video section. The types of questions and what they are asking for are pretty much the same.

Someone who is an ex sci major with a natural interest in strength training like yourself should have no problem with this exam. I almost knew enough to pass the first practice exam that i took without studying. But i wanted to make sure my 400$ didnt go to waste and i enjoy studying that stuff anyway. Good luck!
 
Jan 25, 2010
27
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0
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
If I remember correctly the pass rate is below 50%.......that being said all you have to do to take the test is pay the money, so you really don't know who is taking it. I took it with 4 other class mates that went through the same program I did and 2 of the 6 passed. Myself and the other individual studied together for it 4 Friday mornings in a row before the exam. We went over all the review exams and DVD's, this was after we took a semester course that went over the book.

I went on 5 interviews for PT schools this year and each one of them asked about the C.S.C.S. that I had on my application. Did it help.....I don't know.....but they noticed and asked about it.

It may help you in an ortho/sport type setting. At my undergrad college there were some ortho-outpatient PT's that went into the athletic training rooms once a week to help the ATC's with some of their athlete's they were having a hard time getting back to the field.
 
Jan 25, 2010
27
0
0
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
Check within your department, one of my program directors had a copy of all the materials from 4 or 5 years ago and she let any student use them. I'd start there
 

MJHUSKERS

10+ Year Member
Apr 12, 2009
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Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
Get it if you ever want to train an athlete in performance...other than that, you don't need it.

Cardthrower and CTK, did you purchase one of the packages of study material? I'm not sure what I should buy from the NSCA website besides the NSCA text. They have multiple dvds and like 9 different practice exams for different sections. What do you recommend on buying? Also, is worth becoming a member of NSCA for discount rates?
 
Jan 25, 2010
27
0
0
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
I did not purchase anything other than the text book. Our exercise science lab had all the NSCA practice material and I used them. You have to be a member to maintain your CSCS and do CEU's. You should be able to get a student rate and if you attend an accredited university you might be able to get a discount code.
 
Jul 20, 2009
18
0
0
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
i already had the essentials of strength conditioning text because it was the required text for one of my classes.

Then i just bought the 3 practice exam booklets which includes 1 dvd.
The dvd just shows 10 second clips of people doing certain exercises. Those correspond to "video questions" on the practice exams.

The cscs website can be a little overwhelming. They list a lot of extra crap in different packages. IMO, you only really need the "CSCS practice exam set" and "Essentials of strength and conditioning textbook"

I would let you borrow or sell them to you but i already sold them off on craigslist.
 

MJHUSKERS

10+ Year Member
Apr 12, 2009
163
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Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
Did you guys take the computer-based or paper-based exam? Is there suppose to be any difference at all in the test?
 
Jan 25, 2010
27
0
0
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
I drove about an hour and half to take the paper version. I have a hard time reading for long periods of time on a computer. Some of my classmates went in our group and some stayed and took it in town here a few weeks later. No difference in the exams. There is something like a 1000 question bank and on any given day you will get some combination of them.
 

stizzatc

10+ Year Member
Dec 28, 2008
5
0
0
Status
Rehab Sci Student
before you decide to do it before or after see if your PT program has elective requirements. You may be able to complete your CSCS as an independent study for graduate credit. Thats the route Im taking
 

stizzatc

10+ Year Member
Dec 28, 2008
5
0
0
Status
Rehab Sci Student
oh and i have the 2nd edition text..what edition are yous all studyin with..thats right i said yous
 
Jan 25, 2010
27
0
0
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
I have a few PDF files that you might find useful. If anyone is interested please send me a private message.
 
Nov 5, 2012
4
1
1
Status
DPT / OTD
If anyone has the 3rd edition of Essentials of Strength and Conditioning, I am in the process of purchasing. Please private message me if interested. Thanks!
 
Oct 9, 2011
8
0
1
Oklahoma
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
I too will be taking the CSCS test soon. I've already ordered the book but I am still looking for a copy of the practice tests. Please PM me if you are interested in getting rid of them.
 

rlw237

10+ Year Member
Mar 2, 2009
90
0
0
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
Just my two cents. I got my cscs during my first clinical. After I Became certified, I started personal training. I got my cert in hopes of setting myself apart from other new grades. I am having alot of luck with interviewing because of my cscs and personal training. I highly recommend this to anyone trying to do anything sports or ortho related.