Update: I am no longer offering tutoring services or referrals to anyone that is.
That’s right! Based on the wild popularity of this post, I am offering my services to help tutor fellow CSCS wannabe’s.
It’s true, there’s very few resources out there to help you study specifically for this exam, and that’s why I’m doing it. There are mounds and mounds and mounds of training material out there (and an even greater amount of crappy [mis]information out there too) but none of that helps if you can’t apply it to this specific test.
Cost of the CSCS exam
Right now, it’s going to cost you $310 just to take the computer-based test if you’re already an NSCA member. If you’re not an NSCA member, it will cost you $445. Should you fail one of the sections (there are two), it will cost you an additional $215 or $350, respectfully. Even worse than that, it’s $260 or $395 (respectfully) if you need to retake both sections.
So, in the worst case scenario, if you’re not an NSCA member, you end up failing both sections, and you absolutely have to pass this test, you will be looking at a grand total of $840!! That doesn’t include a textbook or any other study material you may buy along the way. Yikes!
Lack of affordable studying materials from NSCA
At the very least, you will need to buy the Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning textbook (even if you hire me as your tutor). Have to (even if you hire me as your tutor). You can find it on the internet cheaper, but if you buy through the NSCA, it will cost you up to $84.
Next up is their practice exams. If you’re a member and want to buy all three, it will still cost you $64. Non-members, yikes. You’re dishing out $97.95 (plus shipping).
If you remember from my previous post, those are the absolute essentials you need to study in order to pass the test. If you want to spend more of your money (on top of just paying for the test), you can spend up to an additional $350! WAT!!!!
With a quick Google search, I found that there are several other training education organizations that produce study materials, but I cannot confirm, nor deny, the quality of those products since I have not tried them all. I can truthfully say that I bought a set of 3rd party flash cards, and they were extremely ineffective. After two attempts to study from them, I put them back on my bookshelf and never picked them up again.
Let’s say you’re a savvy blog reader, you click on some of those links above, and then find out that they offer an “Elite+ package” that includes your exam registration and a bunch of study material. That thing, while cheaper than piecing all the components together, is still going to cost you $562 for members and $841 for non-members (which still doesn’t guarantee you won’t need to re-take it if you fail). If you buy only the stuff that I consider essential, it will cost you about $458, plus some shipping fees for random items.
Lack of effective studying materials from NSCA
Don’t take that the wrong way. With the bare essentials of NSCA study materials, I was able to successfully pass my exam on the first try using only the materials I bought from the NSCA. (Please keep in mind, I had over 10 years of experience under the bar, on the field, and being coached by great coaches along the way.) What I really mean by “effective materials” is that they are static. They don’t provide feedback. They can’t adapt to your learning style. A textbook is a textbook. It’s not going to change the words or the pictures. The practice exams are simply questions and answers. They don’t provide reasons for the correct answers, nor do they re-word the questions so that you can better understand them.
How I can help you pass this test
1) I’ve already passed it. On the first try. Without a 4-year degree in an exercise science related field. Just sayin…
2) I will still require you buy the textbook (and I’ll help you find one cheaper than $84 if you’d like), but I already have the practice exams.
3) If the review questions in the book plus the practice exams aren’t enough, I have a giganto stack of flash cards to create more questions for you.
4) I’m a human being. All of the shortfalls that I listed in the heading above? Yeah. I can re-phrase questions. I can provide feedback. I can adapt to the way you prefer to learn.
What would this cost you?
First let’s look at the cost of what you’d need to buy just to take the exam and the bare essentials again.
For NSCA members:
Exam registration: $310 for the computer based test
Textbook: $80 through NSCA
Three practice exams: $64
Total Cost: $454 (plus some random shipping fees)
For NSCA non-members:
Exam registration: $445 for the computer based test
Textbook: $84 through NSCA
Three practice exams: $98
Total Cost: $627 (!!!) (plus some random shipping fees)
Keep in mind, these totals do not guarantee 1st time passing nor do they include the cost of retaking the test! Let me remind you of those fees:
Retake 1 section: $215
Retake 2 sections: $260
Retake 1 section: $350
Retake 2 sections: $395
The bottom line
The bottome line is this:
It took me roughly 4 weeks or less of dedicated studying, 4-5 hours/night, 5 nights/week, in order to pass on my first time through.
I feel confident that I can do the same for you, but with perhaps less studying (that’ll be up to you) since I will be able to shortcut the “hide ‘n seek” game you play while searching for answers in the textbook. Basically, I will be making your study time more efficient so that you can spend more of your time training clients or finding an employer.
While I can’t yet guarantee that you’ll pass on your first time through with me as your tutor, I can guarantee that you won’t spend any more time studying than you absolutely need in order to be confident enough that you will pass.
Because I am just opening this up for the first time ever, the first 2 people to sign-up will be getting a great discount. I only want to take on 2 students to begin with in order to deliver the highest quality information I possibly can. With more people, there are more distractions. With more distractions, the quality goes down. I want to make sure that I’m focused on you! You are the one I care about.
I will offer two plans. If you’re aggressive and want to get this thing knocked out, I have a 4-week plan. If you think you need a little more time or are just starting out in your training career, I will offer an 8 week plan as well.
The 4-week plan is $400 for NSCA members and $500 for non-members.
The 8-week plan is $750 for NSCA members and $900 for non-members.
Let’s think about this…
Members: registration, book (with my help), 4-weeks of tutoring ≈ $765
Non-members: registration, book (with my help), 4-weeks of tutoring ≈ $1,000
Yes, these prices are more expensive than if you just go it alone. However, you will be spending your time studying a lot more efficiently and greatly increasing your chances of passing on the first time through. Take a look at not getting the tutoring, buying the bare essentials, and having to retake both sections:
Members: registration, book, practice exams, retaking 2 sections ≈ $714 (!)
Non-members: registration, book, practice exams, retaking 2 sections ≈ $1,022 (!!!)
Not only can I SAVE you MONEY, but I can also SAVE you excess studying time. To me, the dollar amount is not that great, nor is it that important. To me, the value is in the amount of time I can save you, especially if you fail. Just think of all that time studying plus all of that time re-studying, just because you wanted to save a couple extra bucks. Just doesn’t seem worth it to me. Remember, time is money.
Remember, only the first 2 people qualify for these prices!