The Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) credential, administered by the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists (BCNS), is one way a nutrition professional can demonstrate their advanced education and experienced competency in the field. To become eligible for the CNS credential, one must already hold a masters or doctoral degree in nutrition or a related field, or a clinical doctorate such as an MD/DO, DC, DDS, ND or similar. One must also have completed over 1000 hours of documented, supervised practice experience. Finally, one must complete and pass the CNS credentialing exam.
Understandably, preparing to earn a CNS credential can be time-consuming and expensive, and though the educational and work experience components are largely up to you, there are a few different resources out there to help you prepare for the exam. Check out these CNS exam prep resources to learn about your options and decide which path is right for you.
The Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists
The BCNS issues the CNS credential and provides several resources that can help guide your test preparation. While it is recommended that all CNS candidates review the official CNS handbook and read the recommended text resources, the BCNS does not provide a specific exam review course, practice quizzes or other such interactive resources. However, the BCNS provides a complete outline of what the exam covers, plus current information on all test policies and procedures, but candidates will have to obtain their own study resources and copies of the recommended readings.
For those who simply wish to quiz themselves on the materials they will encounter on the CNS exam, PracticeQuiz.com offers a free CNS quiz module. This module contains fifty questions and features two different modes: Study Mode, which reveals the correct answer to the question right away, and Test Mode, which will email complete results after one has finished the entire quiz. Test-takers may also customize the number of questions and the time limit.
Exam Edge, similar to the above resource, offers a fuller-featured system of CNS practice quizzes with three testing modes, including timed, untimed and explanation mode. Exam Edge allows test-takers to pause the quiz and return to it later, while encouraging familiarity with the CNS format. While these quizzes are designed to help the test-taker discover their weak points and guide a study plan, they are not free, with prices ranging from $17.95 for one quiz to $139 for a bundle of 20.
Study.com is an online learning platform that offers CNS prep courses, practice quizzes and updated test resources bundled into all-inclusive study guides. The exam prep courses are comprehensive, covering all the major subject domains of the exam through brief video lessons and quizzes. Students may challenge themselves further with unlimited, randomly generated practice tests that provide detailed feedback. Each study guide also includes a customizable scheduling system, plus articles on CNS exam logistics and study tips, and 24/7 access to expert help. Full access to these resources is available for a monthly subscription fee.
|Price||Free||Free||$17.95 to $139||Membership Price Varies|
|Comprehensive Content Overview||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|In-Depth Video Lessons w/Transcripts||✔|
|Physical Books or Product|
|Access to Expert Tutors||✔|
|Digital Testing System||✔||✔||✔|
|Detailed Answer Explanations||✔||✔||✔|
|In-Depth Diagnostic to Identify Areas of Strength or Weakness||✔||✔|
|CNS Logistics & Test Taking Tips||✔||✔|
|Built-in Personalized Study Planning System||✔|
|A Good Option For…||Candidates who are comfortable with the material and/or with studying recommended resources independently||Candidates who looking for a simple, free opportunity to challenge their knowledge of CNS materials||Candidates looking for a more detailed practice quiz to help guide their studies and time management||Candidates who would like a comprehensive test prep experience in a flexible and convenient online format|