How Much Does the CNS Test Cost?
To become a Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS), a candidate has to apply for certification as a health professional, MD/DO, or Scholar (CNS-S). All of these require candidates to submit an application and pay the associated fees. There is a $50 application processing fee and a $300 examination fee for all certifications. These can be paid by check or card, although the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists (BCNS) prefers candidates to pay by card. This can be done at NutritionSpecialists.org.
When you download your CNS or CNS-S Certification Application from the BCNS website, there will be a request for the non-refundable Certification Application processing fee of $50 and the examination fee of $300. If you submit your supervised practice experience documentation separate from the rest of the application packet, there will be an additional $50 processing fee for that as well.
Rescheduling, Cancellations, and Refunds
This is obviously a significant investment, so you don't want your fees to go to waste. While the application processing fee is non-refundable, the examination fee may be subject to refund.
If you need to cancel or reschedule your CNS or CNS-S exam for any reason, you may do so up to 30 days prior to the originally scheduled exam date. As long as you have canceled the exam up to 30 days before the test, you are entitled to a refund of the examination fee. Please allow 4-6 weeks for that refund to be processed. If it is less than 30 days before the exam date, however, you will forfeit the examination fee.
If your goal is to reschedule your CNS or CNS-S exam, then your original application and examination fee can be applied to a new testing date. For this option, you'll have to submit a written request to the BCNS at least a week before your originally scheduled exam. You can postpone your test for one examination cycle, but if you wait any longer than that, then you will have to submit a new application and pay another set of application processing and examination fees.
If a candidate applies to take the exam for the CNS or CNS-S certification but does not pass the exam, they can apply to try again. However, the process looks just a little bit different this time. The candidate must submit a specific application, the BCNS Reexamination Application, and a $200 reexamination fee.
Other Associated Costs
In addition to the application processing and examination fees, there may be a few other costs associated with getting and maintaining your CNS certification. For one, maintaining your certification requires maintaining good standing with the BCNS organization. To ensure that your membership with the BCNS remains active, you must pay an annual fee of $100, which must be paid by the end of each calendar year.
For many students, there may also be costs associated with buying study guides and test preparation courses. Luckily, you do have access to these through Study.com as well. The CNS Information Guide contains information about the certification process and exam, as well as test prep materials, including lessons, flashcards, and practice tests. The Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS): Test Prep & Study Guide contains 22 chapters of lessons, quizzes, and flashcards to help you master the knowledge you'll need to pass the certification exam.