Are you prepared for your exam? Find out by taking our free practice test, featuring questions from the 2024 syllabus

About the CST Practice Test

On this page you’ll see 15 CST practice test questions, all representative of the type of questions you can expect to see on your real exam.

They cover all three content categories the CST tests you on:

  • Perioperative Care (91 questions of the exam’s content)
  • Ancillary Duties (26 questions)
  • Basic Science (33 questions)

Just choose what you think is the right answer, then enter your email address so we can send you a detailed breakdown of what you got right and wrong on your practice exam.

Then cross your fingers, and click through to see your score!

How to prepare for your CST exam

As you’ll know when you’ve taken the free CST practice exam, the real exam isn’t easy! Even if you’ve completed an CST  educational program or logged hundreds of hours of work experience, you should not expect to just show up on the day and be able to pass.

Many people go into the exam totally unprepared…which is why nationwide around 75% of people pass!

But don’t worry: the exam isn’t impossibly difficult. The problem is that most students aren’t told how to prepare properly, and they’re given giant textbooks that are impossible to memorize.

We were sick of seeing people waste hundreds of dollars on making multiple attempts to pass their CST exam, and being unable to start their career as surgeon.

Taking online quizzes is a good start, but it’s an inefficient form of exam practice.

That’s why we put together CST Hero, which tells you exactly what you need to know and gives you all the tools we need to prepare. It’s so good, our students’ pass rate is 98% – and if you don’t pass first time, we’ll give you a full refund!

We’ll tell you more about CST Hero after you’ve taken the practice test. Taking free CST practice tests is a great place to start, because the practice questions you get right and wrong will give you an idea of which content categories you need to focus on.

Common questions about the CST exam

What is the format of the CST exam?

The CST exam is a computer-based exam with 175 multiple-choice questions – 150 of which are scored, and 25 of which are unscored. Unscored questions are placed randomly throughout the exam, and you won’t know which ones they are. 

Which topics are covered on the CST?

The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) provides the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) certification and created questions categorized across three content categories. Questions are randomly distributed throughout the exam – i.e. they are not presented in the order of the content category below.

The three content categories are: 

  • Perioperative Care (91 questions)
  • Ancillary Duties (26 questions)
  • I Basic Science(33 questions)

Important: if you see any study guides or practice tests that mention different numbers or content categories, they are outdated and should not be used.

How long is the CST exam? 

You’ll have four hours to answer the questions. 

How is the CST exam scored?

You will receive a preliminary pass or fail report right after you finish the exam. An official score report will be sent to you approximately 2 weeks after the exam is taken.

To pass the exam, you will need to answer at least 102 of the 150 scored questions correctly.

Can I take the CST exam without going to school?

To be eligible for the CST exam, you must either have graduated from a surgical technology program or a military training program in surgical technology.

How much does the exam cost?

The examination fee is $190 for AST members and $290 for non-members.

How long should I take to study for the CST exam?

We’ve heard of people passing with as little as a week of study, but a more realistic amount of time to allow is 1-2 months. Allowing longer to prepare will make the experience less stressful, and you’re also more likely to retain the knowledge.

After taking this free CST practice test, you’ll have a better idea of your strengths and weaknesses to guide your study sessions.

Of course, students who use CST Hero make more productive use of their study time because our study guide ensures you cover just the material that’s likely to come up on the exam in the most efficient way.

Get Ready – Here's The Practice Test. Good Luck!

Breeze through your CST exam

Don’t risk failure: use CST Hero to pass first time!