Everything You Need to Know About CST Exam Requirements


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The Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam is a crucial step for those pursuing a career as a surgical technologist in the United States. At Medical Hero, we understand the importance of thorough preparation for this challenging exam. Our comprehensive study packages are designed to help you master the material and pass the CST exam with confidence.

What is the CST Exam?

The CST exam is a certification test administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). It is designed to assess the knowledge and skills of surgical technologists, ensuring they meet the professional standards required to perform their duties effectively in the operating room.

CST Exam Requirements

To be eligible for the CST exam, candidates must meet certain educational and experiential requirements. Here’s a detailed look at what you need to qualify:

  1. Educational Background
    • Accredited Program Completion: Candidates must graduate from a surgical technology program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
    • Military Training: Completion of a military training program in surgical technology is also acceptable.
  2. Application Process
    • Submit an Application: Complete and submit the NBSTSA application form, which includes providing proof of graduation from an accredited program.
    • Application Fee: Pay the required application fee. This fee is non-refundable and must be paid at the time of application submission.
  3. Examination Eligibility
    • Documentation: Ensure that all required documentation, such as transcripts and proof of program completion, are submitted along with your application.
    • Approval: Once your application is reviewed and approved, you will receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) letter, which allows you to schedule your exam.
  4. Scheduling the Exam
    • Testing Centers: The CST exam is administered at various testing centers across the country. You can schedule your exam at a location that is convenient for you.
    • Exam Dates: Exams are available throughout the year, allowing flexibility in choosing a date that fits your schedule.

Exam Content and Format

The CST exam is a computer-based test that covers a wide range of topics relevant to surgical technology. It consists of 175 multiple-choice questions, with 150 scored questions and 25 unscored pretest questions. The content areas include:

Perioperative Care (55%)

  • Preoperative Preparation (20%)
    • Patient care, surgical attire, surgical scrub, gowning, and gloving.
  • Intraoperative Procedures (30%)
    • Aseptic technique, instrumentation, and various surgical procedures.
  • Postoperative Procedures (5%)
    • Patient transfer, monitoring, and identifying complications.

Ancillary Duties (15%)

  • Sterilization and disinfection, equipment maintenance, and inventory control.

Basic Science (30%)

  • Anatomy and physiology, microbiology, and pharmacology.

Preparing for the CST Exam

Proper preparation is key to passing the CST exam. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Study Materials: Utilize comprehensive study guides, textbooks, and practice exams. Medical Hero offers specially designed study packages that cover all the essential topics.
  2. Practice Exams: Take advantage of practice exams to familiarize yourself with the format and types of questions you will encounter.
  3. Study Schedule: Create a study schedule that allows you to cover all the material systematically. Consistent study habits are crucial for retaining information.
  4. Review Sessions: Join study groups or review sessions to reinforce your knowledge and clarify any doubts.

Medical Hero’s CST Exam Study Packages

At Medical Hero, we provide expertly crafted study packages to help you prepare for the CST exam. Our packages include:

  • Comprehensive Study Guides: Detailed guides covering all exam content areas.
  • Simulated Exams: Simulated exams to help you get used to the test format.
  • Practice questions: To help you understand and learn the topic with answer explanations


Achieving certification as a Certified Surgical Technologist is a significant milestone in your career. By meeting the CST exam requirements and thoroughly preparing with Medical Hero’s study packages, you can increase your chances of passing the exam and advancing in your profession. Start your journey today and join the ranks of skilled surgical technologists making a difference in healthcare.