FAQs

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(800) 707-0057
How long does it take for the examination application review process?

Please allow up to 6 weeks for the NBSTSA to process your application and mail your Authorization To Test (ATT) letter.  You may choose to add rush processing for your application for an additional $50 charge. In that case, the total fee must be paid by a credit or debit card or a money order. Rush processing is a guaranteed 3-5 business days in the office before we mail your ATT letter. Please note, rush processing for CSFA applications that include Experience Verification Forms cannot be guaranteed to be completed in 3-5 business days due to approval being contingent on correspondence with the Director of Surgery. You may still elect to pay for rush processing to have your application pushed to the head of the line, but we cannot guarantee that your ATT will mail in 3-5 business days.

How do I know if the program I graduated from was CAAHEP or ABHES accredited?

The CAAHEP and ABHES websites only list currently accredited programs. To find out if a program was accredited while you were enrolled, call the NBSTSA office at 800-707-0057. There are different types of accreditations, so do not assume that a program is CAAHEP or ABHES accredited just because you hear the word “accredited”. In addition, be aware that the program itself must hold CAAHEP or ABHES accreditation, not just the school as a whole. 

When are the examinations scheduled?

The examinations are by appointment only. You must apply, be determined eligible, and make an appointment to take the examination with the testing agency at a location near you. Examinations are no longer scheduled on specific dates. Each testing center has its own schedule for testing; however, most of the centers are available 6 days a week, twice a day.

What is the cost of the test?

The CST Examination price for those who have never been certified before is $190 for AST Members or $290 for non-members.

The CSFA Examination price is $190 for AST Members or $290 for non-members.

The renewal by exam fee for the CST and CSFA Examinations is $399 for AST/ASA members and $499 for non-members.

The full testing fee must be paid in advance to the NBSTSA. If an applicant is found to be ineligible, the examination application fee will be refunded minus the processing fee and rush-processing fee if applicable.

Do you accept credit cards?

Yes. We accept credit or debit MasterCard, Visa, and Discover for both mailed in and online applications. We do allow candidates to pay with cards that are not in their name. If you are paying with a third party credit card, please fill in the card holder’s information as requested in the payment section of the application.

Are there extra fees if I am submitting an application for renewal after my certification cycle’s expiration date?

Renewals by continuing education credits are assessed a late fee if an application is received 31 or more days past expiration, up to 365 days (one year). After one year, the only option for renewal is to pass the examination again. Click here for the NBSTSA Policy for Late Renewal and to see the fee structure. All credits must be earned PRIOR to expiration. Renewals by examination do not need to pay late fees.

NBSTSA, as well as AST, will notify you multiple times that your renewal date is coming soon and that renewal by credits is a two-step process, and it is your responsibility to make sure your renewal is completed.  Claiming ignorance of the process will not get you an exception on paying late fees or having to retake the exam. To make sure you receive renewal notices from NBSTSA, be sure to call us if your mailing and/or preferred e-mail address changes.

Can I fax you my application?

Yes. You can fax it to (303) 325-2536.  You can also fill out applications online.

Do I need to have a current AST membership card on the day I take the examination?

No. You must be a member when you apply to receive the member discount.  

If I fail my examination how soon can I retest?

There is no waiting period, so you may reapply immediately. CST candidates may only test three times during one calendar year. CSFA Candidates may only test twice in a six month period, with the six month count beginning on the day you take the examination for the first time. Proof of graduation and photos are kept on file, but an application and payment must be submitted each time you wish to test.  Experience Verification Forms and case logs are good for two years from the date the forms were notarized.  If an application is received before you are eligible to retest, we will hold your Authorization To Test (ATT) letter until the calendar year or six month count has ended and mail your ATT letter on the first possible date. 

How do I submit a name change request?

To change your name in our database, all individuals who have taken an examination with the NBSTSA must submit a Name Change and/or Replacement Form by mail or an Online Name Change and/or Replacement Form and a copy of one of the following legal documents: marriage certificate, divorce decree (only the page regarding your name change and page with the official seal are necessary), driver’s license, passport, social security card, court order or naturalization paperwork.  

There is no charge to change your name, but if you wish to have new documents issued, the prices are $40 for either a certificate or a card and $50 for both.  Forms that do not require payment may be faxed to (303) 325-2536.  Be sure to let us know if you have an open Authorization To Test (ATT) period so that we can notify the testing company of your name change.  If your documents do not match the name on file, you will not be able to gain entrance to the examination.  If you are submitting an Examination or Renewal Application at the same time as requesting a name change, you may skip the form and simply include one the legal documents with the application, which should be filled out and signed with the new name and have the former name written in the space provided.