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Taking this test requires prior completion of an accredited EMT course, in which you will learn what you need to know to do well on the exam. There are two parts of the EMT exam: a multiple-choice cognitive skills test and a hands-on psychomotor skills test.
The cognitive portion is a computer adaptive test, which means that each person is given questions based on his/her answers to the preceding questions. The computer will stop testing you when any of these occurs:
So, if the computer is sure of either of the first two scenarios above after 60 questions, your exam will end. If it is still not sure, the exam will continue until the computer is sure, or the maximum testing time of 2 hours is reached.
The questions are in no particular order of topic, and subjects will be mixed throughout the test. However, the questions will come from the major concept areas of:
Additionally, inserted in the previously listed topic areas will be questions requiring knowledge of pharmacology, patient assessment, and pediatrics. You should also take the time to review these areas of study as you prepare for our practice tests and the official testing session.
You will be assessed on psychomotor tasks throughout your EMT coursework. During this time, you will need to prove that you can perform these tasks: patient assessment/management of a trauma patient, patient assessment/management of a medical patient, cardiac arrest management/AED, bag-valve-mask ventilation of an apneic patient, spinal immobilization (both seated and supine patient), long bone fracture immobilization, joint dislocation immobilization, traction splinting, bleeding control/shock management, upper airway adjuncts and suction, mouth-to-mouth ventilation with supplemental oxygen, and supplemental oxygen administration to a breathing patient.
Additionally, you must pass a psychomotor exam certified by your state. For information about the psychomotor exam, contact your EMT course instructor or state EMS office.
Once you pass the exam, the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) will issue your certificate card, which can be downloaded from their website. If you do not pass the test, you will be sent a detailed analysis of your strengths and weaknesses. This will enable you to study further in areas of difficulty, as assessed by the exam. When you retake the exam, you will not see any of the items you missed the first time. They will be “masked” by the computer.
If you did not pass the cognitive exam, you can apply to retest 15 days after the last exam and have six chances to pass. You may take the NREMT test up to three times without further training. After that, you must provide documentation of remedial training to retake up to three more times. Following the sixth unsuccessful attempt, you will be required to retake the entire EMT training course before retesting.
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