You are almost there—after having completed all the CNA training courses you are now only one test away from becoming a certified nurse’s assistant. Knowing exactly what you will be facing will help you better prepare for your upcoming CNA state test.
The CNA state test is comprised of two individual parts, a written assessment and a practical skills assessment that must both be passed the same day. While the exact number of questions on the written section is not standardized across the states, the most common number is 70 questions, all of which will be multiple choice. Even though all of the questions are written in English, a Spanish or English oral version is available upon request for those who are not completely at ease with their English skills.
Essentially, the written test covers everything you have learned in training class and through reading your textbooks. If you went to class and paid close attention in class, this portion should not be a source of any significant trouble. Preparing for this portion of the exam is best done through reviewing your notes from class, any textbooks you have, focusing particularly on topics that you struggled with previously in class. Several sites online offer practice questions and full-length exams that will allow you to see exactly what kind of questions to expect. Often, as tests differ by state somewhat, taking your exam in the same state you completed your training classes will help you perform even better on the test.
For many, the practical portion of this exam is the most intimidating, but if you know your clinical skills you will have no problems with this portion of the test. For this section, you will be called into a room set up like a nursing assistants atmosphere, including all the necessary tools and supplies. You will be required to perform 5 skills within a 25-30 minute time period. These skills are chosen at random from a list of 24 different skills, but one of the skills will entail accurately taking some kind of a measurement and properly recording your findings. Being proficient in taking/recording blood pressure, weight, urinary output, radial pulse and respirations is extremely important.
Should you be unable to pass the CNA state exam the first time, you will have the opportunity to retake the test, up to three times in two years. If you failed both sections of the exam, you will need to retake both portions. However, if you did pass either of two exam sections, the next time you will only be required to repeat the section you previously failed.
Knowing the format of the test as well as some detailed information concerning both the written and clinical sections of the exam will not only help you streamline your studying as you prepare for your CNA state exam, but it will also help reduce some of the test anxiety that you may be experiencing.
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