How to Pass the EKG National Exam

In order to pass the National Healthcareer Association’s (NHA) certification exam for electrocardiogram (EKG) technicians, you must demonstrate fundamental knowledge for an EKG technician. This means you must exhibit a sufficient understanding of basic anatomy and physiology of the heart, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and basic life support skills.

However, all of that is easier said than done. To take this exam, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent, have completed an accredited or state-approved EKG course, and prepare for it. Practice EKG tests are a great way to improve your study strategy and can help increase your chances of passing the exam on the first try.

Another way to improve your chances for success is to take our EKG and EKG 12 Lead Masterclasses. Both of these courses offer multiple hours of content, breaking down the complex material you learned in your course in a way that helps you truly understand the material. After all, skilled and professional EKG techs don’t just memorize terminology‒they need to think critically to provide the best support to their patients.

But what does ‘12 Lead EKG’ mean? A 12-lead EKG is a medical test recorded using nodes or leads attached to the body. While an EKG is used for basic heart monitoring, a 12-lead EKG can provide a more complete picture of the heart’s activity. If you see a future for yourself as a certified EKG technician, our Masterclasses can help support your career growth.

Understanding the EKG Exam

To develop the best study strategy, you must know what will be on the exam. While you’re not likely to find the exact answer key to your specific test online, you can access many practice tests and knowledge check quizzes in our EKG Masterclasses. These practice tests hit the key knowledge domains and points you’ll be expected to know on your exam date.

The Three Domains

The EKG exam is divided into three domains: safety, compliance, and coordinated care (32%); EKG acquisition (44%); and EKG analysis and interpretation (24%). This shows that the test isn’t about drilling information into your head‒it’s about understanding the material and how and why these different components work together.

What Is ‘Core Knowledge?’

While the test is divided into the above three main domains, the questions require some background ‘core knowledge.’ This knowledge might not be directly tested (as in, you most likely won’t be asked direct questions about these topics) but can provide helpful context to guide you toward the correct answers.

This core knowledge includes:

  • Basic anatomy and physiology of the heart
  • Emergencies related to cardiac testing
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation and basic life support

How to Complete the Exam

Now that you know the general content of the exam, it’s time to get the ball rolling.

Schedule Your Exam Date

After completing your EKG course, you can apply for the exam. Once your application is accepted, you can select the date and location for your exam online. We recommend blocking out at least three hours of your day because the exam itself is two hours long. You need to factor in your commute time and should arrive early to the test.

NHA also allows you to choose between in-person testing at a PSI testing center near you or to take the test remotely from home.

Study With Strategy

Start with a practice test to get the most out of your studies. Note which questions you answered incorrectly and try to revisit those topics when you study. You don’t need to waste time reviewing all of the material from your course, especially if there are subject areas you feel confident in and test well with.

Focus on the weak spots and review the content in our EKG Masterclass. In our classes, you can study when it works for you and skip to the material you need the most help on.

Take Your Exam

So, how many questions are on the EKG test? The EKG test comprises one hundred multiple-choice questions, and you have two hours to answer them all. Be sure to pace yourself accordingly‒if you’re stuck on a question, don’t waste too much time thinking it over. Try not to spend more than a few minutes on each question, use the elimination process to rule out the obviously incorrect answers, and give it your best shot with whatever is left.

Receive Results

After you submit your exam, you can access your test results online within forty-eight hours. You need an 80% or higher to pass the exam.

Ready to earn your certification? Our Masterclass can help. Don’t wait–sign up today to get started!

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