How to Pass the NREMT Written Exam

In order to become an emergency medical responder (EMR), emergency medical technician (EMT), advanced emergency medical technician (AEMT), or paramedic, you must first take a class from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) and pass their certification exam. 

This exam qualifies you to work in the emergency medical services (EMS) community. This may sound simple enough, but only 67% of hopeful EMTs and 70% of paramedics passed the test on their first try in 2020. If you want to pass, you’ll need to come prepared with more than the required NREMT class you take prior to the test. 

Today, we’ll talk about what it takes to pass the NREMT written exam. We’ll also introduce an NREMT exam prep tool that can help you prepare for both the class and the test.

Understand What to Expect From the Test

One way to prepare for an exam is to get a better understanding of its format. The cognitive (written) portion of the NREMT exam is taken on a computer. Most people will take a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT), which is shorter, more precise, and individualized to the test taker’s skill level. If you’re going for your AEMT certification, you’ll take a Linear exam instead, which has a fixed number of questions.

Knowing the finer details is important, too. For example, how many NREMT questions should you expect to answer? The test consists of seventy to 120 questions, and you’ll have two hours to answer them. 

The CAT test gets progressively harder as you complete it, but ten of your test questions won’t actually count towards your score. You won’t know what they are, but those ten questions are being tested for their fairness and appropriateness on future exams. Of course, it’s important to answer NREMT questions as though all of them count.

Study What EMS Providers Do

The NREMT test questions are based on situations you’ll encounter on the job, including resuscitation (bringing someone back from unconsciousness or apparent death), labor and delivery, and respiration (breathing in air and breathing out carbon dioxide). You won’t see questions that cover procedures specific to any region, county, or state, and you also won’t see questions about controversial issues. 

Getting a good idea of what EMS workers do in the field is the best way to prepare for this exam. The test doesn’t rely on any single source for information, so you should reference multiple up-to-date resources when studying challenging topics.

Come Prepared

Before taking any test, you should prepare your mind and body by getting a good night’s sleep. After all, you don’t want to answer questions when you’re not fully awake. 

On the day of the exam, eat a well-balanced meal to get energy that’ll last throughout the day. Your confirmation materials will tell you which forms of identification you’ll need to bring in order to take the exam. Make sure you have them before you leave home.

Get to the testing site at least thirty minutes before the exam is set to begin, as it may take some time to get checked in. 

Get the Boost You Need

While you’re required to take an EMT class before your exam, the course is accelerated, covering material quickly. This means you may not catch all of the information you need in order to pass. 

To help you prepare, The Paramedic Coach has created the Video Vault, a study tool that reviews your material and covers all five parts of the National Registry exams. The Video Vault features material for every EMS level, and you won’t have to buy it every time you advance in your career–your one-time purchase gives you lifetime access.

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