How to Pass the NREMT

Being an EMT is an inspiring and rewarding career. Unfortunately, the path getting there isn’t always so straightforward. 

The mandatory National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam can be difficult to pass. Only 60% to 75% of those who take the test pass it on their first try. To help you, we’ve compiled eight helpful tips to help you study for the NREMT exam  and ace the exam on your first try:  

1. Make Use of Your Resources

Because the NREMT can be difficult, it’s important to make the best use of every resource you can get your hands on. Fortunately, there are hundreds of online courses and NREMT exam prep classes available that can help give you the best shot at success. 

The Paramedic Coach offers a comprehensive NREMT exam prep course that will help you study for the NREMT. From worksheets to study plans, videos, group sessions, and more, we have all the resources to help you prepare for the NREMT and get one step closer to achieving your goals.

2. Review AHA Guidelines 

The NREMT does not often recommend a specific textbook or resource to study from, but you do need to be familiar with the American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines. 

As stated on its website, AHA guidelines are the basis for the NREMT cognitive exam sections that focus on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (commonly referred to as CPR) and emergency cardiovascular care. Make sure you understand the latest guidelines so you can tackle these questions head-on when exam day arrives. 

3. Airway, Respiration, and Ventilation 

Mismanaging the airway can lead to death and create legal issues for an EMT, so the NREMT wants to ensure new candidates are knowledgeable and competent in this area. 

About 18% to 22% of the questions on the NREMT cognitive exam revolve around the topic of airway, respiration, and ventilation. Of these questions, 15% will be about pediatric patients and 85% will be about adults. Because this is quite a large chunk of your exam, make sure to study airway management thoroughly. 

4. Look for the Best Answer

A common mistake test takers make is immediately choosing the first answer that appears correct. This can lead to selecting an answer representing an inefficient approach with less than optimal care. 

Remember, the NREMT test is trying to determine how you would respond when providing patient care. While there may be multiple options available, you have to choose the best one and not be distracted by answers that are correct but not optimal.

Read the choices carefully, and choose the most correct option, even if it’s not your first choice. Remember to follow your algorithms and most procedures are in step by step fashion, if the skill hasn’t been performed yet, it might be time for it! 

5. Read Each Question Carefully

Don’t skip through any part of the question to save time. Read each question and answer option carefully. Pay attention to any words that may change the meaning of an answer. 

For instance, words like ‘anterior’ and ‘posterior’ or definitive phrases like ‘never,’ ‘always,’ and ‘sometimes’ can make a huge difference in your answer. Don’t let them trip you up; take your time to thoroughly understand what is being asked, and choose the best possible option. 

6. Keep National Standards in Mind

Any content tested on the NREMT exam will reflect National Emergency Medical Service Educational Standards, not local protocol or state EMT training. Generally, the test will avoid asking questions on controversial scenarios or specifics with regional differences. If you encounter such a question, always go with the EMT national training standards over local rulings.

7. Identify Critical Situations 

Look for clues in the question to determine whether a scenario being described is critical. This can be indicated by specific terms such as ‘unresponsive,’ ‘anxiety,’ ‘restlessness,’ ‘rapid pulse,’ and ‘cold and clammy skin.’ 

If you determine there is a critical situation, you may need to respond with a timely intervention. This can help you narrow down answers to those with the most urgent responses. 

8. Know It Cold–Don’t Cram 

Last but not least, try to avoid any urges to do last-minute cramming for the test. While pre-exam stress is normal, the night before the scheduled exam is not a good time to learn more information. 

The Paramedic Coach’s course will give you more than enough time, tips, and training to study effectively for the NREMT! 

Last Thoughts

As a first responder, you may be involved in life-and-death situations, so you need to know exactly what to do when assisting someone in need. This is why the NREMT exam is so difficult–it’s important that you are knowledgeable and qualified to handle these types of situations.  

Don’t worry–with the right preparation and help from The Paramedic Coach, you will be ready to ace the exam and start your new career journey!

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