What Does the NREMT Exam Consist Of?

The National Registry for Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam consists of two tests: a computer adaptive test (CAT) and a linear exam. The CAT format is more personalized to your level of competency, while the linear format requires you to answer all 135 questions to determine if you’ve passed or failed.

The NREMT exam is the standard test that all emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics take at the end of their training before they can be certified to begin their careers as EMTs. Because this exam is quite complex, you should complete a thorough NREMT test prep program before taking the final test.

You need to prepare for the test mainly to familiarize yourself with the exam, including the type of questions asked and possible answers. Preparation helps you gain the necessary knowledge base so you can get a passing score on the NREMT the first time. 

What Is the NREMT CAT?

The CAT is a type of exam that is taken on a computer and is designed to adapt to a candidate’s level of training and competency. It contains a pool of questions formulated by emergency medical service (EMS) professionals and trainers to determine your level of comprehension of the core areas of the training.

In short, the questions on this test become harder as you progress based on how correctly you answer them. If you get the questions wrong, the computer-based testing system will ask easier questions–and vice versa.

If you get the hard questions correct, the system will continue asking hard questions and may not even bother asking the easier ones. This will continue until the system is satisfied that you meet the necessary competency level.

What Is the Linear Test on the NREMT Exam?

The linear format of the NREMT exam is a fixed-length exam. You cannot go back and change your answers or skip questions. Once you answer a question it is recorded in the system.

The linear NREMT format is given at the Advanced EMT (AEMT) levels. It contains 135 questions, and your performance will be determined based on the number of questions you answer correctly. It’s best to try to answer all the questions to increase your chances of a passing mark.

Components of an NREMT Exam

In addition to understanding how the NREMT exam works, you should study the content areas on which you’ll be tested. The NREMT exam tests five main areas of expertise, including:

  • Airway, ventilation, and respiratory
  • Trauma
  • Cardiology and resuscitation
  • Medical; obstetrics and gynecology
  • EMS operations

Note that for the first four categories (not including EMS operations), 85% of the questions are about adults, and 15% are about pediatrics. At the EMT level: 

  • 18% to 22% of the questions revolve around airway, ventilation, and respiration
  • 20% to 24% cover cardiology and resuscitation
  • 27% to 31% cover obstetrics, gynecology, and medical
  • 10% to 14% cover trauma

For AEMT, paramedic, and emergency medical responder exams, the percentages differ by 1% to 2% in every category. This is important to keep in mind when preparing for your NREMT exam, so you know how much preparation needs to be dedicated to each subject area.

For example, if your test prep results indicate that you’re well-versed in trauma and less conversant with medical or airway topics, you should put more effort into the categories with lower scores.

Final Thoughts

You can find over 2,000 NREMT exam practice questions and quizzes from The Paramedic Coach to help with your exam preparation. Check out our resources to get started on your exam prep today!Wondering about the NREMT exam cost? Don’t miss our latest post.

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