After working hard to complete your Certified Nursing Assistant, or CNA, program, you will be ready to sit for the CNA exam. These exams vary by state, but they are fairly similar for the most part. Regardless of where you'll be taking it, there are things you can do to ensure you pass it the first time. By putting in extra effort studying now, you will fly through your exam easily and become a CNA in no time.
How to Pass Your CNA Licensing Exam the First Time
To pass your CNA exam the first time, keep these five tips in mind:
- Pay Attention During Schooling - As eager as you are to become a CNA, you may be tempted to rush through your schooling to receive your certification more quickly. This can backfire, however, because you may not absorb crucial facts that you'll need to pass your exam. Make the most of your schooling by focusing and working hard all the way through your program. You'll be glad you did when you easily pass the exam the first time.
- Understand the Test Format - By knowing what to expect from the CNA licensing exam, you'll find it a lot easier. Exam formats vary in some ways by state, but these tests usually consist of a 70-question multiple-choice section followed by a skills assessment. For the latter, you usually have to demonstrate five key skills for an observer, including taking someone's blood pressure and changing an empty bed.
- Take Practice Tests - Practice CNA exams are readily available online. In the weeks leading up to the exam, take as many of them as you can. Do it even if you feel like you have a solid understanding of everything you need to know. The exam is timed, so you won't be able to mull over questions for very long. The more practice you get, the more easily you will complete the test quickly and accurately.
- Practice with Others - You can do most of the studying for your CNA licensing exam on your own. However, it also pays to have someone else practice with you. While it's nice to work with another aspiring CNA, you can enlist anyone's help. Your study partner can ask random questions from practice tests, quiz you about specific topics and let you practice skills on them.
- Be Prepared for the Skills Demo - Because the written portion of the CNA exam is made up of multiple-choice questions, it's not quite as intimidating as the skills section of the test. Learn as much as you can about the skills demo and the types of skills you will need to demonstrate. Most tests require you to demonstrate at least five skills, and you have a time limit to contend with as well. While practicing, use a timer, and have someone watch you so you can master performing these skills while under observation.
Passing the CNA exam the first time is the ideal outcome. However, people make mistakes. Sometimes, the pressure of taking an exam can throw you off. If you don't pass the exam the first time, don't despair. You can take it again. In the meantime, double down on your studying. Find out where you erred on the first attempt and focus on those topics. By the time you take it again, you should be able to pass it without any trouble.