How to Prepare for the CNA Certification Exam: 5 Quick Tips

How to prepare for your certified nursing assistant certification exam.

Practice for Your CNA Certification Test

After you’ve completed your nursing assistant training, it’s time to get your certification. And that means passing the certified nursing assistant (CNA) competency exam. Preparing for the CNA certification exam involves both careful study and setting aside time to take a practice test for certified nursing assistant professionals.

Breaking your test prep into several steps can alleviate some of the stress of taking an exam. With that in mind, consider these tips to help you prepare:

1. Schedule Study Time

This may sound obvious, but building a simple schedule for when you will study can help boost your exam preparation. Scheduling an hour or two a day can make a significant difference. Write it on your calendar. Let your family know. And during that time, head to a quiet corner of the house, the library or another place—wherever you can be alone for a couple of hours to focus on your studies.

2. Get a Study Guide

A quality CNA certification exam study guide should provide the following:

  • It will describe the test format
  • It should provide sample questions or a practice test for certified nursing assistants
  • Advise you on test-taking techniques
  • Give you other relevant information to help improve your score

You can find study guide resources online as well as at the bookstore. If you decide to use a website, bear in mind that different sources charge higher prices than others. Before you choose one, ask instructors, fellow classmates or other CNAs which sites they recommend.

3. Understand the Exam Format

The CNA certification exam consists of a written exam and a hands-on clinical skills assessment given on the same day. You must pass both in order to become certified as a nursing assistant.

The exam can vary from state to state. However, most states require 70 questions in multiple-choice format for the written portion, which candidates typically have two hours to complete. The skills assessment involves performing five hands-on practice skills for a designated evaluator within a specified time frame, usually twenty-five to thirty minutes. Examples of these skills include measuring and recording blood pressure, feeding a patient and changing an occupied bed.

4. Take a Practice Test for Certified Nursing Assistants

Along with the knowledge you bring from your CNA training, having experience with the CNA exam format and time limits will help improve your score on the actual exam day. Not to mention, taking the practice test for certified nursing assistants can alleviate some nerves when the real test is sitting in front of you. Because the CNA certification exam can vary by state, you might consider searching for a practice test for certified nursing assistants available through your state’s website or Board of Nursing.

5. Get Plenty of Rest, and Try to Relax

The calmer you are the better you’ll do. Breathe deep and let go of your anxiety. If you’ve prepared by following these five steps you’ll be ready to pass your exam.