A practice test can be a very valuable tool in one’s test preparations. It gives the test-taker a glimpse into what the real exam could look like. It provides valuable information about the test questions and will give the test-taker much needed experience. It can also help a potential test-taker gage their current level and assist them in finding weaknesses in their knowledge. But, this is all assuming that the potential test-taker is utilizing the correct practice test.
In most cases, there is only one form of test. There is only one GED, MCAT, etc. But the CNA test is different. Just about every state has their own version, which creates different variations, and nuances that ultimately establish mass confusion when looking to take the appropriate CNA practice test. Furthermore, the internet is riddled with fake practice tests that are just mere copies and mergers of pre-existing exams or in many cases, doesn’t even follow regular CNA curriculums. If you happen to take the wrong test or even a fake, this can actually hurt your studies and chances of success. So to help you understand the many versions and how to decipher which CNA exam is more appropriate to your needs, we have developed what we call the basic guide to CNA tests.
Each part is what we consider very important for any potential CNA test-taker and can help to shed light as their prepare their exam preparations.
1. Every State has a Different CNA Exam
In most cases, every state has different requirements for CNA certification. Those requirements can range from course curriculum, age requirements, required level of schooling and even testing opportunities. Because they are not uniform in their standard of certification, their certification exams are in many ways different. Although we believe the level of difficulty is about the same, we have found a couple of points that you find different in each state’s exam.
- Amount of Questions: The amount of questions can range from 50-75 with 65 being the most common. In all cases, they are multiple choice questions, but they continuously have the same themes and categories. Furthermore, it is prevalent that the multiple choice questions will usually have two right answers and you will need to choose the best answer.
- Duration of the Exam: In most cases the exam lasts 2 hours but in some cases, you only have 90 minutes to complete the exam. In most cases the duration of the exam shouldn’t affect you. However, there are many that are slow and take too much time, only to be shocked that time is up. Remember that an unanswered question is automatically a wrong answer so don’t get caught falling behind and understand the duration in which you are allotted to take your examination.
- Method of Administering: Most CNA tests are electronic and will be taken on a computer. The upside to this method is that there is little room for error in grading and upon completion of the test, you should receive your results.
It is hard to keep track of each states exam and at our current status, we do not have adequate data to be able to tell you the number of questions, duration or even the method of administering for each state. But according to a couple of sources, there is a standard that you can use: the NNAAP testing standard.
2. The NNAAP Standard and What This Means
In an attempt to standardize the CNA examination, the National Nurse Assessment Association, created a test that was adopted by 22 states and 3 jurisdictions. The test consists of 60 questions that are broken up into 9 different categories. If you were to pass the NNAAP test, you would not need to take another NNAAP exam to become certified in those states that have adopted the NNAAP standard.
It is for this reason that we have utilized the NNAAP construct in developing our CNA pretest and practice test. We use the same categories and basic knowledge level in our exams so as to best portray what you would expect on a NNAAP CNA exam.
Our team of past exam proctors not only believe the NNAAP exam is the most useful but also the best indicator of one’s true knowledge. When the 22 states agreed to use the NNAAP version of the exam, they choose it because they felt it to be the most legitimate of the exams and would be worthy of becoming their testing standard. We have also found that the NNAAP appears to be the most comprehensive and difficult of the exams. Therefore it proves to be the best standard to gage yourself on. We believe, and are backed by other CNA’s opinions, that if you can pass a NNAAP CNA practice test, then you should be able to pass any other state variation of the CNA certification exam.
The above picture is a list of those states that currently follow the NNAAP testing guideline. Therefore, if you were to take the CNA exam for any of those states, and then move to another state on this list, you would not have to take another CNA examination. However, if you were to take a NNAAP exam and then move to Maine, you would have to retake Maine’s CNA exam. Hopefully, in the future, more states will join the NNAAP and CNA certification process can be unified.
But there is hope. Over the past couple of years, more and more states have flocked to the NNAAP standard. We feel it is only a matter of time before all states start using the NNAAP standard as their testing source. It will also become even more important in the coming years since most analysts are predicting a need of over 200,000 new CNAs in the next two years to meet the growing number of elderly.
Therefore, as the numbers continue to grow, there will be a even stronger need for the NNAAP testing standard and cohesive process of certifying the right people for such an important job.
3. Is the Practice Exam Legitimate?
Sadly the internet is riddled with false exams that provide little to no value but stand as a front to make money for other people. Too many cases exist right now, where un qualified people are jumping at the chance to build fake tests and charge money from unsuspecting potential test-takers. Don’t be fouled by these attempts and make sure you understand whether or not the practice test is a legitimate or not. This can be difficult at times, considering that you don’t know what to expect from a test and therefore can’t look at one and easily decipher its authenticity.
But there are many ways in which you can protect yourself. You can take our recommendations here at the CNA Exam Cram. We have vetted each and every one of the practice tests that we could find. If you talk about it on this website, it’s authentic. However, if you are searching the interenet and find something that looks like it could be authentic, use the below rules. They should help you figure out whether or not to use the resource.
- Does the site have an author page: In most cases, illegitimate sites will not have a author page and will not discuss who created the website. In most cases, this is because the person is neither a certified nursing assistant or even apart of the medical world.
- Does the practice exam explain the answers: It is very easy to go around the just “collect” all the questions that pre-exist, putting them together and calling them a practice test. However, to create an explanation about each individual answer requires the test creator to fully understand the material and requires them to take enough adequate time to create a sufficient and legitimate practice exam.
- Does the website have a physical address: Many websites out there were actually created by those who aren’t from North America and in most cases don’t even speak English as a primary language. To mitigate this, you can check to see if the site offers a physical address.
The above rules are only guidelines in conducting your practice test search. There may be cases where a legitimate test doesn’t post information about the author or even explain the answers. We only these so as to give you a better means to judge the test and the information because there are just too many fakes out there.
4. What Do Your Practice Exam Results Mean
As has been said, the Practice Exam isn’t meant to prepare you for the official test. It’s only supposed to give you an indication as to whether or not you are prepared. It just stands as a gage of where you are as a student and whether or not you are ready for the real test. If you score low on a practice test, then you should probably study some more before you decide to take the official CNA exam. However, if you score high on the practice test, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will pass the official CNA test. But, we you like to think you stand a better chance than if you scored low.
Also, you should look deeper into your score and not just take the pass/no pass result. Hopefully, your CNA Practice Test uses the same categorical system that the NNAAP standard uses. If this is the case, then you need to look at the individual categorical scores. You could have passed the overall practice test, but failed miserably in one section.
This might not seem important, however, it can be detrimental to your overall success. You don’t have to pass all areas of the CNA exam in order to pass. But, not tackling a weak area can cause major problems in the future. Can you imagine how poorly your new career will go if you don’t understand the “legal and ethical” aspects of your job? Or if you consistently fail in recognizing the medical team and you role?
Therefore, it’s not only important for passing the CNA exam, but also for you as a CNA and your future patients.
The CNA exam comes in many sizes and shapes. To try to support this type of testing, we have adopted the structure and style of the NNAAP exam to help provide our readers a better experience and to give them the best challenge possible. While we hope that you get everything you need on this website, there are other resources out there. Just make sure you use a legitimate site, otherwise, your time spent could be ill-advised and cause setbacks.Basic Guide to CNA Practice Tests by Tiffany Michaels