The Best CNA Study Guides

The Best CNA Study Guides

While our CNA Practice tests can only give you an indication of where your level of knowledge lies, it does not give you the tools to improve your skills. Sadly, there are many websites that claim to possess the ability to prepare you for the test (most requiring you pay loads of money to signup), but the best thing you can do is to find a professional study guide, set up your own study plan and use the practice tests as an indication of your progression.

Because there are many CNA Study Guides out there, we at the CNA Exam Cram have actually purchased every one of them and have gone through them with a fine-toothed comb. Our team of certified nursing assistants, previous accredited CNA teachers, and test proctors, have analyzed each and every one and only listed those we felt were worth the money and would help prospective test takers. So, to save you from having to buy them all or guess, we have conducted a review of the top 3 CNA Study Guides and offer our professional opinion on them all.

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the top CNA study guides as well as their information.

If you’d like to know more about each one, you can either click the link in the table to see them on Amazon, or you can also read our in-depth review of each one below:

Recommended CNA Study Guides and Practice Tests

#1. The Official CNA Study Guide

The Official CNA Study Guide is our number choice for CNA exam study guides. It has a complete set of CNA information, extremely useful test secrets and two extensive CNA practice tests plus a pretest. Furthermore, and here is the best part, it is the cheapest of all the legitimate CNA study guides on the market.

With over 200 pages, this study guide reads more like an abbreviated textbook, helping to give you the necessary data to refresh your already established knowledge. It is not an easy study guide to read if you haven’t established an already strong foundation in the course material. Instead, this study guide focuses more on improving and not teaching. Also, the number one reason why we love this study guide is that it consists of 2 fully comprehensive practice tests that include in-depth answers.

We approve of this study guide’s practice test questions and believe that they are good representations of what you will find on the test. Therefore, by providing the best study material, two of the best CNA practice tests, one pretest, and still manages to be teh cheapest, we have given this our highest recommendation of them all.

You can check it out here.

#2. CNA Exam Cram

The CNA Exam Cram was a close second. Having been written almost 5 years ago, this CNA study guide needs a little updating, although there are no major errors.

While it may need an update, this study guide has been the go-to CNA Study Guide for almost 5 years. Having drawn in over 150 positive reviews, its hard to argue that this book isn’t worth its cheap price. It has two very well made CNA Practice tests and was provides adequate information on the exam.

All in all, it was very close between the two, but in the end, the new Official CNA Study Guide beat out the CNA Exam Cram Study Guide and has become our Number 1 recommend CNA Study Guide on the market. Although, if you think you may need more CNA test prep material, then these two would be perfect.

Also, although the CNA Exam Cram and us share the same name, we are not affiliated.

You can check it out here.

#3. CNA Exam Prep

The CNA Exam Prep is not as long as the CNA Exam Cram, however, it is more like a study guide and less like a textbook. Short and to the point, this study guide creates a list of study material and important facts that will help you establish the necessary knowledge to pass the test. Lacking any fluff or full explanations, this study guide will give you a top-down quick reference guide to important test information and help you to create a plan for your studies. Think of this book more like a framework and less like a reference book.

While you may think it’s a little short in content, the best part of this CNA Study Guide and Practice Tests is that it has 4 practice exams, 300 flashcards that you can print out, and 16 lesson reviews. With such condensed information, you should have no problem practicing your knowledge and gauging your level of preparation.

While this study guide has a lot of tools, we believe this study guide to be second to the CNA Exam Cram only because the answer key doesn’t provide explanations and in certain areas, the author should have explained more. In many cases, you will find bullet-point guides and lists of material you should study. One thing that we really like though, is the section for the practical portion of the exam. In this area of the study guide, they list all the major procedures you will be asked to perform and it gives every appropriate step in each procedure. Unlike the other study guides, this one takes time and discusses adequate measures to pass both the written portion and the practical portion.

However, your best bet is to buy both the Official CNA Study Guide and the CNA Exam Cram study guide before you consider buying this one.

You can check it out here.

What Is the Best CNA Study Guide?

As you can see from the above, the Official CNA Study Guide is our number one recommendation. It is newer and does not have the following that the CNA Exam Cram has, however, it is more up-to-date, has more material (including flash cards for the CNA Skills Set test) and has the better practice exams.

Oh, and did we mention it is cheaper than the rest. I don’t know about you, but getting the best for cheaper is a double win.

So, as you can see, this should be your first one, but if you feel as though you will need more test preparation material, then you might want to consider purchasing the CNA exam Cram as well. It would complement the Official CNA Study Guide very well, and would would give you an extra two sets of practice tests.
In sum, our overall recommendation is to purchase both the Official CNA Study Guide and the CNA Exam Cram together. That way you will have access to 6 practice exams and will have the industries best in tips and secrets towards the CNA Exam.

Criteria for Selecting Each CNA Study Guide

As you can see, each of the different CNA Study Guides has their pro’s and cons. It doesn’t necessarily mean that one is absolutely better (Although we did name one of them our “editor’s choice”). But before we would add any of them to our list, we verified a couple of things:

  • Authenticity: We verified that each other is either a CNA or apart of the medical world.
  • Accuracy: In a couple of cases, some of the books were out of date and displayed incorrect answers. These were quickly removed.
  • Priced Fairly: In a couple of cases, we found the book to be short of content but priced like it was all-encompassing. We looked for those with a price that adequately reflected the amount of content and worth of the book.


Hopefully, you find these books as wonderful as we have. In many cases, instructors require their students to buy one of these as apart of their coursework. So, if you don’t already have any of these, then we highly recommend you do or else you are behind and your competitors will have a leg up on you.  Furthermore, remember that employers will see your CNA exam score and the lower your score, the harder it will be to hire as a Certified Nurse.  So make sure you spend enough time and resources so as to prepare yourself for the exam that could decide your career success.

Also, we at the CNA Exam Cram always love feedback. This site was developed so that those who have taken the exam can help future exam takers. If you have a recommendation or comment, please post one below. If you feel as though we missed a textbook, study guide or practice test, let us know below.  Our team will find that resource and test it out for you or if we have already tested that resources, we will let you know our thoughts.  Remember, there were many Study Guides that didn’t make it on our list and there is a good reason for that.

This site was developed so as to give you the important information that you need so as to succeed in the CNA exam.  So as to accomplish our mission we are always looking to improve our information and we value your opinion.  So please don’t hesitate to write below in our comment box.