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Is the Certified Medical Assistant Exam Hard?

Is the Certified Medical Assistant Exam Hard?

A person preparing for the medical assistant exam

Many students choose the medical assistant certificate program at Northwestern College because it qualifies them to sit for the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) exam offered by American Medical Technologists (AMT).

As a nationally accredited healthcare certification organization, AMT holds registered medical providers to a high standard, requiring them to display the utmost professional and ethical responsibility when working with patients and fellow providers. Given these standards, many wonder about the test’s difficulty level. Northwestern College provides medical assistant training in Oak Lawn, IL, and the greater Chicago area. Here, we discuss what the medical assistant exam entails and the techniques students can use to prepare for it.

What Does the Medical Assistant Exam Look Like?

The AMT exam determines if the taker has the necessary understanding and skills to be a capable medical assistant. The test contains 262 questions about four primary subjects related to medical assisting. These topics are called work areas, and each features three levels of structure — categories, subcategories, and competencies.

Categories are the board concepts of the work area, subcategories are the more specific topics within a category, and competencies are the individual ideas and capabilities associated with each subcategory. The test includes four work areas, including:

  • Anatomy and Physiology: Involves 46 items regarding body systems and medical terminology
  • Administrative Medical Assisting: Encompasses 75 items about insurance, financial bookkeeping, human relations, medical law and ethics, and medical receptionist duties
  • Clinical Medical Assisting: Contains 83 items related to using instruments, conducting minor surgery, sterilization processes, laboratory procedures, and asepsis
  • Clinical Patient Interaction: Contains 58 items across seven categories, including patient education, physicals, therapeutic techniques, vital signs, laboratory processes, emergency response (first aid and CPR), and clinical pharmacology

The exam must be completed at an approved Pearson VUE testing center. You take the test online and have two hours to answer all the questions. After you submit the exam, the results are calculated automatically, and you receive them at the testing site. Passing the test makes you an active certified member of AMT and earns you the RMA title.

Tips to Prepare for the Medical Assistant Exam

The RMA certification test is extensive and covers numerous concepts, which can be overwhelming for prospective medical assistants. However, the right study and test-taking practices can make you feel better prepared and quell your anxiety. Consider the following tips for completing the exam:

  • Locate practice exams: Taking practice tests can reveal which areas require more studying time. You may purchase a practice exam from AMT.
  • Study with a peer: Reviewing material with a friend may motivate you to study more.
  • Avoid cramming information: While the medical assistant exam requires frequent studying, you should take breaks to prevent overloading your brain.
  • Take the test as soon as possible after school: Registering for the exam shortly after you complete your education ensures the concepts are fresh in your mind.
  • Read each question thoroughly: Make sure you fully understand what the question is asking before providing your answer.
  • Relax the night before the exam: Your brain needs to recharge to do its best during the test. Therefore, you need adequate sleep the night before. You may also consider a calming shower or bath.

Why Choose Northwestern College?

At Northwestern College, our medical assisting program features multiple courses that go over the topics discussed in the exam, such as anatomy, physiology, clinical assisting, and administrative tasks. It also includes several preparation courses for the medical assistant certification exam.

Students have other resources to help them pass the test, as well. The student success department offers peer tutoring at no additional charge for those who need assistance understanding difficult coursework. You may also find the library resourceful, as it contains three study rooms and a computer lab. You can form a study group with friends and take online practice exams.

Begin Your Journey Into Medical Assisting Today 

By enrolling in the medical assistant certification program at Northwestern College, you obtain a high-quality education that better prepares you to take the AMT exam. Serving Oak Lawn, IL, and the greater Chicago area, we take a student-first, career-focused approach to higher education, enabling students to pursue their career goals after graduation. To learn more about the medical assistant exam, request information online today.