How to Pass the CNA State Exam

Rigorous training and examinations are required to make certain that a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) will provide the very best in health care. If you are getting ready to begin your CNA career, you may be nervous about taking the state exam, but there are steps you can take before and during the exam that will increase your chance of passing.
CNA Exam Secrets Study Guide: CNA Test Review for the Certified Nurse Assistant Exam
Before you go to take the exam, follow these tips:

1. Choose your training program carefully. If you haven’t yet chosen a training program, look at the rates of passing the state exam that their CNA graduates have. If they have a low percentage of students passing the test, then chances are good that they are not teaching everything they should be.

2. Study as you proceed with the class. One easy way to study as you go is to make flashcards to help you learn medical terminology and quiz yourself during breakfast and before bed. Tiny steps like that will help you memorize the information more efficiently.

3. Memorize your specific state’s client rights. Health care facilities greatly emphasize this aspect of health care and you will be tested on your knowledge of them.

4. Understand and memorize all aspects of controlling infection in the health care setting. A significant amount of your state exam will cover these steps.

5. After the course is over, review your course material. Simply reading through the material will help put the overview of the CNA job into your mind before you take the exam.

6. Take practice tests. This is an especially important step if you have difficulty taking exams.

Finally, you’ll arrive at exam day. The exam consists of a written test and a skills test, and students must past both parts in order to get their license. While the written portion will test you simply on the knowledge you have, many people who do have the skills make simple mistakes that lower their score on the skills portion.

These are important things to remember when you take the skills portion of the state CNA exam:

1. Practice excellent grooming skills on the day of the exam. This is especially important in terms of your nails. Fake nails and nail polish should not be worn as they do not conform to the acceptable dress code of health care facilities.

2. Listen very carefully to each task that your examiner asks you to do.

3. Always remember to wash your hands before handling the patient and after any procedure that requires it.

4. Do not forget the indirect skills portion. This includes aspects such as privacy, communication with the patient and making sure the patient has a call light. These are skills that you will not be told to do, but will fail the exam if you do not include them while you are doing the requested tasks.

5. Make sure you use the right equipment correctly for each task. If you are taking an oral temperature, make sure you use the correct type of thermometer.

6. Remember your safety measures. Always wear gloves when needed, use the transfer belt when moving a patient and lock the wheelchair when transferring a patient.

Successfully completing the CNA state exam is the final component to a strenuous training program. As long as you learn, review and practice your skills, the exam can be a way for you to be rewarded for all of the effort you put into training. That reward will come in the form of a license that will allow you to embark on an equally challenging, yet rewarding, career in the health care system.



I have been a CNA in the state of California since 1995. One of my passions in life is to help people and help others who want to expand their careers and become CNAs.

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1 Response

  1. mary says:

    thanks for the inform where can i go and take the test? Do I have to take a cna class i been doing this for 16yrs I just need to be cer.

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