Taking your CNA exam

Now that you have successfully completed your nurse aid training program, you must take a test to become certified. The test which consists of a written test and a skills demonstration is administered by your state at a number of testing locations.  Many school programs offer testing at the training site.  The application process is unique to each state and many instructors will assist students in applying to take the exam.  If you are responsible for applying on your own, contact your state board of nursing.  Most boards have a website with FAQ sections and instructions regarding the application process. You can expect to pay a fee of $50-$300 for your testing and certification.  This also varies state to state and your instructor or state board will once again be your best resource for information regarding the requirements.

Your exam will consist of a written test and a skills test. In preparation for test day, many students find it helpful to take one or more “practice tests”. Your instructor may be your greatest resource for locating a free practice test.  If you are willing to pay for a practice test, you can order flashcards and booklets through amazon.com or other booksellers for $5-$25.  Free tests are difficult to find online as most advertisements offering “free” tests don’t offer any such thing. Prometric, Inc. offers a 50 question test with answers at the following website: www.prometric.com.  To adequately prepare for the exam, many students find it helpful to enlist the help of fellow students. Study groups are an excellent way of “practicing” your skills and mastering the responses to the test questions.  If you are fearful of tests, “practicing” for that day can help build your confidence and ensure your success.

After you pass your test (and you will!) your certification will be mailed to you. Turn-around time for results is another state to state variable.  Some states provide you with your results on the spot.  Some states mail your results within 2-4 weeks post test.  Once certified, you must renew your credentials every 2 years.

Good luck!  Successful completion of your CNA certification will provide you with a valuable career, one that reflects your hard work and dedication to a profession of caring.




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. November 11, 2016

    […] need is to find a job and stay active for two years. In Alabama every 24 months you must retake the CNA exam. In order to qualify for the re-test, one must have at least 40 hours of CNA work In those two […]

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