How to Study for the EMT Test


The emergency medical technicians exam ensures all medical technicians are competent and qualified to provide for patients. Developed by the National Registry for Emergency Medical Technicians, EMTs constitute the majority of the United States Emergency Medical Systems. The test can be taken at various levels, the most basic is the EMT- B. The EMT- I/85 and EMT- I/99 are intermediate levels, and the EMT-P is mandatory for paramedics. Without a passion for the job, you will find it difficult to pass the test.

  • Develop good vocabulary for medical terminology, and gather knowledge about basic biology, chemistry and the sciences.

  • Utilize visual representations like study cards and pictures for anatomy. Also, underline and highlight important concepts in your textbooks and make study notes of each chapter completed.

  • Prepare for the cognitive examination. A computer adaptive test can have anywhere between 70 and 120 questions with a time limit of two hours to complete it. The syllabus covered will include airway, ventilation, trauma, cardiology and EMS operations among others. Eighty-five percent will concentrate on care of adult patients and 15 percent on that of pediatric patients. The standard needed to pass is relative and proved by the ability to provide quality entry-level medical care.

  • Prepare for the psychomotor evaluation. This involves attestation that you have shown competent patient care and management in all fields from handling a patient of trauma, medical patient, cardiac arrest patient, joint dislocation immobilization, traction splinting, bleeding control, etc. Your instructor is to vouch for your competence in all these fields in the course of your education. The instructor will also give you information to obtain a state-approved, EMT-Basic psychomotor test on completion.

  • Enroll in a paramedics education program. Many states offer state-run programs.

  • Follow the advice of EMT test preparation manuals and study guides. The more the better. Practice questions and revise strategies of taking the test.

  • Study months prior to when you would like to take the test. This rules out cramming, which will not get you anywhere in the EMT.

  • Take as many mock tests as you can. These can be taken at the EMT national training site or from free EMT mock test sites online. Assess these tests and concentrate on your weaker areas. Some study guides even come equipped with interactive tests that assess scores automatically. Look for these when you buy a guide.

  • Relax and get enough rest before the exam. Do not stress out thinking about your performance. Take deep breaths or practice meditation to calm your nerves.

  • Make a trip to your test location many days prior to your exam. Make a note of the location, the room in which you are to be seated and also how much time it took you to make it to the location. Get to the location at least an hour earlier than the allotted time to take the test.

Tips & Warnings

  • Eat a light, healthy breakfast on the day of the examination.
  • Never study the night prior to your examination, and get eight hours of sleep.
  • Never panic during the examination if you do not know an answer. Calmly go on to the next question and come back after answering all the questions you know. This helps soothe and refresh the mind while also relieving you from the stress of knowing the test is incomplete.


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