EMT Test

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EMT Test

Authored By: Krista Wenz


Since the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) offers different EMT certifications, each EMT test will vary slightly. The certification you are going for will determine the EMT test you will take. 

Each EMT test consists of a Cognitive exam and a Psychomotor exam. The Cognitive exam will consist of multiple-choice questions and is given by the NREMT. 

The Psychomotor exam consists of hands-on skills that will be tested. This portion of the exam is given out by individual states and will vary depending on the state you are getting certified in.

Each of the NREMT certifications listed below has a different test that needs to be taken to achieve the certification. You can learn more about the various certifications in our guide to EMT certifications.

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EMT Test - Emergency Medical Responder (EMR)

Cognitive Portion

Total Questions: 90 to 110 multiple-choice questions.

Time Limit: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

Subject Percent of Exam Adult/Pediatric Mix
Airway, Respiration & Ventilation 18% - 22% 85% Adult; 15% Pediatric
Cardiology & Resuscitation 20% - 24% 85% Adult; 15% Pediatric
Trauma 15% - 19% 85% Adult; 15% Pediatric
Medical; Obstetrics & Gynecology 27% - 31% 85% Adult; 15% Pediatric
EMS Operations 11% - 15% N/A

Psychomotor Portion

The Psychomotor exam is administered by individual states (instead of the NREMT on a national level). The test is usually administered by the state’s emergency management services offices or a local training institution.

You will be asked to perform various emergency skills in a hands-on environment.

The scores and skills tested on this portion of the exam will vary on a state-by-state basis, so it is best to check with your state for specifics.

EMT Test - Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

Cognitive Portion

Total Questions: 70 to 120 multiple-choice questions.

Time Limit: 2 Hours

Subject Percent of Exam Adult/Pediatric Mix
Airway, Respiration & Ventilation 18% - 22% 85% Adult; 15% Pediatric
Cardiology & Resuscitation 20% - 24% 85% Adult; 15% Pediatric
Trauma 14% - 18% 85% Adult; 15% Pediatric
Medical; Obstetrics & Gynecology 27% - 31% 85% Adult; 15% Pediatric
EMS Operations 10% - 14% N/A

Psychomotor Portion

The Psychomotor exam is administered by individual states (instead of the NREMT on a national level). The test is usually administered by the state’s emergency management services offices or a local training institution.

You will be asked to perform various emergency skills in a hands-on environment.

The scores and skills tested on this portion of the exam will vary on a state-by-state basis, so it is best to check with your state for specifics.

EMT Test - Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT)

Cognitive Portion

Total Questions: 135 multiple-choice questions.

Time Limit: 2 hours 15 minutes

Subject Percent of Exam Adult/Pediatric Mix
Airway, Respiration & Ventilation 18% - 22% 85% Adult; 15% Pediatric
Cardiology & Resuscitation 21% - 25% 85% Adult; 15% Pediatric
Trauma 14% - 18% 85% Adult; 15% Pediatric
Medical; Obstetrics & Gynecology 26% - 30% 85% Adult; 15% Pediatric
EMS Operations 11% - 15% N/A

Psychomotor Portion

The Psychomotor exam is administered by individual states (instead of the NREMT on a national level). The test is usually administered by the state’s emergency management services offices or a local training institution.

You will be asked to perform various emergency skills in a hands-on environment like:

  • Patient Assessment – Trauma and Medical
  • IV and Medical Skills
  • Ventilatory Management
  • AED/Cardiac Arrest Management
  • Random EMT Skills

The scores and skills tested on this portion of the exam will vary on a state-by-state basis, so it is best to check with your state for specifics.

EMT Test - Paramedic

Cognitive Portion

Total Questions: 80 to 150 multiple-choice questions.

Time Limit: 2 hours 30 minutes

Subject Percent of Exam Adult/Pediatric Mix
Airway, Respiration & Ventilation 18% - 22% 85% Adult; 15% Pediatric
Cardiology & Resuscitation 22% - 26% 85% Adult; 15% Pediatric
Trauma 13% - 17% 85% Adult; 15% Pediatric
Medical; Obstetrics & Gynecology 25% - 29% 85% Adult; 15% Pediatric
EMS Operations 10% - 14% N/A

Psychomotor Portion

The Psychomotor exam is administered by individual states (instead of the NREMT on a national level). The test is usually administered by the state’s emergency management services offices or a local training institution.

You will be asked to perform various emergency skills in a hands-on environment like:

  • Patient Assessment – Trauma
  • Dynamic and Static Cardiology
  • Oral Station Cases A and B
  • Out-of-Hospital Scenarios

The scores and skills tested on this portion of the exam will vary on a state-by-state basis, so it is best to check with your state for specifics. Licensing requirements for paramedics also vary by state. You can check with your local EMS agency for these requirements.

EMT Test FAQS

What is on the EMT test?

Different EMT tests are given depending on which NREMT certification you are going for. However, EMT tests consist of a Cognitive exam (multiple-choice questions) and a Psychomotor exam (hands-on skills assessment).

The EMT exams also test candidates on the same 5 subjects:

  • Airway, Respiration & Ventilation
  • Cardiology & Resuscitation
  • Trauma
  • Medical; Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • EMS Operations

Are the EMT exams hard?

The EMT exams will require you to put in some study hours to do well. The Cognitive portion will consist of multiple-choice questions, while the Psychomotor test will be hands-on and “field training.”

The Cognitive portion of the exam is a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT), so it will feel hard. Computer adaptive means that the test adjusts to how you are answering questions. If you answer a question right, you will most likely see a more challenging question next.

Can I retake the EMT exams?

Yes, EMT candidates are given three attempts to pass the EMT Cognitive exam. You must wait at least 15 days after each failed attempt before taking the exam another time.

If you cannot pass the exam for the third time, you must take a remedial training program and show evidence of successful completion before you can retake the EMT Cognitive exam.

Candidates are allowed two full attempts to pass the Psychomotor exam. If candidates do not pass on the second attempt, remedial training will be required.

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