Dr. Jan Olson Reviewed By: Dr. Jan Olson
Authored By: Gianni Evangelisti
EKG Practice Test

An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is a test used to detect heart problems and monitor heart health. An EKG practice test will help you prepare for the rhythms you will encounter during the real test and gain experience with identifying specific EKG strips.

If you are preparing for an EKG exam, you’ll need to craft an efficient study plan that includes taking regular practice tests. There is no substitute for preparation.

This article will walk you through what to expect from an EKG practice test and where to find them.

Summary: Use the EKG practice tests below to prepare for your upcoming exam.

Important Note About EKG and ECG

Sometimes the terms EKG and ECG are used interchangeably. They are different abbreviations that refer to the same test. An electrocardiogram is a test used to measure how the electricity in a person’s heart is functioning.

EKG Practice Tests

Listed below is some EKG practice to help you get started. We highly recommend you take one before creating a study plan so that you know where to focus your studies.

Resource Notes Provider
EKG Questions 1 Review 25 questions on this ECG quiz. Upstate Medical University
EKG Questions 2 Review 20 questions on this ECG quiz. Banner Health
EKG Questions 3 Review 15 questions on this ECG quiz. King Exams

EKG Practice Strips

One of the most difficult parts of the EKG exam is identifying EKG strips. This is an area that requires practice in order to master. Here are some free resources to help you get started.

Resource Notes Provider
EKG Practice Strips 1 Review 175+ EKG practice strips Monitor Tech
EKG Practice Strips 2 Review sample EKG strips Key Med Info

What is an EKG

An EKG (electrocardiogram test) is a noninvasive procedure that measures electronic signals in the heart to ensure that it’s functioning normally. It’s simple and painless, detailing the rate and strength of each heartbeat. Physicians use this important test to diagnose major problems with the heart such as arrhythmias or coronary artery disease, or to monitor how certain treatments such as medications or pacemakers are working.

An EKG identifies the following heart disorders:

  • Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
  • Blocked arteries
  • Risk of heart disease
  • Risk of heart failure
  • Previous heart attacks
  • Other forms of damage to the heart
  • Therapeutic measurement

Medical personnel who administer this test must be certified by taking an EKG certification test. This is a complex exam that requires a great deal of preparation including in-depth studies and regular practice tests to help you measure the progress of studies.

Let’s dive deeper by looking at some of the topics that you can expect to find on an EKG practice exam.

About EKG Practice

You can expect to find 110 questions on the EKG practice test. Many of these questions are based on EKG strips found throughout the test. Some of the basic topics include an understanding of medical terminology, pharmacology, and general knowledge about patient care. While the practice test isn’t timed, the real one clocks in at 2 hours so you should shoot for a completion time around that same mark.

Individuals certified in EKG are expected to be able to administer and interpret the results of the EKG, Holter monitoring, and stress tests. Here are some of the types of questions you can expect to find on the EKG.

Safety and Patient Care

You’ll be expected to have a deep understanding of HIPAA regulations including the ethical and legal responsibilities that are required to be upheld by certified EKG professionals. These regulations change regularly so it’s essential that you stay up-to-date.

General patient safety practices such as infection control are also tested. Understanding the context of these guidelines is essential to becoming certified.

Finally, proper communication with patients and other healthcare professionals is also a required skill. There are a number of factors that affect the way professionals communicate with patients including religion, culture, and language.

Interpreting Patient Vital Signs

Certified EKG healthcare professionals are expected to have a firm understanding of vital signs and their interpretation. This includes emergencies related to testing and visual vital signs for certain cardiac events throughout a test. Expect questions on the practice test about methods used to determine vitals.

You’ll also need to know how to recognize the signs related to cardiopulmonary compromise. There are certain emergencies related to EKG testing that must be identified quickly in order to maintain patient safety.

Patient Preparation and Monitoring

Students must be able to properly prepare patients for this procedure. This includes setting all expectations for standard EKGs, as well as the proper preparation of stress testing.

You’ll also need to understand how to interpret and utilize digital medical records. Expect to find questions related to the processes and elements used to communicate this information.

Proper Maintenance of EKG Equipment

The practice test will contain questions related to EKG equipment maintenance procedures like loading paper, replacing clips, and disinfecting machines. You’ll also need to understand machine settings like speed and gain.

In addition to standard maintenance practices, you’ll also have to prove your ability to identify and resolve artifacts from tracing such as somatic, electrical, and wandering baselines.

Proper Use of EKG Equipment

Certified EKG healthcare professionals must know the procedures for preparing the skin for electrode placement. This will be tested in the certification exam. This includes proper position for testing for both diverse patients including those with special needs. 

A few questions will also test your knowledge of patient monitoring during the test. You’ll need to identify emergencies related to specific readings and understand the steps that must be met under these conditions.

Interpretation of EKG Analysis

Certified EKG technicians will be required to demonstrate their ability to calculate a patient’s heart rate and rhythm so questions related to this are found on the practice test.

You’ll also need to be able to carefully evaluate the characteristics of waveforms in order to identify whether they are normal or abnormal.

Learn EKG Strips

Here is a list of all the EKG strips that you must be able to identify in order to pass the EKG certification exam.

Accelerated Idioventricular Rhythm Accelerated Junctional Rhythm Asystole
Atrial Fibrillation Atrial Flutter

 

Bundle Branch Block
First Degree Heart Block Idioventricular Rhythm Junctional Escape Rhythm
Junctional Tachycardia Multifocal Atrial Tachycardia Normal Sinus Rhythm
Pacemaker Failure to Capture Pacemaker Failure to Pace Pacemaker Single Chamber Atrial
Premature Atrial Complex Premature Junctional Complex Premature Ventricular Complex
Premature Ventricular Complex Bigeminy Premature Ventricular Complex Quadrigeminy Premature Ventricular Complex Trigeminy
Second Degree Heart Block Type I Second Degree Heart Block Type II Sinoatrial Block
Sinus Arrest Sinus Arrhythmia Sinus Bradycardia
Sinus Bradycardia Sinus Tachycardia Supraventricular Tachycardia
Third Degree Heart Block Ventricular Fibrillation Ventricular Tachycardia
Ventricular Tachycardia Monomorphic Ventricular Tachycardia Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia Torsade de Pointes
Wandering Atrial Pacemaker Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome  

How Do I Study for the EKG?

Students who are looking to become certified in EKG will need to understand its administration as well as context into the results of the test. This is achieved through a rigorous study plan and regular EKG practice tests. You will also need to study EKG practice strips to gain a deeper understanding of their usage.

Here are some study tips that will help you get started:

  • Start by creating a detailed study plan. Each session should include EKG practice strips to help you memorize these essential patterns. Regular EKG practice will help guide your studies.
  • Study the major responsibilities of EKG certified techs. This includes setting up and administering an EKG, prepping patients, and the interpretation and delivery of test results.
  • Get hands-on training. Students are encouraged to volunteer to get as much hands-on experience as possible. Medical facilities sometimes seek students as interns. In exchange for your assistance, they will provide experience in the field.
  • Take notes. Writing down information while watching videos or reading through study materials helps memorize it.
  • Use prep materials to learn the material. EKG practice tests and study guides are great resources for learning all of the information. Flashcards that provide EKG practice strips are also a great tool for learning.

EKG Practice FAQs

What is the difference between ECG and EKG?

This can be confusing at first. However, ECG and EKG both refer to the same test. EKG uses the German spelling for abbreviation while ECG uses the English spelling for abbreviation.

How do you memorize EKG strips?

Hours upon hours of studying are required to interpret EKG strips but the most important ones are lethal strips because they must be identified quickly. These include ventricular fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia, and asystole. Most students choose to study those strips initially.

With that said, there is a quick and easy four-step method that you can use to identify EKG strips. It goes like this:

  • Determine the Rate: Is it slow, medium, or fast?
  • Determine the Rhythm: Is it regular or irregular? A regular pattern is consistent in the distance between each QRS. 
  • P-Wave: Is a P-Wave present before every QRS? Is there a QRS after every P-Wave?
  • Use the process of elimination to deduce the type of strip being viewed. 

Final Thoughts

The EKG certification exam is quite difficult and will require a lot of preparation to master. Taking a regular EKG practice test will give you an advantage and make sure you’re prepared for the real test.

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