EMT-B EMT-Basic TestThe EMT-Basic or EMT-B certification is now referred to as the Emergency Medical Technican certification since the new certification levels were introduced in 2014.  Applicants for the EMT certification must pass both a state approved psychomotor exam as well as the national NREMT certification exam. Potential EMT candidates applying for an Emergency Medical Technician certification must meet certain requirements.  EMT candidates must be 18 years or older.  Candidates must also have completed a state-approved course.  The state EMT course must meet or exceed the US Department of Transportation National Standard Curriculum.  This EMT state course must have been successfully completed within the previous two years.  Additionally, EMT candidates must hold a current CPR credential and have successfully completed a state-approved psychomotor exam.

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 NREMT EMT Exam Application Process

Take the following steps to apply for your EMT examination:

  • Go to the NREMT.org website and create an account
  • Complete an online application for National Registry.  A Licensing Action and Felony statement is part of the online application.  If you have a previous felony conviction, the NREMT will typically deny your application for certification.  You can appeal your denial.
  • Pay the $70.00 application fee.  This fee can not be transferred or refunded.  Also, please note that you will be charged this fee every time you attempt the cognitive exam. 
  • After successfully completing your online application, you will be given an Authorization To Test (ATT).  Scheduling instructions, required identification, and test center locations will be detailed in your ATT.

NREMT Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Exam

Candidates for this certification must pass the NREMT EMT cognitive exam. 
The EMT test is given via a computer and is a Computer Adaptive Test (i.e., the test is adapted based on the student’s aptitude).  The number of questions on the EMT exam will range from 70 to 120 based on the EMT student’s aptitude.  You will be given a maximum of two hours to complete the EMT-Basic exam.

EMT Psychomotor Examination

Students must demonstrate competence in a spectrum of emergency care skills throughout their EMT training. A student's EMT instructor must certify that a student has mastered the following basic skills: bag-valve-mask ventilation of an apneic patient, patient assessment/management of a trauma patient, long bone fracture immobilization, joint dislocation immobilization, patient assessment/management of a medical patient, cardiac arrest management/AED, mouth-to-mouth ventilation with supplemental oxygen, spinal immobilization (both seated and supine patient), traction splinting, bleeding control/shock management, upper airway adjuncts and suction,  and supplemental oxygen administration to a breathing patient.

The EMT exam will cover all portions of the curriculum, including: EMS Operations, Cardiology, Trauma, Medical, Obstetrics, Pediatrics and Airway and Breathing.  The EMT test is heavily focused on fundamentals and operations.

EMT Test Outline

The EMT test outline is shown below.


Topic  Exam Percentage 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 

EMT Education and Training

Under the guidelines of the NHTSA curriculum, EMT students will have 200 hours of lab and lecture time.  The curriculum covers anatomy and physiology, assessment, legal aspects of medical care, as well as treatment procedures for medical, behavioral and trauma emergencies.  After education has been completed, and the certification exam passed, EMT-Basic students are required to take continuing education (CE) courses to recertify.  Each state maintains its own requirements for recertification.  Some states also allow reciprocity for EMTs that are certified in other states.  Complete details on certification, reciprocity and continuing education can be found by contacting your state certification board.

EMTs have different duties and responsibilities based on their training and certification.  An EMT's salary is often different based on their experience, training, and location. Typically, most EMTs are certified to one of four levels that are administered by NREMT, the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians.  The four NREMT certifications are: Emergency Medical Responder, EMT, AEMT and Paramedic. An effective way to pass your NREMT certification exam is to use free EMT practice tests.