Handling Yourself During the NREMT Test

Posted Nov 1, 2018

Test anxiety can be a real threat to the successful completion of any exam. Especially an exam where your career, finances, and time are at stake. It does not help that often times testing centers where the NREMT exams are foreign to the test taker, and therefore can be stressful environments in and of themselves. However, EMS is a stressful career, and coping with anxiety and other emotions in preparation for the exam is a helpful step in preparing for a career in EMS. Many people suffer from test anxiety. We get emails every week from people asking about coping strategies. People want to know, “What can I do to reduce stress before the NREMT exam?”

The simple answer: study. Duh right? Regular studying throughout the program, in addition to the weeks or days following program completion and leading up to the cognitive exam, is crucial to feeling as confident and comfortable as possible walking into the exam. This should also reduce anxiety, stress, fear, and concern while taking the exam. Figure out how EMTprep can help you overcome test anxiety. Knowledge can squash fear. Fear is a root cause of anxiety. So increase your knowledge on not just EMS related topics, but also the ways in which the NREMT words their questions. The best way to do that, is to use EMTprep.com for their test preparation platforms. In addition to adequately studying prior to the exam, here are some other recommended tips that might be helpful both while preparing for and taking the NREMT exam.

Prepping for the NREMT Exam:

  1. Give your body and brain a break when studying; avoid cramming.
  2. Get a good night’s sleep and avoid massive amounts of studying (if at all) the night before your test.
  3. Eat a balanced meal before the exam
  4. Arrive to the testing center early to allow adequate time to be checked in and set up for the exam. Entering the test rushed and stressed will only further exacerbate any existing fear or anxiety surrounding the exam.

Taking the Exam:

  1. Prepare for tough questions, the test is adaptive and is therefore designed to change based on the weaknesses of the test taker, so do not be overwhelmed if you feel those weaknesses are being exposed.
  2. Take deep breaths, sit up tall, and position yourself in a “confident posture”. This will calm your body and brain and help to prepare you physically and mentally for the exam.
  3. Take the time to thoroughly read, and reread, each question. The NREMT website states that “less than 1% of the candidates are unable to finish the exam. Your risk of misreading a question is far greater than your risk of running out of time.” (NREMT.org, 2018) Thus it is important to take your time to choose which answer you feel is the ”most correct” or “best” based on the information provided. (Know that there are often multiple answers that you might feel are correct, but the test is set up so that you choose the best possible answer for the situation).

Ultimately, know that this test is only one small aspect of the job. Not everyone is an expert test taker, and therefore performance on this exam will not dictate one’s level of success in their career. However, careful and diligent preparation, maintaining a cool and collected composure, and focusing on the information at hand and responding based on your education and instinct should lead you to a passing score. This test does not allow you to go back and change your answer, because in real life we cannot move backwards. We must make a decision and move on. So study as if each question counts, and do not spend time dwelling on any one question or answer.