What is a Computer Adaptive Test?

Posted Nov 1, 2018

Computer Adaptive Tests (CAT) are tests that are taken on the computer and adapt to your highest level of knowledge. The questions on the test come from a pool of questions that have been evaluated by EMS professionals and educators to determine the difficultly level. The test will continually adapt to the difficulty of the questions based on how well the test taker is answering the questions. If the student is getting them wrong then the computer gives easier questions, until they prove their level of knowledge. If the student is getting them right then the computer gives harder questions. In this way the computer can give questions at a variety of levels for different subject areas until it is determined that the test taker either meets the minimum standard or does not.

The test typically starts out at just below passing level and asks questions in these five areas: Airway, Respiration, and Ventilation; Cardiology and Resuscitation; Trauma; Medical, Obstetrics and Gynecology; and EMS Operations. The computer gives a set of questions at below passing level, if these are answered correctly then it gives a set of questions at passing level, if these are answered correctly then it will give a set of questions above passing level, this continues until the questions are being answered incorrectly. This is then evaluated to see if the test taker met passing level in that area, they must be at passing level in every area to pass the test. This means that whether you pass or not the test will feel difficult. This is the reason why nearly every student walks out of the test feeling like they failed unfortunately! We hear from students routinely that they want to open their membership back up to keep studying because they “are certain” they failed after getting home from the test. Take the 24-48 hour window to rest and relax as you await your results. You will get past this test, we can assure you of that! EMTprep offers every student their 100% Pass Guarantee. If you take the NREMT and fail it while using our product, we guarantee that we will continue to extend your membership until you pass the test. It’s that simple. When students fail the test, we step in with a series of questions that help identify what could have gone wrong. Once we feel like we have enough information, we share some new strategies for the student to try. EMTprep.com has an incredibly high success rate. Try us out and see! Discover How EMTprep Works and how you can use our system to pass your NREMT exam the first time

The computer will ask questions until one of three things happens; it is 95% certain that the test taker meets the passing competency, it is 95% certain that the test taker cannot reach the passing competency, or the maximum time has passed. This means that the test is variable in length and some people will display competency in a fewer amount of questions while some will need a large number of questions to display competency. It is important to answer every single question to the best of your ability because those who answer more questions correctly at or above competency level will pass. However, those who answer more questions at or below competency levels will fail. Each exam has the high possibility of consisting of more than a hundred questions to establish your competency. So if you’re not sure, just answer to the best of your ability, take a deep breath, and move on. Worrying about a previously answered question will do you no good as you work your way through the test. You have no way of knowing where that question ranked on the competency scale so just do your best. If you have a very long test it does not mean that you are not competent it just means that the computer is able to determine your competency with more accuracy. If your test is very short it does not mean that you failed. If you did, it means that the computer was able to accurately determine that you did not meet the passing level competency. If you pass it means that you were able to meet the passing level competency in fewer questions. At EMTprep.com we have had people tell us they passed and failed at nearly every conceivable number of questions on the test. So don’t put any weight on the number.

Every cognitive exam will contain questions that are being tested out and they are indistinguishable from the reviewed questions. These are called ‘pilot’ questions and the reviewed questions are known as ‘live’ questions. During the EMR test there will be 30 pilot questions, in the EMT exam there will be 10, in the AEMT exam there will be 35, and in the Paramedic level exam there will be 20. These questions do not affect your passing score as they are just being tried out so that they can be fine-tuned based on how many people answer them correctly. If they are answered incorrectly, data on which is the most common answer selected, and how the question can be improved to better test the competency level. These questions are based on National EMS Educational Standards and reflect current accepted practices in EMS. They are not based on any local protocols or a specific textbook. The computer test is designed for individuals who may not be familiar with computers or having typing skills. A tutorial is available at the center prior to testing if requested. For additional information on accommodations provided click HERE.

The test is administered at a Pearson Vue testing center and you can go to any Pearson Vue testing center. It does not have to be in your state. The test will be the same no matter where you take it. Read up on who Pearson Vue is and what you need to know before you arrive to take your test.