Taking the Nursing Assistant Exam

You’ve been in can classes for a while now, and learned a lot of things that you’d never thought of before. You can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel; you are going to become a can! You’re looking forward to helping people, and being part of their care from day to day. Of course, you’re not quite finished. First, you have to take the nursing assistant exam.

Many people are anxious about taking tests, but you don’t have to be. Here are some tips for taking the nursing assistant exam.

Before the test


  • Take good notes. Write down the major points that your instructors give you. Make sure to write down any lists and anything that the instructor writes on the board. Highlight any information that your instructor tells you will be on the nursing assistant exam. Keep track of any handouts and go over them, too.



  • Study a little every day. Once a day, go over the notes that you took earlier that day. Get to class a few minutes early and review the notes from the last session. This will help solidify the information in your head. Also read each chapter of your text books carefully, then skim over them a time or two during the week. This will save you from cramming at the last minute, because cramming never works.



  • Take practice tests. Practice tests are offered by the same people who write the tests, so they know what will be on it. If you know what to expect when the nursing assistant exam is handed out, you won’t panic when it’s in front of you.



  • Ask your instructors about anything you don’t understand. This should be done long before you encounter that difficult concept on the nursing assistant exam! Don’t put it off. The instructor will be glad to take some time to explain.



  • Get a good night’s sleep. You want to be thinking clearly, not nodding off over your exam paper. A rested mind is a focused mind.

During the test


  • Relax. Even though a test can make some people anxious, there’s really nothing to worry about when you take the nursing assistant exam. You’ve studied, prepared, practiced…you’re ready. Have a little faith in yourself.



  • Take deep breaths. Breathing deeply accomplishes several important things. It calms you down if you’re anxious. It brings oxygen to your muscles and helps them loosen up if they’ve gotten all in knots. Most importantly, it bring oxygen to your brain so that you can think your most clearly and use your common sense as you take your nursing assistant exam.



  • Don’t rush. You have two full hours and only 100 questions on the written nursing assistant exam. Some questions will be easy; mark them and go on. There will be some you’ll be less sure about; skip them and come back to them. When you rush, your anxiety builds, and you make careless mistakes. Relax; you have plenty of time.



  • Double check, but don’t second guess. When you’ve finished, go back over your answers. Remember how calm and confident you are, and how well prepared, but make sure you haven’t misunderstood a question or marked an erroneous answer. Don’t second guess yourself, but make sure every answer you put is the one you intended to put.

After the test


  • Reward yourself! Congratulations! You’ve not only just finished the challenging nursing assistant exam for state licensing, you’ve also completed a course of study preparing for a new career. Your results should be in soon, but don’t start worrying about them. Go to lunch or buy yourself something nice. You’ve worked hard. You deserve a reward.

Good luck on your test. Study, ask questions, breathe deeply, and have faith in yourself. You’ll do great.