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The Top Five Things You Need To Know About The CNA Exam

You know that failing the CNA exam is a waste of time, as well as a massive blow to your self-esteem. This is why it’s critical to know as much as possible about the exam format, major categories, exam locations, and how to register. That way, you can boost the productivity of your CNA prep, avoid common study mistakes, and be 100% prepared for the CNA test.

To help expedite your CNA practice – as well as save time and stress – we’ve collected a list about the top five things you need to know about the CNA exam.

1. Why The CNA Exam Is Important

The CNA exam (CNA stands for Certified Nursing Assistant) is also known as the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP), is a final assessment that a nurse aide is required to become a certified nurse assistant. Upon successful completion of the test, CNAs will be listed on the Nurse Aide registry within their residential state and will be eligible for employment.

Successful completion of the Certified Nursing Assistant exam makes it possible for candidates to enjoy the rewarding experience of being a CNA. Salaries can vary based on state wages; however, CNAs are typically paid $9.50 to $12.00 per hour. Experienced CNAs can make anywhere from $12.00 to $15.00 per hour. Shifts typically last about seven hours.

2. The Purpose Of The CNA Exam

The purpose of the CNA exam is to assess the knowledge, skills, and abilities that are required in order for a nursing assistant to safely and successfully conduct their work. The content of the certified nurse aide test can be broken down as follows:

  • A written/oral examination;
  • A hands-on skills examination

Both parts must be successfully completed in order to become a certified nursing assistant. CNA candidates who are uncomfortable taking the written exam in English can opt for an English or Spanish oral exam instead.

3. How A Passing Score Is Determined

The Certified Nursing Assistant test varies from state to state based on both federal and state rules, regulations and procedures. Therefore, an advisory committee of nurse aides, instructors, state health care personnel, and other relevant professionals determines CNA passing scores. To learn more about how a passing score is determined in your state, visit your state’s nurse aide registry at the National Council of State Boards of Nursing website (

Links To Free CNA Exam Practice Tools And Tactics:




4. How To Register For The CNA Exam

To register for this exam, as well as learn more about CNA exam requirements in your state, contact Pearson VUE at or contact your state’s nurse aid registry at You can also call the National Nurse Aide Assistant Program (NNAAP) at their toll-free number 1-800-274-3444.

5. The Content You Can Expect On The CNA Exam

The Certified Nursing Aide written exam contains 70 multiple-choice questions, ten of which are non-scored (this is so the NCSBN can gather statistical information). The oral exam contains 60 multiple-choice questions and ten reading comprehension items. During the hands-on skills examination, students will need to demonstrate knowledge of five hands-on skills, which will be decided by the relevant state exam board.

Nursing assistants can expect to see the following on the CNA exam, including the weighting of the content domain and number of items in the domain :

  • Physical Care Skills: Including activities of daily living (14%; 8), basic nursing skills (39%; 24), and restorative skills (7%; 4).
  • Psychosocial Care Skills: Including emotional and mental health needs (11%; 6), as well as spiritual and cultural needs (2%; 2).
  • Role of the Nurse Aide: Including communication (8%; 5), client rights (7%; 4), legal and ethical behavior (3%; 2), and member of the health care team (9%;

Now that you’ve reviewed the top five things you need to know about the CNA exam, you can begin successfully constructing your CNA exam prep based on your state’s requirements.


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Author: Mark Dahlson
Last updated: 03/21/2020