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Tips to Prepare for the CMA Exam

Passing the Certified Medical Assistant exam is a major step for Medical Assistant students. Here are three tips on how to prepare for the CMA exam and stand out from the competition.

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Penn Foster

Passing the Certified Medical Assistant exam is the first step toward a bright future helping patients and working alongside physicians. In fact, many employers will only hire CMAs. To ensure you stand out from the competition, use these tips to prepare for the Certified Medical Assistant exam:

Know What to Study
Use the content outlines provided by AAMA to design your study sessions. Particular topics to focus on include behavioral theories, human growth and development, nonverbal communication, professionalism in the workplace, medical regulations and laws, and ethics in the field. Break down each section into smaller parts and focus on less familiar topics.

Take Practice Tests
Take a practice exam to find out where to focus your studying and how to pace yourself. While the AAMA doesn’t offer a practice exam for the entire test, it has created free practice exams in the areas of medical terminology and anatomy and physiology. While these questions won't appear word-for-word on the actual exam, they provide an idea of the topics you’ll encounter.

Study Smart
Everyone has their own way of studying, and you should do what works for you. Highlight important sections in your course notes, create flashcards with medical terms, use mnemonic devices – it's up to you to make the most of your time. Many people are able to focus better in the morning, while others think more clearly at night. It may help to join a study group and find out how others approach the material. Above all, don’t wait until the last minute to study. The CMA exam covers a lot of material that will require multiple review sessions.

Avoid Distractions
Keep study sessions structured and free of distractions. This may mean letting your family or roommates know when to give you space. Clear clutter from your desk, silence your phone, and avoid browsing the Web. Listening to music may help you stay focused.

Take Breaks
The CMA covers a lot of material, so it’s understandable to feel anxious or overwhelmed. Avoid burning out by taking regular breaks. Stretch, go for a walk, or head to the gym. An active body promotes an active mind.

Get Plenty of Rest
Get to bed a little earlier the night before your CMA exam to ensure you wake up feeling refreshed and energized. Don’t stress out over what might go wrong – you’ve done your best to prepare, so relax and approach the day with confidence.

Prepare Your Essentials the Night Before
Have your keys, clothes, wallet or purse, and other essentials ready before you go to sleep. You don’t want to scramble in the morning and risk being late for the exam.

With proper studying, you can pass the medical assistant certification exam and embark on a rewarding career. For more information on how to get started in this career field, check out Penn Foster College’s Medical Assistant program.  

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