The Certified Patient Care Technician (CPCT) exam tests your knowledge and skills in basic patient care so you can work in healthcare facilities such as doctors’ offices, clinics, hospitals, and more.
Click “Start Test” above to take a free Patient Care Technician practice test!
Patient Care Technician Exam Eligibility
To be eligible for the Patient Care Technician exam, you must have a high school diploma/GED/high school equivalency and ONE of the following:
- You must have completed a patient care technician education or training program within the last 5 years.
- You must have completed 1 year of supervised patient care experience within the last 3 years.
Patient Care Technician Exam Outline
The CPCT exam contains 150 multiple-choice questions, 25 of which are unscored, and you will be given a 3-hour time limit. The 25 unscored questions are called “pretest” questions and are used by the test administrators to evaluate questions for future versions of the exam.
The questions are split into 5 domains:
- Professional Responsibilities (24 scored questions)
- Safety and Infection Control (20 scored questions)
- Infection Control (11 scored questions)
- Phlebotomy (14 scored questions)
- EKG (10 scored questions)
- The questions you got wrong
- The ones you had to guess on, even if you guessed right
- The ones you found difficult or slow to work through
- Remove Limitations. Take the first test with no time constraints and with your notes and CPCT exam study guide handy. Take your time and focus on applying the strategies you’ve learned.
- Time Yourself. Take the second practice test “open book” as well, but set a timer and practice pacing yourself to finish in time.
- Simulate Test Day. Take any other practice tests as if it were test day. Set a timer and put away your study materials. Sit at a table or desk in a quiet room, imagine yourself at the testing center, and answer questions as quickly and accurately as possible.
- Keep Practicing. Keep taking practice tests on a regular basis until you run out of practice tests or it’s time for the actual test. Your mind will be ready for the schedule and stress of test day, and you’ll be able to focus on recalling the material you’ve learned.
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Patient Care Technician Exam Registration
To register for the exam, you will need to create an online NHA account and fill out the application and registration information. If your school or employer is partnered with NHA, you can schedule your exam through your NHA account. Otherwise, you will need to schedule your exam with PSI.
The examination fee is $160.
Be sure to arrive at the testing site 15-30 minutes before your scheduled exam. Arriving late could prevent you from taking the test. Ensure you bring a valid form of identification that includes your name, signature, and photo. A passport and driver’s license are examples of acceptable forms of ID.
Items such as a calculator, cell phones, and smartwatches are prohibited from the testing area, so you will be asked to leave them in your car or in a secure locker outside the testing room.
How the Patient Care Technician Exam is Scored
the CPCT/A exam is scored on a scale of 200-500, and you must achieve a minimum scaled score of 390 to pass. Your score results will be available immediately after you test if you take your exam at an institution. If you take the exam at a PSI testing center, you will get your results 48 hours after the test.
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How to Study for the Patient Care Technician Exam
How to Study Effectively
Your success on CPCT/A test day depends not only on how many hours you put into preparing but also on whether you prepared the right way. It’s good to check along the way to see whether your studying is paying off. One of the most effective ways to do this is by taking CPCT practice tests to evaluate your progress. Practice tests are useful because they show exactly where you need to improve. Every time you take a free CPCT/A exam practice test, pay special attention to these three groups of questions:
This will show you exactly what your weak areas are and where you need to devote more study time. Ask yourself why each of these questions gave you trouble. Was it because you didn’t understand the material? Was it because you didn’t remember the vocabulary? Do you need more repetitions on this type of question to build speed and confidence? Dig into those questions and figure out how you can strengthen your weak areas as you go back to review the material.
Additionally, many CPCT practice tests have a section explaining the answer choices. It can be tempting to read the explanation and think that you now have a good understanding of the concept. However, an explanation likely only covers part of the question’s broader context. Even if the explanation makes sense, go back and investigate every concept related to the question until you’re positive you have a thorough understanding.
Comprehend Each Topic
As you go along, keep in mind that the CPCT practice test is just that: practice. Memorizing these questions and answers will not be very helpful on the actual test because it is unlikely to have any of the same exact questions. If you only know the right answers to the sample questions, you won’t be prepared for the real thing. Study the concepts until you understand them fully, and then you’ll be able to answer any question that shows up on the test.
Strategy for CPCT Practice
When you’re ready to start taking practice tests, follow this strategy:
How many questions are on the Patient Care Technician exam?
There are 120 multiple-choice questions on the exam, 20 of which are unscored pretest questions.
How long is the Patient Care Technician exam?
The time limit for the exam is 2 hours.
What is the passing score for the Patient Care Technician exam?
To pass the exam, you must achieve a scaled score of at least 390.
How much does the Patient Care Technician exam cost?
The exam fee is $160.