TMC Practice Exam

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The National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) administers the Therapist Multiple-Choice (TMC) exam to assess the knowledge and skills of advanced respiratory therapists. Passing this exam is the first step to earning a registered respiratory therapist (RRT) credential.

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TMC Exam Eligibility

To be eligible for the TMC exam, you must be at least 18 years old and meet ONE of the following requirements:

  • You must have at least an associate degree from an accredited respiratory therapy education program.
  • You must have at least four years of CRT experience and at least 62 college credit hours.
  • You must have at least two years of CRT experience and at least an associate degree from an accredited respiratory therapy education program.
  • You must have at least two years of CRT experience, at least a baccalaureate degree in any area, and at least 62 college credit hours.
  • You must hold the CSRT RRT credential.

TMC Exam Outline

The TMC exam contains 160 multiple-choice questions, 20 of which are unscored, and you will be given a time limit of 3 hours. The unscored questions are called “pretest” questions and are used to validate questions for future versions of the exam.

The exam is split into three sections:

  1. Patient Data
  2. Troubleshooting and Quality Control of Devices, and Infection Control
  3. Initiation and Modifications of Interventions

Each question on the exam will be further categorized into one of three levels of complexity:

  • Recall (Re): The ability to recall or recognize specific information
  • Application (Ap): The ability to comprehend, relate or apply knowledge to new or changing situations
  • Analysis (An): The ability to analyze and synthesize information, determine solutions, and/or evaluate the usefulness of a solution

exam outline for the TMC RRT exam, which contains 160 multiple-choice questions and has a time limit of 3 hours

Here is each section of the exam in more detail:

I. Patient Data (50 scored questions)


The questions in this section test your ability to do the following:

  • Evaluate Data in the Patient Record (10 questions)
  • Perform a Clinical Assessment (10 questions)
  • Perform Procedures to Gather Clinical Information (12 questions)
  • Evaluate Procedure Results (10 questions)
  • Recommend Diagnostic Procedures (8 questions)

II. Troubleshooting and Quality Control of Devices, and Infection Control (20 scored questions)


The questions in this section test your ability to do the following:

  • Assemble/Troubleshoot Devices (15 questions)
  • Ensure Infection Prevention (2 questions)
  • Perform Quality Control Procedures (3 questions)

III. Initiation and Modification of Interventions (70 scored questions)


The questions in this section test your ability to do the following:

  • Maintain a Patent Airway Including the Care of Artificial Airways (10 questions)
  • Perform Airway Clearance and Lung Expansion Techniques (5 questions)
  • Support Oxygenation and Ventilation (15 questions)
  • Administer Medications and Specialty Gases (4 questions)
  • Ensure Modifications are Made to the Respiratory Care Plan (18 questions)
  • Utilize Evidence-Based Practice (6 questions)
  • Provide Respiratory Care in High-Risk Situations (5 questions)
  • Assist a Physician/Provider in Performing Procedures (4 questions)
  • Conduct Patient and Family Education (3 questions)

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TMC Exam Registration

To register for the exam, you must submit an application on the NBRC website. This application should include all necessary documentation to support your eligibility as well as the $190 examination fee.

Once your application is approved, you will receive instructions on how to schedule your exam appointment. You may choose to schedule an in-person appointment at a testing center or an online appointment via live remote proctoring (LRP).


Before registering for the remote proctor option, make sure your equipment meets the requirements. LRP requirements include the following:

  • A desktop or laptop computer running at least a Windows 7 or Mac OS X operating system
  • Google Chrome browser
  • A webcam and microphone
  • Minimum 466 kb/s bandwidth
  • 2 GB RAM and 1 GB free disk space
  • A minimum screen resolution of 1368×768

Test Day

On the day of your exam, you must present one form of valid government-issued photo identification with your signature. The name on your registration must match the name on your identification. For both delivery methods (on-site and remote), you should arrive or be logged in 30 minutes before your testing appointment.

In-person Testing

After you have provided your ID, your picture will be taken and your palm will be biometrically scanned for security purposes. You will then be asked to store all personal items in a secure locker.

Once your personal items are stored, you will be led into the testing room and given a short tutorial on the testing system. Once this step is complete, your exam will begin.


On the day of your exam, ensure that your testing area is clear of reference materials, your cell phone, and food or drink containers. You are permitted two pieces of blank paper and a writing utensil for writing notes. You must use the Google Chrome browser and enable cookies. Ensure you can move the webcam around for the proctor so they can view your area. Present your ID and scratch paper for inspection and follow any directions provided.

You can launch the examination up to 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment. You cannot leave the webcam’s view during your exam, use other monitors, or talk to anyone. If the proctor observes questionable behavior, your exam will be canceled.

How the TMC Exam is Scored

For each question you answer correctly, you will receive one point toward your score. The sum of correct responses is called your “raw score.” Your raw score determines your pass or fail status after comparison to the cut score.

If you achieve the low cut score (88), you will be awarded the CRT credential. If you meet the high cut score, which can fluctuate, you will receive the CRT credential and become eligible to take the CSE.

Retaking the TMC Exam

If you failed the exam, you may take it two more times with no waiting period between attempts. After the third attempt, you must wait 120 days before trying again.

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How many questions are on the TMC exam?


There are 160 multiple-choice questions on the exam.


How long is the TMC exam?


The time limit for the exam is 3 hours.


How much does the TMC exam cost?


The examination fee is $190.

By Peter Rench

Peter Rench joined Mometrix in 2009 and serves as Vice President of Product Development, responsible for overseeing all new product development and quality improvements. Mr. Rench, a National Merit Scholar, graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in mathematics from Texas A&M University.


by Mometrix Test Preparation | This Page Last Updated: January 3, 2024