Whether you’re certifying for the first or tenth time, the American Association of Medical Assistants® provides a variety of resources to help you prepare to take the CMA (AAMA)® Certification Exam. For example, the “Study for the Exam” webpage offers links to the Content Outline for the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam, practice questions for medical terminology, and more!
Seeking additional help to prepare for the exam and earn your CMA (AAMA) credential? Look to your peers! Your fellow medical assistants who have taken the exam offer a wealth of knowledge.
We asked medical assistants on Facebook what advice they had for those taking the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam. Read on for a collection of insider insights.
Practice Exams, Study Guides, and Resources
Having the right tools—and doing your homework, so to speak—can build up your confidence and lay the foundation for success. Several medical assistants recommend taking the CMA (AAMA) Practice Exam and highlight the best ways to use study tools:
Take the practice exam on the AAMA website.—Sarah Williams
I used the outline on the AAMA website. I highlighted what I knew and then studied what wasn’t highlighted. Don’t cram; you will get overwhelmed.—Stacy Hooker
Study months before the exam, and do as many practice questions as possible.—Tia Chapinski
When I studied for [the exam], I … made a bunch of note cards. I also saved all my notes … from school to study with as well. I would have a friend quiz me.—Lindsey Louviere
I made flash cards of terminology, anatomy, office practice and procedure, coding, business ethics, laboratory tubes, etc. After going through my cards a few times, I got rid of the ones I knew and kept studying the ones I didn’t know.—April O’Banion
Best Studying Practices
Now that you have the right tools, wield these helpful hints for better study practices:
Teach others. … If you take time to teach people what you know, you’d be surprised at how easy it is to recall when taking a test.—Julie Gower
When taking the practice exam, set up your room and yourself to mimic the exam setting. Remove everything from your desk, put electronic devices away, etc. And get dressed, including your shoes. This will give you the feeling you are taking a test.—Susan Klos
Applying what I learned from [studying] to my externship experience … helped a lot, because I’m a visual and hands-on person!—Abby Mulero
Do not study the day of the test—and stop studying at 1 p.m. the day before the test. No cramming. Make sure to schedule your test out to give you plenty of time to study and know the material.—Jeni Basson-Geis
Constantly keep refreshing your knowledge, take the practice test often, and quiz yourself in your day-to-day work.—Cass Carey
Always make sure you are getting enough rest.—Josh N Dana Brock
Find a way to de-stress.—Kacie Simons
Take the exam as close to graduation as you can.—Sara Citro
Get experience in the front and back office. Front office helps you to understand the coding and billing. Back office helps you to understand medications/injections, [laboratory] tests, and other things related to patient care as well as management. … Take notes as you study. Mark up your study book. … Go to the testing site dressed up to feel great about yourself and the exam.—Ml Daniel
Make sure you study a little every day leading up to the exam. Never overwhelm yourself with all the information, and you’ll do great.—Emily Myers
Before the Test
Although most exam preparation should take place well in advance, the day before the exam is also a crucial time to physically and mentally prepare yourself:
Get plenty of rest the night before and have a good breakfast that morning!—Georgie Fitch
On exam day, make sure you’ve rested fully and come with the confidence that you’ll pass. The more encouraged [you are] and confidence you have in yourself, the better you’ll do!—Emily Myers
During the Test
When you’re finally sitting for the exam, adhere to advice like the following to improve your exam-taking skills and enhance the likelihood of achieving a passing score:
Use the noise-reducing headphones if offered. They helped me focus, and I passed.—Taylor Thomas
If you don’t know [an answer], flag it and move on. Don’t spend time overthinking it and get stuck with no time to finish.—Caity Clarke
Make sure you read every word in the question. One word can change what the answer would be.—Lori Crisp
My best advice is to not second-guess yourself. You know more than you think.—Kimberly Pitts
[Use the] process of elimination when stuck on a question.—Amber Hay
Relax, breathe, [and] clear your mind before reading the questions. Don’t think about the previous question when you move on to the next.—Vera McKay
Pace yourselves. Don’t spend too long on a tricky question.—Sandee Griffin
The most common piece of advice: believe in yourself. You’ve got this!
Know a tip that wasn’t included? Share it below in the blog comments!