Help!!--CNA State Board Exam!

  1. OK, so here's my situation!

    I took a C.N.A. class here in California in December '08 (graduated in February '09). I was going to take the certification exam with the A.R.C. right after graduation, but I freaked out and canceled it. I can't put into words how terrifying the clinical part of the exam is to me. What adds to the fear is the fact that I had a terrible instructor for the class and the people who worked at the SNF where we interned didn't do ANYTHING by the book--in fact, they even warned us not to do what they did on our state exam!

    I feel as though I didn't learn my skills at all and even debated putting down another $600-700 in order to take the class again in hopes of actually learning the skills. What I'm going to have to do is learn them from the book which is hard for me since I'm such a hands-on and visual person. I was hoping for some information--any information!!--regarding the test. For example, I have a little book I put together of all the skills, step-by-step, taken directly from my Nursing Assistant textbook. Will I need to know EVERY skill, word-for-word, step-by-step? I know my opening/closing perfectly, but I feel stressed out even thinking about memorizing all 30 (or however many) skills step by step! Plus, I'm a total perfectionist so if it comes down to that, I won't be satisfied until I know it WORD FOR WORD (literally). I'd really appreciate any and all input.

    Thanks to everyone who takes the time to respond!
  2. Visit bluechick112 profile page

    About bluechick112

    Joined: Feb '09; Posts: 371; Likes: 42
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 2 year(s) of experience in Oncology/Hematology


  3. by   CandAmommy
    Not sure about where you are, but I'm sure it varies. In FL they have you do 3 randomly out of the 21 they test you on. So of course you want to be familiar with all because you never know which ones they will be. Have you watched teh free videos that are posted on here? If anything just seeing them may help jog your memory a bit. Do you have someone that can practice with you? Good luck! I am nervous about taking mine too, but am thinking positive and just running it through my mind every chance I get.
  4. by   OldITgeek
    OK...maybe I can be of some help with some of the specifics of my test on Friday. (Idaho certification)

    So I was very nervous, and the test proctor knew it, but she was a 25-year retired RN, and although strict, was very fair and helpful. I shuffled a deck of cards, each with a "scenario number" on it (1, 2, 3, etc) and got scenario 1.

    There were something like 7 or 8 different scenarios. Right away she says, "Oh, that's like one of the easier ones".

    I am happy

    So everybody gets the following: Handwashing, Blood Pressure, Respirations, Pulse. Some states do other stuff like how well you communicate, but I talk a lot, so I wasn't concerned about that.

    My skills were: Feeding a helpless patient, and recording I & O properly, denture care, and bedmaking. I was somewhat disappointed that I didn't get one of (what I considered) to be the 'harder' skills like Bed Bath or Catheter care, but I passed and the proctor told me I did really well.

    The proctor was the key to all this. YES, I studied. YES, I practiced, but she put me at ease, chatted with me about my career plans, and when we finished, I still had about 5 minutes to spare. (we got 30 mins total).

    Study, practice, and go for it. If for whatever reason you DO fail it the first time, it doesn't mean you don't get to be a CNA, it just means you have to re-test, but then you will TOTALLY KNOW the procedure for testing!!!

    Good luck!!
  5. by   bluechick112
    Thanks to both of your replies!!

    I know the procedure for the testing, but what concerns me is how detailed I need to memorize all the procedures.

    I think the whole thing is very overwhelming for me. I'm a pre-nursing student right now, about to transfer into a BSN program in Spring 2010, and all the tests I'm used to involve multiple choice, essay, fill-in-the-blank, etc. No clinical portions. It's proving very difficult for me to memorize actions vs words and definitions.

    Thanks again! and good luck to the first poster and CONGRATS to the second!
  6. by   OldITgeek

    When our instructor gave us the practice skills packet for our state test, it included all the skills we would need to know, step by step. The elements of the skills that were considered "Critical" were things like the following:

    Wash hands
    Explain procedure
    Identify yourself
    Provide privacy
    Put on gloves (if required)

    These could all be condidered "Standard opening procedures" but on our sheets were in BOLD for Critical elements. One of the items in bold for feeding somebody was "Observe for signs of choking, and perform Heimlich if they choke" BOLD on my prep sheet.

    Guess what happened in the exam?

    You could miss some of the non-critical elements (and I missed some) and still pass, but supposedly miss one of the critical ones, and you don't pass.

    Is there someone in your area you can talk with who has taken the state exam?? Probably a better resource locally...

    Again, good luck!
  7. by   KimberlyRN89
    On the first day of class we received a handbook that is from Pearson Vue & had each of the 24 skills that is on the test. I looked it up on the website & found one from your state Honestly I think this book will help you so much! It helped me pass my skills b/c we went over each skill step by step in class & b4 we took our test we had a review session. The handbook should tell you how much time & how many skills you could possibly be tested on since it varies from state to state. Two of them are definite though- handwashing and measurement(blood pressure,pulse,respiration,weight or urinary output). The others are randomly selected. Like someone else mentioned although its not good to miss a step, missing one that is not in bold won't automatically fail you. I missed one during one skill(applying a bedpan) & I still passed. Have you taken the written portion? Because Pearson Vue has a practice test you can take & it helped me a lot ! Some of the practice questions were actually on my real test Good luck on your test!!
  8. by   bluechick112
    I haven't taken any portion of the test! It's just hard right now because I know I had a horrible teacher and we literally learned nothing over the course of the class. Nothing. She gave us all answers to tests so we'd pass (literally just handed us the answers). And we didn't get a chance to practice our unlearned skills either since our nursing home didn't follow procedures by the book (at all). I really appreciate the link to that handbook. It's very similar to my print-out, but easier to read and organize.

    Also, I'm not too worried about the written portion. I tend to do well on written exams since they're in my comfort zone. I've taken a few of the practice ones online and have passed them. But I'll definitely make sure I've checked out the Pearson Vue edition. Thanks!
  9. by   ramin
    how many ques in cna exam pleas e hw many ues we need to paas time the time period pof the test
  10. by   bluechick112
    umm..I'm not really sure what you said. Please try and re-type it.
  11. by   ramin
    tell me the total questions in cna state exam any and pass marks in cna test howmany ans i will give to pass
  12. by   ramin
    i mean the total ques and number of pass ques if i plan to give the test
  13. by   KimberlyRN89
    There were 70 questions on the written part of the test. 10 are not counted but you do not know which are not counted. There is also an oral version of the test for those who are not very familiar with written English but I forgot how many questions they asked, I think it was 50 but I'm not sure sorry.
  14. by   CWpost
    For the state of California there are 70 multiple choice questions for the written exam and I believe you have to have a 75% to pass. The questions are critical thinking questions so you have to be able to understand the English language in order to pass. I have 6 students in my class right now that have failed every written exam given to them because they do not understand the reasoning part of the English language, although they speak English well.