How many people failed the CNA state exam the first time?


I am preparing to take the final exam through the state for my CNA. It seems like they like to fail people for little things. Anyone fail the first time?


108 Posts

You're right, you can fail for "little" things, however those "little" things are usually critical and related to infection control (basic precautions like forgetting to wash hands, change gloves when required or picking something up off the floor), safety (not locking wheels on the bed or wheelchair will fail you), privacy and dignity (not pulling the curtain closed or knocking and doing the introduction/explanation bit) and even not zeroing out the scale when you weigh an ambulatory patient. All "little" things but all critical.

I think the best approach, when you find out which skills you get, is to consider the final outcome. Is the patient safe, protected from unnecessary exposure to pathogens, comfortable, and do they have a call light available if they need something? It's so easy to get caught up in the steps it's hard to step back and think about what you're really being tested on, which is ultimately your sensibilities in a real life situation. Be in control. If you forget something, make sure you tell the evaluator you forgot but you would do whatever it was, and actually do it if time permits. They appreciate your nervousness and stress level, but can't give you credit for any skill if you overlook the basics.

To answer your question: Lots of people fail the first time. I took my skills test with a woman who failed THREE times and had to go back and take the course over again. Her problem was dyslexia and she recorded numbers backwards. She finally passed on her fourth try (I saw her name on the state registry). Her perseverance was impressive, to say the least.

Practice the skills that confound you. Remember the basics. Know the skill but don't get too wrapped up in the sequence of steps.

NP Sam

476 Posts

Specializes in Peds OR as RN, Peds ENT as NP.

i failed the cna exam the first time! this is definitely not uncommon. i never took a cna class, i just deciding to challenge the board. i had no clue what i was doing. i passed the written part but failed the clinical part. you are given three clinical and if you fail one, you fail them all. i failed the change of position clinical. i turned the patient to my left instead of their left! it's is really upsetting to fail one clinical and pass everything else! so i took a class through a local hospital and passed the next time.

they do fail for little things... no mistake you make will get past them. the important thing is to be likeable, and be confident. you will pass!


1 Post

In my class we had only one person fail on the first time and that was for language differences. The written part of the test is usually exactly what you learn in class. They really aren't trying to trick you. I felt that the hands on test was really stressful and the most difficult. I missed quite a few little things and still passed. You really have to miss a major thing, like a safety step or infection control step. Honestly I practiced on my sister. I was really embarrassed to do all the procedures on her but it is probably the reason I passed. We pretended on most of them but in the test you pretend as well. The proctors really want you to pass and they help you as much as they are allowed to. If you miss something they usually ask you, "Are you sure that's all you do?" or "That's how you would do that?" I have never heard of anyone failing for something minor. You will do great as long as you study and do a lot of hands on practicing.


46 Posts

I drew vital signs an one of my skills and the peorson had a very hard to hear BP. It was not accurate and I failed.

I passed easily the second time and am an excelent CNA and I love my job.

Good luck and don't worry to much!


83 Posts

How long did it take you to know ur results???? Is it usually two weeks or more? How about less than that?:crying2:


261 Posts

Has 5 years experience.

I passed the first time, but a girl testing with me failed because she left a patient on her side with the bed rail down to go get some more water. She failed because she didn't care about safety. Everyone that tested with me passed as long as they paid attention to safety, privacy, and infection control, oh and respect. If you didn't speak to the residents in a respectful way you were counted against.


4 Posts

was the mock test, and state exam hard? what kind of questions were asked?


110 Posts

@Jessicuy: You'll know your results the same day :)


108 Posts

Specializes in LTC, Home Health. Has 5 years experience.

I didn't fail the first time, but I knew someone who did. I was the person she had to demonstrate her skills on in front of the Red Cross Nurse. The poor gal was nervous from the very start. She expressed her anxieties to us while we waited to test. Myself and other candidates tried to give her words of encouragement. On her first few skills, she did so well...actually perfect. Her last skill was making an occupied bed. She was so busy trying to make sure everything else was right that she forgot to put a pillow between my knees. (something small and simple) During her exam I kept looking at her and the extra pillow on the chair hoping she would catch on.....but she never did. She knew she forgot something, but couldn't figure out what. That "one little thing" failed her. She cried afterwards. I felt really bad for her. Then another CNA told her that she too failed the test the first time. I think that made her feel a lot better. I think the fact of her every move being graded spooked her. I think she would have made an excellent CNA.

I hear failing is fairly common. The things that will fail you may seem small, but in the real world there could be health consequences. If the NA above where to have make this mistake in real life, that resident could have ended up with pressure sores between the knees. There is a reason for everything. I know of RN's who admitted to failing the CNA exam once. I think being nervous can effect your memory. Just try not to be nervous and try harder next time!;)


197 Posts

I did not fail my CNA test but I had plenty of experience on the floor before.

Thinkgs I know of that people failed for. Not locking w/c breaks. Not providing non skid slippers or shoes before ambulation.

Put call lights in place, and provide for safety.


293 Posts

Even though no results.. but I am sure that I failed because I dressed at the wrong side... I dressed strong arm instead of weak one first... my actor raised her right arm so I went for it.. :( I even said "I am going to dress you starting at the weak side which is the left arm) >_

I am sure that I will pass next time... I am patients.. and money is not a problem. It would suck if I fail again and then again.. I have to take the course again. I will make sure to try harder next time. I will have more confident next time as I will be familiar with that testing room, etc. :)

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