I am sometimes asked about the NREMT. What’s it like? Is it hard? How many questions did it ask you? Here’s my standard answer. Yes the NREMT is hard, no matter how much you study, the 70-120 question test is designed to challenge a potential EMT-B to the limits of their knowledge. Let me put it another way. The NREMT National pass rate for 2012 was 72%. That means that for every four people who take the test, one will not pass.
From what I understand (based on reading from the NREMT website, other sources found online and having actually taken the test) the NREMT is based on some secret algorithm that asks more and more difficult questions the more you know. So the more questions you get right, the harder they get until you’re being tested to the limit of your scope of practice.. The computerized test checks for a “minimum competency” and issues a pass or fail score.
While I do not remember the exact content of the questions, nor would I divulge that information here if I did, I do recall that there were many short and sweet scenario based questions, like no longer than a sentence or two. The “A through D” multiple choice answers were such that I would narrow them down to two or so, sometime even three, and I still agonized over the right choice. The NREMT didn’t seem to ask me any straightforward answers, like “What’s the name of this bone?” or “How many breaths for minute for this baby?”, instead the NREMT felt like it was asking me questions as if I should already know all the basic stuff, which as an EMT-B you should. There’s not going to be any multiple choice boxes on a real patient. The test threw out terms and situations that seemed to assume that I knew all the bones, that I knew the ABC’s, that I knew how to treat pediatric emergencies. This was just my experience, though.
I studied my butt off for the NREMT. Maybe the the questions were so hard because I knew my stuff! For me the test stopped after 70 questions. When I walked out of the testing center I though I had gone down in flames. 70 questions? My thinking then was that I had done so poorly that the computer ended the test early because I sucked so bad. When I saw that I had passed, I couldn’t believe it. I thought I had blown it. I later found out that sometimes the test stops after 70 questions because the testing algorithm has determined “minimum competency.”
I’d like to think I passed because I studied so hard. I used the study techniques I outlined on this site as well. I studied in groups. My partners and I would work together to answer as many multiple choice questions as we could without looking at the possible answers. Sometimes we were way off, but usually we would be right on. I also decided to create this site. Writing multiple choice questions helped me to really wrap my head around this information. Anyway, that’s my NREMT story.
Lifting and Moving
The Glasgow Coma Scale
Ten Random Questions