If you dont know it by now, You dont know it.


Forum Lieutenant
Hey, I came to start up a conversation on what a paramedic said to me before I went to take my NREMT written exam.

We were sitting in his car waiting for my scheduled appointment time. His daughter who was also taking the test was sitting in the back, reading the EMT book. And studying. He told her that if she doesnt know it by now then she doesnt know it. Which doesnt really make a whole lot of sense, but basically what he was saying was if you have to study right now then your not confident in yourself which means you might as well schedule a new appointment because you arent ready for the test. She was studying Obstetrics and talking to herself.

But thats how I interpreted (spelt wroung) it.

Do you guys think thats true?

Do you think if someone is studying minutes before thier EMT written exam or any other exam means that they probably dont know the material that well, and that they are un-confident in themselves?
Do you think cramming works?

By the way Im not looking for an answer, just starting up a conversation.

By the way, she failed.
I passed =]

Her father was not happy.


Forum Asst. Chief
depends what you're in school for. If you just want to pass the test, then yeah, cramming facts and figures into your head and short term memory may help you pass the test. On the other hand, if you don't understand the material, nothing will help.
I personally look at each class in light of what I would do when presented with that patient in that situation... I mean - who cares if you get 85% or 95% on a test? (some future employers maybe). My point is that as EMTs (at whatever level), we are entrusted with people at critical and potentially lethal points in their lives. We better know our stuff.


Forum Probie
my instructors said the same thing: If you don't know it by now....you don't know it and trying to cram wont help.

It seemed to be true for the most part, but there were some small things that by studying I think helped on the NREMT.

I swore I was missing tons of questions until it stopped at question 70 and 4 hours later it posted I passed:lol:

Good god this is like my fourth posting today...maybe I should get a 2nd job.


Forum Lieutenant
Some students beat themselves up before tests. What works for some sure doesn't for others.
Too bad he wasn't more supportive of her. (that was just an observation).


EMS Guru
There has been ton of research that proves "cramming" just before the test does NO good. In reality may cause harm by increasing confusion, and increasing stress.

The father was correct either you know it by the time of test or do not. Almost all tests recommend not studying two days ahead of the tests, and getting a good nights rest before hand, which has been proven to have better results.

R/r 911


Forum Lieutenant
Almost all tests recommend not studying two days ahead of the tests, and getting a good nights rest before hand, which has been proven to have better results.R/r 911

That is exactly what he had told us. He said we should have stopped studying a day or 2 before the test, got plenty of sleep and NO cramming, It worked for me =]

Well, Yes he could have been a little more supportive but she is a certified MRT and has been in the EMS business with the fire department FAR longer then I have been, She has grown up in a family of EMS proffesionals, I think he was just expecting her to pass no problem. But I wished her the best of luck and she is going back for re-testing. I think she was just nervous and didnt read through the questions. (she crammed the entire time we were in the care, about an hour)

We were started at the same time.

And we both left at the same exact time (ironically wierd, but true)

She had gone through 125 questions in about an hour and 5 minuts.

I had gone through 72 questions in the same time.

Which leads me to beleive she rushed. But hey just an educated guess.
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Forum Deputy Chief
A lot of this is individual and age related. The older brain stores information longer in short term memory. So cramming for the adult student actually can have some benefit as the information is easier to access if recently viewed.

The problem with cramming is it often does increase the anxiety, and if done the night before, you deprive yourself of needed sleep and take the test, sleepy and worried.

I've found for me that a quick re-read of statistics needed for a test immediately prior helps me recall them during the test. The key is knowing that the material you study is going to be the material with the ambiguous question.


Forum Chief
Right before I did my NMEMT test all I did was look over a few important numbers just to be sure I had them down. I did pretty well


Forum Lieutenant
yeah i would say the only thing it really pays to review last minute are numbers, those are the main things that slip my mind (specially normal numbers for different age groups) other then that i dont see much else you can last minute cram for, if anything last minute cramming just helps me relax cause i see all the stuff and relize i already know it.