Is NREMT really THAT bad?


Forum Ride Along
Here's my situation. I actually used to be an EMT. I worked for about 5 years but got burnt out and left the field in 2009. So my certification expired. But back then I did well in class, passed the practicals, the state written test, and the NREMT all on the first try. But those tests were on paper...

So now I'm in another class to get my card back. I'm doing pretty well in class. Our instructors are awesome and went out of their way to set up a practicals test so we could see our weak points. I did well on that and passed all the stations. So I'm pretty comfortable with my hands on skills.

But I keep hearing about how horribly difficult the NREMT is now because it's all computer based and it uses adaptive testing. Is it really THAT bad?

I've been practicing with an app called EMT Pocket Prep, reading EMT Crash Course, and using an EMT flash cards book. I usually know most of the questions in those books and on EMT Pocket Prep I usually get between 80% (my lowest score) and 89%.

But I see posts from people saying they also did well in class and on practice tests and then they still don't pass the NREMT (sometimes even after several tries).

So obviously, that has me freaked out about it. Now that it's adaptive, is it really as hard as people keep saying it is?


Forum Lieutenant
i've taken it twice passed both time, 2nd time was to renew my national as it lapsed. i don't think its nearly as scary as it's made out to be for emt at least.


Has no idea what I'm doing.
Meh... It really isn't that bad. More test anxiety I think. I like the computer format. I also like paper and pencil.


Forum Deputy Chief
It’s the same as you would do on paper. Don’t stress out or listen to the doomsayers. If you are hitting good scores on tests, you will do fine. It’s just a computer screen. Relax.


The fire extinguisher is not just for show
It's not an easy A, and you do need to know your stuff, but it's not impossible. I took my original EMT class in 1999, and passed my NREMT in 2013ish, on the computer, using adaptive tests, So its definitely possible.


Forum Troll
It’s the same as you would do on paper. Don’t stress out or listen to the doomsayers. If you are hitting good scores on tests, you will do fine. It’s just a computer screen. Relax.
It’s actually different than the paper version as it is a computer adaptive test.


Community Leader
It's an adaptive exam. While it will be at least as hard as the paper exam, because it is adaptive, you do have to know the material to at least a basic, entry-level competency level. If you do not know the material to at least that level, the system will find out as that's what it's designed to do. It can be a LOT harder than entry-level if you know the material very well, but remember that if you're getting questions above entry-level, you're above passing for the kind of question being asked. You are expected to answer some questions incorrectly. It's part of the system design.

Know the material, do your best, don't overthink the question and move on to the next question. If you're prone to test anxiety, just take it (literally) one question at a time. Read the question. Formulate a possible answer. Read the answers. Re-read the question with the answers in mind. Look for words or phrases that you might have missed the first time and look for any key words or phrases that may give you a clue to the correct answer. Choose the answer you think is most correct. Don't change your answer unless you're 150% certain you've chosen the wrong one. Chances are very good your first choice is the right one. Click submit and forget the question as it no longer matters. The only one that does is the one right in front of you... wash, rinse, repeat.