How to Master the Skills Portion of Your CNA Exam

The Certified Nursing Assistant exam consists of two parts; the written test and the clinical portion. The clinical skills testing is often a source of anxiety for those preparing for the test, since it will require you to demonstrate procedures you have learned during your certified nursing assistant training. In fact, you will have to demonstrate not one, but five different procedures. You must successfully demonstrate all five of them in order to pass the state exam and receive your certification.

Stressed yet? Don’t be. We are about to go over some key tips that will have your confidence levels running high.

  • Practice the skills your instructor has taught you. You may not always be able to practice during class time; that’s okay. Enlist the help of your friends, other students, or family members. Be sure to ask your instructor for clarification on any steps that you are unsure of though. Some of the skills are based on exact procedures, completed in a specific order of steps, so it’s vital to get clarification on anything you may be confused about. Never be afraid to ask for clarification. If you allow yourself to fall into that trap, it can lead to a barrier in learning and eventually lower your chances of passing the exam. Remember, the only dumb question is the one that goes unasked.
  • Rest beats stress. Be sure to get the proper amount of sleep while you are taking your classes and the night before your CNA test. The less sleep you receive, the less your mind will be able to retain. Don’t make things hard on yourself. This is an important crossroads in your life, so do things right.
  • The day of the test: When testing day arrives, you should be well rested and fully knowledgeable of the required skills.

During the testing procedures – Remember to wash your hands repeatedly throughout the session. Wash your hands before and after each procedure. Neglecting to do so is part of infection control. Ultimately, it can lead to failure of your CNA test.

Concentrate on the procedures performing the skills with confidence. If you look like you don’t know what you are doing, it’s going to come across loud and clear. If you are doing the procedures on regular people who are posing as the patients, be sure to smile, make them feel comfortable, and explain the procedures before you do each one. This will show that you have the level of compassion necessary for nursing. This is also a part of the patients rights, since they do have the right to refuse whatever you are planning to do.

  • If you make a mistake during your exam do not avoid it. Tell the examiner that you just realized that you missed a step, or whatever the case may be. By explaining what you’ve done incorrectly and also detailing how you should have done the procedure, you are proving that you actually DO know how to

Take these tips and combine them with a working knowledge of the skills you’ve studied and learned in the classroom and that spells success!

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