Certification in any field requires passing a test confirming the candidate has acquired the necessary knowledge and skills. Things are not different when getting a CPR certificate.
Regardless of age, knowing how to resuscitate someone is a big advantage. Taking a CPR test is the first step towards getting a CPR certification, making the test an integral part of every CPR learning journey.
Earning a CPR certificate often puts the candidates under pressure, wondering if they can answer the CPR Test Questions. To help those in Colorado Springs get a headstart, read to learn how to best prepare for your upcoming CPR test.
What is a CPR Test?
The CPR test is an examination an applicant has to undergo to acquire a CPR certificate and confirms that the candidate is competent to perform CPR. You can take the test upon completing the CPR course or take it as a standalone test to renew an existing certificate.
The CPR test consists of two different parts. The first part is a written test, followed by a skills test.
The written test consists of a series of multiple-choice questions (usually between 10 and 30 questions) on CPR basics. It aids in testing whether people know how to deal with certain situations, are familiar with CPR protocol, and know how and when to perform CPR.
Usually, the tests consist of various questions from different categories. This includes questions of facts given during class, scenario-based questions, or you may even be asked to provide facts as a response to a scenario.
The skills test is designed to allow the candidate to demonstrate their skills on a dummy. The candidate has to show that they can follow CPR protocol, properly administer chest compressions and breaths, etc. A trained instructor evaluates this part of the test to make sure that you can complete all the steps.
Take your time with the steps, as you may make the mistake of missing one. Follow a smooth and methodical pace, and if it helps, inform the instructor what your next step will be. This may even be helpful so the instructor can keep track of the checklist. There is no harm in missing a step during the test, but doing so in a real-life situation will be a matter of life and death.
When preparing for the skills test, it’s important to understand why one step follows another rather than memorizing the order. This will make things easier during the test.
The CPR Test Questions
To help candidates get an idea of what a CPR test includes, here are a few sample questions you can expect to see on the CPR exam:
1. What’s the recommended rate of chest compressions when performing CPR?
- 90 to 120 chest compressions a minute
- 30 to 60 chest compressions per minute,
- 60 to 90 chest compressions a minute
- 100 to 120 chest compressions per minute.
2. How deep should you go for CPR chest compressions on adult patients?
- At least 1 inch (2.5cm) deep,
- At least 2 inches or 5cm deep,
- At least 5 inches or 7.5cm deep
- no less than 10cm deep or 7 inches.
3. Before responding to a first aid scenario, what is the first question you should ask at the scene?
- Age of the injured or ill person
- Safety of the scene
- Nature of the injury
- Time of the injury
Things You Must Know for the Test
When attending a CPR class, there are some important things to know, so pay close attention to some mandatory information. Depending on the CPR course and level you are attending, here are a few of the basic things you’ll be required to know:
- Learn how to recognize a cardiac arrest, provide a safe and secure environment for you and the victim, and always call an emergency response team.
- Giving CPR to an adult, child, or infant differs; hence the number of compressions and the technique will differ.
- Provide chest compressions at adequate depth and rate, meaning you give them at a rate of 100 – 120 per minute. Don’t go deeper than 2 inches.
- Ensure you know the proper way of placing your hands on the victim and avoid leaning on them when you are between compressions.
Tips on Preparing for the CPR Test
Attending the CPR classes helps candidates better prepare for taking the CPR certification test. But sometimes, simply attending a class is not enough. We compiled a few tips you may find useful during the process.
Take Practice Tests
Most CPR certification courses offer free practice tests that the applicant can take throughout the course. The practice test serves as a quiz to help the candidate prepare for the official CPR exam. You can find plenty of online CPR tests you can take to learn how you stand on your knowledge of CPR.
Pay Close Attention to Key Information
Knowing the CPR basics and key information is a must if you want to pass the test. This includes knowing details like recommended rate of chest compressions or their depth. But this includes only the theoretical part.
The next step is knowing how to apply this knowledge during a CPR emergency, which is even more important.
Practice Your Skills and Revise Your Techniques Thoroughly
The only way to improve your skills and get ready for the CPR test is to practice your skills repeatedly. This will help you remember every step in detail and make sure you don’t miss any. Keep in mind that missing a step during an actual real-life emergency may cost the victim their life.
You should revise the material and techniques regularly while taking the CPR course. Doing so before the exam may also be helpful. Review the whole material, revisit notes, watch demonstrative videos, etc.
Practicing and revising also includes perfecting your skills. Notice if you need to improve a step or look for ways to improve your skills.
Consult Your Instructor
It is advisable that CPR test-takers consult their instructors about any misconceptions and insecurities. If you are unsure about your skills, the CPR instructor is prepared to answer all queries during the classes. Don’t wait until the test to get an answer to any of the uncertainties you are facing.
Take Your Time
What is important to remember when taking the CPR test is not to rush. Take your time to carefully read the questions and see if you understand them. Consider all the answers and rule out those that you know are not correct. Rushing to answer the questions may result in careless mistakes. This, in turn, will result in you missing important items in the question and eventually failing the CPR test.
Can You Fail a CPR Test?
Failing a test is not unusual, especially if you come unprepared. Although CPR classes are not considered to be difficult, there is a large amount of information and skill requirements that you need to know. So naturally, failing a CPR test is possible.
The passing score depends on the institution. The American Heart Association requires candidates to have a score of 84% to pass the test. This means that you can answer four questions incorrectly and pass the test. The American Red Course expects candidates to have 80% or higher, while the National CPR Foundation allows a lower passing score of 70% or higher.
There may be numerous reasons to fail the test, but there is no room for panic. You can always retake the test when you feel confident enough that you have mastered the material. This may take several tries, but what is important is that you have the required knowledge and skills. There is no limit to the number of times you can retake it.
Considering the seriousness of CPR, improper administration can lead to the possible death of the victim. Therefore, it’s best to retake the test as many times as needed.
Learning CPR is not hard, but it does require paying attention and knowing CPR protocols. Once you complete the CPR classes, taking the test will simply confirm the knowledge and skills you have acquired during the class.
The written and skills part of the exam will test different skills which are interlinked. Don’t rush during the exam, and ensure you know exactly what you need to do. Learning the material by heart doesn’t always help because CPR is all about understanding the next step and how to administer it properly.