Tips on Studying for the Massachusetts State EMT Written Certification Exam

by Dr. Kelly S. Meier Google

The state of Massachusetts uses the National Registry of EMT’s testing requirements for certification. Your journey to certification begins by taking an EMT course accredited by the Massachusetts Office of Emergency Medical Services. This course is the main tool to help you prepare for the certification exam. The test is adaptive and delivered electronically on a computer. This means that as you answer questions correctly, the test increases in difficulty. The more questions you answer correctly, the shorter your test will be.

Review Course Material

Study your class notes and consider the practice scenarios utilized during your classroom experience. Create an outline that details the basics of pediatric and adult care in the field.

Work with a peer to ensure all the classroom curriculum is covered in your personal study guide. Go over the material together to solidify key concepts and discover areas of weakness.

Review the following practical skills: bag valve mask ventilation techniques; bleeding control and shock management; cardiac arrest and defibrillator use; joint, long bone and spinal immobilization; oxygen administration and medical/trauma assessment. Memorize the testing rubrics provided on the National Registry website to ensure you meet all of the requirements as you execute each skill.

Practice Tests

Create sample test questions from the following topics: cardiology and resuscitation; trauma; medical; obstetrics/gynecology; emergency operations and airway management. Quiz yourself using these questions to deepen your knowledge.

Use the quizzes and tests from your EMT class as a review tool. Cover the answers with correction fluid the answers and retake them. Review any questions you answer incorrectly.

Use computerized practice tests provided on the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians website. Keep a list of questions that are difficult and study the topics so you're better prepared.

Things You Will Need

  • Class notes
  • Textbooks
  • Correcting fluid
  • Class tests and quizzes


  • You'll have the opportunity to work with another student during the medical/trauma assessment test.


  • If you don't begin each practical test by stating body substance isolation, you’ll fail.
  • You can retake the written exam six times before having to repeat the class. After three failed attempts, you're required to take 24 hours of training.

About the Author

Dr. Kelly S. Meier is a professor and college administrator for a large public institution in Minnesota. She received her undergraduate degree from Western Illinois University and her master's degree and doctorate from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She has published more than 15 books on education, group development and diversity.

Photo Credits

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