As you prepare to take the certified medical assistant exam, use these study tips.As you near the end of your medical assisting program, it’s time to start studying for the certified medical assistant exam offered by the American Association of Medical Students. While you don’t necessarily have to be certified in order to get hired, employers are more inclined to give you a job if your resume shows that you are a CMA.1 If you’re taking the test, use these study tips for success:

Check out the categories
The content outline provided by AAMA lists the basic categories that will be covered during the exam, as well as its general structure and subcategories. This includes everything from medical terminology to professionalism and computer concepts. It’s a good idea to print out this sheet and keep it nearby as you construct a study plan.2

Review your course materials
Now that you know what will be covered on the CMA exam, it’s time to review your course materials. Browse your class notes, textbooks and anything you recorded from your clinical experiences to see what information may be of help. Depending on what type of studier you are, you may want to create flashcards for key terms or form a study group of your peers who are also taking the test.

Take the practice exams
While AAMA doesn’t offer practice tests that cover all areas of the exam, it does in the categories of anatomy and physiology and medical terminology. You can take these prior to studying to see how much knowledge you already have, or after a few study sessions to see if they have been effective. The AAMA website offers both the multiple choice sample questions and answers, so you won’t have to wait for weeks to know how well you did.3

1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘How to Become a Medical Assistant,’ March 29, 2012 –
2 American Association of Medical Students, ‘Certification/Recertification Examination Content Outline,’ 2013 –
3 American Association of Medical Students, ‘Become a CMA,’ 2013 –

3 thoughts on “Study tips for aspiring medical assistants

  1. Marcus Fritts


    Is the certified medical assistant exam from AAMA taken while in the course? Is this something separate I will have to do on my own? If you could please provide me some feedback before I begin my course on 12JAN2015, I would very much appreciate it.

    Thank you,

    Fritts, Marcus

    • Robin Blunck

      Hi Marcus –

      This is something separate – however, we do prepare you to take the state and local exams necessary to practice in your area. It looks like you are at the Tucson campus – please reach out to Donna in career services on campus. She can talk to you about your options to take this exam and answer questions you might have in greater detail.

      Thank you!

  2. Esther Perkins

    I would to find out when the next testing is and how I can get help to study since its a while. I am offered a job but need to get the final test done for the state and redo my cpr and first aid again too. thank you

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