At the top of the page, a button immediately grants you full access to the National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) practice exam. Right below, you’re invited to explore an in-depth practice test. These evaluations play a crucial role in demonstrating your capabilities, pinpointing areas for enhancement, and refining your study strategy.

To elevate your preparation further, particularly in sections where you need additional reinforcement, we’ve crafted specialized quizzes. These quizzes are carefully designed to target specific aspects of the NCMA exam, offering a concentrated and efficient preparation method.

National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) Domain Exams

The National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) exam is a comprehensive test that assesses a candidate’s knowledge and skills necessary for a career as a Medical Assistant. This exam is designed to cover various domains that are crucial to the role, ensuring that certified individuals are well-equipped to handle both clinical and administrative duties in a healthcare setting. 

Below is a detailed breakdown of the exam domains:

Domain 1: Pharmacology and General Medical Knowledge

  • Percentage of Exam: 21%
  • Topics Covered: This area tests knowledge of the human body’s structure and function, including organ systems, musculoskeletal anatomy, and basic biological principles that underpin bodily functions.
  • Importance: Understanding anatomy and physiology is crucial for medical assistants, as it underpins all clinical tasks and patient interactions.

Welcome to your NCMA Domain 1: Pharmacology and General Medical Knowledge

Domain 2: Clinical Medical Procedures

  • Percentage of Exam: 27%
  • Topics Covered: Key topics include patient scheduling, medical billing and coding, record keeping, and compliance with healthcare regulations.
  • Importance: These skills ensure the smooth operation of healthcare facilities and compliance with legal and ethical standards.

Welcome to your NCMA Domain 2: Clinical Medical Procedures

Domain 3: Medical Administrative Duties

  • Percentage of Exam: 19%
  • Topics Covered: This domain covers the performance of clinical procedures such as taking vital signs, administering injections, phlebotomy, and assisting with minor surgeries.
  • Importance: Mastery of clinical procedures is essential for patient care and safety, making this a critical component of the medical assistant’s role.

Welcome to your NCMA Domain 3: Medical Administrative Duties

Domain 4: Law and Ethics

  • Percentage of Exam: 33%
  • Topics Covered: This includes communication skills, patient education, empathy, confidentiality, and ethical considerations.
  • Importance: Effective patient interaction fosters a supportive healthcare environment, enhances patient compliance, and is fundamental to patient-centered care.

Welcome to your NCMA Domain 4: Law and Ethics

Exam Domain% of ExamTopics Covered
Anatomy and Physiology21%Structure and function of the human body, organ systems. Underpins all clinical tasks and patient interactions
Administrative Medical Assisting27%Patient scheduling, billing and coding, record keeping. Ensures smooth operation of healthcare facilities
Clinical Procedural Tasks19%Taking vital signs, administering injections, phlebotomy. Essential for patient care and safety
Clinical Patient Interaction33%Communication skills, patient education, empathy. Fosters a supportive healthcare environment

Additional Important Details:

  • Exam Format: The NCMA exam is typically a multiple-choice test that can be taken either on paper or electronically.
  • Eligibility Requirements: Candidates must meet specific educational and experiential criteria to be eligible for the exam.
  • Preparation Resources: It is crucial to utilize study materials and resources provided by reputable organizations, such as the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT), which offers study guides, practice tests, and more to prepare candidates for the exam.
  • Continuing Education: Certified medical assistants are often required to engage in continuing education to maintain their certification, ensuring that they remain knowledgeable about the latest in medical and administrative practices.

National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) Exam Breakdown

The National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) exam is a certification test designed for medical assistants who wish to become certified in their field. This certification is provided by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT), an independent credentialing organization that has been offering certification for healthcare professionals since 1989. The NCMA certification is recognized across the United States and demonstrates that a medical assistant has met certain standards of competence and knowledge in medical assisting.

Breakdown of the NCMA Exam:

  • Eligibility Requirements: Candidates must meet certain eligibility criteria, which can include completing a medical assistant training program accredited by an agency recognized by the NCCT, working a certain number of hours as a medical assistant, or a combination of formal education and work experience.
  • Exam Content: The NCMA exam covers a wide range of topics relevant to the duties of a medical assistant. These topics include anatomy and physiology, medical office management, patient care, phlebotomy, pharmacology, medical procedures, ECG and other diagnostic tests, and law and ethics.
  • Format and Length: The exam is typically offered in a computer-based format and consists of multiple-choice questions. Candidates are given a set amount of time to complete the exam.
  • Application Process: Interested individuals must complete an application process, which includes meeting the eligibility requirements, submitting documentation, and paying an exam fee.
  • Preparation and Study Resources: The NCCT provides a range of study resources to help candidates prepare for the exam. These may include study guides, practice tests, review books, and more. Additionally, many community colleges and vocational schools offer preparatory courses for the NCMA exam.
  • Maintaining Certification: To maintain the NCMA certification, certificants are required to complete continuing education (CE) units over a specified period and renew their certification by paying a renewal fee.

How to Become NCMA Certified

 To become a National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA), you need to follow a structured path that involves educational and professional steps, alongside meeting the eligibility criteria set by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT). Here’s a comprehensive guide based on the information I found:

  • High School Diploma or Equivalent: The initial step is to obtain a high school diploma or GED​​​​.
  • Eligibility Routes for the NCMA Exam: There are multiple pathways to become eligible for the NCMA exam:
    • Complete an NCCT-authorized medical assisting program within the last five years.
    • Acquire two years of full-time work experience as a Medical Assistant within the last five years.
    • For military personnel or veterans, completion of a medical assistant training course or equivalent during military service in the United States also makes you eligible​​​​.
  • Application Process: Once you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply for the NCMA exam. This involves creating an account with NCCT, filling out the necessary paperwork, and submitting proof of program completion or work experience. Ensure that your application is submitted at least 14 days before your intended test date​​.
  • Scheduling the Exam: The exam can be taken either in a testing center or online. If you choose the online option, ensure you have a reliable internet connection and a webcam​​.
  • Preparation and Study: Preparing for the NCMA exam is crucial. Utilize free resources online, purchase review materials, or engage in study groups to cover clinical and administrative medical assisting topics, including medical ethics and law​​.
  • Taking the Exam: On the exam day, ensure you’re well-rested and arrive early at the testing center. The exam covers a variety of topics, and you’ll receive a pass/fail score immediately after completion​​.
  • Maintaining Certification: To maintain your NCMA certification, complete 14 hours of continuing education courses annually and pay a $77 renewal fee each year​​.

The NCMA exam fee is USD 119, and there’s an option to purchase a review course for USD 70. The cost of medical assistant training programs can vary significantly, from several hundred to several thousand dollars​​.

Becoming an NCMA certifies your competence in medical assisting across a range of tasks, from clinical procedures to administrative duties, and enhances your employability in the healthcare sector. For more detailed guidance and resources, visit the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) website.

This process not only validates your skills and knowledge in the field but also opens up more opportunities for career advancement and potentially higher earnings in the medical assisting profession.

Our Experience Teaching National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) Candidates To Pass The Exam

At Career Employer, the creation of our National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) practice tests has been an extraordinary endeavor, characterized by significant milestones and hurdles. This project was motivated by the exam’s varied content, with a goal to meet the distinct requirements of our learners.

We have meticulously shaped every facet of our approach to guarantee that each student is thoroughly equipped to achieve excellence in the exam. Our pledge to offer an all-encompassing educational journey is reflected in the extensive range and detail of our practice resources, underscoring our dedication to the triumphs of our students.

Teaching a National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) certification course from a lecturer’s perspective involves a comprehensive approach to equipping students with the essential clinical and administrative skills required for a successful career in medical assisting. This certification, offered by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT), validates the competency of candidates in the medical assisting profession, ensuring they meet the national standards of healthcare delivery.

1. Curriculum Development:

Firstly, the curriculum must be meticulously designed to cover all critical areas of medical assisting. This includes medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, medical law and ethics, patient care, phlebotomy, ECG placement, and administrative practices. It’s vital to stay updated with the NCCT’s requirements to ensure the curriculum meets or exceeds the certification standards.

The Princeton Review CFA Study Material

Adopting a variety of teaching methods can enhance learning outcomes. This includes lectures for theoretical knowledge, hands-on training in labs for clinical skills, and simulation exercises for practical application. Incorporating technology through virtual simulations can also offer students a more engaging learning experience.

3. Student Assessment and Feedback:

Regular assessments are crucial to gauge student understanding and proficiency. These can range from written exams to practical demonstrations. Providing constructive feedback is essential for student improvement and confidence building. It’s also a way to identify areas that need more emphasis or a different teaching approach.

4. Clinical Externships:

A significant component is the clinical externship, which offers students real-world experience in medical facilities. Coordinating with local healthcare providers for externship placements not only helps students gain practical experience but also acquaints them with the working environment and networking within the healthcare community.

5. Continuous Professional Development:

As a lecturer, staying abreast of the latest developments in the medical assisting field is crucial. This can be achieved through continuing education, attending workshops, and being involved in professional organizations related to medical assisting.

6. Resources and Support:

Providing students with access to comprehensive resources is key. This includes textbooks, online databases, professional journals, and study guides for the NCMA examination. Additionally, offering support through study groups, tutoring sessions, and counseling can help address academic and personal challenges.

At Career Employer, we are proud to have a team of dedicated professionals, each with deep expertise and years of experience in preparing candidates for the National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) exam. Our NCMA certification practice tests are the result of careful craftsmanship by these experts, who have already led over a thousand medical assistants to successfully attain their NCMA certifications.

Each team member boasts a specialization in medical assistance with more than a decade of experience, ensuring that our practice materials are not only based on profound knowledge but are also highly effective in equipping candidates for success on their certification path. Our commitment to excellence is unwavering, promising that individuals who use our resources are comprehensively prepared to achieve and surpass their certification goals.

Effective Study Strategies and Methods

To effectively prepare for the National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) exam, incorporating a strategic approach to your study methods can significantly enhance your learning efficiency and exam performance. Here are consolidated study strategies and resources based on the information from Smarter MA, Brookline College, and Med School Insiders, tailored to guide you through your preparation journey for the NCMA exam:

1. Understand the Exam Content and Structure

The NCMA exam encompasses various topics such as Pharmacology, Clinical Medical Procedures, Phlebotomy, ECG and Other Diagnostic Tests, General Office Procedures, Medical Office Management, and Law and Ethics. It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the detailed test plan provided by the NCCT, highlighting the competencies required for Medical Assistants​​​​.

2. Develop a Comprehensive Study Plan

Create a detailed study plan that schedules your study sessions well in advance of the exam date, allocating time for each topic based on your strengths and weaknesses. Incorporating regular breaks and maintaining a balanced study-work-life rhythm can prevent burnout​​.

3. Utilize Effective Study Techniques

Implement evidence-based study strategies such as active recall, where you test yourself on the material without looking at your notes or answers, and spaced repetition, reviewing information over increasing intervals. Other techniques like elaboration, where you explain and describe concepts in detail, and dual coding, which involves using both textual and visual information, can also significantly boost retention and understanding​​.

4. Practice with Realistic Exam Questions

Engaging with practice questions and full-length practice tests simulates the exam environment and helps identify areas needing further review. It also enhances your time management skills and reduces exam day anxiety​​​​.

5. Seek Support and Resources

Leverage online forums, study groups, and educational resources to gain insights and tips from peers and educators. Utilizing study guides and resources that are up-to-date and aligned with the NCMA exam content is critical. Websites like Smarter MA offer a wealth of study materials and practice questions tailored for the NCMA exam​​.

6. Take Care of Your Well-being

Never underestimate the importance of physical and mental health during your exam preparation. Regular exercise, proper nutrition, and adequate sleep can significantly impact your ability to focus and retain information.

Combining these strategic approaches with dedication and consistent effort will place you in a strong position to succeed in the NCMA exam. Remember, the journey to certification is a marathon, not a sprint, requiring perseverance, smart study habits, and a positive mindset.


Basic RequirementHigh School Diploma or GED
EligibilityComplete an NCCT-authorized program, or gain experience, or military trainingVaries
ApplicationSubmit required paperwork & pay exam fee$119
Exam PreparationOptional review course & self-studyReview Course: $70
Annual Renewal14 hours of continuing education$77/year
Certification ValidityValid for 5 years, then retake exam

The process of becoming a National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) and the associated costs involve several steps, starting from basic education to certification and maintenance. Here’s a breakdown based on the information I found:

  • Basic Requirement: Initially, you need a high school diploma or GED to start on this career path​​.
  • Eligibility for the NCMA Exam: To be eligible for the NCMA exam, you can follow several routes:
    • Completing an NCCT-authorized medical assisting program within the last five years.
    • Accumulating two years of full-time experience within 5 years of registering for the exam.
    • Completing medical assistant training or its equivalent during U.S. military service​​.
  • Application Process: Once eligible, you need to apply for the exam by creating an account with NCCT, submitting all required paperwork, and paying the exam fee​​.
  • NCMA Exam Details: The exam covers both clinical and administrative medical assisting topics, including medical ethics and law. It consists of 150 scored questions and 15 unscored practice test questions, with a 3-hour completion time limit. To pass, you need to score at least 70 on a sliding scale​​.
  • Costs:
    • Exam Fee: $119.
    • Review Course: An optional NCMA review course is available for $70.
    • Annual Renewal: $77 each year, requiring 14 hours of continuing education courses to maintain certification​​.
  • Training Program Costs: The costs associated with medical assistant training programs can vary widely, ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the program and materials needed​​.
  • Exam Preparation: There are multiple resources available for exam preparation, including the NCCT’s review systems, medical assistant exam books, free practice exams online, and YouTube videos with exam content​​.
  • Certification Validity and Maintenance: The NCMA credential is valid for five years, after which you must retake the exam to maintain your certification​​.

It’s important to note that the specific costs can vary based on the choices you make regarding preparation materials and training programs. Additionally, while the exam fee and renewal fees are relatively straightforward, the total cost of becoming an NCMA will depend significantly on the educational path you choose and the resources you utilize for exam preparation.

Reliable Study Materials and Resources

To prepare for the National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) certification exam, you have various resources at your disposal that can help ensure you are well-prepared and confident on exam day. Here are some key resources to consider:

  • Smarter MA provides an extensive study guide that covers a wide range of topics relevant to the NCMA exam, such as pharmacology, clinical medical procedures, phlebotomy, diagnostic tests, general office procedures, and more. They also offer insights into effective study strategies, like starting your preparation early, understanding the exam content, developing a study schedule, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and utilizing practice tests. Additionally, Smarter MA offers a comprehensive question bank and practice tests, making it a valuable resource for exam preparation​​.
  • Mometrix Test Preparation offers detailed information about the NCMA exam, including its outline, registration process, and scoring. The exam consists of 150 questions, with a mix of multiple-choice, multi-select, hot spot, and drag-and-drop question types, covering areas such as pharmacology, clinical procedures, medical administrative duties, and law and ethics. Mometrix also provides a study guide and flashcards to help you review material and practice for the exam. Their resources are designed to break down complex subjects into easily understandable concepts, offering an effective way to prepare​​.
  • Test Prep Review is another great platform that provides practice exams and study resources for those preparing for the NCMA exam. They outline the eligibility criteria for taking the exam, which includes academic, work experience, and military routes, and detail the subjects covered on the exam. Their approach focuses on practical knowledge that’s essential for the job, suggesting that a thorough understanding of procedures and processes is crucial for success. They recommend utilizing their study guide and flashcards for a comprehensive review and practice​​.
  • Eagle Gate College: How to Pass the NCMA Certification Exam: Provides a study guide and quiz to help you pass the NCMA certification exam, focusing on advancing your Medical Assisting career.
  • National Center for Competency Testing: Exam Preparation Materials: Offers practice exams for various certifications, including NCMA, with preparation materials tailored to your needs.
  • Stepful: National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) – Exam & More: Provides an overview of the NCMA certification process and suggests free online resources for exam preparation.

Utilizing these resources effectively can greatly enhance your preparation for the NCMA exam. It’s advisable to start early, make use of practice tests to identify areas for improvement, and focus on understanding the key concepts and procedures that will be tested.

Tips for Exam Day

To excel on the National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) exam, a combination of strategic preparation and practical tips can significantly enhance your chances of success. Here’s a synthesis of the best advice culled from various expert sources:

Understanding the NCMA Exam Structure and Content

The NCMA exam encompasses a wide range of topics including Pharmacology, Clinical Medical Procedures, Phlebotomy, Diagnostic Tests, General Office Procedures, Medical Office Management, and Law and Ethics. With 165 questions (150 scored and 15 pretest questions not scored) to be completed in three hours, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with these areas thoroughly​​.

Registration and Costs

Registering for the NCMA exam requires visiting the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) website, confirming your eligibility, and paying the exam fee of $119​​.

Study Tips and Strategies

  1. Start Early and Use a Study Plan: Begin your preparation 1-3 months before the exam date. Create a structured study schedule that includes daily goals and topics to review. This helps in covering the extensive syllabus systematically and avoids last-minute cramming​​.
  2. Use Practice Tests: Practice tests are invaluable in identifying your strengths and weaknesses. They simulate the exam environment, helping you get used to the format and timing. Regular practice can also bolster your confidence​​​​.
  3. Focus on Weak Areas: While reviewing all topics is crucial, spend extra time on areas where you feel less confident. This targeted study approach ensures a balanced understanding across all subjects​​.
  4. Engage with Interactive Resources: Consider using study apps or online resources that offer interactive learning experiences. These tools can make studying more engaging and help reinforce your knowledge through varied formats​​.
  5. Stay Healthy: Don’t underestimate the importance of good health. Ensure you get plenty of sleep, eat well, and stay hydrated. A healthy body supports a sharp mind, which is critical for exam day performance​​.
  6. Learn from Others: Talking to individuals who have already taken the NCMA exam can provide valuable insights and tips. Their experiences can offer a practical perspective on what to expect and how to navigate the challenges of the exam​​.

Exam day tips: 

  • Review Key Concepts: Spend the last few days before the exam reviewing key concepts, formulas, and procedures. Focus on areas where you feel less confident.
  • Practice with Mock Exams: If available, take full-length practice exams under timed conditions. This can help you manage your time effectively during the actual exam.
  • Get a Good Night’s Sleep: Rest is crucial. A well-rested mind is more capable of recalling information and handling the stress of exam day.
  • Eat a Healthy Meal: Have a nutritious meal before the exam to ensure you have enough energy to last through the test without distractions.
  • Arrive Early: Plan to arrive at the exam location early to avoid any last-minute stress and to give yourself time to relax and mentally prepare.
  • Read Each Question Carefully: During the exam, carefully read each question and all the answer choices before selecting your answer. Watch out for questions that may have more than one correct answer.
  • Manage Your Time: Keep an eye on the time, and make sure you’re allocating enough time to each question. Don’t spend too much time on any single question.
  • Stay Calm and Positive: Maintain a positive attitude. If you find yourself getting anxious, take a moment to breathe deeply and refocus.

By following these guidelines and dedicating yourself to a comprehensive study plan, you can enhance your readiness for the NCMA exam. Remember, thorough preparation and a positive mindset are key to overcoming the challenges of this certification test and advancing your career in the medical assisting field.

Post-Exam: Next Steps

After completing the National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) exam, your next steps are crucial for leveraging your new certification and advancing in your healthcare career. Here are some strategies and resources to help guide you post-exam:

  • Review and Understand Your Results: For online exams, your results will be officially posted to your account page within two days of scoring your test. This quick turnaround allows you to immediately understand how you performed and what steps you might need to take next​​.
  • Explore Continuing Education and Professional Development: The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) offers resources for continuing education and professional development, which are critical for maintaining your certification and staying updated with the latest healthcare practices. These resources include webinars, events, and a mobile app for study-on-the-go flashcards, ensuring you’re always learning and growing professionally​​.
  • Renew/Reinstate Certification: Certifications like the NCMA have a validity period, after which they need to be renewed. The NHA provides clear guidelines and resources for certification renewal or reinstatement, ensuring you maintain your credentials and continue to meet the required professional standards​​.
  • Engage with Community and Professional Networks: Utilizing the NHA’s resources, such as their Care + Career Blog and job board, can help you connect with other professionals in the field, find job opportunities, and stay informed about trends in healthcare. Engaging with these networks can provide valuable support and open up new career paths​​.
  • Consider Additional Certifications: The healthcare field is broad, with many opportunities for specialization. Depending on your career goals, you might consider obtaining additional certifications offered by NHA, such as Certified EKG Technician (CET) or Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT). These certifications can broaden your skill set and make you more versatile and valuable in the workplace​​.
  • Make Use of the NHA Help Center: If you have any questions or need guidance post-exam, the NHA Help Center is a valuable resource. It offers a wide range of support options, from technical assistance with the Cert Portal to information about exam preparation and certification renewal​​.

For further details on post-exam strategies, resources for continuous learning, and how to engage with the professional community, visit the NHA Help Center and main website, where you can find comprehensive guidance and support for every stage of your career as a medical assistant​​​​.


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