5 Things to Know About the Medical Assistant Examination

Once you’re on the job hunt as a medical assistant, it is quite common for potential employers to request your medical assistant certificate in your application. Even though medical assistant certification/license is not mandatory, it still doesn’t change the fact that it will open more doors for you than proceeding without it. Furthermore, the certificate is proof that you’re a competent medical assistant.
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The medical assistant certification exam is the direct doorway to attaining your medical assistant certificate. There is no other shortcut; you must cross that bridge if you really want to get on the other side. But before you make that leap, what should you know about the medical assistant exam?
  1. There are different types of Medical Assistant Exam
There are different types of medical assistant exams that can give you the certification that you deserve. Nevertheless, the two most common and widely recognized medical assistant exams are the RMA and CMA exams. The RMA exam, otherwise known as Registered Medical Assistant exam is administered by the American Medical Technologists. On the other hand, the Certified Medical Assistant exam, also abbreviated as CMA exam, is regulated by the American Association of Medical Assistants. In retrospect, there is no major difference between RMA and CMA credentials – both are equally recognized as medical assistant certificates. MA Exam
  1. It is Easy To Apply
As long as you completed an accredited medical assisting program endorsed by ABHES, CAAHEP, CHEA, or the Department of Education, the application is straightforward. All you need to do is visit the AMT or AAMA website and apply online. However, depending on the type of medical assistant exam you’re applying, there are exceptions to the eligibility criteria. For instance, you can apply for the RMA exam if you have a minimum of 5 years’ work experience as a medical assistant with just a high school diploma. Even medical assistant instructors and military personnel with a background in medical service can still apply for the RMA. Both the AMT and AAMA charge an application fee of $120 and $125 respectively to register for the exam. You’re free to choose whichever credential suits your eligibility criteria.
  1. The Exam Content is Almost The Same
One thing is certain; the medical assistant exam covers 3 basic areas of healthcare; general, clinic, and administrative responsibilities. The only obvious difference between RMA and CMA exams is the number of questions. But if you consider the CMA exam includes 200 questions and the RMA constitutes of 210 questions, there isn’t much of a big difference except for the 10 questions. Of course, both CMA and RMA exams will not have the same exact questions but the main objective will be to evaluate your competency.
  1. You Will Know Your Test Results Immediately
Once you have completed your certification exam, you will be notified of your test results immediately. If it delays, it will not take more than 48 hours to reflect on your portal. However, the official report will be sent 2 or 3 weeks later with an in-depth analysis of your performance. In order to pass the CMA exam, you need to score not less than 430 points. Alternatively, you will get a pass on the RMA exam with a score of at least 70 percent or higher. For the record, the score merit for CMA and RMA exams are calculated differently.
  1. You Can Retake the Certification Exam
If you fail the medical assistant exam, it is not the end of the world; you will still be given a chance to retake the certification exam. Although, according to the CMA handbook, candidates are only allowed 3 attempts at the CMA exam. Additionally, the RMA applicants are limited to 4 re-sit attempts on their quest for certification. There is also a recertification rule that applies to everyone who passes the medical assistant exam. For the Certified Medical Assistant credential, you will be required to recertify after every 60 months or 5 years. Just like the CMA, the Registered Medical Assistant credential will need to be maintained but usually by paying renewal fees and accumulating points through continuous education. Keep in mind that failure to reactivate your medical assistant certificate for a long period can be a reason for you to sit for a re-certification exam. Through adequate preparation, it is fairly easy to pass the medical assistant examination. Not to forget, the questions are usually in multiple choices, hence making it easier to find the right answer through the elimination method. If you think you’re not yet ready to sit for the certification exam, you still have an option to reschedule. Otherwise, passing the CMA/RMA exam will not only make your portfolio more attractive but it will also put you in a better position to negotiate for a salary increment.