Studying for the Certified Medical Assistant Exam

By Holly Schoch , last updated January 25, 2012

The Certified Medical Assistant exam can be a very difficult test to pass, which can lead to several different problems. One, it is costly, between $100-300 depending on what exemptions you qualify for, and you have to pay that every single time you take the test. Two, it means that you have to put your career and life on hold for a few more weeks, months, or however long it takes you to study enough that you feel confident you will pass. This leaves only one option; pass it in one shot.

There are a number of different resources you can use to study for the CMA exam. Using online resources as well as CMA books will allow you to feel confident in your abilities and the knowledge you have acquired. Studying does more than assist you in learning new material, it also helps to boost your confidence, which will inevitably help on the test day.

The CMA will cover a range of different topics. These topics include anatomy and physiology, general office procedures, bookkeeping, insurance processing, medical procedures, patient examination, phlebotomy, diagnostic testing, medical terminology, and pharmacology. Although this may seem extremely overwhelming, rest assured because only a small portion of each section counts on the exam, though you should strive to learn as much as you can about each of the topics.

There are numerous free resources online that provide you with study guides and prep tests. has 10 different realistic exams on their website. With each question you get an explanation as to why the answer is the right one and why the others are wrong. When studying, you must be sure you not only know the right answers but the wrong answers as well. With multiple choice questions, it can get a little tricky once they become more specific. The more you know, the easier they will be.

Cengage Learning published a guide each year to help prepare you for the CMA Exam. They are highly acclaimed for the quality of their study guides as well as the authenticity of their prep exams. If anything will prepare you, it will be this book. It is slightly more expensive than some of the other resources, around $70 depending on where you buy it, but if you purchase it from as an electronic textbook, you will get it for half the price. This means you will be able to use your computer to study the book using their Nook studying tool. You will be able to highlight, make notes, and even attach links to certain pages so that you can study smart rather than hard.

American Association of Medical Assistants has some great information and resources on their website. They provide you with an outline of the test as well as a number of different sites where you can find free exams and study guides. If you haven't registered for the test yet or aren't sure if you qualify, you can also find this information and more.

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