Congratulations! You've completed your Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) class in Texas. But this is only part of the way through your journey. The next step is to pass the state's CNA exam. This guide will walk you through everything you need to do to successfully pass the test and become an official CNA. If you aren’t yet a CNA, read our guide on how to become a CNA in Texas.
In order to take the CNA exam, you must have completed a state-approved CNA training program within the last 2 years. If you're looking for a CNA training program, you can look for classes on Dreambound.
Alternatively, you can "challenge" the exam in very specific circumstances. If you have:
then you may be eligible to take the exam as well. Note that if you are already a licensed CNA in another state you are likely eligible for reciprocity, which means you don't have to take the test at all. You can read more on the Texas HHS website.
You will need a Social Security Number and 2 photo IDs as well.
Your school will let Prometric know you are ready to take the exam after you complete your class. After they do that, you will get login information for Prometric's portal. There, you will complete your application to take your test, choose a testing location, and submit your payment. The cost for the full exam is $125 ($135 in Spanish).
There is a $25 fee if you need to reschedule and let them know 5-29 days before the day of your exam. If you reschedule with fewer than 5 days' notice you will lose your full test fee.
CNA schools often are testing facilities as well so you may be able to take your exam at your school. Otherwise, you can take the written portion online or at designated Computer-Based Testing locations. The clinical portion must be taken in person at designated sites.
The Texas Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) exam is made up of two parts: a multiple-choice exam and a clinical skills exam. The multiple-choice portion consists of 60 multiple-choice questions, and you will have 90 minutes to complete it. If you choose to take this portion orally rather than written, you will have 120 minutes.
The clinical skills part of the exam requires you to demonstrate your ability in performing certain procedures on another person. This is where most applicants fail, because you need to demonstrate the procedures exactly correctly. Some of these procedures are over 20 steps long, and if you get even one step wrong you may lose a point! The length of time depends on the procedures you get and how quickly you complete them, but you should budget about half an hour to an hour. You will need to demonstrate 3 procedures.
When you arrive at the testing center to take your CNA exam, you'll need to bring:
The best way to study for your Texas CNA exam is to use the study materials provided by your school. Your school may provide practice tests or even a practice exam, and you should review your textbook/homework. It's important to review your knowledge of basic nursing terminology and procedures before taking the test so that you're familiar with all of its terms and concepts.
Once you've studied up on everything from basic medical terminology to body systems, take a few practice tests—the more sample questions you can complete on your own time, the better prepared you'll be for what comes next! Prometric offers several practice exams.
For the clinical skills portion, we highly recommend watching YouTube videos! Be sure to look for Texas-specific videos posted after 2020, as Texas only started using Prometric as its exam provider on 9/1/2020. After you feel comfortable with the procedures, ask a family member or friend if you can demonstrate the procedure on them. It'll simulate the exam circumstances since you'll be testing in front of a real person and might be nervous about it!
You will find out if you pass the oral/written portion the same day and you will find out about the clinical skills portion shortly after (in less than a few days after taking your test).
You are eligible to retake each section (written/oral or practical) up to 3 times before you are required to take your CNA class again. Retaking the written portion costs $35 ($45 if oral/Spanish) and the clinical portion costs $90.
You can find out more about the CNA exam by visiting the Prometric website. You can also contact Prometric at [email protected] or at 800.488.5787.
Passing the CNA exam can be stressful, but hopefully some of this information helped clear up any questions you might have. Soon you will be able to start working as a CNA and making a big difference in your patients’ lives!
Athena is Co-founder and CEO of Dreambound.