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The Best NREMT Study Guides

Article by Jane Newsom. Last Updated: Saturday, Sep 2, 2023.

Overview Of The NREMT

The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technician (a.k.a NREMT) is the non-government organization that administers certification exams for prospective EMTs. These exams are the gateway to starting your career as an EMT, but being NREMT certified is different than being a licensed EMT in your state. 46 states currently require NREMT certification to make an assessment of your knowledge and skills at one or more EMT certification levels, so it’s a hugely important exam.

We’ll cover the exam in detail, and give you our picks for the best NREMT study guides, review guides, and quizlets to ensure your test prep success! The details are below, but if you just can’t wait, here’s the short list:

NREMT Details

The NREMT Exam is composed of 2 different exams, the Cognitive and Psychomotor (skills) exams.

The NREMT Cognitive Exam

The cognitive exam is a computer based adaptive test, with between 70 and 120 multiple choice questions. Each test includes 10 pilot questions, which are unscored and don’t count towards your final grade. You won’t know which questions these are ahead of time, so answer them all to the best of your ability.

The test covers the entire spectrum of EMS care including: Airway, Respiration & Ventilation; Cardiology & Resuscitation; Trauma; Medical; Obstetrics/Gynecology; EMS Operations. Items related to patient care are focused on adult and geriatric patients (85%) and pediatric patients (15%).

In order to pass the exam, candidates must meet a standard level of competency. The passing standard is defined by the ability to provide safe and effective entry level emergency medical care.

The content is broken down as follows:

  • Airway, Respiration & Ventilation: 8%-22%
  • Cardiology & Resuscitation: 20%-24%
  • Trauma: 14%-18%
  • Medical; Obstetrics & Gynecology: 27%-31%
  • EMS Operations: 10%-14%

The results of your NREMT tests are made available to you within 24 to 48 hours of your EMT examination. You can check your EMT test results at the NREMT website. If you fail any of the NREMT certification exams, you can retake the exam after 15 days.

The NREMT Psychomotor Exam

The psychomotor exam is the practical skills assessment portion of the certification. Unlike the Cognitive, the NREMT Psychomotor is administered directly by state EMS offices or training institutions with state EMS oversight.

Tests differ by state, but general topics in which you must demonstrate proficiency include: patient assessment/management of a trauma patient, patient assessment/management of a medical patient, cardiac arrest management/AED, bag-valve-mask ventilation of an apneic patient, spinal immobilization (both seated and supine patient), long bone fracture immobilization, joint dislocation immobilization, traction splinting, bleeding control/shock management, upper airway adjuncts and suction, mouth-to-mouth ventilation with supplemental oxygen, and supplemental oxygen administration to a breathing patient.

Speak with your instructor or State EMS Office about the format and logistics of completing a state-approved Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) psychomotor exam.


Pearson VUE sends your cognitive test to the NREMT for scoring electronically. The Pearson VUE staff does not have access to your results and cannot give you results. The NREMT system posts your results to your account, usually within two business days after you complete your exam (provided all other requirements are met).

Best NREMT Study Guides

EMT Basic Exam Secrets Study Guide

EMT Basic Exam Secrets Study Guide
1 Stg Edition
by Mometrix Media

Pros: Strong, logical layout is easy to digest.
Cons: Some typographical and other errors.
Our Rating: 5.0 / 5

EMT Basic Exam Secrets Study Guide is our overall top pick for people studying for the NREMT Exam. It has the most comprehensive content, the best practice questions, and overall is just the best out there! The full list of features include:

  • A complete look at the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) Basic Exam.
  • A full study of medical, legal and ethical issues for EMTs.
  • Comprehensive practice questions with detailed answer explanations.

With incredibly strong content and essentially nothing in the negative column, this book is an easy recommendation for NREMT prep. Pick one up today as your sole resource or to compliment other materials. Either way, you’re sure to be satisfied with this great book!

EMT Basic Exam

EMT Basic Exam
4th Edition
by Kaplan

Pros: Complete and comprehensive review of all exam topics.
Cons: None of note, some people find the practice questions to be too remedial.
Our Rating: 4.5 / 5

The EMT Basic Exam from Kaplan is our second overall pick for NREMT study guide. The book boasts a wealth of knowledge covering all exam sections, and has lots of great practice questions to help you prepare. The full list of features include:

  • Comprehensive coverage of all topics.
  • Detailed test-taking strategies and rationale for all practice questions.
  • Tips and tricks for tackling test questions.

There are a number of great study guides on this list, and this is definitely one of them. This book is exactly what it says - a comprehensive review, and everything you need to succeed. While it didn’t take the top spot, it’s still a viable resource, and sure to have everything you need to succeed!

EMT Crash Course

EMT Crash Course
1st Edition
by Christopher Coughlin

Pros: Narrow focus is great for last minute preppers.
Cons: Not as comprehensive as other resources on this list.
Our Rating: 4.5 / 5

If you’re short on time and need an accelerated review, EMT Crash Course is a great pick for your specific needs. There’s a special focus paid to the most critical cognitive topics, with all of the fluff and extras cut out. Features include:

  • Laser focused review of just the material you need to know.
  • Detailed rationale for correct and incorrect answers.
  • Glossary of over 400 key terms you need to succeed on the exam.

While you’re doing your last minute review, it’s great to have a book that’s focused on the critical components, and this is it. On the other hand, if you want a more in-depth textbook style guide, this may not be your best bet.

Best NREMT Flashcards and Practice Questions

In addition to the excellent books mentioned above, EMT students will see significant benefits in prepping for the test using flashcards. Our top picks for Best NREMT Flashcards are outlined below.

EMT Basic Exam Practice Questions

EMT Basic Exam Practice Questions
1st Edition
by EMT Exam Secrets

Pros: Tons of practice questions.
Cons: Some questions are a bit dated.
Our Rating: 4.5 / 5

Practice is an essential part of preparing for a test and improving a test taker’s chance of success. The best way to practice taking a test is by going through lots of practice test questions! Key features include:

  • Over 80 pages of practice questions
  • Covers all major topics and themes.

Practice questions have a tremendous benefit for students who elect to use them in their test preparation. Repetitive drilling on major topics is a good way to help in the days leading up to the test.

EMT Flashcard Book

EMT Flashcard Book
3rd Edition
by Jeffrey Lindsey

Pros: Comprehensive set of cards covering major topics.
Cons: Book format, not actually cards.
Our Rating: 4.0 / 5

EMT Flashcard Book are another solid choice for those preparing for the test. The flashcards are in book form, which some may find inconvenient, but perform the same function if you’re not bothered by the form-factor. Key features include:

  • Over 300 NREMT review questions.
  • Strong organization.
  • Rationale for correct and incorrect items provided.

The organization is extremely helpful and well laid out for focusing your study time. There are tons and tons of questions in this card set, and they are great for drilling in the days leading up to the exam.

Wrapping Up

For EMT students, the NREMT is one of the most important exams you need to prepare for. Study manuals, flashcards, and practice tests are a huge help to many people, and if you’ve read this far you’re probably one of them.

We’ve rounded up the top NREMT study guides and flashcards and presented them above. To recap our recommendations:

Top Study Guide RecommendationEMT Basic Exam Secrets Study Guide
Top Flashcard and Practice Questions RecommendationEMT Basic Exam Practice Questions

Our top pick for NREMT Study Guide is EMT Basic Exam Secrets Study Guide for the NREMT Examination. It’s the most comprehensive and accurate guide on our list, and is the single best resource available.

For top flashcard and practice question pick, we recommend EMT Basic Exam Practice Questions. It’s got over 300 highly relevant cards covering all topics from the exam.

Whatever your circumstance, supplemental study and review materials are a key part of ensuring success. We’ve listed some of the best NREMT resources available. Good luck, and study hard!

Sources and Further Reading

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