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Smarter MA | The #1 Prep Tool for the AMT RMA®

How to Pass the AMT RMA® Certification Test the First Time: The Ultimate Medical Assistant AMT RMA Study Guide

Written by: Katie Miller, co-creator of Smarter MA

Passing your certification test as a medical assistant can be a challenging journey. That’s why you need an AMT RMA Study Guide.

This free AMT RMA study guide is going to teach you everything you need to study for and pass the RMA test. 

Step 1 of your journey – follow the study guide below.

I’m here to support you if you have any questions, feel free to reach out. Let’s beat this exam, together!

– Katie

Preparing for the AMT RMA®?

Smarter MA is the most powerful resource available for medical assistants who are serious about passing the certification test the first time.

Table of Contents

  1. What’s the purpose of pursuing certification as a medical assistant?
  2. What are the different options available for certification?
  3. 5 most common studying mistakes with an AMT RMA study guide (and how to avoid them)
  4. Effective preparation for the AMT RMA® test with an AMT RMA study guide
  5. Overcoming the most difficult challenge in test preparation
  6. Conclusion

What’s the purpose of pursuing certification as a medical assistant?

A medical assistant certification test evaluates the knowledge and competencies of individuals aspiring to become certified medical assistants. Upon successfully passing the test, you attain a medical assistant certification, akin to a physician’s MD certification.

Achieving certification unlocks a multitude of career opportunities within the medical field. It serves as a testament to your expertise, skills, and capabilities, providing employers with confidence in your ability to excel in the role. Moreover, certification highlights your dedication to professional growth and pursuit of excellence.

By becoming certified, you gain a competitive edge in the job market, leading to access to higher wages and enhanced benefits. The recognition garnered through certification empowers you with the confidence and acknowledgment needed to thrive in your medical assistant career.

In essence, pursuing certification as a medical assistant signifies your commitment to a successful and fulfilling career, making you a valuable asset in the healthcare industry.

What are the different options available for certification?

Certification tests are administered by many organizations but the four largest certifying bodies are:

  1. The American Medical Technologists (AMT) RMA® – the guide you’re reading
  2. The National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
  3. The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) CMA®
  4. The National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) NCMA®

The American Medical Technologists (AMT) offers the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) test

  • Format of the AMT RMA® test: Multiple choice
  • Number of questions: 210 (may contain unscored pretest questions)
  • Topics:
  • Anatomy and Physiology (21%)
    • Body Systems
    • Medical Terminology
  • Administrative Medical Assisting (27%)
    • Insurance
    • Medical Receptionist/Clerical
    • Medical Law and Ethics
    • Human Relations
  • Clinical Procedural Tasks (19%)
    • Asepsis and Sterilization
    • Instruments
    • Laboratory Procedures
    • Minor Surgery
  • Clinical Patient Interactions (33%)
    • Patient Education
    • Vital Signs and Measurement
    • Physical Examinations
    • Clinical Pharmacology
    • Therapeutic Modalities
    • Laboratory Procedures
    • EKG and Cardiovascular Testing
    • First Aid, CPR, and Emergency Response
  • Amount of time to complete the AMT RMA® test: 2 hours
  • Eligibility requirements:
    • Category 1: Education – Applicant shall be a graduate within the past 4 years or scheduled to graduate from an accredited medical assisting program
    • Category 2: Apprenticeship/Workforce Development Program – Applicant shall have completed a medical assisting work-study/training program or apprenticeship program within the last 4 years
    • Category 3: Work Experience – Applicant shall be employed as a medical assistant for a minimum of 3 years within the past 7 years.
    • Category 4: Military – Applicant shall be a recent graduate, or scheduled to graduate from a formal medical services training program of the United States Armed Forces.
    • Category 5: Instructor – Applicant shall be currently instructing in an accredited medical assisting program

5 most common studying mistakes with an AMT RMA study guide (and how to avoid them)

  1. Procrastinating: Delaying the start of your studies can create unnecessary pressure to rush through the materials. These tests cover a wide range of topics, demanding substantial knowledge and understanding. Avoid cramming and exhaustion by beginning your preparation early, allowing for a more paced and effective learning process.
  2. Using Inadequate Resources: Choosing the right study resources is crucial. Outdated, inaccurate, or insufficient materials can lead to wasted effort and potential failure. Opt for up-to-date, relevant, and comprehensive study resources that align with the exam’s content, ensuring a more focused and productive preparation.
  3. Isolating Yourself: Preparing for a major test can be overwhelming, but having a support system can greatly benefit you. Seek guidance from peers and knowledgeable tutors who can provide direction when you encounter challenges. Surround yourself with individuals willing to help and support you throughout your study journey, as their assistance can make a significant difference in your success.
  4. Overlooking Practice Tests: Neglecting to incorporate practice tests into your study routine can be a significant mistake. Practice tests are invaluable in simulating the exam environment, allowing you to assess your progress, identify weak areas, and build confidence in your knowledge. Embrace practice tests regularly to gauge your understanding and become familiar with the exam format, question types, and time constraints.
  5. Lack of Consistency: Inconsistent study habits can hinder your progress and retention of information. Studying sporadically or only during the last few days before the exam can lead to inadequate preparation and increased stress.

Effective preparation for the AMT RMA® test with an AMT RMA study guide

  1. Begin Early: Allocate 1-3 months for preparation, considering your background and familiarity with the material. Prioritize initial prep work before scheduling the test to understand its scope better. Starting early allows ample time for thorough study and minimizes unnecessary pressure.
  2. Create a Study Schedule: Establish specific daily study times and durations to build a routine. Holding yourself accountable to the schedule is essential for disciplined preparation. Incorporate breaks to prevent burnout and maintain focus. Limit daily study to 3-4 hours for optimal effectiveness, adjusting based on your available weeks/months for preparation. Utilize a day-by-day study schedule for comprehensive coverage of the content.
  3. Identify Strengths and Weaknesses: Practice with RMA sample tests to gauge your knowledge accurately. Avoid complacency by focusing on your weak areas. Regularly reviewing and revisiting challenging questions will reinforce your understanding.
  4. Utilize Study Resources: Access Smarter MA’s comprehensive question bank and practice tests for a high-yield learning experience. Stay organized with question tagging to track progress efficiently and avoid feeling overwhelmed.

  5. Engage in Active Learning: Instead of passively reading the study guide, engage in active learning techniques. Summarize the material in your own words, create flashcards, or teach the concepts to someone else. Active learning enhances retention and understanding.

  6. Seek Peer Support: Connect with fellow test-takers or join study groups to share knowledge, discuss challenging topics, and exchange study strategies. Peer support fosters motivation and can offer different perspectives on the content.

Smarter MA ensures you have all you need to pass your certification test, offering a 100% pass guarantee or a full refund if you don’t succeed. They even provide a free RMA practice test with detailed explanations to get you started. Embrace these strategies and resources to maximize your readiness for the AMT RMA® test and boost your chances of success.

Overcoming the most difficult challenge in test preparation

One of the most significant challenges test-takers encounter is endurance. The AMT RMA® exam is a marathon, not a sprint, unlike typical tests that can be prepared for in a month. Most candidates require 1-3 months of preparation, making fatigue and burnout real risks, particularly if progress seems slow or difficulty arises with the study material.

During such struggles, seeking help becomes vital. Don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance from classmates, teachers, friends, or study resources like Smarter MA. At Smarter MA, you can easily connect and get your questions answered through the chat icon at the bottom right of the screen, be it queries on test content or study advice.

Moreover, studying alone can be challenging. Joining a study community, such as the subreddit Medical Assistant Path, proves valuable as it provides a supportive platform to receive advice and encouragement from fellow medical assistants also preparing for the test. Embracing help and engaging in a supportive community will help you overcome obstacles and excel in your test preparation journey.


How do I pass RMA in the first attempt?

To pass the RMA (Registered Medical Assistant) exam on your first attempt, dedicate ample time to studying and utilize free practice tests. Investing effort and consistency in preparation is crucial. Take advantage of practice exams to gauge your knowledge and learn the material efficiently. Reviewing answer explanations will strengthen your understanding of complex concepts. By combining focused study, practice tests, and thorough review, you can increase your chances of succeeding in the RMA exam on your first try.

How long is the RMA exam?

The RMA (Registered Medical Assistant) exam duration is approximately 2 hours. Candidates will have this limited time to complete the exam, which evaluates their knowledge and competencies in medical assisting. Efficient time management is crucial during the exam to ensure all sections and questions are adequately addressed. It is advisable to practice with time constraints using sample exams to become familiar with the pacing required. By preparing effectively and managing time wisely, test-takers can confidently approach the RMA exam and strive for success within the allocated 2-hour timeframe.

What is the passing score for the RMA exam?

The passing score for the RMA (Registered Medical Assistant) exam is 70. To successfully pass the exam, candidates must achieve a score of 70 or higher. It is essential to thoroughly prepare and demonstrate proficiency in the tested knowledge areas to reach this passing threshold. Aspirants should focus on studying the exam content, utilizing practice tests, and reviewing challenging concepts to ensure they meet the required score. By attaining a score of 70 or above, individuals can obtain the RMA certification, validating their skills and qualifications as competent medical assistants.

How much does the RMA exam cost?

The cost of the RMA (Registered Medical Assistant) exam is approximately 135 USD. Candidates are required to pay this examination fee to register for the test. The exam fee covers the administration and evaluation of the exam, as well as the processing of certification results. It is essential to ensure timely payment of the fee while registering for the RMA exam to secure a spot and receive the examination details. By investing in the exam, individuals have the opportunity to demonstrate their medical assisting knowledge and skills, leading to the potential attainment of the RMA certification upon successful completion.

How to apply for the AMT RMA®

You can apply for the AMT RMA through the American Medical Technologists’s website.


Preparing for the RMA certification test can be a challenging journey, but with the right preparation tools and study habits, you can pass your test. Using an AMT RMA Study Guide like this one will help immensely. 

With Smarter MA, you have everything you need in one place to pass the test the first time. Plus, we offer a pass guarantee or your money back. 

So what are you waiting for? Start preparing with a free AMT RMA® practice test today!

Smarter MA is your secret weapon to pass the AMT RMA® the first time

Any questions?

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out 👋


Fill out the contact form or use the chat app by clicking the chat icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. is not affiliated with or endorsed by the American Association of Medical Assistants, the American Medical Technologists, the American Education Certification Association, the American Medical Certification Association, the California Certifying Board for Medical Assistants, the National Center for Competency Testing, and/or the National Healthcareer Association. CMA AAMA® is a registered trademark owned by the American Association of Medical Assistants, CCMA CCBMA® is a registered trademark owned by the California Certifying Board for Medical Assistants, CMAC AMCA® and MAC AMCA® are registered trademarks owned by the American Medical Certification Association, NCMA NCCT® is a registered trademark owned by the National Center for Competency Testing, NRMA AECA® is a registered trademark owned by the American Education Certification Association, RMA AMT® is a registered trademark owned by the American Medical Technologists, and CCMA NHA® is a registered trademark owned by the National Healthcareer Association.