How to Pass the HHA Test in 2020: Pass on Your First Try

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So you’ve just asked your friend Google how to pass the HHA test.

Even typing that question can be intimidating. But don’t worry, we are here to answer that very question.

how to pass the hha test

By taking this seeming large task and breaking it down into a series of smaller, more manageable sections, you will be on your way successfully passing the final home health aide test with flying colors.

How to Pass the HHA Test: Quick Look

  1. Gather Home Health Aide Training Information and Resources
  2. Know How You’ll Be Tested
  3. Complete HHA Test Registration Process
  4. Know HHA Test Site Rules
  5. Have Confidence in Yourself

For more information on home health aide testing, have a look through these popular links:

Career Guide: How to Pass the HHA Test

1. Gather Home Health Aide Training Information and Resources

So how can you make sure you’re not going to stress yourself out, want to cram for the exam, and miss out on an important night’s sleep before the big day arrives?

Start Preparing Yourself on Day One of Class

If you gather information and utilize the resources available to you throughout your home health aide training program, you will no doubt be more prepared for the final exam when the time comes.

Sitting in class and listening to your instructor present information is one of many ways to learn your home health aide material, and to help you retain that information for test day and beyond.

hha test

Start a Regular Study Session With Other Students in Your Class

Study groups can be beneficial for many reasons. They can prevent procrastination by holding accountability to the scheduled meeting time, they can help you gain new perspectives and insight on the material you might not think of on your own, you may improve your learning ability by picking up a new study technique from someone in the group, and they can help you gain real-world skills as you learn to collaborate in a team.

Discuss Feedback With Your Instructors

One of the benefits of a home health aide class is the real-world experience your instructors bring, and the hands-on learning the classrooms typically provide.

If your instructor leaves notes on an assignment or test you turned in, ask them for further insight or discuss questions you may have. Ask your instructor for feedback as you perform skills in the lab to see if they have any special tips or tricks they use to perform the task.

Pro Tip: Remember that your instructors have gone through training similar to yours, and have already experienced the job first hand! Utilize the knowledge they can provide!

Look For Outside Materials

You will likely be given a specific text or workbook when you enroll in your home health aide training program, and that’s awesome! But just because your instructor uses a certain book during class, doesn’t mean that has to be your only source of information.

Search for other text or workbooks. Your local library may have excellent home health aide resources for you to borrow, you can check out a local bookstore, and of course, Amazon has plenty of new and used texts that could be useful supplements to what you learn in class. You just have to take the time to look!

Ask For a Mock Skills Checklist

You could inquire with your home health aide training program or testing facility to see if they a mock skills checklist available to help you prepare for the real thing.

Using a mock checklist can be an excellent study guide! By knowing exactly what will be expected of you on test day, you can spend time leading up to your exam practicing your skills exactly as they will be evaluated.

Make it easy on yourself and take the guesswork out of studying!

Take an HHA Practice Test

Like the mock skills test, you can inquire with your training program or testing facility to see if they have a free HHA practice test available.

A home health aide practice test can be one of the best ways that you can prepare yourself for your test. Taking an HHA practice test will help give you confidence and will help remove anxiety when it comes time to the real test.

free HHA practice test with home health aide exam answers

2. Know How You’ll Be Tested

You will be tested in two ways:

  1. Written or Oral Exam – This portion of the test will be evaluated using written or oral examination.
  2. Skills Evaluation – This portion of the test is where you will have to actively demonstrate your knowledge by showing your skills to a registered nurse performing your evaluation.

While there may be slight differences in testing standards that vary by state and agency, there are several things that are required by federal regulations that you can expect.

Written or Oral Exam

The written or oral portion of the test will be evaluated using a multiple-choice.

This includes:

  • Observation, reporting, and documentation of patient status and the care or service furnished
  • Basic infection control procedure
  • Basic elements of body functioning and changes in body function that must be reported to an aide’s supervisor
  • Maintenance of a clean, safe, and healthy environment
  • Recognizing emergencies and knowledge of emergency procedures
  • The physical, emotional, and developmental needs of and ways to work with the populations served by the home health agency, including the need for respect for the patient, his or her privacy and his or her property
  • Adequate nutrition and fluid intake
  • Any other task that the hiring agency may choose to have the home health aide perform

While the specifics of the test may vary, you can generally expect to complete over 50 questions in a timeframe of around 2 hours.

In many instances, an oral exam must be requested specifically when you are registering for your exam. Since special accommodations must be made by your testing site to provide the necessary materials, it is unlikely you will be able to request an oral exam on your actual test day.

Pro Tip: Some states also provide an oral exam in languages other than English, if requested prior to test day.

Regardless of the language you choose, your oral exam will be presented in two parts:

The first, larger portion will consist of multiple-choice questions testing your home health aide knowledge in which you record your written response on an answer sheet.

The second, smaller portion will consist of multiple-choice questions that are specifically meant to test your English comprehension and your ability to respond appropriately in English.

home health aide testing

Skills Evaluation

Of the 13 subject areas you covered during your home health aide training, 5 of them must be specifically addressed in the demonstration portion of the final exam.

This includes:

  • Communication skills
  • Reading vital signs like recording temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and respiration
  • Appropriate and safe techniques in personal hygiene and grooming that include:
    • Bed bath
    • Sponge, tub, or shower bath
    • Shampoo, sink, tub or bed
    • Nail and skin-care
    • Oral hygiene
    • Toileting and elimination
  • Safe transfer techniques and ambulation
  • Normal range of motion and positioning

Pro Tip: While these are the five areas that you will for sure be asked to demonstrate, your evaluator may cover other subjects this way as well.

3. Complete HHA Test Registration Process

Nothing would be worse than showing up for test day and finding out you aren’t eligible to take the exam because you missed an important part of the registration process.

While your school, state’s licensing agency, or state’s exam proctor will have the specifics required for the test in your state, there are some general things to keep in mind as you prepare to register:

  • Keep in mind that some states require you to receive an authorization letter confirming they have received your necessary forms and fees before allowing you to schedule your test.
  • It is important to know that your application may only be good for a certain period of time. If your exam is not scheduled within that timeframe, you may be required to resubmit your application.
  • Proctors will double-check on test day – make sure you use your full legal name on all paperwork.
  • Have you requested any necessary ADA or special accommodations you may need on test day? Remember that things like oral exams or exams in languages other than English usually need to be requested when scheduling your exam.
  • Have you requested any necessary ADA or special accommodations you may need on test day? Remember that things like oral exams or exams in languages other than English usually need to be requested when scheduling your exam.
  • Have you reviewed the cancellation policy? While you hopefully never need to utilize it, it is important you fully understand any policies pertaining to rescheduling or canceling your exam, since you may need to resubmit paperwork or forfeit previously paid fees.

Pro Tip: Remember that your instructors or state agencies will be the best contacts to confirm the registration process for you. They may even have a helpful step-by-step guide to walk you through the process.

4. Know HHA Test Site Rules

Much like arriving at the DMV to take your drive test, there are going to be specific guidelines to follow as you complete your exam. And while the guidelines may seem like a hassle, they are in place to make sure everyone gets a fair and equal chance at becoming a home health aide.

Test day policies, procedures, and enforcement will vary by any given agency or proctor, but there are some things you can generally expect.

At check-in:

  • Be prepared to show a valid, government-issued photo ID matching the name you used to register for the test. This requirement is especially important if you know you will need a name change due to marriage, for example.
  • Be prepared for a physical screening. Some test sites have metal detectors to walk through or guards to wand testers prior to testing. This ensures safety but also helps catch devices that can be used for cheating.
  • Be prepared for accessory inspection. It is not uncommon for proctors to ask testers to remove things like eyeglasses or large pieces of jewelry for visual inspection to ensure no recording devices are present.
  • Be prepared to leave prohibited items outside of the testing area. Things like cell phones, wearable technology (think smartwatches), electronic devices, large outerwear, hats, purses, briefcases, food, and drink are usually not allowed during testing. Not all sites provide lockers or secure areas to leave such items, so it is best to double-check prior to test day or leave the items at home.

During the test:

  • Be prepared to know your material. Written notes, study guides, and flashcards can all be left at home. Only learning aides strictly approved and provided by your proctor for ADA accommodations will be allowed on test day.
  • Be prepared for silence. There is usually no speaking to other testers allowed during your exam.
  • Be prepared for strict rules regarding breaks. Depending on the expected length of your test, your administrator may inform you of scheduled breaks during the day. Often times there will be rules for leaving and re-entering the testing area, rules for accessing your personal items during your breaks, and rules regarding how many times you are allowed to leave during the exam.

While these guidelines may sound harsh, remember that rules like this are in place for two main reasons. First, it’s to keep everyone safe, and to ensure everyone experiences the same exam and has a fair shot at becoming a home health aide. And second, it’s to take the guesswork out of what is expected of you on test day so you can focus your energy on what matters most.

5. Have Confidence in Yourself

One of the most helpful things you can do for yourself as you prepare for your home health aide test is to remember that you’ve got what it takes to succeed.

Don’t Stress Out

You should be proud of the fact that, by now, you mostly know what you need to know for test day!

All of your class assignments, homework, and clinic time has been aimed to help you through this final hurdle of your training, and your instructors want to see you achieve your goal. Keep those thoughts in mind as you lay-out your strategy to prepare for test day.

Don’t Cram

While it’s important to study and be ready for your HHA exam, it’s also important to study effectively.

It’s been consistently shown that you remember more if your learning is spaced out over multiple, shorter sessions rather than one huge overnighter. So do yourself a favor, break up your study time into manageable timeframes, and get the proper sleep the night before! You’ll thank yourself on test day.

Conclusion

There is no need to stress because you are now armed with the tools on how to pass the HHA test. And remember, have confidence in yourself and know that you have what it takes to succeed.

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