All You Should Know About the RMA Exam


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The Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) exam is a crucial step for individuals aspiring to become certified medical assistants. It serves as a testament to their knowledge, skills, and proficiency in the medical field. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about the RMA exam, from its importance and eligibility criteria to exam preparation tips and career prospects.

Introduction to the RMA Exam

The RMA exam is administered by the American Medical Technologists (AMT) organization and is designed to assess the competency of medical assistants across various essential domains, including administrative tasks, clinical procedures, and patient care.

Importance of RMA Certification

Obtaining RMA certification not only validates your expertise but also enhances your credibility and marketability in the healthcare industry. It demonstrates your commitment to maintaining high standards of professionalism and quality patient care.

Eligibility Criteria for the RMA Exam

To be eligible to sit for the RMA exam, candidates must meet certain educational and experiential requirements. Typically, this includes completion of a recognized medical assisting program or relevant work experience in the field.

To be eligible to sit for the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) exam, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  1. Education Requirement: Completion of a medical assisting program accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
  2. Work Experience: Alternatively, candidates may qualify for the exam if they possess a minimum of five years of full-time work experience as a medical assistant, performing both administrative and clinical duties, within the past seven years. Part-time experience is also accepted, provided it amounts to at least equivalent to five years of full-time experience.
  3. Externship Requirement: Candidates who have completed an externship through an accredited medical assisting program but lack work experience may still be eligible to take the RMA exam. However, this option is subject to specific conditions and should be confirmed with the American Medical Technologists (AMT) organization.
  4. Certification from Accredited Programs: Graduates of medical assisting programs accredited by the CAAHEP or ABHES are automatically eligible to take the RMA exam, provided they apply within three years of completing their program.
  5. High School Diploma or Equivalent: All candidates must have a high school diploma or its equivalent, such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate.

Candidates need to verify their eligibility status with the American Medical Technologists (AMT) organization and ensure that they meet all requirements before registering for the RMA exam.

Registration Process

The registration process for the RMA exam involves submitting an application form along with the requisite fees. Once the application is approved, candidates are provided with information regarding exam scheduling and preparation materials.

1. Complete Application FormFill out the RMA exam application form available on the American Medical Technologists (AMT) website.
2. Submit Required DocumentsGather and submit necessary documents, such as transcripts or proof of work experience, as applicable.
3. Pay Exam FeePay the exam fee, which typically ranges from $100 to $150, depending on membership status and other factors.
4. Receive ConfirmationUpon successful submission of the application and payment of fees, you will receive confirmation of your exam registration.
5. Schedule Exam DateOnce registration is confirmed, you can schedule their exam date and location through the AMT website or designated testing centers.
6. Prepare for ExamUtilize study materials and resources to prepare thoroughly for the RMA exam, ensuring readiness on exam day.

Exam Structure and Format

The RMA exam consists of multiple-choice questions that cover a wide range of topics, including medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, and administrative procedures. It is divided into several sections, each focusing on specific areas of medical assisting.

Number of Questions: The RMA exam typically consists of approximately 210 multiple-choice questions.

Exam Sections:

  1. Administrative Procedures: This section focuses on tasks related to managing a medical office and handling administrative responsibilities. It may include topics such as appointment scheduling, medical billing, and health insurance processing. There are usually around 50 questions in this section.
  2. Clinical Procedures: This section assesses candidates’ knowledge and skills in performing clinical tasks commonly required of medical assistants. Topics covered may include vital signs measurement, phlebotomy techniques, and patient preparation for examinations. There are usually around 60 questions in this section.
  3. Anatomy and Physiology: This section covers the basic concepts of human anatomy and physiology, including organ systems, major bones and muscles, and common medical conditions. There are typically around 50 questions in this section.
  4. Medical Terminology: This section evaluates candidates’ understanding of medical terminology, including prefixes, suffixes, root words, and abbreviations commonly used in healthcare settings. There are usually around 50 questions in this section.

Time Limit: Candidates are given a set amount of time to complete the exam. The duration may vary but generally ranges from 2.5 to 3 hours.

Question Format: Each question is presented in a multiple-choice format, with four answer options provided. Candidates must select the most appropriate answer from the choices provided.

Exam Administration: The RMA exam is administered in a proctored setting, either at designated testing centers or through online proctoring services. Candidates are required to present valid identification and adhere to exam regulations and guidelines throughout the testing process.

Preparation Tips for the RMA Exam

Effective preparation is key to success in the RMA exam. Candidates are advised to create a study schedule, utilize review materials such as textbooks and practice tests, and seek assistance from instructors or study groups if needed.

Understanding the RMA Exam Content

Familiarizing yourself with the content and format of the RMA exam is essential for achieving a successful outcome. Be sure to review the exam blueprint and focus on areas where you may need additional study or practice.

Strategies for Exam Day

On the day of the exam, it’s crucial to arrive early, remain calm, and read each question carefully before selecting your answer. Pace yourself to ensure you have enough time to complete the exam, and don’t hesitate to skip difficult questions and return to them later.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Avoid common pitfalls such as neglecting to review all exam content, second-guessing yourself excessively, and allowing nerves to affect your performance. Stay focused and confident throughout the exam process.

Benefits of Passing the RMA Exam

Passing the RMA exam opens up a world of opportunities in the healthcare field. It can lead to increased job prospects, higher earning potential, and greater job satisfaction as a certified medical assistant.

Career Opportunities with RMA Certification

RMA certification qualifies individuals for a wide range of employment opportunities in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, physician offices, and long-term care facilities. It serves as a valuable credential for advancing your career in the medical field.

Some of the best career opportunities available to individuals with RMA certification include:

  1. Medical Assistant: RMA-certified individuals can work as medical assistants in hospitals, clinics, physician offices, and other healthcare facilities. They assist healthcare providers with patient care, perform administrative tasks, and ensure smooth operations in medical settings.
  2. Phlebotomist: RMA-certified professionals may specialize in phlebotomy, where they are responsible for drawing blood from patients for medical testing, blood donations, or transfusions. Phlebotomists play a crucial role in ensuring accurate laboratory test results.
  3. EKG Technician: RMA-certified individuals can pursue careers as EKG (electrocardiogram) technicians, where they perform diagnostic tests to measure and record the electrical activity of patients’ hearts. EKG technicians work closely with physicians to help diagnose heart conditions and monitor cardiac health.
  4. Medical Office Manager: With RMA certification and relevant experience, individuals can advance to roles as medical office managers or administrative supervisors. They oversee the day-to-day operations of medical practices, manage staff, handle finances, and ensure compliance with healthcare regulations.
  5. Clinical Research Coordinator: RMA-certified professionals may choose to work as clinical research coordinators, where they play a vital role in conducting medical research studies. They coordinate participant recruitment, collect and analyze data, and ensure compliance with research protocols and regulations.

Renewal and Maintenance of RMA Certification

Maintaining RMA certification requires fulfilling continuing education requirements and periodically renewing your certification. This ensures that certified medical assistants stay up-to-date with the latest advancements and best practices in the field.


In conclusion, the RMA exam is a pivotal step towards achieving certification as a medical assistant. By understanding the exam structure, preparing effectively, and demonstrating proficiency in key areas, candidates can position themselves for success in their healthcare careers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the RMA exam?

It is a certification examination administered by the American Medical Technologists (AMT) organization to assess the competency of medical assistants.

2. How do I know if I’m eligible to take the RMA exam?

Eligibility for the RMA exam typically requires completion of a recognized medical assisting program or relevant work experience in the field.

3. What study materials are recommended for preparing for the RMA exam?

Recommended study materials for the RMA exam include review books, online courses, and study guides that align with the exam content outline provided by the AMT.

4. Can I retake the RMA exam if I fail?

Yes, candidates are allowed to retake the RMA exam if they fail. However, there may be limitations on the number of attempts permitted.

5. How long does RMA certification last?

RMA certification typically lasts for a specific period, usually two years, from the date it is initially awarded.