The NOCTI Medical Assisting exam is an assessment that measures students’ knowledge and skills to enter the healthcare industry.
When a student passes the exam, they receive credentials indicating they have the skills necessary for a career as a medical assistant.
In addition, the NOCTI MA exam is a prerequisite for the American Medical Certification Association’s Clinical Medical Assistant certification exam.
That means passing the NOCTI exam is an important step in becoming a nationally certified clinical medical assistant!
So how can you help your students successfully complete that first step?
We’ll cover all of that on this page along with how you can prep your students for success.
Before we get into the details, let’s cover the exam provider, NOCTI!
The National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) is a well-known and respected provider of industry-based assessments for career and technical education pathways.
NOCTI’s mission is to “build a competent workforce through creative learning solutions.”
To accomplish this, NOCTI provides more than 120 industry-based credential assessments — including medical assisting!.
The NOCTI Medical Assisting exam is one of NOCTI’s “Job Ready” assessments, which are specifically made for secondary or post-secondary students.
These assessments — including medical assisting —can be administered either online or on paper. In addition, many of them also include hands-on skills demonstrations that students perform at a designated testing site.
With all that said, let’s get into the details of the NOCTI Medical Assisting assessment!
The NOCTI MA exam is made up of a written test and a skills demonstration portion.
The written assessment contains 197 questions across 7 healthcare subject areas.
The areas are broken down as follows:
Each of the main topic areas has detailed standards and competencies students need to know to pass the exam.
Under the Medical Office Procedures section, NOCTI lists six subtopics related to administrative tasks that medical assistant may perform:
These skills may not require someone to interact with patients, but they’re essential to the everyday duties of a medical assistant.
The Foundations of Healthcare section of the exam includes three subtopics:
It’s crucial for any medical assistant to understand and effectively use foundational healthcare information.
If someone isn’t up to speed with these topics, it will be tough for them to get started in their career!
In the General Laboratory Procedures and Diagnostic Testing section, NOCTI lists seven subtopics:
The Clinical Practices and Patient Care is made up of 21 subtopics related to working with patients:
This portion of the exam is the most extensive area, as it includes the most important skills medical assistants need to be effective in their daily work.
The Medical Assisting Safety section includes four subtopics related to safety precautions:
These tasks are common types of safety precautions a medical assistant will use in daily work to maintain a clean and safe environment.
The Patient Instruction portion of the exam is made of five subtopics:
Medical assistants relay information and instructions to patients in a variety of scenarios in their daily work.
When a medical assistant masters these skills, they become communication experts. That helps a medical assistant’s patients and colleagues understand what’s happening with important medical treatments.
The Medical Law and Ethics for Healthcare section has four subtopics:
These clerical duties may sound minor, but they’re essential to a patient’s privacy.
On test day, students get three hours to complete the written exam.
Because of the length of the exam, it may be administered in multiple sessions (up to three).
After taking the written exam, students complete the performance assessment.
This portion of the assessment involves students demonstrating specific hands-on skills that a medical assistant would complete during daily work.
For the assessment, students are measured on their ability to complete six specific tasks:
During the performance assessment, students have 75 minutes to successfully demonstrate each of the skills.
The student is expected to act as if they are working with a real patient and should act in a professional manner.
Even if a student doesn’t have any professional experience, they’ll be assessed on their abilities to behave that way.
So now that you know the ins-and-outs of the NOCTI MA exam, how can you best prepare your students for test day?
When it comes to preparing students for the NOCTI MA exam, many teachers head straight for test prep materials.
These study guides can be a great way to help students prepare to take the exam, but they don’t actually teach the content!
Because of this, the best way to help your students prepare is by taking a two-step approach.
First, teach the foundational concepts and knowledge your students need to know for success as medical assistants.
That means drawing from your own healthcare experience and discussing important information that might not even be on the exam.
Taking the time to add those extra skills and concepts will set your students up for more success in the future!
Then, focus on the exam toward the end of your class. That’s the perfect time to break out the NOCTI study guides to help review and reinforce the exam topics.
Overall, the key to success is for you to seamlessly tie both pieces together in your classroom.
But how can you do that?
Some teachers spend their evenings and weekends creating lessons, activities, and assessments from scratch. This is a great way to provide a custom-tailored curriculum for your students that takes them from day one to test day.
However, building a curriculum from scratch takes a ton of time!
That’s why health science instructors across the US have switched to a digital curriculum system they can use to teach classes and prepare their students for the NOCTI MA exam at the same time!
Medical assisting instructors across the country use HealthCenter21 as primary instructional tool to teach their students and prepare them for the NOCTI exam.
HealthCenter21 is a digital curriculum system built to make your life easier when preparing your students for certification and their future careers.
It includes thousands of ready-to-use classroom resources, assessments, student tracking features, and more.
To top it all off, HealthCenter21 is aligned to the NOCTI Medical Assisting exam to ensure your students are ready for test day.
Want to learn how you can use HealthCenter21 to prepare your students for the exam and their careers?
Click below to download the NOCTI Medical Assisting assessment success guide!