A cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) test is a test in which someone demonstrates that she or he is competent to perform CPR. If the test-taker passes, a certificate will be issued. Often, a CPR test is bundled into a CPR class, allowing people to learn CPR and get their certification in one place. People can also take standalone tests for certification or renewal of an existing certificate. Being certified in CPR can make someone more employable, as it indicates that someone is capable of performing CPR and some basic first aid in the event of an emergency.
A typical CPR test has two parts. The first is a written test in which people are asked a series of questions about the basics of CPR. This section of the test is designed to ensure that people are familiar with CPR protocol, when to perform CPR, how to perform CPR, and how to deal with situations like infants who are not breathing. The written test is usually multiple choice, allowing test takers to choose from several possible answers for each question.
The second part of a CPR test is the skills test. In a skills test, a test taker demonstrates CPR skills on a dummy. This shows that the test taker knows the proper position for CPR, can follow the protocol, and knows how to administer breaths and compressions. The test taker is evaluated by an instructor or test administrator who confirms that the test taker performs CPR properly.
CPR certification is generally good for a year. When someone recertifies, both the written and skills test are taken. Recertification is designed to ensure that people still have the skills they need. For people who rarely, if ever, administer CPR, it can be easy to forget the protocol or to get sloppy. The protocol also periodically changes, making it necessary for people to recertify to demonstrate that they are familiar with the new procedure.
A CPR test is usually fairly low stress. Since testing is often offered as part of a class, students usually get ample opportunities to take practice tests before the real test, giving them a chance to get familiar with the process. Instructors generally want their students to pass, to increase the number of people in the world who can perform CPR, and they will help students study and provide tips and pointers so that students will do well on the CPR test.