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What is a CPR Test?

Mary McMahon
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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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.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a Practical Adult Insights researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By Jacques6 — On Aug 07, 2011

@ElbowTickle - being certified in CPR is a great idea if you're hunting for work. Most jobs require it as part of your resume. Since most jobs get flooded with resumes -- they're looking for any reason to throw out a few.

CPR is a little thing that should not be overlooked, especially since it only takes a day course to learn. It can set you apart in the job market. If you are having trouble finding a job and are not certified in CPR -- go and get certified.

By Almita — On Aug 07, 2011

@tanner182 - As far as I know, there have only been a few cases like that. Yes, they are very discouraging to people who actually want to help in a CPR emergency.

A case that comes to mind is one in which a man stopped to give a woman CPR after she was hit by a car. When he gave her CPR (that saved her life, by the way), she sued him because he caused more internal bleeding from the chest compressions. She had several broken ribs. If he hadn't administered CPR, she would have been dead before the ambulance arrived.

It's up to you to decide if it's worth the risk -- but it is very unlikely that you'll be sued. My CPR instructor said that if someone is to the point of needing CPR, you can do no wrong as long as you know what you're doing.

By tanner182 — On Aug 06, 2011

There have been so many stories about people doing CPR to save someone -- only to get sued after the person survives. A lot of survivors believe that the person preforming CPR did more harm than help and that they would have been better off without any help at all.

It's shocking how ungrateful they are, but the worst part is that they scare people away from trying to do CPR in an emergency. No one wants to get sued, especially with jobs being so hard to find -- so no one is going to risk it.

Are you really protected from being sued if you have CPR certification?

By ElbowTickle — On Aug 05, 2011

I remember my CPR test. I took a the 9-hour certification class at college to get a CPR certificate. I figured that my career opportunities in human resource management would be better if I knew CPR.

It was a very long and interesting class, so I took a lot of notes. Anyone else who takes a CPR class should take notes too -- it helps focus on what the teacher is talking about.

I noticed other people in class decided to text instead and they didn't do very good on the ending exam. I'm glad I paid attention because we only had 2 tests before we did the final. So, resist the urge to text -- you might have to sit through the class again if you do!

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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