Testing Vs. Learning/teaching to pass the NREMT


The fire extinguisher is not just for show
With NREMT, there is a clear delineation between testing and evaluating if a student has mastered the material, and between preparing and assisting the student in passing the exams.

Even in the practical exams, I've been told that students are only supposed to get a pass or fail grade, and are not supposed to be told what they missed. This is the same with the written exam; you don't get to review the exam to see what questions you got wrong.

When I asked one of the NREMT people about this, they confirmed that it was correct, as the exam is not designed to help students pass, but rather to evaluate if they know the material. As such, any assistance should come during the learning process, not during the evaluation.

Since I have moved into a non-full time EMS role, I have participated in the exam development for my new industry, and one of the surprises was that no exam preparation material is used to develop a test question. Meaning, there is a high probability that a question on the exam cannot be tracked back to the study guide, because no study guide author participates in the exam development. Similarly, all EMS textbooks have different authors, so while they are trying to cover the exam objectives, they don't know what will actually be on the exam.

Does this method set up our students to fail, as the criteria for one instructor might not be the criteria for passing for an evaluator?