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Every piece of study advice you receive will tell you “DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE!”, but we all know that’s easier said than done. Even if you have had the time and foresight to study consistently for the weeks approaching the exam, a night before refresher is never a bad idea.

Stay Calm

And don’t panic. It will create a hurried, unorganized space and brain. The best way to keep calm is to stay organized.

50/10 Rule

Work hard for 50 minutes, then take a break for 10. Knowing that you have some upcoming time to break makes your study time more focused. It also keeps your time organized in blocks, making it easier to digest specific topics and areas at a time.

Mix It Up

Broad overviews of class notes tend to happen in the order of which they were originally learned – you start at the beginning of the notebook and work towards the end. Shuffle your notes and study the topics in a random order. This will help you reinforce the individual pieces of knowledge, rather than the progression of the class.

Study Out Loud

This might be one of the few times you hear in your life that you should be talking to yourself. If you’re studying alone, do it all out loud. Note review, flash card quizzes, vocab, you name it. Reading aloud helps memory, especially in the short term.

Be Selective

Don’t waste time going over the information you already know well. If you have only a precious few hours, use it to cover what you still don’t know as well. As always, begin with a strategy to stay organized.

Stay Hydrated

Hydrating before and during exams helps concentration and minimizes distractions. As noted by the BBC, students who drink water while studying and testing do about 5% better than students who do not. PS – Be mindful of caffeine intake, as too much can easily inhibit concentration.

Practice Exams

If a practice exam is available, use it. Sometimes, as with the Registry, tests are more than just reciting information. Deciphering questions is a large part of the National exam, so apps like EMT PASS and AEMT PASS give you a sample of the test itself.


If you can’t schedule a cram session in while also getting enough sleep, don’t even bother. There is nothing more detrimental to focus and memory than a fatigued mind and body. A good night’s rest will be your biggest ally the day of the exam.

As mentioned before, staying calm is essential to entering the National Registry exam confidently. Use the night before cram sessions to inspire yourself. Tests are designed to challenge your knowledge and level of understanding. With the right habits and mindset, we believe you’ll be more than ready to tackle any EMS exam.

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