About the Exam

The Certified Medical Assistant (AAMA)®—or CMA (AAMA)®—credential represents a medical assistant who has been credentialed through the Certifying Board (CB) of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).

The credential is awarded to candidates who pass the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam.

The CB of the AAMA is committed to impartiality, objectivity, and fairness in all aspects of its CMA (AAMA) Certification Program. This commitment is reflected in all policies of the CB, and the execution of all policies.

Exam Eligibility  |  Only candidates who meet one of the three categories of exam eligibility are allowed to sit for the exam.

Exam Content  |  The CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam is a rigorous exam that requires a thorough, broad, and current understanding of health care delivery. The CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam Content Outline provides an overview of the wide scope of knowledge required in general, clinical, and administrative categories.

Note: Two content outlines exist. One will go into effect on July 15, 2021, while the other is effective through July 14, 2021. So, candidates who plan to take the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam before July 15, 2021, should continue to use the Content Outline that is effective "through July 14, 2021" to study for the exam. Candidates who will take the exam on or after July 15, 2021, should use the updated Content Outline ( the one marked "effective on and after July 15, 2021").

The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions administered in four 40-minute segments.

CMA (AAMA) Exam Practice Tutorial  |  Completing the American Association of Medical Assistants Computer-Based Testing Tutorial prepares CMA (AAMA) exam candidates for what to expect when taking the exam at the testing site. All candidates are encouraged to use this online tutorial to practice prior to their examination appointment.

Exam Security  |  The CMA (AAMA) Exam is administered through Prometric, a globally recognized provider of technology-enabled testing and assessment services, including testing services for many prestigious medical credentialing examinations. The reliable, secure, and thorough testing services provided by Prometric maintain the integrity of the testing process and differentiate the candidates from those who carry certifications from less secure testing facilities. 

IAS Accreditation  |  The Certifying Board of the AAMA is accredited by the International Accreditation Service (IAS) for Bodies Operating Certification of Persons (AC474). This independent recognition affirms that the criteria and processes for earning the CMA (AAMA) credential meet ISO/IEC Standard 17024:2012, the global benchmark for certification bodies, distinguishing the CMA (AAMA) from other medical assisting certifications. AAMA CEO and Legal Counsel Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA, further explains the significance in "Why IAS Accreditation and ISO 17024 Compliance Are Monumental Achievements."

NCCA Accreditation  |  The certification program of the Certifying Board of the AAMA is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and complies with the NCCA Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs. The NCCA is the accrediting body of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE), formerly called the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA).

The NCCA Standards were created to ensure that certification programs adhere to modern standards of practice for the certification industry.

NBME: Examination Consultant  |  The National Board of Medical Examiners, which is responsible for many national examinations for physicians, including the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), constructs and administers the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam--the only medical assisting examination for which this is the case. As a result, the reliability and validity of the CMA (AAMA) credential are of the highest order.

Digital Badges  |  The Certifying Board of the AAMA is now offering digital badging to CMAs (AAMA)! This cutting-edge technology allows CMAs (AAMA) to securely—and quickly—share their credential across the web, on résumés, in email signatures, and via social media outlets to celebrate and validate their achievement.

CMAs (AAMA) who certify or recertify on or after June 1, 2021, will receive a digital badge instead of a paper certificate. Anyone who certifies or recertifies before June 1, 2021, will receive a paper certificate.

See the Digital Badges webpage for more information.

Recertification  |  The credential must be recertified every 60 months by continuing education or exam.

Exam Statistics  |  Below are the statistics on CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam from July 2019–July 2020.

7,482 CMA (AAMA) Certification Exams were administered from July 2019 - July 2020.

The percent pass rate for the exams administered was 67%.

As of February 19, 2021, there were a total of 87,623 CMAs (AAMA).