Exam Application Steps

The following steps require that you first thoroughly read, then refer to, the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam Application.

Step 1. Verify that You Are Eligible for the Exam

Review Exam Eligibility Requirements for details.

Eligibility, documentation, and fees
Eligibility category Required
Fee (nonrefundable)

Category 1
Completing student or recent graduate of a CAAHEP- or ABHES-accredited medical assisting program

Completing students may take the exam no more than 30 days prior to completing their formal education and practicum.*


*The Certifying Board of the AAMA is allowing a temporary waiver of this policy only for students who have completed all aspects of their formal education except the practicum. For details, see "Temporary Waiver of Completing Student Policy" below.

No documentation required. Your program completion—including a practicum—must be verified by your program director in order for you to receive your official scores and certification. $125
Category 2
Nonrecent graduate of a CAAHEP- or ABHES-accredited medical assisting program
Official transcript $125 AAMA members

$250 nonmembers
Category 3
CMA (AAMA)® recertificant
No documentation is necessary if you have provided your CMA (AAMA) certificate number and most recent certification or recertification date on the application. $125 AAMA members

$250 nonmembers
Certification Exam Eligibility Pilot Program

Graduate of a qualified postsecondary medical assisting program

For more information, see the Certification Exam Eligibility Pilot Program webpage.

At a minimum, the following documentation will be required:

1. Transcript (an unofficial transcript may be submitted for initial review, but if approved, an official transcript will be required).

2. Attestation Letter

If curriculum requirements and other criteria are not sufficiently documented, additional documentation will be needed.

See the Certification Exam Eligibility Pilot Program webpage for details.

No fee to enter the program and submit documentation for review to determine eligibility.


Once eligibility is confirmed, the following exam fees apply:

$125 AAMA members

$250 nonmembers

Temporary Waiver of Completing Student Policy

The Certifying Board of the AAMA recognizes the many challenges caused by COVID-19, one being the ability for medical assisting students to fully complete their programs. As such, the Certifying Board is allowing a temporary waiver of the policy that states that completing students may take the CMA (AAMA)® Certification Exam no earlier than 30 days prior to completing their formal education and practicum. This temporary waiver for completing students is effective until Dec. 31, 2021.

Please note that this waiver is only intended for students who have completed all aspects of their formal education except the practicum. This policy waiver does not apply to those who have not yet completed the formal education of their program.

Students who have completed all aspects of their programs except the practicum should be directed to the steps below when applying for the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam online:

  1. The candidate will apply and enter in the expected program completion date.
  2. The program director will receive the verification roster and indicate that the reason the candidate is unable to complete the practicum portion of the program is due to COVID-19.
  3. The candidates’ official exam scores will then be withheld until they have fully completed their medical assisting programs.

Contact CMAExam@aama-ntl.org with questions.

Step 2. Gather Your Documentation

Gather the appropriate documentation for your eligibility category.

(See “Required documentation” in the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam Application.)

Step 3. Review All Exam Policies and Information

When you submit your application, you are certifying that you have reviewed and accept all provisions under “Applicant agreement” and that you will abide by all the policies set forth in the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam Application, so it is important to read them thoroughly.

Step 4. Determine Start Date for 90-Day Testing Period

Select the date that you wish your 90-day testing period to begin. This will determine when you should apply for the exam. Detailed timelines for online and paper applications can be found below.

(See “Ninety-Day Testing Period” and “Application Timelines” in the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam Application.)

Online Application Timelines

Apply on or Between

Earliest Available Testing
Period Start Date

1st to 14th of any month

1st of next month

15th to end of any month

15th of next month


 Mailed Paper Application Timelines

Application Is Received
on or Between

Earliest Available Testing
Period Start Date

1st to 14th of any month

15th of next month

15th to end of any month

1st of month after next

Note: Applicants who must submit specific documentation must allow extra time for application processing:

  • Candidates requesting a waiver due to having been found guilty of a felony, or pleaded guilty to a felony, or having a professional license, registration, or certification denied, revoked, suspended, or subjected to probationary conditions by a regulatory authority or certification board
  • Disabled persons who require special provisions on exam day
  • Non-recent graduates who do not submit an official transcript with their application

Step 5. Monitor Your Email

Use an email address that will be valid for the next year (school addresses often expire after graduation). Add CMAExam@aama-ntl.org to your approved email list. Check your spam or junk email folder for "CMAExam@aama-ntl.org" emails.

Step 6. Apply for the Exam

Apply Online Now

Or, download the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam Application and complete the application form at the back. Verify that you have written your first, middle, and last name as they appear on the government-issued photo ID that you must bring to the test center. Submit the application and your candidate fee and include any documentation you gather in Step 2. Retain a copy of the completed application and documentation for your records. If you mail your application, do not send the other pages of the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam Application with it.

Step 7. Make Name, Email, and Postal Address Corrections on a Timely Basis

Edit your profile online or email us to update your contact information.

(See “Candidate Name/Address Specifications” and “Test Center Identification Requirements” in the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam Application.)

Step 8. Schedule Your Exam

Schedule your exam appointment as soon as possible after printing your Scheduling Permit.

(See “Appointment Scheduling Permit” and “Exam Date Scheduling” in the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam Application.)

Step 9. Prepare for the Exam

See “Study suggestions.” Also, thoroughly review the “Test Center Scheduling and Policies,” so that your test session goes smoothly.

Complete the AAMA Computer-Based Testing Tutorial to learn what to expect from the software interface when taking the exam at the testing site. All candidates are encouraged to use this online tutorial to practice prior to their examination appointment.

Step 10. Complete the Exam

After you have completed your exam, you will receive a pass/fail notification at the test center. You can view your exam status and scores at My Certification Information. Your official scores will display within eight weeks after your exam date.

Step 11. Watch for Your Official Score Reports

You’ll receive your official exam scores within three weeks after your exam date pending verification of program completion and/or fulfillment of all application requirements.

(See “Post-Exam Information and Policies” in the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam Application.)

Step 12. Watch for Your Certificate or Digital Badge

If you pass before June 1, 2021, and are allowed to receive an official score report, your certificate and wallet card should arrive approximately three weeks after you receive your official scores.

If you pass on or after June 1, 2021, you will receive a digital badge instead of a paper certificate. Digital badging is cutting-edge technology that 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. See the Digital Badges webpage for more information.

CMAs (AAMA) may view their certification status at My Certification Information. CMA (AAMA) certification is valid for a 60-month period.

(See “CMA (AAMA) Recertification Requirements” in the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam Application.)

Application Timelines

Apply Online on
or Between

Mailed Application is
Received on or Between

Earliest Available 90-Day
Testing Period Start Date

January 1-14

December 15-31

February 1

January 15-31

January 1-14

February 15

February 1-14
January 15-31 March 1
February 15-28/29
February 1-14 March 15
March 1-14 February 15-28/29 April 1
March 15-31
March 1-14 April 15
April 1-14 March 15-31 May 1
April 15-30 April 1-14 May 15
May 1-14 April 15-30 June 1
May 15-31 May 1-14 June 15
June 1-14
May 15-31 July 1
June 15-30
June 1-14 July 15
July 1-14 June 15-30 August 1
July 15-31 July 1-14 August 15
August 1-14
July 15-31 September 1
August 15-31
August 1-14 September 15
September 1-14
August 15-31 October 1
September 15-30
September 1-14 October 15
October 1-14
September 15-30 November 1
October 15-31
October 1-14 November 15
November 1-14 October 15-31 December 1
November 15-30
November 1-14 December 15
December 1-14 November 15-30 January 1
December 15-31
December 1-14 January 15