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Prehosp Emerg Care. 2017 Jul-Aug;21(4):498-502. doi: 10.1080/10903127.2017.1294225. Epub 2017 Mar 24.

Association between EMS Question Bank Completion and Passing Rates on the EMS Certification Examination.



A board review question bank was created to assist candidates in their preparation for the 2015 EMS certification examination. We aimed to describe the development of this question bank and evaluate its successes in preparing candidates to obtain EMS subspecialty board certification.


An online question bank was developed by 13 subject matter experts who participated as item writers, representing eight different EMS fellowship programs. The online question bank consisted of four practice tests, with each of the tests comprised of 100 questions. The number of candidates who participated in and completed the question bank was calculated. The passing rate among candidates who completed the question bank was calculated and compared to the publicly reported statistics for all candidates. The relationship between candidates' performance on the question bank and subspecialty exam pass rates was determined.


A total of 252 candidates took at least one practice test and, of those, 225 candidates completed all four 100-question practice tests. The pass rate on the 2015 EMS certification exam was 79% (95%CI 74-85%) among candidates who completed the question bank, which is 12% higher than the overall pass rate (p = 0.003). Candidates' performance on the question bank was positively associated with overall success on the exam (X2 = 75.8, p < 0.0001). Achieving a score of ≥ 70% on the question bank was associated with a higher likelihood of passing the exam (OR = 17.8; 95% CI: 8.0-39.6).


Completing the question bank program was associated with improved pass rates on the EMS certification exam. Strong performance on the question bank correlated with success on the exam.


emergency medical services; graduate medical education; specialty boards

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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