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Wednesday, June 13, 2007


AAMT offers Certified Medical Transcriptionist Exam for the purpose of promoting professional standards. The exam is conducted by AAMT in association with Prometric Systems through their testing centers, which are available in select towns in India.


Two years of experience in acute care, i.e., the candidate should be exposed TO multiple reports types, many formats, and all major specialities.


The test is conducted by Prometric Systems through their testing centers. Candidates should register with AAMT through their website ( and schedule the test through Prometric Systems. Scheduling can be done online through Prometric website,


The CMT exam consists of two parts, medical transcription related knowledge and transcription skills. The test runs for five and half hours. No study material of reference will be allowed during the test, and no foot pedals will be given for transcription test, but this would not pose a problem as the dictation snippets are very short. The entire processes of test as well as sample questions are available in CMT Candidate Guide, which can be downloaded from the AAMT website (


The result of the test will be knows as soon as the exam is finished. Candidates will be notified of the successful completion and will be sent the CMT certificate within one to two weeks.


What is the cost of the automated CMT exam?

The price is $195 for AAMT members, $275 for the nonmember.

Where is the exam given?

The exam is given at Thomson Prometric testing centers, now available in many cities in India. You may visit the Prometric Website ( to locate a test site.

When can I take the exam?

The exam is given on an ongoing basis. Availability of the CMT exam depends on the individual site where you wish to test.

What are the requirements to take the exam?

Two years of transcription experience in the acute care (or equivalent) setting is required to take the CMT certification examination. Acute care is defined as incorporating medical center dictation to include many dictators including multiple ESL dictators, many formats and report types, and all the major specialties, including and especially surgery dictation of all types, and some minor specialties.

How do I apply?

In the Certification area of the AAMT website you will find a link to Application for Exam. You may submit your application online or mail or fax it to AAMT. After processing your information, AAMT will send an "Authorization to Test" letter with information on how to proceed.

Note: Please read the complete CMT Candidate Guide available on AAMT website before submitting the application.

May I bring my own reference materials?

Reference materials are not allowed in the testing center, and none will be provided. Electronic aids such as spellcheckers and abbreviation expanders will not be permitted. One of the consequences of using secure testing centers is the elimination of reference materials. However, the exam has been designed so that a level 2 medical transcriptionist (as defined in AAMT’s "MT Job Descriptions") can pass using their critical thinking and problem solving skills and without using any reference materials.

Is it true that there will be no foot pedal?

True. You will play the dictation using a mouse. This should not prove to be a problem because the dictation snippets are very short (one or two sentences).

How long is the exam?

The exam is 5 hours in length. However, you should plan to spend approximately 5-1/2 hours at the testing center. This allows time for check-in, a short tutorial, a 15-minute break between the two sections of the exam, and a short survey.

When will I receive my score?

The score will be available immediately upon completion of the exam. If the exam is not passed, the candidate will receive a score report indicating areas where improvement is needed.

What if I pass only part of the exam?

You must pass the entire exam in order to become certified. If you do not pass the exam in its entirety, you will need to retake the entire exam.

How soon may I retake the exam?

If you do not pass the exam, there is a 6-month waiting period before you are eligible to take it again.

Will I be able to pass the exam based on my experience?

Two years of transcription experience are required in acute care (or equivalent). A broad range of experience will be necessary for you to pass this exam, but it is only one of the two key elements. The exam will test not only your performance ability but also your knowledge of the various content areas outlined in the CMT Candidate Guide. You should plan to study in preparation for the exam. The Candidate Guide recommends study materials, and you may also consider joining a CMT study group or taking the online CMT Prep Course.

I passed Part I of the old exam but have not taken Part II. Will I have to take the entire exam?

Yes. If you did not pass both parts of the old exam, you will need to take the entire exam in its new form in order to become a certified medical transcriptionist.

Are new self-assessment materials available for the new exam?

AAMT has developed a CMT Review Guide published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins and available on Stedman’s website. An online CMT Prep Course through Oak Horizons is available here. The old self-assessment products developed by AAMT are still useful as long as you transcribe the tapes using no aids whatsoever (no references, no spellcheckers, no macro expanders, etc.). Please check the Candidate Guide for other suggested study materials. You may also wish to join a CMT study group provided by your employer, local chapter, or the online chapter of AAMT.

If I become certified by the new exam, do I still have to recertify?

Yes. Recertification requirements remain the same. When you receive your CMT certificate, you will be given your date for recertification, which will be approximately three years after the date you passed your exam.


1. Which of the following drugs is a cardiac medication?

(A) nifedipine

(B) Flexeril

(C) lithium

(D) Proventil

2. A patient who is perspiring heavily is described by a physician

as sweating _____.

(A) perfusely

(B) purposely

(C) precipitously

(D) profusely

3. Exophthalmos a symptom of _____.

(A) exotropia

(B) hyperthyroidism

(C) Addison disease

(D) glaucoma

4. The glomerulus is part of what organ?

(A) liver

(B) gallbladder

(C) kidney

(D) pancreas

5. The primary purpose of a medical record is _____.

(A) research and statistics

(B) billing and reimbursement

(C) continuity of care

(D) risk management

6. Orchitis is inflammation of the _____.

(A) urethra

(B) testis

(C) epididymis

(D) prostate

7. What is the act of swallowing called?

(A) mastication

(B) deglutition

(C) dentition

(D) eructation

8. Which one is a symptom of COPD?

(A) indigestion

(B) coryza

(C) diarrhea

(D) dyspnea

9. Which term refers to an anatomical plane?

(A) axial

(B) rotational

(C) proximal

(D) inferolateral

Answers: 1. A 2. D 3. B 4. C 5. C 6. B 7. B 8. D 9. A

Instructions for transcribing test dictations

You will encounter dictation excerpts, or snippets, similar to those that you will be asked to transcribe on the CMT Exam.

To eliminate unnecessary errors related to variability in formatting, it is important to outline some basic “rules” when transcribing these excerpts. While a variability of formats may be acceptable on the CMT exam, again, the limitations make it necessary to designate a required format for these exercises so that you will not encounter errors of that nature when your transcription is scored.

With some exceptions, most of the excerpts you will transcribe will be a simple set of related sentences. Some, however, will have dictated headings or subheadings. Regardless, simply transcribe from start to finish keeping the following formatting in mind:

1. Utilize only one space after all punctuation.

2. Do not use tabs or indents.

3. Do not use bold, italics, or any other formatting keys.

4. Use hard returns only after headings and to break paragraphs, not at the end of a line or sentence. (In other words, allow your text to wrap as you normally would.)

5. Do not add any headings or subheadings that are not specifically dictated.

6. Do not add any initials or identifying marks at the end of any excerpt.

7. All major dictated headings should be in ALL CAPS and on a line by themselves. Text for each new section should begin flush to the left margin directly beneath its heading. (Do not double-space between a heading and the text below.)

Example #1


The patient is a 34-year-old female who presented to the emergency room complaining of chest pain.

Example #2





Note: Remember that per the AAMT Book of Style, there are no colons after a heading that stands on a line by itself.

8. All dictated subheadings (primarily in the physical examination sections) should be transcribed in ALL CAPS followed by a colon and one space, with text following immediately on the same line.


HEART: Regular rate and rhythm.

ABDOMEN: Soft and nontender.

9. Do not number items in any section unless specifically dictated. When numbering, use an arabic numeral followed by a period and one space. Do not worry about indents, tabs, or text wrapping on these excerpts.



1. Open reduction and internal fixation, right radius and ulna.

2. Irrigation and debridement.

10. Do not use dashes or parentheses to set off information unless specifically dictated.

Keep these basic format instructions in mind as you work through these excerpts, and you should find that whatever errors you do make are related to medical content and internal style and not to basic formatting.


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