The NARM Written Examination is offered at regional sites on the third Wednesdays of February and August and is also offered on Thursday during pre-conference workshops at the annual MANA Conference, which is usually in the fall. Applications are accepted year-round, but must be received by specific dates to in order to register for each Written Exam date.
Submission deadlines for each exam are:
|Application Type||February Exam Deadline||August Exam Deadline||MANA Conference Exam Deadline|
|PEP Entry Level, Phases 1,2, & 3 with fees||September 10||March 10||4 months prior|
|PEP Experienced Midwife||September 10||March 10||4 months prior|
|PEP Internationally Educated Midwife||September 10||March 10||4 months prior|
|MEAC Graduate||December 1||June 1||2 months prior|
|State License in Approved States||December 1||June 1||2 months prior|
|UK Licensed Midwife||December 1||June 1||2 months prior|
|CNM/CM||December 1||June 1||2 months prior|
The NARM Skills Exam
All skills, and the supporting knowledge base behind them, must be verified during training by a qualified preceptor.
Performance of skills must be verified a second time by someone who was not responsible for the initial training, either by:
- A NARM Qualified Evaluator (PEP Skills Assessment)
- A second instructor (MEAC-accredited program)
- A second CPM preceptor (NARM’s Second Verification of Skills option)
- A state licensing process (State License application), or
- By a midwife with another accredited midwifery credential (CNM/CM)
Performance on the NARM Skills Assessment is evaluated according to the breakdown of skills steps in the Practical Skills Guide for Midwives.
Basis for the Test
The knowledge base for competency is measured by the NARM Written Examination. All candidates, regardless of route of application or verification of skills, must pass the NARM Written Examination.
The NARM Job Analysis determines the knowledge and skills that are tested for certification. All of the knowledge and skills must first be verified through an educational process, and must be taught and evaluated by an instructor or preceptor. The testing process serves as a second verification of the acquisition of knowledge and skills, providing an evaluation through a performance assessment and a written exam.
The exam questions are written and reviewed by specially trained CPMs according to standards set for accreditation by the [National Commission for Certifying Agencies]. The passing score for all exams is set through a process called the modified Angoff Method, which allows for evaluation of the difficulty level of each item on a mathematical scale. …Read more »
The exam content outline and reference books are available in the Candidate Information Booklet (CIB). The content outline is called the Test Specifications. The best way to prepare for the exam is to go through the content outline and study those topics in the reference materials. Think about situations where you would need to apply …Read more »
There are two ways to register for the NARM exam. You must be a CPM candidate, or have been approved to take the exam for licensure by a state licensing agency. CPM Candidates: Candidates who are applying for the CPM certification must submit a NARM application to the NARM Applications Department. Application forms are based …Read more »
The test will begin at 8:00am. Candidates should arrive at the test site by 7:45 to allow time to find the testing room and to check in. Every effort is made to have the proctor arrive and open the test room by 7:45, but some test sites may not open until 8:00am. Candidates must bring …Read more »
Test results will be mailed approximately three weeks after the test date. If the candidate wishes to receive the test results at an address different from where they received the Admission Letter, please notify the Test Department of the new address by e-mail at email@example.com. CPM certificates will be mailed approximately 4 weeks after passage …Read more »
NARM Written Exam Testing Locations
The NARM Written Examination is given at regional test sites across the country on the third Wednesday of February and August; and on the site and date of the annual MANA conference. Listed below are the regional test sites that are usually available. A current list of test sites will be on the Written Examination Intent Form, which is sent to each candidate after approval of the Certification Application.
Regional Test Sites
California: Sacramento and San Diego
Florida: Orlando and Miami
Massachusetts: Boston area
Missouri: Kansas City
New Mexico: Taos
South Carolina: Columbia
Texas: El Paso
States Administering the NARM Written Examination for Licensure
The following states administer the NARM Written Examination for licensure and will sometimes allow CPM candidates from other jurisdictions to take the examination at their agency location. Please contact the NARM Test Department if you are interested in taking the examination at one of these locations:
Arkansas: Little Rock
Candidates may also take the NARM Written Examination as a pre-conference activity on the Thursday prior at the annual MANA Conference, which is usually held in the fall. For more information on the MANA conference test site and date, call the NARM Test Department at 1-888-353-7089.
PO Box 671427
Chugiak, AK 99657
When is the NARM Exam given?
The NARM Exam is given on the third Wednesday of February and August at regional sites. It is also given, usually, on the pre-conference day at site of the annual MANA Conference in the fall. Exact dates and locations are sent when you qualify to take the exam. The usual regional test sites are listed here (link)
How long is the test? How much time do we have?
The test is an 8 hour, 350 question, multiple choice exam. It is given in two parts. Part one begins at 8:00am, and part two begins at 1:00pm. Four hours are allowed for each part. You may leave the testing room when you finish each part.
What is the best way to prepare for the exam?
All content areas should have been taught and evaluated by instructors or preceptors during training. Students should study the content outline and the reference texts listed in the Candidate Information Booklet. Questions may be related to definitions, normal and abnormal signs and symptoms, differential diagnosis, treatment by the mother and midwife, and conditions for appropriate referral or transport.
On the Day of the Exam:
Are there rules about what we can bring to or take from the testing room?
Yes. All purses or bookbags must be left on the floor. All cell phones must be turned off and cannot be used during the testing time. Restroom breaks may be taken by one person at a time by leaving the test booklet and answer sheet with the proctor. No materials may be taken from the room at any time. Water will be available, or you may bring your own.
What do I do if the room is locked when I arrive at the test site?
If the room or building is locked when you arrive, check your site directions to be sure you are in the right place, then attempt to call the site coordinator at the number on your letter, or call the NARM Test Department.
Can I write comments on the test?
All answers are marked only on the answer sheet and not in the test booklet. The proctor will give instructions for filling out the answer sheet.
A comment sheet is provided to each person taking the test. Comments may be written while you take the test, and turned in to the proctor. You may also use the comment sheet as “scratch paper” but you may not take it with you when you leave. The purpose of the comment sheet is to provide feedback to NARM about suggested improvement in the question or answers. The purpose is NOT to write an essay to explain your choice of answer. The comments will not change your score. The comments will be considered as a part of the test revision process.
What is the passing score?
Each version of the exam may have a slightly different raw score for passing, but it ranges between 79%-81%. The score is reported on a scale where 75 is the passing score. A scaled score of 75 or higher is passing.
What happens next if I pass the exam?
A letter reporting your exam results will be sent 3-4 weeks after the exam date. If you have completed all requirements for certification, your CPM certification will be sent 3-4 weeks after notification. If you tested as a student in a MEAC-accredited school, your certification will be sent after the school notifies NARM of your graduation. If you registered for the exam through a state licensing agency rather than through NARM, your scores will be sent to your licensing agency. You may apply for the CPM certification after you receive the license.
What happens next if I do not pass the exam?
Your letter will contain a registration form to retake the exam. Submit the registration form and retake fee by the deadline listed on the form. NARM candidates must retake the exam within a year of notification, or apply for an extension. If a candidate does not pass within three years of application, a “currency” application must be submitted documenting ten additional supervised births. For more information, contact NARM. There is no maximum number of times you may take the NARM exam. Some states that give the exam for licensure do have a maximum number of times the test may be taken.
What else might delay my certification?
- Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (adult) and Neonatal Resuscitation certification cards must be submitted with the application. These must be kept current during the testing process. If the cards are due to expire within three months at the time all certification requirements are met, new cards must be submitted.
- Audits are done on every sixth application. Random audits do not stop the candidate from proceeding through the testing process, but if discrepancies are discovered during the audit, they will need to be resolved before certification is issued.
- Complaints against a CPM candidate must be resolved before the certification is issued.