Preparing for the NARM Examination

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 this knowledge to make a correct evaluation of a condition in prenatal, birth, or postpartum care. Many questions on the exam are phrased as a situation with four possible courses of action.

NARM does not provide a review course for candidates, but there are some review courses/materials available through midwifery schools or private vendors. NARM does not endorse any course or material related to the exam. None of these vendors has knowledge about specific test questions. Those who have developed study materials or courses have done so with the same information that is available to any candidate.

It is NARM’s expectation that all midwives who have accrued the required levels of experience and who have diligently prepared will be able to pass the NARM Examination. We acknowledge that many factors affect a person’s ability to pass an examination, and that even very experienced midwives may experience test anxiety. We therefore offer these suggestions for preparing for the NARM Examination.

1. Allow time to prepare for the examination. Even experienced midwives will benefit from a review of the reference books. Reading and studying will help prepare the candidate to more effectively evaluate examination questions and answers.

2. Get a good night’s sleep before the examination. You will not have an opportunity to eat before noon, so should nourish yourself before beginning.

3. If you experience “test anxiety,” work on relaxation exercises while you study. Plan a schedule for study so you don’t feel that you are cramming right before the test. Give yourself time to relax the day before. Remember that if you do not pass the examination on the first try, you may take it again at another time.

4. The NARM reference list (contained in the Candidate Information Booklet) lists over twenty books for study. Read as many as you can. Look for a good balance of the medical and midwifery sources. If you are limited on time and/or resources, read the ones that supplement your general knowledge rather than reinforce it. The NARM examination strives for a good balance of midwifery knowledge.

5. Utilize the information in your Candidate Information Booklet, especially the test specifications, the reference list, the sample questions, and the Aids and Guides.

6. For those candidates whose first language is not English, it might be helpful to focus on activities that will enhance verbal skills and reading skills. Such activities might include attendance at midwifery association meetings, participation in study groups, and observation of local out-of-hospital midwives who provide prenatal care or teach childbirth classes.

7. As you are reading, try making 3×5 index cards with questions on each side and answers on the other. Use the cards to quiz yourself.

8. When taking the test, read each question and each answer thoroughly before choosing an answer. Determine the difference in each of the answers. Choose the answer that addresses the information provided in the question.

9. Don’t over think each question. The questions are not meant to be tricky. Don’t think about what else you would want to know in that situation; just focus on the information provided in the question. The objective is to narrow down those four choices to ONE choice.

10. Check our FAQs about Testing page for more information!

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