Medical Assistant Certification Exam FAQs

Have a question? We've included the most frequently asked questions and answers about Specialty Certified Medical Assistant - SCMA® and our certifications. If you are not able to find the answer to your question in this section -- or by searching our entire website by using the search feature in the upper right corner of this page please contact us

What resources are available to help me prepare for the SCMA certification exam?

All of our exams have study guides available, CLICK HERE to order. There are many other Medical Assistant exam preparation books available online. Since the first 100 questions on the SCMA exam are general in nature these can be very helpful. CLICK HERE for some examples.

Is the SCMA certification recognized nationally?

Yes, the SCMA certification is recognized in all 50 states.

Where are the testing centers located?

Testing centers are available throughout the US and Canada. Almost 90% of the US is within a two hour drive of one of our testing centers. To schedule, reschedule or cancel an exam Sign In to Pearson VUE or Create an Account with Pearson VueFor a list of testing centers please CLICK HERE and select your location.

Admission Policy

Please arrive at the test center 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. This will allow you enough time to complete the check-in procedures before beginning your exam. You will be required to show two (2) valid forms of personal identification. Both forms must contain your signature, must be current (not expired), and at least one form must contain your photo. If you arrive more than 15 minutes after your appointment time and are refused admission, the exam and delivery fees are not refundable.

You will not be allowed to take any personal items with you into the testing room. This includes all bags, books not authorized by the testing program, notes, cell phones, pagers, watches and wallets.

How will an SCMA credential help my career?

Most medical assistants work in a specialty office and having a specialty certification shows that you are fully trained and dedicated to a particular area. When a physician is reviewing resumes a candidate with an appropriate certification will stand out from the crowd.

How long is the SCMA certification exam?

The SCMA candidate will have two hours to complete 170 questions in three different sections. Fifty questions cover medical assisting, 50 questions cover clinical medical assisting and 70 questions cover the specific therapeutic specialty.

It is unusual for a certifying body to offer job placement assistance. Why did you decide to offer that benefit?

We believe that it is important to provide exceptional customer service to our members. You have a lot of choices for your certification and we want to be more than a rubber stamp on your medical diploma. Besides, placing an SCMA is easy. Doctors know that their staff is the face of their practice and they want the best qualified people. More and more practice reviews on sites such as Angie's list are a reflection on the office staff. Thus, if you are a pediatrician you have a strong preference for a candidate with the SCMA certification.

I already have a job. Why should I become certified now?

If you get laid off, finding a new job becomes your top priority. You need to invest in your career now while you have the knowledge and ability to obtain the SCMA certification.

What is the value of the SCMA credential?

The true value depends on many factors. Let's look at it from the hiring manager perspective. A pediatrician has an expanding practice and she wants to hire another medical assistant. She has two resumes from applicants. One candidate has a CMA credential and the other has both CMA and SCMA-PD credentials. Everything else being equal, consider which candidate is more likely to get hired. Now consider two medical assistants that working in a nursing home and both are having there annual performance reviews. Both were hired with a CMA credential, but one of them attained the SCMA-G credential four months ago. Everything else being equal, consider which one gets the higher evaluation.

What is the proper usage for the SCMA credential?

SCMA is a trademark of The CertiTrek Group. Once certified, a member may list the credential after their name with the appropriate trademark symbol. For example, a member that completed the pediatrics certification could list their name in either of the following ways: Jane Doe, SCMA-PD or Jane Doe, SCMA(PD).

What happens if I do not pass the exam?

You must score at least 70% on all three sections of the exam to pass. If you do not pass the exam you may request pass/fail grades for each section. This will let you know which area needs improvement. We do not provide examination feedback beyond pass/fail scores for each section. To retake the SCMA certification a retesting fee of $95.00 will apply for the first six months. After the six-month period, you must pay the full $145 to retake the exam.

Can VA benefits be used to pay for the certification process?

The certification has been approved by the Veterans Administration and we are waiting on an official announcement. Check with a VA representative in your state to see if it has been announced there. If you have served on active duty in a medical specialty contact us to see if you qualify for special military pricing.

What is the cost?

The price for the certification exam is $195. The annual recertification fee is $89.

When will I receive my SCMA certificate?

Once you have successfully passed the certification examination a certificate will be mailed to you within three weeks.