CNA Exam and Certification Massachusetts

Certified Nursing Assistants often have a better understanding of the residents’ needs and requirements than nurses themselves. They work closely with residents, assisting with the activities of daily, checking vital signs, observing their response to treatment, and sharing vital information with nurses and other medical staff. Training and certification are a necessary part of the preparation for the role of a nursing assistant. An approved nurse aide training program in Massachusetts will comprise of 75 hours of theory and hands-on instruction. Graduates will then need to take and pass the state CNA exam to be added to the Nurse Aide Registry. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has approved D&S Diversified Technologies, LLP to provide tests and scoring services for nurse aide testing.

CNA Classes in MA:

How to Apply for the Massachusetts CNA Exam

A graduate of an approved nurse aide program may apply to sit the CNA exam after successfully completing the training. You may request a waiver of the training requirements to take the Nurse Aide Competency Evaluation if you successfully completed an approved nurse aide training course in another state or successfully completed a clinical course in an approved School of Nursing. The clinical course must include hands-on skills as specified in the minimum standard curriculum.

Training does not expire. If you fail the knowledge component 4 times or the skills component 3 times, you must complete another Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) approved training program in order to be eligible to schedule testing.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and D&SDT-Headmaster provide reasonable accommodations for candidates with disabilities or limitations that may affect their ability to perform the nurse aide competency examination. Accommodations are granted in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

If you have a qualified disability or limitation, you may request special accommodations for examination. You must obtain approval from D&SDT-HEADMASTER before the examination.

Accommodation Form 1404 must be electronically submitted to D&SDT-HEADMASTER with required documentation listed on the second page of the ADA.

You must submit details for initial registration in D&SDT-Headmaster’s TestMaster Universe (TMU) software to apply for the test.

You must sign in to the Massachusetts CNA TMU ( using your secure Email or Username and Password and complete your demographic information.

Schedule/Reschedule an Exam Date

Once your record is completed in D&SDT-Headmaster TestMaster Universe© (TMU) database, you may schedule your exam date online at the Massachusetts TMU© webpage,, using your Email or Username and Password.

Use a Visa or MasterCard credit card or debit card to pay your testing fees. Once your payment is processed, you will be able to schedule and/or reschedule up to one full business day prior to a scheduled test date of your choice. You will receive your test confirmation notification by email, text or by signing in to your account.

Exam Costs

The established testing fees in Massachusetts are as follows:

  • Knowledge test or knowledge retake – $40.00
  • Oral knowledge test or oral knowledge retake – $50
  • Skills test or skill retake – $70.00

CNA Exam Overview Massachusetts

The Nurse Aide Competency Evaluation is composed of two parts: the Knowledge test and the Clinical Skills test. First-time candidates will take both tests on the same day. However, both tests are independent of one another, so it is possible to pass one while failing the other. You’ll only have to retake the test you fail. The state allows nurse aide candidates four chances to pass the knowledge test and three chances to pass the clinical skills test. If you do not pass the test in the permitted attempts, you must retrain before you reapply to take the exam. You must pass both tests to be listed on the Massachusetts Nurse Aide Registry.

The Knowledge/Oral Test

The Knowledge test comprises of 60 multiple-choice questions that must be completed in 60 minutes. The test is delivered electronically using TMU Internet connected computers at the test sites. The knowledge portion of the exam will be displayed on a computer screen for you to read and key/tap your answers. You must have a score of 76% or better to pass the knowledge portion of the exam.

The Oral Exam (Alternative)

The Knowledge test is available in oral format. To take the Oral version on the test, you must request it on the application before you submit your testing fee payment. There is an additional fee of $10 for an Oral version of the Knowledge test.

The questions will be read so you can hear through headphones/earbuds plugged into the computer. The oral control buttons will be displayed on the computer screen for you to play, rewind or pause questions as needed.

The Skills Exam

The clinical skills test is administered individually for the test observer to evaluate your ability in a personal setting. You will be required to perform 3 or 4 randomly selected tasks with scenarios associated with them. You will be given a maximum of 30 minutes to complete your three or four tasks. After 15 minutes have elapsed, you will be alerted when 15 minutes remain. You must correctly perform all of the key steps and 80% of all non-key steps on each task assigned in order to pass the Skill Test. You may repeat or current any step or steps on any task you beliebe you have performed incorrectly at any time during your allotted 30 minutes. All steps must be actually be demonstrated.

Virtual Knowledge Exam Option

You will have the option to take the knowledge exam virtually. If you decide to take this option, you must have:

  • An updated version of Google Chrome as your Internet browser
  • A reliable Internet (Wi-Fi) connection
  • A personal computer/tablet/laptop to log into TMU to access the knowledge test
  • Your Email or Username and Password to take the virtual TMU Knowledge test
  • A smartphone to access the ‘facetime app’ that you will need to have downloaded.

The night before your scheduled virtual knowledge exam, D&SDT-Headmaster will email you a reminder with the password protected link to join the test event.

Scheduling a Virtual Knowledge Test

You will need to sign in to your TMU record and follow the instructions to ‘Schedule/Reschedule into a Test Event’. The test site location for a virtual knowledge exam will be “Virtual Knowledge Test Site”.

Virtual Knowledge Test Sign-In

You are required to be signed in to the virtual link for the sign in process with the test proctor prior (20 minutes) to the start time listed on your test confirmation. If you are not signed into your virtual exam 20 minutes prior to the time listed on your test confirmation, you will not be allowed to test, considered a No Show and forfeit your testing fees paid and have to pay for another test date.

You will need to show your two forms of mandatory identification to the test proctor at sign in before starting your virtual knowledge exam.

You will need to show your surroundings to the test proctor during sign-in before starting your virtual knowledge exam.

What To Bring To The Exam

It is essential that you arrive twenty minutes before the scheduled time for both the knowledge (or oral) and clinical skills test. If you arrive late while the test is already in session, you will not be allowed to take the exam and you must reapply and pay another fee to reschedule.

Take two forms of identification: one with a current and clear photo. Both must match the information used to register for the exam. Acceptable forms of ID are a state-issued driver’s license, military ID, permanent resident card, or a current passport.

You must be in full clinical attire for all in person test events (not required for virtual knowledge testing). Full clinical attire includes:

  • Scrubs [top and bottom] and closed-toed shoes – any color or design
  • It is recommended that long hair be pulled back.

Other testing attire requirements:

  • A standard watch with a second hand – no smart watches or fitness monitors are allowed.

Note: You will not be admitted for testing if you are not wearing scrubs attire and the appropriate shoes. You will be considered a NO SHOW. You will forfeit your testing fees and have to pay for another exam date.

Receiving Your Scores

After you have completed both the Knowledge Test and Skill Test components of the competency exam, your results will be officially scored and double checked by D&SDT-Headmaster scoring teams. Official test results will be posted to your TMU record after 7:00pm (EST) the business day after your test event.

If you pass your exam, you will be certified and listed on the Massachusetts Nurse Aide Registry after you meet all Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) requirements.

If you fail the knowledge and/or skill portion of the examination, you may apply for a retest and pay for the portion that you failed before you can schedule a new exam date.

You can schedule a retest online by signing in your TMU© record.

Contact the Registry

Massachusetts Nurse Aide Registry
Division of Health Care Quality
Department of Public Health
99 Chauncy Street, 2nd FL
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 753-8143

Massachusetts CNA Testing
D&S Diversified Technologies (D&SDT), LLP-
Headmaster, LLP
PO Box 6609
Helena, MT 59604

Phone: (888) 401-0462
Phone: (888) 401-0465
Fax: (406) 442-3357

Crystal G

Crystal is a certified Registered Nurse (RN) with a passion for writing about nursing education. Through her articles, Crystal shares insights and tips to help fellow nurses enhance their skills and stay updated with the latest developments in the field. With a focus on practical advice and relevant topics, Crystal's writing is a valuable resource for nursing professionals seeking to advance their careers.