What to Study for the American Midwifery Certification Board Exam

Well done! You’ve graduated from your accredited certified nurse midwife program and are ready to take the next step – your boards! The American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) exam assesses your ability to practice safely as a beginning certified nurse midwife. Your courses and clinical experiences have prepared you for this exam, but more preparation is certainly in order to ensure you pass on the first try!

An overview of the American Midwifery Certification Board Exam

The AMCB is a four-hour test is comprised of 175 multiple choice questions. Not all of these questions are scored, however; some are used as research for future tests. You won’t be able to tell which are scored or unscored, though- all questions must be answered. It’s important to note that there’s no penalty for guessing. In the four hours, you are able to take breaks if necessary, but your clock keeps ticking. You will be provided with a pencil and scratch piece of paper that must be returned in order to get your score report. Unlike some certification exams (not naming names, NCLEX), you will be provided with your score report and pass/fail status upon completion of the exam.

What is on the American Midwifery Certification Board Exam

Rather than asking questions about everything you’ve ever learned in your CNM program, the AMCB is concerned with ensuring you have the cognitive ability to safely serve as a beginning certified nurse midwife. To this end, the majority (66%) of questions will be about the “norms” of women’s health and childbirth; the remaining questions will cover deviations from these norms. Although some questions will assess your knowledge of the subjects, the majority will assess your ability to make decisions in the clinical arena. Most of the questions will relate to the birthing process: antepartum (22%), intrapartum (21%), and postpartum (21%). The greatest portion of these questions will address normal labor and delivery assessments and interventions. However, some questions will cover your management of the complications associated with this vulnerable population. Assessment and treatment of the newborn immediately after birth accounts for 11% of the exam questions. The remaining 29% of the exam assesses your knowledge and clinical decision-making of gynecological/well-woman topics (17%) and women’s health/primary care (12%). These topics cover norms and alterations of all body systems as well as health promotion and disease prevention.

What to study for the AMCB Certified Nurse Midwife Exam

According to the AMCB exam blueprint, item writers used textbooks for midwifery, maternal-newborn nursing, newborn care, obstetrics/gynecology, primary care for women, and contraception to create the test questions. It may be beneficial to review these textbooks and any ancillary material associated with them during your ACMB prep. The exam outline on page 26 of the AMCB exam handbook is a good starting point to assess your comfort levels with each topic; you can check each item off as you master it. However, you may not see questions from every single category. Each test is different, though, so all content is fair game. Remember, you are training to care for women as whole beings, not just women who are in the process of birthing a child. You will be tested on far more than just the antepartum, intrapartum, and postpartum periods. Answer as many sample questions and prep questions you can get your hands on – you know the material, becoming comfortable with how the AMCB asks questions will be invaluable. Keep working hard – you are on the cusp of a rewarding career caring for women and their babies!

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