hha with older clients

Written Examination and Skills Evaluation: Two Sections of the Home Health Aide Competency Exam

Do you want to become a home health aide (HHA)?

The Written Examination and Skills Evaluation are the two sections of the Home Health Aide Competency Exam. You will need to pass both parts in order to be certified as a home health aide.

The Written Examination usually consists of seventy (70) multiple-choice questions, all in English. This section is designed to assess your knowledge on care plans, infection prevention and control, medication administration, nutrition assistance and more.

The Skills Evaluation will require you to demonstrate the skills necessary for providing patient care for an adult with activities of daily living (ADLs).

You should become familiar with both sections of the HHA exam well before you actually take the test.

Written Examination Section of the Home Health Aide Competency Exam

The Written Examination consists of multiple-choice questions. The written exam is in English and you may need to answer all the questions correctly on a computer device. Very few tests will be the old-fashioned pencil-and-paper test.

This exam is designed to test your knowledge about the following aspects: 60% – home health aide skills, 20% – anatomy and physiology, 15% – epidemiology and other related subjects and five (5%) miscellaneous topics.

Prepare for the HHA exam by taking as many HHA practice exams as possible before sitting down for this one. You will be more prepared and less stressed, which can lead to a better result.

While the written exam may not be timed, it takes about 60 minutes for most people to complete this section of the exam.

You cannot use notes or books for reference when taking this section of the HHA exam so be careful that your answers are from memory alone.

Skills Evaluation Section of the Home Health Aide Competency Exam

You also need to pass a Skills Evaluation section which will show you how well you performed on various tasks such as bathing or assisting someone with feeding themselves.

It is important to note that the Skills Evaluation cannot be interrupted by visitors, phone calls, or any other activity in order for this procedure to be administered properly.

This part of the exam requires no preparation other than being physically able to do these tasks without assistance from another person.

You’re in for an authentic experience with the Skills Evaluation. The room will look a lot like your work environment, complete with all of the equipment necessary to test you on skills from caring for someone who is ill or disabled.

A Registered Nurse will administer this exam and make sure that it’s as realistic as possible – there are many important details about caregiving not covered by traditional tests!

The evaluator will give you an instruction card that lists five skills chosen for the evaluation.

Hand-washing is always one of them and four others are randomly selected from nineteen pages worth of options. Perform these skills in order as listed on your instruction card.

To pass the Skills section of a home health aide exam, you must complete five (5) skills out of the available 5. You will have twenty-five minutes to demonstrate these or if not satisfied with your demonstration can retake after 25 minutes is up.

You might be wondering, “why did I need to take the written examination at all?”

Well! The Skills Evaluation will provide you a chance to show your supervisor that you can perform basic caregiving tasks. These are things like: feeding oneself or another person, using an assistive device (such as a walker), and changing clothing for bedtime. You must demonstrate these five items in order to pass this section of the home health aide competency exam.


It is important to know that you must pass both the Written Examination and Skills Evaluation in order to be certified as a home health aide.

The Written Examination will cover topics like patient rights, care of patients with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, and abuse prevention techniques.

The Skills Evaluation portion tests your ability to provide basic care services for an individual living at home who needs assistance but does not require hospitalization.

Prepare for the HHA Exam

If you are looking for ways to get more information about how these sections work so you can prepare yourself before taking the exam, check out our details surrounding this certification process here!

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