The Two [CONFUSING] Sections That Make Up The Home Health Aide Exam



The home health aide (HHA) exam is an important examination because it will determine if you can get a job as a home health aide.

The examination is quite extensive and covers all the skills that are needed for this job. You will have to know how to take care of wounds, administer medications, give injections and make referrals.

Do I need to take the home health aide exam?

If you want to start a career in health care, becoming certified as a HHA is the best way to go. Not only does it give you skills and experience that are much needed for this industry but also gives your resume legitimacy when applying elsewhere.

To become eligible for certification by agencies like Medicaid or Medicare, applicants must be able to demonstrate competency through passing tests which offers you a level of qualification.

Format of the HHA Exam

The home health competency exam is a two-part evaluation that tests the knowledge and skills of home healthcare providers.

The first part, which is the Written Examination, requires applicants to answer 100 multiple choice questions on topics such as infection control, patient safety principles and ethics.

The second part of the test is the Skills Evaluation, where candidates demonstrate their ability to perform tasks related to home care services under supervision from an experienced evaluator.

In this article we will discuss both sections of the home health competency exam in detail.

Written Examination Section of the HHA Exam

The Written Examination usually consists of seventy (70) multiple-choice questions written in English. 

Your future employer wants you to be as prepared as possible for your new job. They want the safety of their patients and staff at all times, so they are testing whether or not you know what is important in these areas before bringing you on board.

Your potential boss knows that it’s best to have a safe work environment where everyone feels secure. The questions here will test if this knowledge has sunk into your head by answering each one correctly without hesitation.

These questions are designed to educate the applicant on things that they need to know about home health care and safety. The purpose of this examination is for you to demonstrate your knowledge in these areas by answering each question correctly.

The questions in the Written Examination test you for understanding of how home health provides patient care, as well as safety protocols. If these things are not important to you, then maybe it’s time to pursue a different profession where there is more room for error.

After you finish the Written exam, your “report card” will be there waiting for you.

If it says “passed,” then congratulations!

But if it says “failed” that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. Failing does not signify hopelessness since there may be tutorial services available to provide assistance and support throughout studies so people may quickly bounce back from failure

It should be noted that if an applicant fails any section of the examination or does not answer all parts correctly, they will not qualify and will have to retake that section before being considered again.

This creates an additional expense for both parties involved because someone else may have already filled that position while waiting on them.”


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Skills Evaluation Section of the HHA Exam

No Surprises

The Skills Evaluation is a series of timed tasks where you demonstrate your ability to work with the patients, equipment and techniques.

The Skills Evaluation tests your ability to provide direct homecare treatment activities like administering meds, changing dressings and providing basic personal care assistance.

There are approximately five (5) patient care skills that you will be evaluated on. In order to pass this section, you must perform all tasks without error and complete them within the designated time frames established.

Working The Room

The Skills Evaluation is set up to resemble an actual caregiving situation. The evaluator (usually a registered nurse) will show you where equipment and answer any questions before the exam begins.

Before the Skills Evaluation, they’ll also explain how each piece of machinery works so that when it’s your turn in front of it, you know exactly what to do.

Who Will Act as a Client?

The part of the “client” will be played by a candidate who volunteers to act as an elderly person and with patience.

While you perform your skills, speak kindly to this volunteer because it is important in caregiving when one has their own personal experience to relate back on. It also helps calm oneself while performing these tasks so that they can focus more easily during them without feeling too anxious or stressed out about being judged.

Dress Code for HHA Skills Evaluation

As you perform the Skills Evaluation of the home health aide test, be sure to wear flat shoes or sandals. You will need a loose-fitting top with short sleeves that can be rolled up – preferably something like a tank-top so it doesn’t interfere when lifting clients from their wheelchair onto bed; and nursing scrubs for pants are appropriate too. Be careful not to roll them over your knees as this would make moving on all fours very difficult.

Make sure any accessories such as watches, bracelets, rings, and earrings are removed.

For infection control purposes, you should not come to the test site with open areas/sores on your skin.

Candidates with any open areas or sores on their skin should reschedule their skills test to a later date after they heal from them completely so that we can have an effective and safe testing environment for everyone!

Performing The Tasks

The Skills List contains all of the skills that you may be asked to demonstrate during the Skills Evaluation.

Each skill represents a task that you will be asked to perform in your job and has been broken down into a series of steps, from beginning-to-end instructions on how they should look like if executed properly.

Hand-washing is #1 for the HHA

It is not always the most glamorous, but hand-washing will never be an unimportant task for home health aides. This will always be one of the tasks you need to perform.

A student on a course to become a certified home nurse must receive training in this important skill. It is one of those things that everyone should know how to do and it doesn’t get any easier when you are working with individuals who might have special needs such as fragile skin or arthritic hands depending upon what their condition requires them to use assistive devices like canes, walkers or wheelchairs which makes gripping harder than if they were just able carefree adults picking up something off the floor without help from anyone else!

The Tasks

The Skills Evaluation is a comprehensive exam on five (5) of the skills that HHA’s should know.

The evaluator will only allow you to demonstrate each skill once, so make sure they’re perfect before moving onto another one! After demonstrating your knowledge in all areas, it’s time for cleanup and hand-washing with soap and water. This step isn’t required by law or anything but following proper hygiene practices can help keep infections at bay while taking care of patients in their homes!

There could as many as twenty (20) skills that the evaluator can chose from that you could be tested on.

Here’s a good example of some of the tasks you may be asked to perform as part of the Skills Evaluation.

Skills Evaluation Tasks

  • Proper Handwashing
  • Proper Body Mechanics
  • Tub or Shower Bath
  • Turning the Client in Bed
  • Bed Bath
  • Shampoo in Bed
  • Back Rub
  • Nail Care
  • Shaving the Client
  • Mouth Hygiene and Care
  • Assisting with Eating
  • Assisting with Dressing
  • Helping Client to Walk
  • Making an Unoccupied Bed
  • Making an Occupied Bed
  • Use of a Bedpan
  • Use of Urinal
  • Positioning of Client in Bed
  • Transfer Client to Sitting Position
  • Helping a Client to Stand
  • Transfer to Wheelchair, Chair or Commode
  • Transfer from Wheelchair to toilet
  • Transfer from Wheelchair to Shower & Assist w/ Shower
  • Weighing a Client
  • Measuring Intake
  • Measuring Urinary Output
  • Assisting w/ Changing Clean Dressing
  • Handling the Infant
  • Infant Bath
  • Assist w/ use of Hydraulic Lift
  • Slide Board Transfer

Failing The HHA Exam

If you fail the Written Examination or Skills Evaluation, your Score Report will provide details on how to re-take either or both parts. A new examination fee is required each time you retake any part of the HHA Exam and must be paid by scheduling a new appointment with an additional retake fee included.

You may retake either or both sections and are eligible for certification with successful completion of skills evaluation within 12 months following your first attempt at any part (or all) of HHA Examination.

State and federal regulations may allow you three attempts to pass both the Skills Evaluation and Written Examination. If successful, certification is granted immediately after passing the skills evaluation within 24 months of your first attempt at either part or both parts.

If unsuccessful in any given section, a Board-approved training course must be completed before reattempting that particular test again (3 total retakes allowed).

Passing The HHA Exam

Once you have passed both the Written Examination and the Skills Evaluation, you may apply to be certified as a HHA.

Once your application has been approved by the Board of Nursing, you will be mailed out an official certification document for safekeeping in addition to updating your status on an online state database so that other healthcare professionals can see that you are able-bodied enough!

Once one passes their exams with flying colors (and meets all requirements), then they can take advantage of being officially certified as a Home Health Aide – or even better yet, becoming qualified at this point in time means not getting lost among those who’ve either failed or never taken them up until now!


If you are considering a career in home health care, it is important to know what the requirements for certification entail. The Home Health Competency Exam includes two parts: the Written Examination and Skills Evaluation.

We hope this article has shed some light on these sections of the exam so that you can make an informed decision about pursuing it!