The American Heart Association's ACLS precourse self-assessment is a test students take before beginning a course in advanced cardiovascular life support, as the association's website explains. The assessment evaluates knowledge of rhythm interpretation and pharmacological agents, and the test results help students recognize their current strengths and weaknesses.
Students may need to take the precourse self-assessment before they can begin their ACLS course through the American Heart Association, depending on the training center where they take the course, notes the AHA. Even if the assessment is not a requirement, the AHA strongly recommends taking it because it helps students become more aware of the gaps in their knowledge that they need to focus on closing while completing the course.
An ACLS course provides training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, and emergency cardiovascular care, or ECC, explains About.com. Advanced health care providers must often obtain ACLS certification so that they are equipped to handle certain life-threatening medical emergencies in patients. The vast majority of health care professionals must complete a basic life support, or BLS, course, while medical professionals with more advanced training seek ACLS certification because it involves more invasive procedures than those with BLS training are able to perform.