What Can You Do If You Fail the American Red Cross CPR Test?

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If you fail the American Red Cross CPR test, you may be able to retake it; however, the conditions for a retake depend on the organization providing the test. Some organizations require participants who have failed the exam to retake the entire course before attempting the test again. In most cases, organizations do not provide refunds for participants who have failed.

Organizations issuing CPR examinations determine the conditions for test retakes. For example, HealthLine First Aid allows participants to retake the American Red Cross CPR skills test up to three times. To determine eligibility for retaking a failed test, inquire about the organization’s policies. In a situation where a participant performs CPR skills correctly but fails the written exam, the organization issuing the exam can contact the American Red Cross to determine whether the failed participant is allowed to retake the test.

To become American Red Cross certified, all CPR course participants attend classes, participate fully and pass both the course skills and scenario requirements exams. In a skills exam, participants demonstrate proficiency without help from the course instructor. In a scenario exam, instructors confront participants with an emergency. Scenario examinations require participants to work together in groups of two, with one person acting as the first responder while the other reads scenario prompts from a worksheet.

When retaking an American Red Cross CPR written exam, carefully read each question to fully understand what it is asking. Skimming questions carelessly can cause test takers to make errors, such as answering a child CPR question using information about adult CPR. The Red Cross written exam requires participants to choose the best answer out of several reasonable choices. In the case of multiple choice questions, read through all choices carefully before marking the best answer.