Effective January 2015, the name of the examination that candidates take for Certification changes from the Entry Level CRT Examination to the Therapist Multiple-Choice Examination (TMC). The Therapist Multiple-Choice Examination is designed to objectively measure essential knowledge, skills, and abilities required of entry-level respiratory therapists, as well as determine eligibility for the Clinical Simulation Examination. There are two established cut scores for the Therapist Multiple-Choice Examination. If a candidate achieves the lower cut score, they will earn the CRT credential. If a candidate achieves the higher cut score, they will earn the CRT credential AND become eligible for the Clinical Simulation Examination (provided that those eligibility requirements are met and the candidate is eligible to earn the RRT credential). The CRT and/or RRT credentials are used as the basis for the licensure in all of the 49 states that regulate the practice of respiratory care. For more information about the RRT credential, please visit the RRT page.
The Therapist Multiple-Choice Examination consists of 160 multiple-choice questions (140 scored items and 20 pretest items) distributed among three major content areas: Patient Data Evaluation and Recommendations, Troubleshooting and Quality Control of Equipment and Infection Control, and Initiation and Modification of Interventions. Candidates will be given three hours to complete the TMC Examination. Click here for additional Frequently Asked Questions.
If you are planning to take any of the credentialing examinations offered by the National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. (NBRC), the Self-Assessment Examination provides an excellent opportunity for you to find out in advance how well you will do. The SAEs are available in web-based format and more information can be found by clicking the Self-Assessment Examination Quick Link.
- Applicant shall be 18 years of age or older.
- Applicant shall satisfy ONE of the following educational requirements:
- Applicant shall be a graduate and have a minimum of an associate degree from a respiratory therapy education program 1) supported or accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC), or 2) accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and graduated on or before November 11, 2009.
- Applicant shall hold the Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists (CSRT) RRT credential.
Free Practice Examination
The web-based NBRC practice examinations are designed to simulate taking an NBRC examination. The software is identical to that which is used for the administration of NBRC examinations. To use this software, you will need a compatible internet
browser such as the current version of Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, or
Safari. Other browsers may or may not work. Cookies and scripting must be enabled.
Pop-up blocking must be disabled.
Clicking the hyperlink below will open the practice examination login page. Please read the following instructions:
Free TMC Practice Examination
- Login using your e-mail address. Your results will be sent to this address.
- Use the mouse to select your responses and to maneuver through the examination.
- To obtain your results, you must take the entire examination in one sitting. Your results are not saved if you exit the examination.
- When you have completed the examination, click Finish and Display. Your results are displayed onscreen and will be e-mailed to you if you provided your e-mail address on the login page.
- If you need help using the examination software, click on the Help button in the lower portion of the screen once you begin the examination.
CRT Credential FAQs
What changes were made to the CRT examination in 2015?
The name of the examination that candidates take for Certification changed from the Entry Level CRT Examination to the Therapist Multiple-Choice Examination in January 2015. Candidates seeking the CRT credential continue to take a multiple-choice examination that contains 160 items within a three-hour period. Twenty (20) of those items are being pretested for potential use on future examinations while responses to 140 items will count toward candidates’ scores. Each of these elements are the same as they have been since the year 2000. The examination fee from the year 2000 remains as well.
What are the admission requirements for the Therapist Multiple-Choice Examination (TMC)?
1. Applicants shall be 18 years of age or older
2. Applicants shall satisfy ONE of the following requirements:
Applicants shall be a graduate and have a minimum of an associate degree from a respiratory therapy education program supported or accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC), or 2) accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and graduated on or before November 11, 2009.
Applicants shall hold the Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists (CSRT) RRT credential.
- Applicants enrolled in an accredited respiratory therapy program in an institution offering a baccalaureate degree may be admitted to the CRT Examination with a "special certificate of completion" issued by a sponsoring educational institution. The CoARC will authorize such institutions to issue the "special certificate of completion" at the advanced-level following completion of the science, general academic and respiratory therapy coursework commensurate with the requirements for accreditation. NOTE: Applicants applying via this admission route must APPLY AND TEST by December 31, 2015. This admission route will no longer be offered after this date.
What content will be included on the Therapist Multiple-Choice (TMC) Examination?
A Detailed Content Outline of the Therapist Multiple-Choice (TMC) Examination is available here.
What are the examination fees?
The Therapist Multiple-Choice Examination costs $190 for new applicants and $150 for repeat applicants.
How long is the examination?
The testing time for the Therapist Multiple-Choice Examination is 3 hours.
What is the application process?
You may apply online using the "Submit Application" link located on each examination page or submit a completed paper application and appropriate fee when the admission requirements are satisfied. If mailing your application, the NBRC recommends using certified mail or a certificate of mailing and keeping your receipt as proof that your application was sent to the NBRC. Ineligible applications submitted to the NBRC will be returned less a $50.00 processing fee.
How long does it take to process my application?
If applying and paying by credit card online, your application is processed immediately. If mailing your application and fee to the NBRC, your application will be processed within approximately two weeks after receipt by the NBRC. A confirmation notice of your eligibility will be sent to you. If your eligibility cannot be confirmed, a letter explaining the information that is still needed will be sent to you.
Can I schedule my examination online?
If you are already approved to take an NBRC examination and all fees are paid, you may schedule online from the NBRC website or from the testing agency's website, www.goAMP.com
When are NBRC examinations administered?
NBRC examinations are administered by computer on a daily basis (Monday - Saturday) at over 190 Assessment Centers across the country. A complete list can be found here
What information does the confirmation of eligibility notice contain?
The confirmation notice contains a website address and toll-free telephone number for you to contact the NBRC to schedule an examination appointment. Appointments may be scheduled a minimum of three days prior to the desired testing date. Note: Examinations will not be offered on nationally recognized holidays.
What if I do not receive a confirmation of eligibility in the mail?
If you do not receive a confirmation of eligibility or an incomplete notice from the NRBC within four weeks after mailing your application, contact the NBRC. If your application is not on file, you will be asked to send a replacement application form and fee.
Are practice tests available?
Free practice examinations are available to candidates at no charge to familiarize themselves with the content and types of questions that will be included on the regular exams. The Therapist Multiple-Choice practice examination is available now on our website.
Are Self-Assessment Examinations available?
There are two forms of the Self-Assessment Examination for the Therapist Multiple-Choice Examination and a Secure Self-Assessment Examination available only to program directors of accredited Respiratory Therapy programs.
To access all Self-Assessment Examinations, click here.
What do the cut scores mean?
There will be two established cut scores for the Therapist Multiple-Choice Examination. If a candidate achieves the lower cut score, they will earn the CRT credential. If a candidate achieves the higher cut score, they will earn the CRT credential AND become eligible for the Clinical Simulation Examination (provided that those eligibility requirements are met and the candidate is eligible to earn the RRT credential).
The NBRC does not publish cut scores for any examination. Candidates will receive information about their score after completing the examination.
How will the examination changes affect the Continuing Competency Program?
All credentials earned on or after July 1, 2002 are subject to recertification. The NBRC strongly supports continued competency for the practitioners it certifies by requiring recertification every five years. Practitioners that earn the CRT and/or RRT credentials after 2015 will still be required to demonstrate their continued competence through the NBRC's Continuing Competency Program (CCP). Practitioners can also retake and pass the respective examination for the highest credential held that is subject to the CCP. If that credential is the RRT credential, individuals will need to retake and pass the Therapist Multiple-Choice Examination at the higher cut score and then retake and pass the Clinical Simulation Examination to recertify their RRT credential.
Can I qualify to take the TMC Examination with foreign education?
Foreign respiratory therapy education does not allow you to qualify for admission to the TMC Examination. You must have a minimum of an associate degree from an accredited respiratory therapy education program. For a list of accredited education programs, please visit the CoARC website at www.coarc.com
Does passing the Therapist Multiple-Choice Examination at the higher cut score automatically mean I’m eligible for the Clinical Simulation Examination?
No. All Candidates must meet the eligibility requirements, regardless of examination scores.
If I currently hold the CRT credential and score below the lower cut score on the Therapist Multiple-Choice Examination, will I lose my CRT credential?
No. You can retake the Therapist Multiple-Choice Examination as many times as necessary to regain RRT eligibility or to become eligible for the Clinical Simulation Examination without impacting the status of your current CRT credential.
What do I need to know about tidal volume settings for the examination?
Examination candidates seeking guidance regarding tidal volume settings, please click here.