CNA Testing

CNA Testing is made available for NDSCS CNA students, other CNA students that need to retest, or people challenging the test without training. NDSCS CNA students take the test after completing the NDSCS class. 

Apply to Test at NDSCS

  1. Use a computer to complete Form 1101 ND Online Fillable NOTE: NDSCS only accepts the online form.
  2. Select a date for testing by creating an account or signing into an existing account. Click here to schedule an appointment online for testing. Transaction must be completed with a credit card. If you have requested the oral test on the 1101ND form, you must pay the $10 fee. Visit the FAQ section for more information.

Registration is not final until both steps are completed.

CNA Testing Information

  • Knowledge (Written) and Skills test: $250
  • Skills only: $170
  • Written only: $120
  • Oral test for Written: add $10 for the cost of oral testing
    Students must bring their own headset to plug into the computer
CNA Testing Dates

Tests are conducted approximately two times per month. Dates will be published 1-2 months in advance. These dates are subject to change or cancellation if the minimum number of testers is not met.

Click the button below to view available testing dates and sign up.

CNA Testing Registration

Preparing to Test

Review the Candidate Handbook carefully.

  • Page B: Contact information for CNA Test and the ND Department of Health
  • Page 2-4: Exam check-in, identification, instructions and testing policies
  • Page 4-5: Understanding your test results and CNA Verification and printing your card
  • Page 6: Retaking the test
  • Page 6: Getting your nurse aide certification online - Verify a Registration
  • Page 7-10: Knowledge/oral test and test content
  • Page 10-12: Manual skill test
  • Page 12-30: The 24 skills that a candidate must be able to perform. 
Testing for Cass County High School Students

Through a special financial arrangement with Cass County Career and Technical Education Program (CCCTE), NDSCS will test Fargo, West Fargo, Central Cass, and Northern Cass health science students for the first CNA Certification test. With the CCCTE scholarship, students pay a reduced fee for the first CNA test. Additional testing will be at the regular rate. 

  • Instructors: During class time, instructors will work with students on how to complete a professional, error-free 1101ND form. Instructions are available under the "apply to test at NDSCS" section under step 1. NDSCS accepts electronic forms only.
  • Instructors: Provide the required class list to - List must include student last name, first name, name of instructor and school.
  • Students will complete the 2 steps in the 'Apply to Test at NDSCS' section.
  • Testing date registration closes 5 business days before testing. 
  • All NDSCS cancellation and refund policies apply to high school students.
  • Through the CCCTE Scholarship, NDSCS will test up to 80 students on a first-come, first serve basis. The end date for the scholarship is either June 30, 2023 or once 80 student have been tested.

CNA Testing FAQ

What is a “challenge test” student?

In North Dakota, a person may test for the CNA certification without having attended an approved North Dakota training program. (NDSCS is an approved CNA training program/class.)  This is called “challenging the test.” When challenging the test, a person has 6 months to make 3 attempts to pass the test. When a person does not pass the test in 3 attempts or goes beyond the 6 months, the person is then required to take an approved CNA class. Students can contact HDMaster to find out their testing status.

My CNA certification has lapsed. What do I do?

When the CNA certification has expired, the CNA becomes a “challenge test” student. You must retest and demonstrate your knowledge and skills by completing both parts of the CNA certification exam. Go to and follow the three-step process to register for testing.

How long is the HD Master CNA certification test? What part do I take?

HD Master is the company that administers the test in the state of North Dakota. Every CNA in North Dakota is testing with this company.        

The CNA knowledge test is 90 minutes to complete the 72-question multiple choice test. To pass, a score of 75% or better is needed. There is a database of over 800 test questions. Page 8 of the ND Nursing Assistant Candidate Handbook has a breakdown of questions by subject area.

The CNA Skills test is 30 minutes to complete the randomly assigned skills taken from the ND CNA Candidate Handbook list of 24 skills.  Each candidate is assigned either 3 or 4 skills to complete. To pass, a score of 80% without missing any key steps (bolded steps) is needed. If you are taking the test for the 1st time, you must take both parts of the test. 

What is the oral test and how does it work?

The oral test option is a great option for people who learn best by hearing. If vocabulary or reading are a challenge, the oral test option may help. The oral test is only for the knowledge part of the certification exam. Using computer headphone, the question is read to you at the same time the question appears on the computer screen. There are control buttons on the computer screen so that you can play, rewind, pause, etc. When you skip to a different question, oral exam stays in sync with the questions you see on the screen. 

The oral exam is an additional $10 fee and you must:

  1. Check the box on the 1101ND form, and
  2. Pay $10 at the time of registration, and
  3. Bring headphones that plug into the NDSCS computer.
    Make sure you have tested them in advance and they are comfortable for you.

What if hearing the questions read to you is distracting or too slow?
If this happens, you simply remove your headphones and continue with the exam. At any time, you can put the headphones back on and listen to the questions. The oral exam stays in sync with the questions you see on the screen. 

How do I get my CNA certificate after passing the test?

Once both parts of the CNA certification test are passed, the test results are sent to the North Dakota Department of Health by HD Master/Headmaster. After the Department of Health has certified that all requirements are met, a certificate number is issued. Go to page 6 of the North Dakota Candidate Handbook (located at -> North Dakota) to see the written instructions to “verify a registration” at Successful CNA candidates print off the card and/or verification letter to present when applying for jobs.

How does a challenge test student prepare for a test?

  1. Purchase a CNA review text to improve your knowledge. NDSCS uses books from Hartman publishing. 
  2. Download the ND Candidate Handbook located here. This document is prepared by HD Master in consultation with the ND Health Department and gives information about: 
    • The knowledge test and the subject areas covered in the test.
    • The detailed list of the 24 manual skills you are expected to know for the manual test. 
  3. Visit and take advantage of the HD Master sample questions.

What is the most common reason people fail the ND CNA Certification Exam?

NDSCS is a regional testing facility for the ND CNA Certification Exam, and we test well over 200 people per year. The most common problem is with the skills test. 1) Candidates do not know the individual steps for each of the 24 skills. Candidates are not reading the test instructions that say the skills are to be completed EXACTLY as listed in the ND Candidate Handbook. To pass, the candidate must have at least 80% of the steps correct plus not miss the key steps (bolded steps). 2) Candidates are not prepared to complete the 3-4 skills in the 30 minutes allotted. In general, students underestimate the amount of practice needed to complete the steps in 30 minutes. 

I worked as a CNA in a different state. How do I get a ND CNA certification?

If you currently work as a CNA, you can get a ND CNA certification by going to and completing the request for endorsement. If do you not have a current license, you must retest as a challenge student and complete all other details described in the endorsement process. There is no cost to get a ND CNA number.

I have a ND CNA certificate. Can I work in a different state?

The process to request a CNA Certificate in a different state is called “endorsement”. Google CNA endorsement in the state to find the process required to obtain a CNA number.


Cancellations, Refunds & Rescheduling Policy

Download the Policy

Cancellations - You may cancel your test five business days before the test date.

  • For example, if the test is on Tuesday, cancellation must be made by 4 p.m. the prior Tuesday. This allows time for NDSCS to contact students on a wait list for testing.
  • This cancels the test with Headmaster and is not considered a test attempt.

Refunds - There are no refunds when you cancel less than five business days before the test or do not show up for testing.

  • There are a limited number of testing slots. By submitting your testing fee, you are holding a spot that another person cannot use.
  • NDSCS provides testing as a service to our community for serious CNA candidates. We are committed to the healthcare industry to provide testing to prospective CNA's.

Rescheduling Policy

  • Due to COVID-19, CNA testing applicants that become ill with COVID-19 or do not meet the health criteria on the day of testing will be allowed to reschedule.
  • Present the documentation for the positive COVID-19 test results at the time you reschedule.
  • Full refunds will be issued due to COVID-19 policies.