RRT Exam

The National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) offers the Registered Examination for Advanced Level Respiratory Therapists (RRT) for credentialing purposes. Candidates must meet specific academic and clinical experience eligibility requirements before taking this exam, and must receive verification of eligibility by mail before taking the exam. The assessment is in two parts: a written part and a clinical stimulation part. Each part will be completed at different times. If offered, candidates can attempt both parts on the same test day. Candidates that pass both parts receive a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential.

The written section has 160 test items in multiple-choice format. Of these, 140 are used for the final score, while the remaining 20 are for pre-trial purposes to be used on future exams. The written test lasts two hours, and includes questions about use and scrutiny of patient information, tools and therapeutic procedures. There will be 50 questions on patient data, 20 questions on troubleshooting and quality control of devices and infection control, and 70 questions on initiation and modification of interventions.

The other part of the test is the Clinical Stimulation Examination (CSE), which has 20 different patient management issues. Candidates will be given a clinical setting and patient condition in each case. These are as much like real life as possible, and are designed so that they are pertinent to clinical practice in the candidate’s chosen field. The test must be completed in four hours.


Last Updated: May 4, 2020