What Is Involved in Medical Transcription Testing?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Medical transcription testing assesses typing accuracy and familiarity with medical terminology. People who pass the test usually receive some type of certification indicating they are able to perform medical transcription to the standards set by the testing authority. While certification is not required to work in this field, it can be helpful, and may lead to more job opportunities or better terms of pay and benefits. Free sample tests are available to allow people to determine their level of proficiency before paying for a formal certification test.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

One concern for transcriptionists is typing speed and accuracy. The medical transcription testing can include a section where people must retype a passage to gauge basic skills. It may also be necessary to listen to a recording and transcribe it, as this more closely mimics the working environment for people who work in the medical transcription field. Some tests use complicated recordings or those with poor sound quality to test performance in less than optimal conditions.

Another aspect of medical transcription testing covers competency with medical terminology. Transcriptions should not have errors when it comes to medications, anatomical descriptions, procedures, and other medical matters. In addition to typing quickly and correctly, a medical transcriptionist also needs to accurately reproduce medical information. Passages may include medical terminology, and recordings can include samples of the kinds of work people may handle when they transcribe dictation for care providers, like case histories or recordings of autopsies.

Grading includes raw scores for speed as well as accuracy evaluations. This can be performed with an automated system that compares an accurate transcription to that produced by the test-taker. In some cases, medical transcription testing process can offer feedback for people who do not pass, to allow them to determine where they need to improve. For example, someone might type very accurately, but too slowly to pass, according to the baseline standard used to evaluate test takers.

Sample tests are often provided as part of medical transcription training. Students can take these tests as many times as they want, using an automated system. They can discuss test scores with instructors to identify specific concerns, like difficulty with some anatomical terminology or trouble hearing medication names correctly. Free practice tests are also available online, especially on websites with information about transcription training programs. People may only be able to yse free medical transcription testing a limited number of times before the site prompts them to sign up for the program.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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