Exam Information

Examination Update

On February 29, 2024, Prometric, the Department of Health (department) exam vendor for the home care aide profession, launched new Online Candidate and Client Portals allowing candidates to self-schedule and self-pay for the home care aide examinations, and employers, third-party payers, and training programs to purchase vouchers for candidates to use to pay for their exams. For more information, see the department's Home Care Aide Exam Prometric webpage, read Prometric's Introduction to the Washington Home Care Aide Voucher portal, and read through its Questions and Answers (PDF).

The department no longer accepts exam fees. Beginning February 29, 2024, candidates pay exam fees directly to Prometric through the Candidate Portal when scheduling exams. Payment must be by credit or debit card, or by employer/trainer provided voucher.

The Candidate Exam Scheduling Guide (PDF) will help caregivers and their employers or trainers to better understand the process for candidates to self-schedule and self-pay for their exams. View the Candidate Portal demonstration video for a full demonstration of the online process.

The Voucher Guide (PDF) will help employers, training programs, and third-party payers understand how to use the client portal to purchase vouchers for candidates to use to pay for their examinations. View the Client Voucher Portal demonstration video for a demonstration of the online voucher purchasing process.

Examination Information

The Home Care Aide exam:

  • Consists of true/false questions, pictures and animated scenarios
  • Uses simplified language so the questions are easier to understand
  • Focuses on assessing content knowledge, not literacy or test-taking skills,
  • And oral translation of the exam can be made available if requested.

The knowledge exam consists of 60 questions over a 90-minute period of time. The clinical exam covers varied skills that are timed, between 25–35 minutes.

WAHCA Exam Pricing Current Fees New Fees
Knowledge Exam $45 $49
Skills Exam $92 $101
Rescheduling Fee $25 $35

Examination Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for the home care aide examination?

After February 29, 2024, you will receive an email from Prometric on the next steps on how to register, sign in, and complete the exam application. Please refer to the Candidate Application Guide mentioned above.
If you have additional questions about what to expect on test day or related issues, email Prometric (wahca@prometric.com) or call 800-324-4689.

How will I know where and when to take the examination?

You will receive an “Admission to Test” email from Prometric, which will include the date, time and place of the examination. Once you receive the exam date from Prometric, it's very important to take the exam on your scheduled exam date. After you have completed the examination, Prometric will send the examination results to the Department of Health.

Where can I find more information about the examination?

Review all the information on the Prometric website. See the Candidate Information Booklet (PDF) if you have other questions. You will also find links to examination preparation materials as well as a listing of the Washington test sites (PDF).

How do I register to retest?

All retesting will need to be scheduled through Prometric. See the Prometric website for more information.

How do I request testing accommodations or an individual interpreter?

The testing accommodations process will be completed after the Candidate exam application has been submitted through the SMT Candidate online portal.  Please refer to the Candidate Guide mentioned above for more information. The TA (Testing Accommodations) team will notify you after you submit the proper documentation for the accommodations request.

Please Note: All candidate requesting accommodations for interpreter services will receive all notifications via email in English.

Individual interpreters are available only for the following languages:

Amharic, Arabic, Simplified Chinese (written) and Cantonese (spoken), Khmer, Korean, Laotian, Russian, Samoan, Spanish, Somali, Tagalog, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.

SEIU 775 benefited caregivers will be able to schedule the exam without payment, correct?

Yes, this is correct. There will be a benefits flag available for those who are not self-pay candidates.

Will my employer and I receive confirmation emails for when my exam is scheduled, re-scheduled, or exam results?

Yes, there are two email fields within the candidate portal that can be populated to receive confirmation emails and exam results.

Can I still complete a DOH application during the black out timeframe?

Yes, you may print and complete the paper application off the Home Care Aide Licensing Information webpage, or submit an online application through the Apply Online webpage for a home care aide certification. If you are a self-pay applicant, you will need to submit the application fee with your paper or online application.

Can caregivers submit a personal check, money order, or cashier’s check to pay for their examination?

No, Prometric does not accept personal checks, cashier’s checks, or money orders. Payments must be with a Visa, Mastercard, or American Express card. Pre-paid cards may be used for those who do not have debit or credit cards.

I am a self-pay candidate – may I use a voucher option to pay later?

The SMT online portal will not allow you to click Next if you select the voucher payment option and do not have a voucher number. The voucher number is required. You will need to pay for the exam in order to move forward with the exam application process.

Can my employer log in and help me find a test date and time?

Yes. Your employer may log into the candidate portal and assist with scheduling the exam.

Is the system available in multiple languages?

No, the present language for the online portal is English, including receiving confirmation emails for scheduling, exam results, and testing accommodations.

What does Prometric mean when they mention resubmitting the application either on the phone or in an email – is that the Department of Health’s home care aide application, or the Prometric exam application?

Prometric means that you will need to complete an exam application through the online portal. They will not ask you questions on applying for or submitting a home care aide application. 

When will the $35 re-scheduling fee apply to me?
  • A $35 reschedule fee will be needed if a candidate chooses to reschedule and/or change the test site location or time.
  • A full-exam fee is needed if you:
    • Re-schedule less than nine (9) calendar days before your exam is scheduled.
    • Do not show up for either exam.
When scheduling the exam, will I be able to see all test site locations?

No, you will only be able to view the first five (5) test site locations closest to you.

I am using regional test site code, but I want to schedule an in-facility test site. Can I do that?

No, if you are approved to schedule the exam at a regional test site location, you will only have the option of scheduling a regional test site.

This is the same process for in-facility test site locations. If you are approved for an in-facility test site, you will only have the option of scheduling an in-facility test site location.

If you need to change the test site type, you will need to contact Prometric directly at 800-324-4689 or send Prometric an email (WAHCA@prometric.com). 

Will the Department of Health application change over to the online portal?

No, the Department of Health application process will remain the same and will not change to the online portal. The only change will be that the department will no longer accept exam payments – for self-pay or benefit-paid applicants. 

  • Self- pay applicants will need to pay through the online candidate portal.
  • Benefit-paid applicants will select a benefits flag that will be invoiced at a later time.

Refer to the Candidates Guide (PDF) for more information.

I have taken my exams and did not pass the first time, will I need to resubmit my home care aide application?

No, you will not need to resubmit your home care aide application if you are currently pending.

Exam Structure

  • True or false questions, pictures, and animated scenarios
  • Uses simplified language so the questions are easier to understand, but they are not easier
  • Focuses on assessing content knowledge, not literacy or test-taking skills
  • Oral translation of the exam is available to all applicants the day of the test