Medical Abbreviation Practice Questions

Medical Abbreviation

The medical and health profession use abbreviations and acronyms more than most professions, and consequently most certification tests have at least one section devoted to test your knowledge in this area.

Tutorials and Information

For a full list – see Wikipedia Medical Abbreviations list.

Here is a brief list of certification exams that will test your knowledge of medical abbreviations:

Registered Medical Assistant (RMA),Certified Medical Assistant (CMA),  Phlebotomy

Also see our post – Medical Terminology practice Questions.

Practice Questions

1. What does the medical abbreviation AED mean?

a. Automated External Defibrillator
b. Anatomical Exhibit Device
c. Alexander Entropy Discussion
d. Automated Exhibiting Defibrillator

2.  What does the medical abbreviation a.c. mean?

a. After Completion.
b. Before Meals.

c. After Meals.

d. Before Bed.

3.  What does the medical abbreviation ASA mean?

a. After supper.
b. Arthritis Medication.

c. Asthma Medication.

d. Aspirin.

4.  What does the medical abbreviation BP mean?

a. Blood Pressure.
b. Bone Pressure.

c. Bone Fracture.

d. Blood Disorder.

5.  What does the medical abbreviation cc mean?

a. Chief Complaint.
b. Cubic Centimeter.

c. Cancer / Carcinoma.

d. Complaining Of.

6.  What does the medical abbreviation CXR mean?

a. Chief Exit Wound.
b. Chest X-ray.

c. Cardiovascular Exhibiting Symptoms

d. Colon X-ray.

7. What does the medical abbreviation DOA mean?

a. Dead On Arrival.
b. Dying On Arrival.

c. Departed On Arrival.

d. Dead Of Anthrax.

8. What does the medical abbreviation ECG mean?

a. Endoscopy Cancer Graph.
b. Electrocardiogram

c. Electro Colon Graph.
d. Initials of the most famous heart doctor.

9. What does the medical abbreviation ETA mean?

a. Expected Time To Area.
b. Estimated Turn Of Activity.
c. Estimated Time Of Arrival.

d. Expected Tour Of Action.

10. What does the medical abbreviation H/A mean?

a. Heat Activity.
b. Headache.
c. Heart Action.

d. Heavy Arms.

11. What does the medical abbreviation h/o mean?

a. Heart Murmur.
b. Over-Heated.
c. History Of …

d. Head Oriented.

Answer Key

1. A
AED stands for Automated External Defibrillator.  This is the machine used to revive the heart after it has gone into full arrest.

2. B
A.C. stands for before meals.  This is used most often on prescriptions, telling the patient when to take the medication.

3.  D
ASA stands for aspirin. The “A” is added at the end to distinguish from the many other medical abbreviations starting with AS.

4. A
BP stands for blood pressure.  You’ll most often see this on a patient report of vital signs.

5.  B
cc stands for cubic centimeter.  Medications are frequently measured and dispensed using this unit. This is not to be confused with CC (capitalized), which means Chief Complaint.

6.  B
CXR stands for Chest X-ray. The term is falling out of use but still occasionally used.

7. A
DOA stands for dead on arrival.  This designation could be used if the person died on the scene before being transported to the hospital or if death occurs immediately upon being seen by the medical staff.

8. B
ECG stands for Electrocardiogram.  Actually, it’s more popularly known as an EKG, although linguistically, ECG would be more correct.

9. C
ETA stands for estimated time of arrival. The term is used, not just among medical professionals, but also the military and police.

10. B 
H/A stands for headache. Most doctors report that this is one of the most common “presenting symptoms” causing people to seek medical help.

11. C
H/O stands for history of . . . This is primarily a quick and short abbreviation used for intra-house patient reports.


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  1. thank you for provied me with this lesson.
    September 16, 2015

    thank you

  2. Jane
    September 21, 2015

    Great tests. More reflective of the test that is administered. The questions on the exam appear to confuse rather than test your knowledge.

  3. Vernna FarrISH
    November 9, 2017

    Thank you very helpful

  4. dominque johnson
    April 2, 2018

    thank you so much for this.

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