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The level 1 exam has questions concerning basic areas of nursing, medical terminology and mental illness. It addresses issues that would normally be encountered by entry-level employees, such as mental health workers or nurses aides. It does not include difficult questions that require advanced training and education.

AAPT’s function is only to administer the certification exam. We do not provide training or education.

In preparing for the test, it is recommended that you brush up on whatever coursework you have completed. Other valuable study sources are textbooks on basic nursing, psychiatric nursing or introductory counseling. 

Following is a list of books that can be helpful. They should be available from Amazon.com and/or Barnes and Noble. As you will see, the subjects addressed by some of the books are more advanced than the level of duties performed by most Psychiatric Technicians. However, we have found that many Psychiatric Technicians find them quite useful.


  • Medical Terminology with Human Anatomy
    Author: Jane Rice
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Mosby’s Textbook for Nursing Assistants
    Publisher: Mosby Inc.
  • Mosby’s Workbook for Nursing Assistants
    Publisher: Mosby Inc.
  • Nurse Assistant - Test Preparation
    Author: Wanda Smith
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Nursing Assistant Review for Competency Evaluation
    Authors: Sheila A. Sorrentino and Mary H. Heath
    Publisher: Mosby Inc.
  • Being a Nursing Assistant
    Author: Francie Wolgin
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Nursing Assistant / Nurse Aid Exam
    Publisher: Learning Express
  • Competency Exam Prep and Review for Nursing Assistants
    Author: Barbara M. Kast
    Publisher: Delmar Publishers
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
    Authors: Katherine M. Fortinash and Patricia A. Holoday-Worret
    Publisher: Mosby Inc.
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
    Publisher: Delmar Publishers
  • Psychiatric Nursing Care Plans
    Authors: Katherine M. Fortinash and Patricia A. Holoday-Worret
    Publisher: Mosby Inc.
  • Lippincott’s Manual of Psychiatric Nursing Care Plans
    Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
  • Nursing Diagnoses in Psychiatric Nursing: Care Plans and Psychotropic Medications
    Author: Mary C. Townsend
    Publisher: F.A. Davis Co.
  • Foundation of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing: A Clinical Approach
    Author: Elizabeth M. Varcaroli
    Publisher: W. B. Saunders Co.

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