top of page

CDA Practice Test

What is the CDA Test?

The "CDA Test" typically refers to the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential assessment, administered by Pearson VUE. The CDA is a nationally recognized credential in the United States for early childhood education professionals. The assessment is part of the process for early childhood educators to earn their CDA Credential, which demonstrates proficiency in working effectively with young children in various learning environments.

The exam covers six core competency areas:

  1. Establishing a safe and healthy learning environment.

  2. Advancing children's physical and intellectual development.

  3. Supporting children's social and emotional development.

  4. Building productive relationships with families.

  5. Managing an effective program operation.

  6. Maintaining a commitment to professionalism.

The exam is a computer-based, multiple-choice test. It typically consists of around 65 questions and is designed to be completed within a 2-hour time frame. The exam is available in both English and Spanish.

Free CDA Practice Test 65 Questions

Child Growth and Development Question #1

Which of the following represents a typical milestone in a child's social-emotional development during infancy?

A) Solving complex puzzles 
B) Engaging in parallel play
C) Reading simple words
D) Riding a tricycle


Answer & explanation:
The correct answer is (B)

During infancy, children often engage in parallel play, where they play alongside other children without direct interaction. This represents a milestone in their social-emotional development as they start to understand the presence of peers.

Child Growth and Development Question #2

According to Erik Erikson's psychosocial theory, which stage occurs during adolescence?


A) Trust vs. Mistrust
B) Initiative vs. Guilt
C) Identity vs. Role Confusion
D) Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt


Answer & explanation:

The correct answer is (C)

Erikson's Identity vs. Role Confusion stage occurs during adolescence, where individuals explore their identity and develop a sense of self.

Health and Safety Question #1

Which of the following is the most effective method to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in a childcare setting?

A) Frequent handwashing
B) Disinfecting toys daily
C) Isolating sick children
D) Using hand sanitizers


Answer & explanation:

The Correct answer is  (A)

Frequent handwashing with soap and water is the most effective way to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in childcare settings, as it removes germs from hands.

Health and Safety Question #2

What is the appropriate staff-to-child ratio for infants in a childcare center, as recommended by health and safety guidelines?

A) 1:4
B) 1:6
C) 1:8
D) 1:10


Answer & explanation:

The correct answer is (A)

The recommended staff-to-child ratio for infants is typically 1:4, as infants require more individualized care and attention for their safety and well-being.

Observation and Assessment Question #1

Which of the following is an example of an objective observation?


A) "The child seems happy today."
B) "The child smiled and clapped hands when given a toy."
C) "The child is always shy around other children."
D) "The child prefers the color blue."


Answer & explanation:

The Correct Answer is (B)

An objective observation provides specific, measurable details about a child's behavior or actions, as seen in the given example.

Observation and Assessment Question #2

What is the purpose of using developmental checklists in early childhood assessment?


A) To compare children's progress
B) To label children's abilities
C) To diagnose developmental disorders
D) To promote competition among children


Answer & explanation:

The correct answer is (A)

Developmental checklists are used to compare children's development to typical milestones, identify areas where they may need additional support, and plan appropriate activities.

Child Guidance and Positive Discipline Question #1

Which discipline technique is considered most effective for preschoolers in promoting self-control and responsible behavior?


A) Time-out
B) Corporal punishment
C) Logical consequences
D) Ignoring the behavior


Answer & explanation:

The Correct answer is (C)

Logical consequences involve applying consequences that are directly related to the misbehavior and teach children about the effects of their actions, promoting self-control and responsibility.

Child Guidance and Positive Discipline Question #2

What is the key principle behind positive guidance techniques?


A) Punishing children for misbehavior
B) Focusing on the negative aspects of a child's behavior
C) Reinforcing desired behaviors with positive feedback
D) Setting strict rules with no flexibility


Answer & explanation:

The correct answer is (C)

Explanation: Positive guidance techniques focus on reinforcing desired behaviors through positive feedback and encouragement, rather than solely relying on punishment or negativity.

Learning Environment and Curriculum Question #1

Which approach to curriculum planning emphasizes the child's interests and needs as the foundation for learning experiences?


A) Teacher-centered
B) Child-centered
C) Strictly academic
D) Standardized


Answer & explanation:

The correct answer is (B)

Child-centered curriculum planning is based on the child's interests, needs, and developmental stage, allowing for more personalized and engaging learning experiences.

Learning Environment and Curriculum Question #2

In early childhood education, what does "scaffolding" refer to?


A) Building physical structures in the classroom
B) Providing support and guidance to help children learn
C) Teaching advanced concepts to young children
D) Focusing solely on academic subjects


Answer & explanation:

The correct answer is (B)

"Scaffolding" in early childhood education means providing support and guidance to help children build on their existing knowledge and skills as they learn new concepts.

Family and Community Engagement Question #1

Why is cultural sensitivity important when working with families in early childhood education?


A) It helps promote a competitive classroom environment.
B) It ensures that all families adhere to the same cultural norms.
C) It respects and values diverse cultural backgrounds.
D) It simplifies communication with families.


Answer & explanation:

The correct answer is (C)

Cultural sensitivity is crucial in acknowledging and respecting the diverse cultural backgrounds of families and fostering inclusivity and respect.

Family and Community Engagement Question #2

How can educators effectively involve parents in their child's learning experiences?


A) By not involving parents at all
B) By providing minimal information about the child's progress
C) By holding regular meetings and sharing information about the child's development
D) By discouraging parent involvement to maintain independence


Answer & explanation:

The correct answer is (C)

Effective parent involvement includes open communication, regular meetings, and sharing information to support the child's development and create a collaborative learning environment.

How do I study for the CDA Test?

To effectively study for the CDA (Child Development Associate) written exam, focus on these key strategies:


1. Review Key Topics: Concentrate on the six competency areas covered in the exam (mentioned above)


2. Use Study Guides: Utilize official CDA study materials, like the CDA Competency Standards book, which offer detailed information on what the exam covers.

3. Practice Tests & Sample Questions:  Regularly take practice exams to familiarize yourself with the format and types of questions you'll encounter, these will also help you identify your weaker areas.

4. Study Consistently: Set aside specific times for studying, ensuring a balanced and comprehensive review over time, rather than cramming.

Remember, the goal of the written exam is to assess your understanding of key principles in early childhood education, so a thorough and focused study approach is crucial.

Below you can find an official CDA Practice Test PDF with answers.

Which CDA Test Should I Take?

There are different types of CDA credentials based on the age group of children with whom a professional works. Here's a brief overview of the differences between the CDA Family Child Care, CDA Toddler, and CDA Preschool exams:


This credential is for professionals working in a home-based setting, providing care for children of various ages, often from infancy through school age.
The focus is on creating a nurturing, safe, and educational environment in a family-like setting.
It covers topics like family engagement, business practices, and creating an effective learning environment in a home setting.


This credential is specifically for professionals who work with toddlers (ages around 1-3 years).
The emphasis is on understanding the developmental needs and milestones of toddlers.
Topics often include toddler behavior management, language development, and creating activities suitable for this age group.


This is for those working with preschool-aged children (ages 3-5 years).
It focuses on preparing children for school readiness, including cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development.
Key areas include designing preschool curriculum, engaging children in learning activities, and assessing children’s development.


How many questions are on the CDA?


The CDA written exam typically consists of around 65 multiple-choice questions.

What is passing grade for CDA?

The scoring for the exam ranges from 0 to 100. To successfully pass a CDA exam, a score of 70 or above is required.

Is CDA internationally recognized?

The CDA Credential, administered by the Council for Professional Recognition in the United States, is primarily recognized within the U.S. It is a nationally recognized credential in the field of early childhood education in the United States and is not universally recognized or standardized internationally.


Is the CDA Test Hard?

The Written exam is considered challenging but this depends If you have a strong educational background in early childhood education and practical experience, you may find the CDA written exam to be manageable. However, if you are less familiar with these concepts, you may find the exam more difficult.

bottom of page