The Apgar Test is the first test most babies are given. The scores, recorded at one minute and again at five minutes after birth, reflect the newborn's general condition and are based on observations made in five assessment categories.

Babies who score between 7 and 10 are in good to excellent condition, and usually require only routine post-delivery care. Those scoring between 4 and 6, are rated in fair condition and may require some resuscitative measures. For those babies who score under 4, are in poor condition, and will require immediate and maximal life-saving efforts.

It was once believed that babies whose scores remained low at five minutes were destined to have future neurological problems, but recent research shows that most of these babies turn out to be normal and healthy.