Earning a healthcare certification is a significant achievement, as it not only validates your knowledge and skills but also opens doors to rewarding career opportunities in the healthcare industry. However, preparing for certification exams can be an overwhelming and tedious process.
That’s why it is crucial to develop effective and practical strategies that can help you prepare for your healthcare certification exams. Remember that every student’s learning journey is unique, so stay positive and find study methods that work best for you.
11 Study Tips to Help You Prepare for Your Healthcare Certification Exams
- Know the exam format – Familiarize yourself with the exam format, including the number of questions, time limits and question types (i.e., multiple-choice, scenario-based, practical skills, etc.). Understanding the structure of the exam can help you manage your time effectively during the test.
- Create a study plan – Develop a well-organized study plan that outlines the topics you need to cover, study materials to use and establish a realistic timeline leading up to the exam date. A structured study schedule can help keep you focused and on track with your exam preparations.
- Utilize official study resources – Many certification organizations provide official study guides, practice exams and recommended textbooks. Make use of these resources, as they are designed to align with the exam content and provide valuable insights into what to expect.
- Seek additional study materials – Supplement your studies with reputable reference books, online resources and study groups. Diverse study materials can help reinforce your understanding of the subject matter and offer different perspectives on key topics.
- Practice with sample questions – Practice answering sample questions that simulate the actual exam. Regularly take practice tests to gauge your progress, identify weak areas and familiarize yourself with the exam’s style and difficulty level.
- Focus on weak areas – Identify your weaker certification exam topics and allocate more time to study in those areas. Strengthening your knowledge in those tougher subjects is likely to improve your overall exam performance.
- Implement active learning techniques – Engage in active learning methods, such as summarizing notes, creating flashcards, teaching concepts to others or participating in study groups. These techniques can improve overall retention and enhance your understanding of the material.
- Take breaks and prioritize self-care – While studying intensively, remember to take short breaks to relax and recharge. Practice healthy self-care by getting adequate sleep, balanced nutrition and physical exercise to maintain peak cognitive function.
- Don’t stop reviewing – Regularly review your study materials, especially in the days leading up to the exam. Repetition is key to solidifying concepts and improving long-term retention, especially for students pursuing degrees or certifications in healthcare fields.
- Simulate test conditions – Practice answering exam questions under timed conditions to simulate the pressure and time constraints of the actual test. This practice can help you manage your time effectively during the exam.
- Stay calm on exam day – On the day of the exam, remain calm and focused. Arrive early to the testing center, review any last-minute notes if needed and take a deep breath. If you believe you have done everything you can to prepare, trust yourself and enter the room with confidence.
Types of Healthcare Certifications
There are a truly diverse array of healthcare certifications and licenses available to workers in all levels of healthcare. Many of the programs at St. Louis College of Health Careers are specifically tailored to give students the knowledge and tools they need to sit for and pass their certification exams.
While not every healthcare career requires passage of a certification exam, obtaining an education and certificate in a specific area of medicine can open career doors and make you a more attractive job candidate to employers.
Common healthcare certifications some students of St. Louis College of Health Careers pursue include:
- Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant (LPTA)
- Physical Therapist Assistant Certification (PTA-C)
- Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) from the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)
- Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) from American Medical Technologists (AMT)
- Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) from National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- Certified Patient Care Technician (CPCT) from National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) from Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- Nursing Certifications, including Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)
- Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) from National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC)
- Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) from National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC)
Explore the healthcare certifications that align with your career goals by speaking with one of our academic advisors at St. Louis College of Health Careers. We can explain your options and help you understand the career prospects for professionals who earn different types of certifications or licensure.
Find the Support You Need to Complete Your Healthcare Degree at St. Louis College of Health Careers
Enrolling at the St. Louis College of Health Careers in Missouri not only grants you entry to our accredited healthcare programs but also provides access to a range of student services, including essential resources designed to support your academic journey while helping you balance work and personal commitments.
From personalized mentorships to academic tools, our team of academic advisors are here to equip you with the resources you need. Learn more about the healthcare programs we offer by exploring our website or contacting us at 866-529-2070.