Ok… that wasn’t easy but I can say it is done. For those that do not know, the Adult Critical Care Specialty credential is the next step for a Registered Respiratory Therapist who wishes to demonstrate their level of knowledge and critical thinking in the field. I pushed off taking the exam for some time but finally bit the bullet and did it.
Yes, I practiced what I have been preaching to my students for the last 6 years. I believe tests are not so much about your ability to care for patients but your ability to care for an exam. The exam is multiple choice with long and at times confusing cases to manage. The process is simple but must be followed.
- Plan out the adventure of the exam. Set a date for taking the exam and pay the $$$ or you will never move past this step.
- Pretest to identify your weak areas. Focus on the weak areas as you study. If you have access to a video/audio review then use it but start with the weak areas so you can go back and redo them on the back end of the plan.
- Retest under the testing conditions. This gets your endurance up to speed. Time yourself and take the breaks you plan to take during the exam. Take it at the same time you have the exam scheduled to be taken…. everything as if it were for real.
- Review your retest questions and find the answers in the text or study guide. Don’t just take the answers for granted… prove each one. This gives you purpose for reading the material.
- Step away from your material for a few days as you approach the final week. Rest your mind but don’t disengage. Prep for the routine you will do that final week.
- During the final week. Start each day the same as you will on the exam day… eat the same, drink the water, and fish to prep your brain… every detail.
- Get up each morning at the same time you plan to on the exam day and take an quiz/test each morning prepping more intentionally for the process of the exam rather than the content of the exam.
- Yes, I do review the formulas and numbers but at this point, I should have already covered everything. There should be nothing new for me to review.
- On the big day… I just do what I’ve been doing for the last few days. No surprises.
There are some other small tricks I follow but that is for later. I stick to my plan and it has not failed me…. yes I pray a lot. God blessed me on this exam.
If you plan to take the exam or one like it let me know. I would love to be your cheerleader and guide if you need one. I’ve done it many times in the past and yes… I coached myself and it worked.
So… 2016 Objective 1… DONE!!! ~ Jimmy Colquitt, PhD, RRT-ACCS