The April Certified Case Manager exam is coming up!
Are you excited? Feeling ready?
Here are a few tips for the last week of preparation.
Day Before the Exam
- Ensure you know where the exam will be administered, and this is a good time to do a “test drive” so you’re aware of traffic issues, where to park, etc.
- Take the day off from studying
- Watch your caffeine intake
- Help prepare your body for sleep by doing a physically tiring activity such as jogging, swimming or biking
Night Before the Exam
- Eat a healthy dinner that won’t cause heartburn or indigestion
- Set out or pack everything you need for the next morning, clothes, notes, directions to the testing center, etc.
- The few minutes right before you go to sleep are great for memorization, read over the main points in your notes, vocabulary words, etc.
- Set an alarm, maybe two, just in case
Morning of Exam
- Eat a healthy breakfast, low in sugar to help maintain blood sugar levels for maximum concentration
- Go over the most important information before you leave
- Leave early to ensure you arrive early and avoid panic
Once You Arrive
- Once you arrive, stop reviewing, if you don’t know the information at that point, it’s too late to cram
- Be comfortable, but alert
- Stay relaxed and confident, don’t talk to other students before the exam as stress can be contagious
Tips for Multiple Choice Questions
- Narrow choices by eliminating obvious wrong answers that are almost identical
- Try to identify the answer before you read all the choices, but look at all choices before selecting, as two answers will often be similar, but only one is correct
- Do not be afraid to change an answer if you feel strongly about it
- If you cannot answer a question, skip it and move on, however, make sure you answer every question before finishing
If you have to guess:
- Length is often a clue, choose the longest most precise answer
- Reject answers with specific determiners such as everyone, always, never, none, except, most or least
- Look for answers with words like often, most
- If two choices are similar, choose neither
- If two choices are opposite, choose one of them
- The most general answer is usually correct
Specific CCM Exam Tips
- When answering questions, think of the “perfect situation” answer. I know we do not work in “perfect” situations where all of the needed resources are at our fingertips, but the test will expect you to know the “best practice” answer. So answer as you would in the perfect world scenario.
- This test is not about how you do it where you work. It is about best practices. Don’t answer the question based on policies and procedures where you work, but on “best practice” which may or may not be the way it is done in your organization.
- Think like a social worker and not a nurse. As nurses, we are accustomed to “doing for” our patients. We change their dressings, start their IV’s and make sure they are warm. Social workers are trained to help patients help themselves. As case managers, we are to empower our patients. Remember this when taking the exam.
And finally, here is the best advice I was given prior to my exam:
Remember to breathe!
Write “breathe” on top of the scrap paper they give you, and each time you look at it, stop and take a few deep cleansing breaths, relax and let the knowledge inside you work it’s way out.
You have been working hard getting ready for this exam; I hope these tips help you with your final preparations!
And don’t forget to let me know how you do! Send me an email at [email protected] and post your results in the Facebook group “Case Managers Community”.