How to Prepare for CPHQ Exam?

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If you want to go from a simple amateur to a healthcare professional, your most significant obstacle will be the CPHQ Exam. The CPHQ Exam is a tough test that will test your knowledge and experience in healthcare. In the world of healthcare, being a professional is upholding the lives and health of several people. It means understanding what you can and cannot do with medicine and how to apply those practices to your patients or assist your fellow men.

This article will teach you what makes a professional and how you can prepare yourself for the CPHQ and pass with flying colors!

Who Can Take the CPHQ Exam?Who Can Take the CPHQ Exam?

The Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality Exam, or more simply the CPHQ Exam, is the universal accredited certification exam in the healthcare industry. This unique privilege–to be accredited–means that a significant organization bases it on adhering to rigorous stands. In the given case, the National Commission for Certifying Agencies [NCCA] is the one who designs the exam and gives out the certifications.

The CPHQ Exam will test one’s knowledge of various healthcare practices and competencies (for example, additional knowledge and abilities that contribute to successful performance). If you want to be an accredited and qualified healthcare professional, then you need to be able to take this exam and pass it.

Passing the CPHQ Exam will prove to employers that you are prepared for healthcare and medicine’s harsh and unforgiving world. This world requires only the most motivated and qualified because a wrong decision can mean life or death for a company and even people. And that’s the thing: those who want to take and pass the exam are focused on entering a lucrative career in healthcare.

Of course, however, there is still a fee, which is pretty significant and not for the faint of heart. Applying for the CPHQ Exam can potentially cost you up to $400. You have to pay an additional charge, depending on how exactly you apply for the exam; applying for the exam through the mail will cost more than applying online. Additionally, the fee will be somewhat cheaper whether or not you are a member of the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ). If you are wondering, the price will have to be repaid if you cannot pass the exam your first time.

There are no rigid requirements to take the CPHQ Exam, so–in theory, anyway–anyone can take it. The NCCA, however, offers a bunch of recommendations for those who intend on taking it. The recommendations are based on what will optimize success for the test taker, such as needing at least two years of experience in the general healthcare profession. The exam is written and proctored under the assumption that you know at least something about healthcare practices. If you think that this exam can make you a professional, you are mistaken. It asks only for those who can prove that they can pass it.

The CPHQ Exam is for those truly dedicated to becoming certified healthcare professionals. If you find yourself the will the pursue, then the next obstacle you need to confront is the CPHQ Exam itself. What exactly is the exam about, anyway?

How Many Questions Are on the CPHQ Exam?

How Many Questions Are on the CPHQ Exam?

The CPHQ Exam is sizeable. It consists of, in total, 140 multiple-choice questions. However, only 125 questions are scored. Fifteen of these non-scored questions are “trial questions” made for consideration in a future exam, and those questions do not count towards your final score. These trial questions are not distinguished from the rest of the question set (though if you are knowledgeable, you can tell the difference), so think of them as having 15 additional questions that you are allowed to get wrong.

The questions are split into three fields: Recalling Knowledge (dealing with how well you can remember specific healthcare knowledge), Applying Knowledge (dealing with how well you can actively apply and understand healthcare knowledge), and Analysis.

Among these three fields are four broad categories: Organizational Leadership, Health Data Analytics, Performance, and Process Improvement, and Patient Safety. We could safely and accurately break the CPHQ Exam into four distinct topics:

  1. Organizational Leadership, or your cumulative skill and proficiency in leadership and helping establish goals and motivate the individuals within a team or group. Thirty-five questions deal with Organizational Leadership.
  2. Health Data Analytics: the analysis of existing data through quantitative and qualitative techniques to find trends and patterns. Thirty questions are focused on Health Data Analytics.
  3. Performance and Process Improvement involves understanding the processes and tools you use to evaluate your performance and take advantage of growth opportunities as a healthcare professional. Forty items on the test are dedicated to Performance and Process Improvement, which makes it the most common topic to answer.
  4. and finally, Patient Safety is a healthcare discipline that emerged with the evolving complexity in healthcare systems and the rise of patient harm in healthcare facilities. Twenty questions are about Patient Safety.

The exam is estimated to be a three-hour affair and will take you through a comprehensive set of questions based on various healthcare practices. Ultimately, these details only beg one question: how difficult is the CPHQ Exam?

Is the CPHQ Exam Hard?

Is the CPHQ Exam Hard?

To summarize it quickly, passing the CPHQ Exam is not difficult if and only if you have good experience in the world of healthcare and medicine and the dedication and concentration towards studying for and passing the exam. These do not come to people naturally, however.

The CPHQ Exam is difficult, to make that clear by now. It will require a lot of knowledge and understanding of the field. There is an incredibly small, nearly impossible chance of succeeding through guesswork and luck alone, and it is not worth it. To be CPHQ certified, you need to fully understand the four sections of the exam: to display leadership, the ability to analyze and use the information you have obtained, the ability to grow and improve, and to ensure the safety of your patients in a field where people can and will get grievously injured if you slip up even slightly.

The CPHQ Exam is a premier exam based on the knowledge and application of medical sciences, a very involved and complicated subject. If you want to study for the CPHQ and give yourself a passing score, you need to dedicate a significant amount of time to achieve this goal. This effort will include not just the intermittent process of sitting down with a NAHQ-certified textbook and memorizing and analyzing all of the critical information.

What is the CPHQ Exam Passing Score?

What is the CPHQ Exam Passing Score?

To pass the CPHQ Exam, you need to earn a score of at least 73% correct. Out of 125 questions, which does not include the 15 questions that do not count towards this grade, you have to get 92 questions correct to pass. In other words, you can only get a measly 33 questions incorrect before your chances of passing the exam become impossible.

The average passing rate for participants who take the CPHQ Exam is merely 62% or just a little over half the participants in a given section. Those are not particularly inspiring numbers. However, as you can retake the exam, you always have another chance to reassess your failings and pass with a higher grade.

However, this begs the big question: what do you need to get CPHQ certified? What do you need to pass? That is to say, what is the studying process like?

3 Best Ways to Pass the CPHQ Exam

3 Best Ways to Pass the CPHQ Exam

Passing the CPHQ Exam requires a consistent and robust study regimen, training, and experience. It is a lot of work, and it is not immediately obvious where you start and what you do. Indeed, listing all the minute steps and instructions you would need to optimize your studying potential fully would take forever.

Instead, we at this article will instruct you on the three methods you can undergo to build that perfect studying schedule and streamline your time preparing for the exam.

Get Your Reading Materials

There are several textbooks and reading materials that you can study to understand the questions and material that will appear on the final CPHQ Exam, such as the official CPHQ Study Guide. How you approach this material is primarily up to you. Even so, we recommend that you create and adhere to a consistent and tight schedule of reading and taking notes. Include some example questions to solve to test your newfound knowledge, as some individuals are more effective at applying their knowledge instead of simply absorbing it.

Try the Practice Tests

The CPHQ Practice Tests are designed for upcoming test takers to practice the final material. The practice tests are not designed to be the exam, so do not take your success (or failure) of these practice tests as evidence of your final performance. However, practice tests are an excellent way to know the sort of questions that you will have to answer on the exam and how they are meant to be answered. The practice tests carry the same formatting and structure, even if they do not have precisely the same questions (and who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky and get a question you did have on the practice test!).

Get Some Healthcare Experience

Getting healthcare experience does sound like it is putting the cart before the horse. However, as the CPHQ Exam recommends two years of experience in the healthcare field, gaining this experience will be a considerable boon to your overall success in passing the CPHQ Exam. How would you gain the knowledge necessary to pass the exam if the exam is the one obstacle that prevents you from landing an involved healthcare job?

Of course, it is also difficult to ask people who are likely to take the CPHQ Exam to gain experience and work in the field to have already had experience. Still, there are many places and opportunities for an unqualified healthcare worker to gain some experience. Experience also doesn’t just include actually working on patients but simply being there to apply and learn the knowledge in the field. Reading books is very helpful, but if the CPHQ Exam asks how you use that knowledge, it is much better to know firsthand than recount information you go through in a book.

Wrapping Things Up: How to Prepare for CPHQ Exam?

Even preparing for the CPHQ Exam will take you a Herculean amount of time and effort. Do not undertake this task if you believe you will fall anywhere less than the necessary amount of effort you need. But if you are willing to undergo the trials and tribulations to overcome the ultimate examination, you will enjoy a new career in no time! If you want to pass that passing threshold comfortably and become a certified healthcare professional, you should accept nothing less.

Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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