I have been reading the other posts that people have put up with tips for the CIH exam. I agree with all of them. This was time number 2 for me. In the Fall after I took the exam I was so upset that I had failed. I liked someone's post when they said they had gnawed the TLV book because that was me too! I had dedicated my weekends and many of my weeknights to studying. I missed passing the first time by 1%. I immediately wanted to take the test the next day to fix the mistakes I had made. The best thing that I did in my misery IMMEDIATELY after the exam was to write down questions/ areas that I had trouble with. I think the hardest part was telling people that I didn't pass. Especially those who do not know what the test entails! Although I found when you do tell other CIHs, they tell you how many times they took it!
When the detailed final results came I felt OK that I was close but it initially made it very difficult to motivate myself to study. I felt like I needed a support group. I found an awesome study partner, Bree, and she really motivated me to stay on track. When I am not an infection control / occupational health nurse, I am a semi pro cyclist. The way that I framed it in my head is that I had a lot of "base" training under my belt and just needed to do focused intervals. I studied the lowest areas and did practice questions until I could just not do any more.
Today when I took the test, I felt like I was there to kick its butt. I had prepared and felt really relaxed and strong. I participated in the Bowen study sessions and the webinars and I must say that the resources Bowen offers are great. I was able to use the tools to focus my approach. The Bowen questions reflect what is on the exam SOOO much better than Datachem. I appreciated Datachem for quirky bits of trivia and information from management books that I wasn't about to read.
So, if you do not pass the first time, do not give up! Write difficut topics down and use that as your guide. As Russ stated in some of the study sessions, the test looked very familiar the second time around. I also read the questions carefully and with the answers I would note in my head why some answers could not be answers ( I did this while studying and this was very helpful). I guess my other tip would be to get a good night's sleep 2 nights before the exam. As in bike racing, I am always nervous the night before a race and its hard to relax. If you are not in a sleep deficit then having a light night's sleep before the test isn't going to be all that bad.
Study hard- you can do this. Don't lose focus if you don't make it the first time. I did realize though that on my way home, I put the convertible top down on my car (UV exposure), turned up Lady Gaga (Noise exposure) and now celebration dinner with C2H6O. Ah to always be thinking in terms of the CIH exam. Let's hope those preliminary results are true!
~ Roberta Smith