Passing the Registry Exams, for Songraphers
How to pass a multiple choice test
Writing a multiple choice test is no easy task, believe me I’ve done it. A good test will present questions that are relevant to the subject matter that you are trying to learn, and present answers that nudge you in the direction that you are studying
I hate trick questions, and I hate questions that are asked that are not really relevant to the subject you are trying to learn. These questions are often plucked out of nowhere in the text, and you are left asking “what is this question all about?”
Welcome to the world of online CME’s.
The registry tests on the other hand are pretty well written. If you have studied the subject, you are likely to pass the test.
A good test presents a question, and then requires you to think carefully about the answer. Further, you learn from answer that you have chosen. If a test is well written, then you learn about the subject. A good test wants you to pass, not fail.
To write a good test, the question cannot be ambiguous in any way. The answer cannot be ambiguous either. If a test is well written, then you can make the following assumptions:
1) Two of the answers will be completely false.
2) One of the answers will be pretty close to true.
3) There will be one completely true answer.
There are so many people out there that are so terrified of tests that they completely fall apart during the exam, even though they may know the material.
Rule #1: Just decide that you are going to take the test twice and that you are going to fail the first time. During the first test, you are just there to study the test itself so that you can study the material and pass it the second time. This takes all the stress off, and you may actually enjoy the process.
I have taken several registry tests and always passed on the first try. When it came to the peds test (the hardest one of all), I employed this technique. Lo and behold, I was the most suprised person to find out I actually passed the exam!
Rule #2: As you go through the test, answer the questions you know and are sure about. Skip the questions you do not know. Finish all the questions that you know, and then go back and start answering the questions you do not know.
This takes a lot of stress off, and you are much more likely to pass the test. Remember that two of the answers are very false, one answer is almost true, and one is completely true. Usually, you can narrow it down to a 50/50 choice, which is much better than a one in four chance. Do not linger on a question that you do not know. This wastes valuable time.
Rule #3: If you are a student just coming out of school, you might consider taking the physics test first, since the material is still fresh in your mind. You will forget the physics fast. Believe me, it is true. 1/2 of all people who take these test fail the physics portion.
Rule#4: For the other tests, you might want to work in the field for awhile. The other tests require you to identify various lesions with video, and you should have experience looking at these lesions in real life.
In conclusion, I would suggest joining SDMS (Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography). Their journal “JDMS” (Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography) is published quarterly, and twice a year they present an entire section on books from every aspect of ultrasound.
I would also highly recomend the Sidney Edelman seminars, especially for physics. These are three day seminars that are reasonably priced. I’m not pitching for him, but I went to his courses before every one of my exams, and I passed on the first try. They are very good.