By: Laree Fordyce, RPSGT, RST, CCSH, AAST Program Committee Chair on August 21st, 2020
Preparing for Credentialing Exams: RPSGT, CPSGT, and CCSH
Whether you are new to the sleep field or have been in it for many years, credentialing is an important step essential to advancing in the field. Credentialing demonstrates your commitment to testing and validating your competency.
However, studying for the Certification (CPSGT, CCSH) or Registration (RPSGT) exams can be daunting. The most important advice I can give to you is to make sure you know what you need study and use the appropriate study materials.
BRPT RPSGT Exam Handbook
The first step should always be to make sure that you read the exam handbook. Our credentialing board, the Board of Polysomnographic technologists (BRPT) provides a handbook for each exam that clearly outlines the Domains and Tasks that the exam encompasses, and their weighting. This will help you focus on what areas you need to spend your time on as you prepare.
RPSGT Exam Blueprint
For example, on the RPSGT exam blueprint Domain 4 is Therapeutic Treatment and Intervention. This comprises 28% of the total exam. However, within that 28% of the exam, the tasks are also weighted. Task A is PAP Therapy at 83-93% of the domain, Task B is Oxygen Therapy, 5-10%, and Task C is Alternative Therapies at 2-7%. You can see that for this domain, you should concentrate more on PAP therapy than on the other two tasks.
The handbooks also list recommended textbooks and study materials. There are many sleep books out there, but not all of them represent the material that is on the exam. The exam questions and answers are developed using these recommended study materials, so be wise and use them for studying. It is also important to make sure you are using the most up to date versions of these materials for the exam you are writing.
In June 2020, the BRPT released an article that mentions troubleshooting tricky areas on the RPSGT exam. The article stated that it is important to remember that the exam tests against guidelines, not individual lab protocols. Every sleep lab does things a little different, so remember this important tip – study published materials, not your lab protocols.
AAST Textbooks and Educational Modules
The AAST can help you with your studying. On the AAST website (www.aastweb.org), you can find technical guidelines, study materials and textbooks, as well as various educational modules to assist with exam preparation. These are approved study materials, based on industry guidelines and standards. The Fundamentals of Sleep Technology, T. Lee Chiong; textbook is now in its third edition, and is an excellent study resource.
Once you have successfully passed your Certification or Registration exam and have received your hard-earned credential, be sure to check back on the AAST website for other education offerings and professional information. This is a great place to start obtaining your continuing education credits (CECs), required to maintain your Certification or Registration. And if you are an AAST member, you can earn free CECs and we will track your CECs for you!
One last thing, as sleep technologists, you should know that a good night’s sleep will get you better marks than cramming! I wish you much success with your studying and a successful outcome on your exam.
AAST Educational Resources for Credentialing Exams
Click the link below for a host of educational resources provided by the AAST