How to Ace Your Phlebotomy Test the First Time

After you complete your phlebotomy training program, you will be eligible to take the phlebotomy certification exam.  Passing the exam and becoming a Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT)  will make you a more desirable job candidate.  Employers generally prefer staff that is not only skilled but certified by a national agency, such as National Healthcareers Association (NHA).

If you’re taking the test for the first time, you may feel anxious about what you need to do in order to pass.  You may ask yourself:

  • How much should I study?

  • Do I know enough to pass?

  • What if I have to retake the test?

Don’t let self-doubt control you! There are many ways in which you can prepare and study for the test effectively. Here are 10 tips to passing your phlebotomy test on your first try.

10 Tips to Ace your Phlebotomy Test

  1. Organize your notes – Prepare your review materials and arrange them in sequential order.  Break down your notes into main points and supporting information.   A systematic approach will allow you to spread out your studying, rather than cramming at the last minute.

  2. Choose your topics carefully – Be conscious of which subjects or topics should be included in your study plan. You can ask an expert or even your instructor for advice. Concentrate your efforts on significant concepts related to phlebotomy. You can start studying the easy topics then focus more on the difficult ones, recalling the concepts that connect the topics. It is also important to know which part of the subject matter you are strongest and weakest. In that way, you’ll know which part you should study more.

  3. Keep textbooks handy – Make use of the reading materials related to phlebotomy throughout your review. Use your program textbook and any handouts that you received.  You may also want to purchase a Phlebotomy certification exam study manual.

  4. Recall your hands-on experience – Remember, once you’re on the job, your actual experience means everything. It is very helpful to practice your phlebotomy skills because that is also a part of the actual examination and it might also act as a useful guide during the test. It can help to take a volunteer position at a clinic or community service agency to hone your skills in venipuncture as well as to regularly attend refresher classes to become adept in the field.

  5. Watch videos – There are some videos on the internet that discuss the concepts and skills of phlebotomy. These can aid in understanding the procedures better, making you more aware and knowledgeable about the idea.  A note of caution:  be sure the educational videos you chose are from a reliable source.  There are many videos that demonstrate procedures with improper technique.

  6. Practice exam questions –  Take as many practice exams as you can. Not only will this help you become a better examinee, but it will sharpen your knowledge about a wide range of phlebotomy topics. Time yourself during the mock exam so you become aware of the time management you need during the actual test.

  7. Choose a proper study environment – Look for a quiet place where you can study uninterrupted and be comfortable during your review. It could be a place in the house, a library, or in a park. Avoid areas where you sleep for study.  Sitting on a bed or couch can result in more napping than studying.

  8. Read questions carefully – During the phlebotomy certification exam, always remember to read all the instructions provided before taking the test. These instructions contain valuable information about how to navigate the test successfully.  Additionally, you should thoroughly read the whole question and each answer option before you chose your final answer.

  9. Answer what you know – If possible, start the examination answering the easier questions first. Not only will this build confidence, but it can help accustom you to the test format and improve your performance on more difficult questions. The exam is usually divided into questions of progressive difficulty.  If you encounter difficult questions first, take a deep breath and use your critical thinking skills to eliminate answers that are definitely wrong, and chose the best answer from the remaining options.

  10. Manage your time – If you are stuck on a question, do not linger on it too long. Remember, the exam is timed so you must use your time wisely. Instead, move on to the next question and go back later on. While it’s not necessary to rush, you should be conscious of the time

By following these 10 simple tips, you can achieve success the first time and earn your Phlebotomy Technician Certification.  Early preparation, smart studying and strong test taking strategies will give you the tools to succeed.

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