Preparing for the NBCOT exam
I passed! I was asked by many to give some tips. Here is a start.
NOTE: I originally posted this a while back and got an almost immedaiate anonymous comment that this could be considered proprietary information. This freaked me out and I took it down, but now that I’m re-reading it, I don’t see how any of this is proprietary. I used my own opinion on studying, and on the stuff I talk about such as MAOIs, akathisia – I bring it up because in every possible study book, nbcot or not, they talked about such things! So…..yeah. I’m posting it again for now…..
If you can afford it, take the TherapyEd review course. If money is an issue, it’s probably still worth it IF YOU HAVE TROUBLE TESTING (the cost of that course is cheaper than re-taking the exam). If you are a strong student, you can probably get by without it.
I liked the TherapyEd review book that came with the course. I basically memorized the vast majority of the book. You need to be able to spout off the information, NOT just “recognize” it. I did flashcards, not so much to actually use, but to help me concentrate so that I learned while making them. There is what, like, thirteen chapters? So depending on how slowly you study, try and give yourself a few days for each chapter if at all possible. DON’T SKIP ANYTHING. I really only glanced briefly at statistics/research/management, and I wished I had looked closer. Everyone’s test is different, but everyone’s test will most likely include a little bit of everything. The more you know, the more likely you’ll pass, obviously, right?
Now, the TherapyEd questions are kind of weird, I admit. Long and oddly worded. Still good practice. And it has lots of CST to practice with.
The NBCOT book was much more like typical NBCOT questions, although oddly enough, the book didn’t have any example CSTs…those new clinical simulation questions. (I ALWAYS confuse stimulation/simulation).
I HIGHLY recommend purchasing the NBCOT online exam that is 100 questions. According to a classmate who researched it, there is like a .9 (ie high) correlation between your score on that exam versus the real thing. I don’t have the evidence though. Also, one of my classmates went up FIFTY points from practice to real thing so I guess um, well, ….anyway, it’s still helpful to see how you do on that online exam. The other things you can buy I don’t necessarily recommend…if you can afford it, great, it helps with confidence …remember you cannot go back and see the question though…and answers arent always given I don’t think.
My favorite questions are the psych questions…what I discovered – for ME at least – was that all the study guides and study guide questions in TherapyEd, etc, love to talk about akathisia, tardive dyskinesia, MAOIs, and photosensitivity.
Akathisia = restlessness, urgent need for movement, typically a psych side effect.
Tardive dyskinesia = always another answer choice it seems, is more chronic and serious, does not go away, and is result of years of heavy psych meds. The movements are more writhing with a lot of oral motor involvement.
KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THESE TWO
MAOIs = drugs used for depression. You have to be on a restricted diet on these medicines because of an amino acid blah blah – so they like to ask diet questions. They can’t have like, pickled, smoked, cheesy things…and one of the first signs of toxicity is a headache. KNOW THE BASICS OF SPECIAL DIET AND WHY.
Photosensitivity = lots of psych drugs cause people to be more sensitive to sunlight than normal. If you are doing psych activities/groups and it involves being outside, there is a good chance you’ll need to remind the clients and/or be prepared to deal with that side effect.
*This is what helped me….go research this stuff further and confirm it for yourself, I take no responsibility….these are just tips that helped me!
I’ll write on the ACLS levels sometime soon in terms of psych, and then we’ll go from there…