Looking for a job can often seem like a daunting and impossible task. First conducting the job search, then applying, then waiting. But before working on your resume, you need to work on yourself. The best way to get a job is to mold yourself into the ideal candidate. And who are the ideal candidates in the HIM profession? AHIMA certified professionals.
“As a coding manager, I look for applicants with AHIMA’s coding credentials,” says Julie Swim, RHIT, CCS. “I have found that coders with AHIMA credentials have a solid foundation in the fundamentals of coding and generally require less training time than coders without AHIMA credentials,” she said.
Swim is not alone. Like many other employers, she prefers hiring AHIMA certified professionals because AHIMA is the gold standard for certification. AHIMA exams have the necessary rigor to ensure that the new employees are proficient. Earning an AHIMA credential not only positions you to get that first job, but also positions you for success in your long-term career.
Now you know the first step to success in HIM. But what’s the first step to passing your certification exam? Getting prepared!
Here are the top 10 tips for exam preparation. Study hard because it’s worth it!
1. Develop a study schedule and stick to the routine. Keeping a schedule will keep your exam preparation on track to prevent last minute cramming.
2. Find a comfortable and quiet place to study with good lighting and little distractions.
3. Be certain to review the exam blueprint before you begin studying and review it throughout your preparation process. You may find the exam blueprints at www.ahima.org/certification
4. Make sure that you understand the material well. Don't just read through the material and try to memorize everything. Take notes and write down key concepts and ideas.
5. Take short breaks frequently. Your memory retains the information that you study at the beginning and the end better than what you study in the middle.
6. Space out your studying, you'll learn more by studying a little every day instead of waiting to cram at the last minute. By studying every day, the material will stay in your long-term memory but if you try to study at the last moment, the material will only reside in your short-term memory that you'll easily forget.
7. For multiple choice questions, first read the question and all of the answers. Eliminate the answers you know are not correct and then consider the remaining options.
8. If you choose to study in a group, only study with others who are serious about the test. Exam preparation doesn’t have to be boring but study groups should not be more of a party than a study session.
9. Create Mnemonics - Mnemonics are devices that can help you memorize formulas, key concepts, definitions, etc. A really basic example of a mnemonic is “B.E.D.M.A.S.” which stands for “Brackets, Exponents, Division, Multiplication, Addition, and Subtraction.
10. When studying and sitting for your exam, always carefully read instructions. Many students lose points by not reading the instructions. Don’t skip this critical step.
For more information on AHIMA credentials and certification exams, please visit www.ahima.org/certification.