Taking practice exam questions is a core component of many savvy CPHQ candidates’ exam preparation strategy.
However, not all practice questions and quizzes are the same. They differ in their ability to prime test takers for the actual exam.
In my view, a good question is one that helps the individual gain deeper insight into a particular topic such that he/she is more likely to give the correct answer if faced with a question on a similar topic. The key determinant of good questions is the question writer.
Question writing is as much a science as it is an art. It usually takes years before anyone can become competent. Some desirable attributes include:
- The CPHQ credential (a must!)
- Experience in training CPHQ candidates
- Broad working knowledge in healthcare quality management and patient safety
There are more things that I would like to see on the list but we’ll stop here for now.
So imagine my disgust when one of my students pointed out this page to me. (The original advertisement has been taken down since we published this article, but we kept a screenshot of the page for our archive.) I was appalled, not by the job advertisement per se, but by the dubious nature of selecting individuals who mass produce practice questions that are most unlikely to help candidates pass the exam.
My conclusion after reading the advertisement, plus a simple Google search, was that a substantial number of CPHQ test questions on the market are written by graduate students with little or zero experience in the practice of healthcare quality management, let alone experience in answering a single actual CPHQ exam question.
It is highly improbable that these anonymous individuals are CPHQs.
“So what’s the problem if people want to populate the market with low-quality CPHQ exam questions?”, you might ask.
- Do NOT help candidates to pass the CPHQ exam. They might even do harm by giving candidates an inaccurate impression of the actual CPHQ exam and a false sense of security. (Some exam candidates have been disappointed by the (low) quality of products on the market – they gave me their feedback directly, so I got the information first-hand.)
- Rob candidates of time and energy that could otherwise be spent more productively – both in preparing for the exam and other aspects of their life.
- Reinforce the idea that unscrupulous marketers can get away with selling inadequate but overpriced test preparation materials to unknowing buyers. This practice only breeds more of this type of characters.
You might be wondering why I’m highlighting this issue. Isn’t it a conflict of interest that I blow the whistle on underqualified test question writers because my firm also offers CPHQ exam practice quizzes?
It might appear so at first glance. But here’s the thing. Although the people who purchase our CPHQ exam preparation products and services are diverse, my main clientele consists of those individuals who have or expect to have difficulty passing the exam. (Those candidates who can pass easily don’t need my help and they don’t need much in the way of specific exam preparation.)
Therefore, many people who purchase our quizzes also try other products that are available on the market. The use of practice quizzes has never been mutually exclusive – people are free to purchase as many as they like and can afford.
While I do not encourage CPHQ candidates to waste their time, energy and money on things that are clearly not going to help them (like attempting quizzes that are written by less-than-qualified writers), I do think that people who try various products can assess for themselves the relative value of each.
There are numerous products that claim to help candidates pass the CPHQ exam, and their number seems to be increasing. This choice can sometimes cause confusion. When looking to buy CPHQ exam preparation/study questions, carefully evaluate the qualifications of the individuals who wrote them. I suspect you will find that at least 90% of the material on the market are developed by indescript “experts.”
IF they were CPHQs (which they should all be), we should expect the marketers to make that clear. And don’t be fooled by the name or reputation of the test preparation company (many of them are incorporated in the US but have roots elsewhere); do your own research on the people who are writing the questions.
Ask yourself, “Are the people who wrote this set of questions CPHQs themselves? How likely are the questions going to help me pass the exam?”
If there is no information about the question writers, don’t assume that they have the necessary qualifications. It is more likely that they don’t hold a CPHQ credential and that they don’t have sufficient experience in writing CPHQ exam practice questions and/or helping others pass the exam.
It’s no secret that I advocate quality over quantity – taking CPHQ exam practice questions should be no different.
If you could do less work (attempting practice questions) and spend less time and money to pass the CPHQ exam, you should.
Here again is the link to the advertisement for CPHQ exam practice question writers.
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