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The CST Exam
It’s crunch time! The CST exam is rapidly approaching which is exciting and nerve wracking! Are you prepared to pass the test? There are many ways to study for the exam and since everyone learns a little differently I have put together some options that not only helped me pass my test, but on the first try. The best thing to do is START EARLY! Don’t expect to cram the night before and get a passing grade. It is a lot of information that is covered so get on a study schedule early on.
The certifying exam for surgical technologists consists of 200 questions in which 175 will be scored. These questions cover a variety of topics so be well versed in the following:
- STERILE TECHNIQUE/ ASEPTIC TECHNIQUE
- All patient positions and alternate names of positions
- Common medications, especially those related to M.H.
- Sterilization parameters
- Basic surgical instruments from each specialty and their alternate names
- Surgical Procedures
These are just the basic areas to start with. The more knowledge you can retain about specifics from pre-op to intra-op and post-op, the better you will do.
CST Exam Study Material
When I was studying for my CST exam, I used two main sources to study. The first was a book by AST, Surgical Technologist Certifying Exam Study Guide(affiliate). This book contains 6 practice exams and science review questions for a total of 1,386 practice questions. Every exam reflects the NBSTSA exam content outline and provides an explanation of each answer. I found this book was most helpful to me because the majority of my exam questions were on the practice tests. *This doesn’t mean it will be the same for you as there are multiple tests but it is a very good starting point.
The second resource I used was Quizlet. This app is available for both apple and android phones as well as a desk top version. This app lets you build your own quizzes as well as see quizzes that others have made. It also offers study plans and study reminders to help keep you on track.
Aside from these two study assets, I have heard great things about the AST Study Guide app and the CST Exam Prep app. Both of which are available on both phone platforms.
During The CST Exam
When it’s time to sit for the test, keep these things in mind. First, make sure you get good rest the night before and eat a good meal before the test. Your brain needs rest and fuel to think. During the exam look for words like NEVER, ALWAYS OR SHOULDN’T. These kinds of words are key to understanding the question. Pay close attention because the same question may pop up more than once but may be worded differently. Don’t let this fool you into selecting the wrong answer. Make sure to always go with the textbook answer even if you did something different in the OR. Finally, go with your gut! The first answer you select is more likely to be correct then if you start changing your answers later on. Lastly, if you absolutely have no idea whatsoever, choose C. For some reason, odds show that C tends to be the right answer on vague questions. Study hard and early, You can do this!
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