We all know the CHT exam outcomes are about a 50/50 pass/ fail rate. Some years – it’s closer to a 60% pass rate and a 40% fail rate. So it can seem overwhelming and even discouraging to even attempt to study for an exam when it seems to set you up for failure.
How do you study so that you will NOT be one of the 50% who fails the exam?
I help therapists study to be Certified Hand Therapists before they become Certified Hand Therapists – and that is about becoming the person who knows how to think through cases critically, problem solve, and make sound decisions on what needs to happen next.
That’s what being an expert Hand Therapist is about. People come to you with mild to severe cases, whether before or after surgery, looking for answers.
Not just any answers. It is not just regurgitating what you read or memorize but also how you applied what you know to get results for them. AND your opinion is based on research and evidence.
There are two huge areas to consider when preparing for the Hand Therapy Exam:
- Knowledge Center
- Mindset Center
Most people place a lot of time and effort in the Knowledge Center.
That’s where you have to know your anatomy. Memorize the names of tests that you could use during an evaluation – but don’t have to actually use them daily.
That’s where you have to know the principles of splinting, and the positions, so you know which one to make when to use, and what to recommend.
The area that gets most neglected is the Mindset Center.
It’s the most important one.
Without focusing on your Mindset Center – it’s too easy to give up or feel overwhelmed.
This is the Mindset Center that can help you make a commitment to go for the goal even if there are people in your corner who don’t root for you even if they “say” they do.
It’s in the Mindset Center where you do something even if you don’t know 100% of the results yet even if you are scared of failing.
This is the Mindset Center that can’t help you to KEEP going when reading seems so overwhelming if not taken care of. When there’s confusion because a topic doesn’t make sense or resources are not clear on right or wrong.
This is the Mindset Center that, 2-4 weeks before the exam, will help you not to self-sabotage all your efforts.
I have been helping Occupational Therapists become Certified Hand Therapists even before opening Hand Therapy Secrets. I’ve been running this program for 3 years now, helping Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists pass the exam. I’ve spoken to countless therapists from various settings, countries, states, and backgrounds.
It’s fascinating to learn about each person’s experience and what affects them.
Before formally running this type of program, I was helping therapists in my area, friends, and those who reached out. In addition, I was hiring and training my staff.
I’m doing my own research, and hopefully, some of my insights can help you.
In order to become a CHT, you do have to make a commitment:
- Courage. To do something even if it’s “hard.” And the only reason it’s hard is that you have not yet done it. So you have to have the courage to do something while you are not so good at it.
- Commitment. To make a commitment to something that you are not 100% certain about. But you commit to it anyway.
- Skills Development. This is the time to develop your skill and knowledge. There has to be a certain level of humbleness to know and say – I don’t know, but I’m smart enough to find the answers even if the answers lay inside another person or program.
Once you have courage, commit, and develop the skills – the last step (which is not the last step) is to sit on the boards and pass.
Only then will you truly feel confident for a moment of time.
You get to bask in the glory of your hard work, being able to pick the right answers confidently. Of course, the test is not the end all be all. You can still be a great hand therapist if you don’t pass, but it’s sweeter when you do pass.
Here are a few things I’ve noticed in working with therapists over the years and more lately as I collect data.
These are the main reasons you will fail:
- Desperation – Feelings of uncontrolled anxiety, negative thoughts, false sense of positivity (trying to make your brain think like it’s positive, but it’s not).
- Focused on the wrong things to study – there’s a lot of studying
- Unable to apply knowledge – this can come from a lack of experience. This can come from being focused on the wrong things and not knowing how to approach a problem.
These are the main reasons how to pass:
- Mindset shifts – Don’t be desperate! You are going to survive no matter what! Having a good understanding of 75% of the material can allow you to feel good about being that problem solver. Looking for successes along the way instead of looking at what’s lacking.
- Knowledge base – knowing where you place your focus. Where you choose to study. Studying what you are good at and applying it to what you are not good at. Take time, due diligence, and discipline to do what is not so fun for your desired results.
- Application of knowledge – critical thinking, problem-solving, and making decisions.
So what are your painful areas for you right now?
The pain of past failed exams?
The pain of not getting through the amount of reading? This is one of the biggest reasons people join the Hand Exam Prep program. Not only do we help them get through all the material via video but we provide accountability.
Overwhelm by struggling alone and not having a key person to go to that you feel safe asking questions to and getting explanations? This is the second most common reason therapists join our Hand Exam program.
What do you really need right now?
You might realize you need certain skills? Or do you need mindset/motivation? Perhaps accountability, or maybe you need support and connection from others doing what you want to do.
Maybe you just need permission to ask for help.
You have permission to get help! It’s okay to invest in a program that will help you achieve your goals faster, with ease, and more enjoyable as you go through the journey.
Remember, no one can do the work for you. No amount of investment will automatically help you pass.
It doesn’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to be perfect to get help.
You just have to get started.
Get started with us by grabbing details of the Hand Exam Prep program if you have the years, hours and have made the commitment to prepare for the CHT exam.