Passing the RHIA exam is necessary if you want to obtain Registered Health Information Administrator credentials and show you are now skilled at handling medical records. Before doing so, however, completing a bachelor’s degree in health information management from an accredited university and registering to take the exam are necessary. Providing paperwork such as resumes and transcripts will be required too.
Take Practice Exams
Make sure to purchase a book such as the “RHIA Exam Secrets Study Guide.” It’s been recommended by many who have taken – and passed – this test. Also see if the American Health Information Management Association is providing a practice test. Regardless of which practice exams you take, keep analyzing your scores. Gradually adjust which parts of it you focus your time on during future study sessions. Areas that tend to trip up those who do not pass this test on their first attempt are:
- coding guidelines, both inpatient and outpatient
- sequencing of codes
- principle diagnosis
Do Not Cram
Spread out your studying as cramming does not work nearly as well for the vast majority of test takers even though about three-quarters of us believe that it does. This is especially true for something as thorough as the RHIA exam. As soon as you know that you are taking this test, start spending time preparing for it. Plan out the coming weeks and months and schedule study time, making it as important as going to work or school and other essential aspects of your life.
Plan Your Test-Taking Experience
Visualize the test-taking experience. If you are close to its location, head over there and picture yourself:
- walking into the building
- sitting down
- taking the test
Doing so will help relax you on the testing day. As far as the actual test-taking experience goes, make sure to quickly plan out how much time you will be spending on each question. Quickly move on from those you do not know the answer to your first time through the exam. If you are fortunate enough to finish before your allotted time ends, spend the rest of the time going over your answers in lieu of turning in your test early.
Rest, Keeping Sane and the Essentials
Ensure that you are well rested by getting an appropriate amount of sleep the previous couple of nights. You want your mind to be sharp when it’s time to start the test. Although you may believe that more studying in lieu of sleep is the right move, it’s not. Go about your life normally in the days leading up to the test. Doing so will help you relax and allow you to also place thoughts elsewhere. On the day, bring your ATT letter and two pieces of identification. A driver’s license and debit/credit card would work. Arrive at the test-taking location about half an hour early to give you some leeway in case you run into unexpected traffic or other delays en route.
Of course, you want to remain positive that you will pass the first time around. However, this test is notoriously difficult. So if, despite your best efforts, it does not happen, take a deep breath, tend to your emotional wounds. Pick yourself up, analyze what you learned going through the experience and determine what changes need to be made in order to make the next test-taking experience a more positive one.
Otherwise, once your test time has been scheduled, relax and keep pushing ahead while continuing to prepare yourself for the experience. Note that if you end up needing to reschedule, do so more than 15 days in advance of your test date if possible as you will be charged otherwise.