Study Tips (continued)

The following study tips and comments were contributed by ACHE affiliates who have successfully taken the Board of Governors exam.

I reviewed the ACHE syllabus in detail; read and studied Griffith's Well-Managed Healthcare Organization; and reviewed two healthcare finance texts (because I lack that background). I didn't read a lot of the other suggested readings in the syllabus, so I don't know whether they would have helped or not.

I used the study guide from ACHE and the three books recently suggested: Human Resources in Healthcare, The Well-Managed Healthcare Organization, and The Financial Management of Hospitals and Healthcare Organizations by Michael Nowicki. I also had a colleague in finance help me study the topic of finance.

I attended a 10-week study group out of the Rhode Island chapter, and I scheduled the exam very close to the end of that study group so that the information was fresh in my mind. I used the paper-copy tutorial and read through all the information provided in that tutorial during the week prior to my exam date.

The written tutorial was my main study source. I took the sample test first to determine my strengths and weaknesses, then did more focused reading in those areas that indicated need, studied the answers/solutions section, brushed up on some financial ratios, etc.

Including sample tests, refresher reading, and review of the Ethics, Bylaws etc, the total time I spent preparing for this exam was probably 12-15 hours. In retrospect, I could have spent more time reviewing the financial and QI (bioethics) portions, but I feel that doubling my prep time would not have significantly improved my final score.

I took the computerized version and found the process to be simple, the format intuitive, and the immediate feedback a real advantage.

I used the ACHE study guide and spent about one month reviewing different sections in the mornings. I also took the practice exams, which helped.

My preparation strategy for the exam included two elements: First, I attended an Advancement Information Session that was hosted by our local Regent. I think that this was very valuable in order to put the exam in context with the overall advancement process, as well as to explore the “personality of the exam” and discuss test-taking strategy. In addition, I used ACHE’s tutorial (paper version) to review the topics that would be covered and to run through the sample test questions. While my preparation as outlined above helped me navigate the test process and style, I think that the knowledge base that I used to actually answer the questions really came from my educational background and work experience. In other words, the work I did in advance of the exam helped me in the process of taking the test, but skill sets that the exam evaluates are, in my case, the result of experience and education. Since I didn't utilize any books or other knowledge tools, I really don’t have any suggestions as to what materials would be good study resources.