BMET certification is becoming more popular. But when people invest their money on a test, they want to be reasonably sure of passing it. Let's examine some helpful ways that people can prepare for the exam.

  1. Purchase a formal preparation course. The most popular one is available from AAMI. It is sold as a study guide and includes sample tests. It's a great way to assess your knowledge.

  2. Enroll in a formal review program. The Colorado Association of Biomedical Equipment Technicians (CABMET) runs one via teleconference. The group says it has helped more than 250 people in the last six years pass the exam to become a certified biomedical equipment technician (CBET), laboratory equipment specialist (CLES), or radiology equipment specialist (CRES). The program is worth investigating: www.CABMET.org. Additionally, DITEC (www.ditecnet.com) has a very good training program for the CRES exam.

  3. Start a local study group. Many BMETs would rather study with local colleagues. This can be a challenge, as participants must meet in-person on a regular basis to study. Identifying pertinent material and gathering study materials is a chore, but it gets easier.

  4. Study on your own. Perhaps the most popular way to prepare for the exam, individual study is easy and requires no coordination with others. But it has some downsides. First, the entire effort of collecting materials and determining the course of study falls on one person. Second, if some areas of study are overlooked, there's no one to remind you. Third, without others around, there is no external pressure to keep you focused.

Let's investigate how to set up a self-study program for certification prep. First, let's figure out what we want to study. Visiting the AAMI website, we can download a copy of the Applicant Handbook. This is very useful because it includes a “content of examination” section. There are three outlines—one each for the CBET, CRES, and CLES exams. Pay close attention to the percentages for each section. This should help guide your studying, allowing you to focus more time and effort in those areas that make up a greater percentage of the test.

Next, develop a plan, focusing on your weakest subjects. Experience shows that recent graduates are generally stronger in anatomy and physiology, and electronic fundamentals. BMETs who have been out of school for a while generally score higher in troubleshooting and safety.

Settle on some study resources for each of the areas. The Applicant Handbook lists some resources, but they're not required texts or the only resources. There are many others: your college textbooks, and courses and Power-Point presentations on the Internet. Use Google to find helpful websites. You might start by visiting SlideShare.net, 101science.com, and FlashCardExchange.com.

Estimate the number of hours you will need to study. Divide this by the number of hours that you can dedicate to studying per week. Then count backwards from the exam date, adding several weeks as a cushion. Execute your plan week by week., gradually reviewing all exam sections.

Stop studying several days before the exam, allowing your mind to rest and assimilate all that you've taken in. You'll do better if you're relaxed and calm.

No matter which review plan you adopt, your chances are much better if you prepare well before the test date. Good luck!

Author notes

Patrick K. Lynch, CBET, CCE, is a biomedical support specialist at Global Medical Imaging in Charlotte, NC. E-mail: plynch@gmi3.com