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Important Dates

2022 Exams
April 25 - May 14
October 24 - November 12



Application Deadlines: April 15th for the May exam and October 15th for the November exam.
exam preparation and tips

Preparation Tips

Feeling anxious about taking the certification exam? Here are some tips from CHTs to help you prepare…

  • Organize a timeline & plan your approach to review.
  • List study topics.
  • Review the test blueprint for the six knowledge domains.
  • Use the Preparation Materials to guide your choice of study materials.
  • Group topics together and place them on a study timetable to create a study schedule to focus your studying efforts. If you are working with a group, assign topics for review at each meeting.
  • Try to set aside time each day, rather than studying for several hours at a time.
  • Although HTCC does not endorse specific study groups, it does encourage group study for exam preparation.

Use Flash Cards

About three-quarters of the candidates used flashcards in their study. Although there are commercial sources for flash cards, therapists noted the value in them was related to writing them out and reviewing them at every opportunity.

  • Tips for using flashcards:
  • Organize them by topic
  • Carry them with you and refer to them frequently
  • Use them in conjunction with your study group
  • An excellent way to learn anatomy
  • Use them to write test questions and have friends and family quiz you

Join a Study Group

Studying in a group can be invaluable in preparing for the exam. Analysis of test results indicates that candidates who studied in a group performed slightly better on the Hand Therapy Certification Examination than those who were not in a study group. Individuals share their strengths as well as identify their weaknesses; difficult concepts often become clear as each member offers questions and discussion; and the psychological support that members receive from each other during exam preparation helps test performance.

Tips for study groups:

  • Contact other therapists in your area to find others interested in starting a study group. (Groups of three to six people have been shown to be the most effective.)
  • Set ground rules related to meeting times, study timetables and individual responsibilities of the group members before you get started.
  • Prepare a master list of major articles and divide it up among the members of your study group; each member can write a synopsis of the article to share.
  • Study with fellow therapists who are as serious and committed to academic excellence as you are

How to Find a Study Group

HTCC posts information submitted by therapists who are organizing study groups. The Hand Therapy Certification Commission as an organization does not approve nor endorse specific test preparation courses or study groups

Before the Test

  • Get at least eight hours sleep each night during the week leading up to the test.
  • Eat a nutritious breakfast the morning of your test.
  • If you are particularly sensitive to the effects of caffeine, monitor your consumption.
  • Know where the test center is located. If you are close enough, do a trial run before the test so you know how long it takes to get there.
  • Arrive to the test center a few minutes early to allow yourself time to check in and relax before taking the exam.
  • Bring the necessary paperwork with you to the test, such as your photo ID, second form of identification and a copy of your appointment confirmation email.
  • Complete a few warm-up questions the morning of the test, allowing yourself to get into the test-taking mode.
  • Wear comfortable layered clothing as test center temperatures may vary.

Tips for Taking the Test

  • Read the directions carefully, making certain that you understand exactly what is expected.
  • Read each question carefully and note key words and phrases so you only have to read the question once.
  • When answering multiple-choice questions, it is recommended to first pause and try to predict the correct answer before looking at the answer options.
  • Do not over analyze the question or read into the question what is not there
  • If you are still unsure about the correct answer, reread the question and try to eliminate one or two choices that are clearly wrong so you can make an educated guess.
  • Answer all the questions. Make educated guesses at correct answers rather than leaving the answer blank. The score on the entire test will be based only on the number of correct responses: any questions left blank will be scored as incorrect.
  • Do not waste time on questions containing unfamiliar or difficult material. You can come back to them if time permits.
  • Budget your time, allowing yourself enough time to answer all 200 questions in 4 hours.
  • Pace yourself and work carefully; do not allow yourself to become stuck on any one question.
  • Use all of the allotted test time if you need to. There are no bonus points for finishing before the time limit expires.
  • If you have time left over, think carefully before changing answers – your initial response is often the correct one.