CST Exam Success

May 9, 2014

Certified Surgical Tech Exam Preparation

Written By: Regina Dorn, CST

Time is Your Greatest Enemy #back2thefuture  Was Rome built in a day? No, but rhetorical questions are fun.How long is the training to become a Surgical Technologist?An associates program can take 2 years, or a vocational program could take around a years time from beginning to finishing your cases to graduate. So the entire time you should be preparing for this test. Begin with the end in mind. Time will fly by and before you know it, you are waking up on CST test day! Set a goal to make and understand 10 flashcards a day. If you make a flashcard from a question that you don’t understand…..read up on it and ask your instructor to break it down for you. That is what we are here for, right? Right!

Guessing is Not Guesswork  #IsThatYourFinalAnswer  You studied until you forgot your sisters middle name. Now you are stuck because this question looks like gibberish. Is there an answer that is absolutely, without a doubt, no way Jose, NOT the answer? Then eliminate it. Look at the other possible answers and evaluate the psychology of the question.  Can you flag the question? If so flag the question, move on to the next. I have noticed that some questions answer others if you move on. If you end up having to guess, make sure it is an educated guess. Do not just mark all the questions you are undecided about with the third answer because 3 is your favorite number. This test is serious. Please respect it.

Test Taking Tips for Online Courses

Practice Smarter, Not Harder #MakeItFun  Did she say make studying fun? Yes she did folks. You have to find your learning style, and build your study plans around what works for you. Don’t know your learning style? Get started by taking this quiz: What Is Your Learning Style? | Edutopia I had to create a login, but I haven’t received any junk mail from them. Once you know what your learning style is you can develop your study sessions to incorporate what works for you! Host a CST trivia bowl, make posters to hang in your house, or create a mnemonic song and record a YouTube video (share it with me, I love that stuff!). Whatever you do, just get excited, you are embarking on an exam that is nationally recognized! Watch this video to help you learn your Cranial Nerves

Prepare, Don’t Procrastinate #StudyDate  Mark the calender, set the timer, schedule a reminder in your phone, or whatever it takes! You need to set aside time once or twice a week, if not everyday to study for the CST Exam. It can be any amount of time. If all you can fit in is 15 minutes, then study for 15 minutes.  The AST Study Guide  3rd Edition App gives you 8 different tests, with the option to pick anywhere from 5-175 questions on each quiz. If you are crunched for time or just love apps, this is an awesome resource. I recommend it to anyone studying for the CST Exam.  The only downfall is that whichever device you upload it onto, that is where it stays. So pick the device that will be your best study buddy!

  AST Study Guide 3rd Edition – Android Apps on Google Playy 

 AST Study Guide 3rd Edition on the App Store on iTunes


Test Yourself #PracticeMakesPerfect  You will need access to practice exams.There are a few out there, but you want to use one from a reputable source. Who is more trusted than the maker of the exam itself? The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA), formerly the LCC-ST was established in 1974 as the certifying agency for surgical technologists. NBSTSA is solely responsible for all decisions regarding certification; from determining eligibility to maintaining, denying, granting and renewing the designation. They offer 2 practice exams that upon taking give you a detailed printout of how you scored in each subject. This helps you by knowing what subjects you need to focus on to improve your chances of passing. Since there are 2 different practice exams you could take it twice. Most programs include one of these practice exams in with your tuition, so make sure you talk to your instructor before you purchase one. Here is a link to the practice exam page : Certified Surgical Technologist Exams

Believe in Yourself! #StayPositive How you handle stess and the way your inner voice speaks to yourself can affect your self esteem. If you have worked hard in your Surgical Technolog program and prepared for the CST Exam then give yourself credit. If you haven’t, then start now. There is no better time than now to do better. Everyday we make the choice to be happy. Our attitude can influence the people we encounter. Do we want to be a positive influence or a negative influence? If you feel as though you lean towards the negative, don’t worry. You can learn positive thinking skills. Check out the following websites:

Positive thinking: Reduce stress by eliminating negative self-talk – Mayo Clinic

thesecret – YouTube   Official Web Site of The Secret

Are You a Positive or Negative Thinker? – Stress Management From MindTools.com

DON”T GIVE UP & Use Resources #Instructors  Check with your instructors to see if they have any additional resources for graduates from the program you attended. If you took the Exam before and did not pass, you need to regroup, study, practice test, and try again. Our program offers an online  CST Prep Course to all graduates. Contact your program to see what is available to you.