Skip to Main Content

CPHQ Exam Preparation Tips and Tricks

CPHQ Exam Preparation Tips and Tricks
21 Oct 2020 by Absa Fall


  1. If possible, allow yourself time to gain experience in quality. Taking the exam without any background in quality may be challenging. Hands-on experience in Quality can put you ahead.
  2. Prepare using different resources: books, practice exams, and possibly the CHPQ review course.
  3. Have a practice plan. Do not go ahead and memorize books or practice tests. Logical and practical thinking is also important.
  4. Create your own flash cards. Certain styles of questions tend to be included in many of the practice exams and ultimately in the CPHQ exam.
  5. As you’re reading exam books, mark pages and highlight crucial information to come back to.
  6. The exam will cover four topics which are Organizational Leadership, Patient Safety, Performance and Process Improvement, and Health Data Analytics. Some of these sections such as Performance and Process Improvement will include more questions than others. You should master these sections to maximize your chances.
  7. Beware of websites that offer free practice tests. Some of them provide the wrong answers to questions that may conflict with the book and mislead you.
  8. Identify areas you are weak in and allot more time for them to improve your performance.
  9. Give yourself a deadline by which you will want to take the test. You shouldn’t study for longer than three months or may risk forgetting what you’ve learned.
  10. To motivate yourself, register for the exam before you start preparing. You’ll have three months to sit for it. The hefty cost will certainly be a big push for you to succeed.
  11. Review the US CPHQ Candidate Handbook from NAHQ to learn about the exam structure, types of questions and more.
  12. Complete the pretest questions at the beginning of the exam. They are not part of your final score but can help get you warmed up for the test.
  13. Read the questions carefully to not miss any key information. Pay attention words such as EXCEPT, NOT, LEAST, ALWAYS, NEVER…
  14. If it takes you longer than one minute to answer a question, mark it, skip it and move to the next.
  15. If you are unsure of the right answer, eliminate obvious wrong answers first then choose the best answer considering logic and different alternatives.
  16. Use the extra time at the end to revisit questions you skipped or were not confident in.

Have additional tips and tricks to share? Let us know in the comments below!