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CDE and BC-ADM Exam Preparation

Jun 26, 2012

I work with a few people who just took the certified diabetes educator (CDE) examination.  The most common question I hear from people preparing to take the exam is “What do I study?”  In March, I took a similar type of exam for physical therapists (PTs) to become a Geriatric Clinical Specialist (GCS).  Similar to CDE and BC-ADM, it is a way to show that a person has achieved a certain level of competency/expertise in this practice area.  I taught a continuing education course to a group of PTs last weekend.  The big question: “What did you study for the test?”  Similar to the CDE and BC-ADM, there is not a particular text or resource, which if learned, will assure a person passes the exam.  I guess that is part of a clinical specialty exam.  We have to learn from clinical activities!

However, there are resources that help.  I can speak to the CDE exam and hope you will help, too.  I cannot speak for the BC-ADM since I do not qualify (as a physical therapist/exercise physiologist, in spite of advanced degrees….hmmm).  If you recently took the CDE or BC-ADM, your colleagues would love to get your input here.  What did you find helpful?

For the CDE exam, if you learn by attending courses, you might consider AADE’s CORE Concepts course.  You can also now take the course online.  I took the equivalent before I sat for my first CDE exam and found it to be extremely helpful.

I also read and learned as much as I could from the former equivalent to AADE’s The Desk Reference.  A few of us in the office took the exam together so we set up a schedule, met at lunch, and reviewed chapters and questions.  This was incredibly helpful.  I did the same thing with a PT friend to prepare for the GCS.  It was invaluable!  If you can, I would highly recommend doing this.  Think about using your local networking group (LNG) or coordinating body (CB) connections to get a group; even if you live a distance and meet once a month or use Skype.  It really kept me on track and made studying much more fun.  (Did I really say it was fun?  Yes!  And, we both passed.)

The other thing I found helpful to prepare for taking the GCS was a Board-preparation book/DVD for new graduate PTs.  We sat at the computer a couple of evenings with one.  We got most questions wrong initially.  We needed to get used to taking an exam from a computer screen AND to slow down and read the questions and answers!  By the end, we got most answers correct.  During the exam, I realized how important this last-minute activity was.  Consider borrowing the equivalent for your profession from a new graduate.

What did you find helpful for the CDE or BC-ADM exam?  Your diabetes educator colleagues would love to know.

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