10 Tips for Taking the NBSTSA Surgical Technology Exam

Surgical Technologists are supposed to take the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) certification exam so as to be allowed to practice their profession.

The test contains 200 questions with 175 used to compute passing scores and 71.5 percent of applicants passed it in 2014.

Candidates must correctly answer 118 of the 175 (67%) questions to pass the exam.

So as to help you better prepare for this exam, we offer you the following list of advice for the Surgical Technology Certification Exam:

  1. Each applicant should plan, several weeks prior to the exam, to study using the outline and the reference books listed in the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) Handbook.
  2. Then, applicants should practice example questions, five of which can be found in the CST Handbook. Other sites, like Board Vitals, offer numerous Surgical Tech practice questions. According to neuropsychologists, the best way to study is to practice answering questions.
  3. If you are a person who would rather study in a group, you can organize a study group of up to four individuals to study together and members can explain to you concepts that you do not understand.
  4. Another great way to study is to create lists, flashcards, pictures, or diagrams of key points. There are people who learn better if they possess visuals like pictures. They are worth a thousand words and make it easier to remember the material. Mometrix Test Preparation sells flashcards for the CST online.
  5. Applicants should also read all the material on the outline and references listed in the CST Handbook, being that the more information is repeated, the more they will remember. Previous test takers advise new ones that they should pay special attention to “lbs to kgs, cc’s to oz, sterilization temps and methods, positioning, infectious diseases, intricacies of general surgery and names of aneurysm clips.”
  6. After reading the references or any notes from classes, they should review the material again, visualize it, and write down questions from example situations.
  7. It has been proven through various researches done that the more people study with the material in multiple-choice questions, the more they comprehend the material when taking the test. The Lange Q&A Surgical Technology Examination is a great book. The entire Lange book is included in the Board Vitals Surgical Tech qbank.
  8. Once you have covered all the important aspects, you should take the Certified Surgical Technologist Practice Examination which only can be taken once from Logic Extension Resources. You are highly suggested to practice on other practice questions before taking this exam.
  9. It is important that you plan ahead for the day of your examination, get familiar with the directions to the test-taking site, sleep well the night before the exam, eat breakfast, drink plenty of water and use the restroom right before the exam.
  10. You will be answering multiple-choice questions so you should read the questions completely before going to the answers, due to the fact that misreading a question is one of the main reasons for answering incorrectly.

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