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Frequently Asked Questions About the AHDI CMT Exam Minimize

For more complete information, read the CMT Candidate Guide for the AHDI Certified Medical Transcriptionist Exam.

Do I have to be a member of AHDI to take the exam?
No, you do not have to be a member of AHDI to take the exam. However, a large discount on the exam is given to members of AHDI so we do suggest that you consider membership prior to completing the exam application. AHDI offers multiple membership options which can be found here. Please contact AHDI for more information.

What is the cost of the automated CMT exam?
The price is $195 for AHDI members, $275 for the nonmember.

Where is the exam given?
The exam is given at Thomson Prometric testing centers, located in the US, Canada and multiple international locations. You may visit the Prometric Website (www.prometric.com) to locate a test site.

When can I take the exam?
The exam is given on an ongoing basis. Availability of the CMT exam depends on the individual site where you wish to test.

What are the requirements to take the exam?
Two years of transcription experience in the acute care (or equivalent) setting is required to take the CMT certification examination. Acute care is defined as hospital-based dictation comprised of a variety of dictators (including ESL), and multiple report types and specialties, primarily operative reports, consultations, discharge summaries, and history and physicals.

How do I apply?
You may apply for the CMT exam by submitting the Application for Exam to AHDI by email, fax, or mail. After processing your information, we will send you an "Authorization to Test" letter with information on how to proceed.

Is the exam still given in two parts?
No, the automated exam is done in one sitting. There are two sections with a 15-minute break in between. The first section tests your transcription-related knowledge in various subject areas (medical language, anatomy & physiology, disease processes, English language, the healthcare record and medicolegal issues). The second section tests your transcribing as well as proofreading and editing abilities in the above subject areas.

What is the difficulty level of the exam?
The automated exam is designed to test the knowledge and skills of a Professional Level 2 medical transcriptionist as described in the MT Job Description In brief, the Professional Level 2 MT is a medical language specialist who transcribes and interprets dictation by physicians and other healthcare providers in order to document patient care. The position is also routinely involved in research of questions and in the education of others involved with patient care documentation. The incumbent in this position is given assignments that require a seasoned depth of knowledge in a medical specialty (or specialties) or regularly given assignments that vary in report or correspondence type, originator and specialty. Incumbents at this level are able to resolve non-routine problems independently or to assist in resolving complex or highly unusual problems.

May I bring my own reference materials?
Reference materials are not allowed in the testing center, and none will be provided. Electronic aids such as spellcheckers and abbreviation expanders will not be permitted. One of the consequences of using secure testing centers is the elimination of reference materials. However, the exam has been designed so that a level 2 medical transcriptionist (as defined in AHDI’s "MT Job Descriptions") can pass using their critical thinking and problem solving skills and without using any reference materials.

Is it true that there will be no foot pedal?
True. You will play the dictation using a mouse. This should not prove to be a problem because the dictation snippets are very short (one or two sentences).

How long is the exam?
The exam is 5 hours in length. However, you should plan to spend approximately 5-1/2 hours at the testing center. This allows time for check-in, a short tutorial, a 15-minute break between the two sections of the exam, and a short survey.

Do I need to find my own proctor?
No. The new exam is being delivered at proctored testing centers.

When will I receive my score?
The score will be available immediately upon completion of the exam. All candidates will receive a score report indicating possible areas of growth.

What if I pass only part of the exam?
You must pass the entire exam in order to become certified. If you do not pass the exam in its entirety, you will need to retake the entire exam.

How soon may I retake the exam?
If you do not pass the exam, there is a 6-month waiting period before you are eligible to take it again.

Will I be able to pass the exam based on my experience? I didn't go to college.
Two years of transcription experience are required in acute care (or equivalent). A broad range of experience will be necessary for you to pass this exam, but it is only one of the two key elements. The exam will test not only your performance ability but also your knowledge of the various content areas outlined in the CMT Candidate Guide. You should plan to study in preparation for the exam. The Candidate Guide recommends study materials, and you may also consider joining a CMT study group or taking the online CMT Prep Course.

I graduated with a certificate in medical transcription. Will I be able to pass the exam?
Candidates are required to possess at least two years of acute care-type setting or equivalent experience in a multispecialty environment to be consistent with the CMT Candidate Guide to be eligible to take the CMT exam. If you do not have the requisite two years of acute care experience, you may want to consider taking the Registered Medical Transcriptionist exam instead.

I passed Part I of the old exam but have not taken Part II. Will I have to take the entire exam?
Yes. If you did not pass both parts of the old exam, you will need to take the entire exam in its new form in order to become a certified medical transcriptionist.

What self assessment materials are available to prepare for the exam?
AHDI has developed a CMT Review Guide published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins and available on Stedman’s website. An online CMT Prep Course through Oak Horizons is available here. Please check the CMT Candidate Guide for other suggested study materials. You may also wish to join a CMT study group provided by your employer, local chapter, or the online chapter of AHDI.

Do I have to maintain my credential once I pass the exam?
Yes, when you receive your CMT certificate you will be given your date for recertification which will be approximately 3 years after the date of your exam. Please refer to the Recertification Guidelines for more information.

Rev. 7/3/2008

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