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If you are currently employed or wish to be employed in the clinical research industry, especially cancer research, you are most likely discovering the importance of certifications. All clinical research associates, or CRA; clinical investigators, or CI; clinical project managers, or CPM; and clinical study managers, or CSM, have the opportunity to become certified. Two well-known organizations, the Association of Clinical Research Professionals, or ACRP, and Society of Clinical Research Associates, or SoCRA, offer recognized professional certifications. Each will send you an extensive certification study guide, but you'll also need to practice before the actual certification exam.
Prepare for the certification test. Regardless of whether you use ACRP, SoCRA or some other organization, study the material provided.
Go beyond the certification study guide. Once you complete the certification study guide from the group giving the certification test, study clinical trial information outside your daily routine. You should not need to spend a lot of time studying the regulations for work you perform every day. Study the areas you do not work in or to which you have had little exposure. For example, if you are a clinical research coordinator, spend most of your time studying the responsibilities and requirements for the clinical auditor, the clinical project manager or the clinical business manager. As you don't do those jobs, you probably don't know the requirements and regulations as well as you know your own job.
Practice taking the certification test. The best way to prepare for a test is to simulate it. Some sites may charge a small fee to take a practice test, but better to assess your knowledge before you spend hundreds of dollars on the actual exam. At least you will know how well you retained what you studied, and you will learn which areas require more studying.
When preparing for a test, study a little each day. Give yourself plenty of time to absorb new information before taking the exam.
- When preparing for a test, study a little each day.
- Create questions that you think might be on the test and try to answer them or just take the test on the web at wqats.com.
- Arrive early for the exam and give yourself time to mentally prepare.
- Take only the items permitted. Most times, PDAs, calculators and cellphones will not be allowed.
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