THE PULSE - Tips for Exam Retake Preparation > The Society for Simulation in Healthcare

Greetings from the Certification team!


Director's Note: Good news, everyone!  Both the CHSE and CHSOS exams are back to business as usual and reporting pass/fail results immediately at the conclusion of your exam. I would like to take a moment to thank each candidate who took an exam during this period. I know the waiting was rough, but it is because of your data we were able to arrive at a fair passing standard that will be in place for the next five years. Thank you! Also, thank you to the subject matter experts who volunteered their time to assist in the standard setting workshops.


Today, I am going to talk about the not so glamorous side of the certification world: failing the exam. While receiving a failing notification can be frustrating, it absolutely is not the end! In fact, there are several resources and opportunities available to candidates to improve their chances when they decide to retest.

Let’s explore those…

First, it’s important to note that SSH policy dictates a three-month waiting period between attempts. To the candidate’s benefit, this wait period is meant to encourage a time of reflection and deeper learning.

Also, the wait time discourages candidates from just retaking the test without proper preparation, which in turn helps in promoting the genuine knowledge gain that makes stronger practitioners. The only time SSH will waive the three-month waiting period is when the failing result is due to a disturbance at the test site that would prevent the candidate from completing their exam.

During this 3-month period, SSH recommends the following activities to aid in preparing for the retake:

Identify new or different study materials - If you have not taken a blueprint review course or an SSH practice test, this is a path you may want to consider, especially as the practice tests are written by the same Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who write the examination test questions.

Study groups - There are also study groups you can connect with via SimConnect. Engaging in a study group can help candidates gain additional insights into their areas of improvement and reduce the monotony and isolation of studying on your own.

Concepts, not memorization - When studying, I always encourage candidates to focus on understanding concepts, not memorizing questions. And to keep in mind the concepts are those aligned with the two-year practitioner. Often, what someone would do at an advanced level would not be the correct choice for someone with two years under their belt.

For example, an Educator with 10 years of experience could make modifications and changes on their own, where a two-year would be expected to collaborate with the team. Put on your “two-year hat” when approaching concepts covered on the blueprint.

I hope these tips help encourage you when preparing for a retake. And, as always, reach out to the SSH Certification team if you have concerns.

Until next time, be excellent to each other.

Rachel Araujo
SSH Director of Certification

P.S.: Shout out to my mom who reads every one of these!

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