As some students may know, you can take the RVT 60 days before you graduate! Your RVT credential is not released until you actually graduate, which means you can’t put RVT after your name and you won’t show up in the RVT database search until you successfully matriculate. Nonetheless, this ability to take it early is great in terms of job hunting and allows you to take the test while knowledge is still fresh. In order to be eligible for this opportunity, the director of your program needs to send documentation to the ARDMS about your graduation date, and then you will be able to apply for the examination 60 days before that date, and not a minute sooner (believe me, I tried).
In terms of studying, I used a variety of materials to cover all the bases. I have included below my study timeline and the materials I used at each step. Of course there are other materials out there, this is just what I used.
- 2-3 months before the exam: 5-10 review questions a day before I went to bed. I utilized the FREE Quizlet app that has hundreds of flashcards on a variety of topics including the RVT/RVS exam.
- 1 month before the exam: I read and studied the Vascular Technology: An Illustrated Review, 5th Edition from cover to cover, studied my notes and continued to do practice questions on Quizlet. I made charts of important values and descriptions of all the exams (CW Doppler for venous vs. arterial, Impedance plethysmography, etc.)
- 2 weeks before the exam: I did the Vascular Technology CD-ROM Mock Exam, creating custom exams for each section (arterial, venous, abdomen, etc.) to test for my weak areas so that I could have more focused studying. I also flipped through the ScoreCards for Vascular Technology when I had some free time during that week. I marked the difficult questions and made sure to review them and figure out why the answer was the answer, often by checking the reference.
- 1 week before the exam: I bought a practice exam through Pegasus Lectures to serve as a true mock exam and I continued to do practice questions to work on my testing endurance.
- 2 days before the exam: I did close to 1,500 practice questions.
- 1 day before the exam: I did absolutely nothing related to the test; I relaxed by the pool, baked a cake and went to bed.
- Day of the exam: I studied my charts of values and test descriptors for 30 minutes and then took the test and passed!
This was my studying experience. What works for me may not work for you, but at least you have an example. School prepares you for your externship and your externship prepares you for the exam; the studying only supplements your knowledge base. It can be difficult to fit in studying for the exam when you are still in school, so give yourself plenty of time and most of all RELAX, YOU WILL DO GREAT!