Taking NARM - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-20-2007, 04:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I am off to the city where I will be (finally) taking the NARM tomorrow. I am really nervous, can't help it. I just REALLY REALLY REALLY don't want to have to take it over again (17weeks pregnant right now).

Overall, I am sure I will most likely pass, it is just the possibility of not passing that niggles at the back of my head. I know my stuff, it is the way the test is written that makes me nervous.

To anyone else that is taking their NARM tomorrow, best wishes and good luck to you! (Anyone going to be taking it in Eugene Oregon tomorrow?)
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:14 PM
 
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Good luck!
I plan to take it in August, so I'll be curious to hear your reaction.

Wife to Joe and Mama to Rosie, 6/28/06, Jack, 10/25/08 and JoJo 3/18/10.
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:18 PM
 
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Good luck from me too! I have a friend going but she will be in VA.

I'm hoping to sit in August as well so I'm anxious to hear how it goes for you!

Amy: Certified Professional Midwife and mom to Max (11) and Stella (6).
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Old 02-20-2007, 09:40 PM
 
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Dear Jada Mae,

My advice is to *avoid overthinking* the questions on the NARM. It is basically geared toward entry-level midwifery practice. If you have a lot of experience, you may be tempted on some questions to think, "But on the other hand, what if . . . ?" Know that you can almost always count on your first answer as being the correct one, so don't go back and start second-guessing yourself (and changing your answers!).

Answer every question unless there is a "right-minus-wrong" penalty for doing so. Also avoid skipping questions, as you may forget to return to the ones you passed over--but if you must do so, make sure you have a solid system to keep track of where you're at. Nothing feels so bleak as to realize that you skipped a question but didn't leave a corresponding space, and now all your remaining answers are associated with the wrong questions.

Multiple choice questions usually have four answers: two that are obviously incorrect, the correct one, and the "distractor," a question that is nearly correct but just a little off. Even if you can only rule out the two incorrect answers and have to guess between the correct one and the distractor, at that point you have a 50% chance of getting it right--and your first impression is nearly always the correct one. Absolutes in a question (words such as "never" and "always") usually are a tip-off that you're looking at an incorrect answer.

Make sure you take a moment before starting the questions to look over the test in its entirety and budget your time accordingly.

Finally, treat yourself tonight to an evening of good food, relaxation and rest and don't stay up cramming. Let your left brain have a little rest and you'll be much better tomorrow for it! Eat breakfast tomorrow, take food for you and your baby for all day tomorrow and, if you have them, take Rescue Remedy (Bach Flower) or Gelsemium 30x (homeopathic) to calm your nerves.

Go with confidence tomorrow! Create a mantra for yourself in *present tense* (e.g., "I have an excellent memory and am an organized and knowledgeable midwife."). Repeat as needed and let us know how it goes, future CPM!

Hugs,
Marla Hicks, RN-C, LM, CPM
Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery
San Diego, CA
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:20 AM
 
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Wow Marla! I'm going to print that out for when I go in August!

Amy: Certified Professional Midwife and mom to Max (11) and Stella (6).
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Old 02-21-2007, 04:48 AM
 
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Glad to be of any assistance! I've taken so many board exams in 30 years of midwifery and nursing practice--but no matter how many tests you take, the experience still tends to be a little nerve-wracking!

And be sure to let us know how your boards go in August, Sheena!

Best,
Marla
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Old 02-21-2007, 11:42 AM
 
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Hey Marla,

If you don't mind, how did you study? I know you advised not to cram which makes good sense. Did you have a system for studying otherwise?

Thanks again!

Amy

Amy: Certified Professional Midwife and mom to Max (11) and Stella (6).
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:33 PM
 
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How to study for the NARM......

Don't study for the NARM! Avoid Varney's like the plague, pretend you never even heard of it. It's full of information not intended for the CPM's scope of practice.

The exam is really nothing more than what you should already know, presented in a very circular way of thinking. The exam is not for linear thinking! They're not trying to trick you, so don't over analyze the questions.

The biggest thing to remember is the exam is intended for all styles of practice, from licensed and regulated to illegal, from the formally educated to the empirical. So when choosing your answers, think beyond what is the accepted scope of practice in your community and beyond what you feel comfortable with or how you want to practice. For example, in Florida, we "have" to transport or transfer a breech, so when the exam asks you what do you do when you discover a presenting butt in labor, the answer is not "transport", but what is appropriate management of a breech birth.
The questions are mostly scenarios, and there are typically 3 or 4 questions about a particular scenario. Read all the questions before answering. Imagine that there is a real, live, pregnant woman in front of you.

Enjoy your night "off call"! When the my fellow test-takers were studying away, I was sitting by the hotel pool sipping Thai beer and talking to some football players from Atlanta about anything but birth! Very pleasant way to spend the evening, BTW!
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:12 PM
 
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LOL! I have been told the exact opposite about Varney's! That Varney's is where I would find the majority of correct answers, lol.

I don't think I can stand to not study! I'll go crazy... I have to at least look over my course work, lol.

Amy: Certified Professional Midwife and mom to Max (11) and Stella (6).
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheena View Post
LOL! I have been told the exact opposite about Varney's! That Varney's is where I would find the majority of correct answers, lol.
I always hear that as well, I think it's some kind of urban legend . Heart and Hands is probably a better study guide, Varney's is really for the CNM. Not that Varney's doesn't have good info or make a great reference, it's just not info you will typically need, and definately not info you need for the NARM.

If you really need to study, go over all the charts of clients you have participated in caring for.
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:22 PM
 
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Oh good, I love Heart and Hands and find it an easy read.

I wish I could go over charts! I recently left all clients 2000 miles away.

I love this thread, it's so reassuring!

Amy: Certified Professional Midwife and mom to Max (11) and Stella (6).
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Old 02-21-2007, 04:28 PM
 
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I generally agree with Sevenkids' assessment--though, like you, Sheena, I am compelled to study! I actually took the NARM twice, once when it was initially introduced and then again, years later, for my California licensure. I did not study the first time and passed easily. However, since I wasn't certain how the test might have changed in the interim, I overstudied the second time, concentrating mostly on details of midwifery practice as outlined in Varney.

I would not throw Varney's out the window in preparing for the NARM, but I would read it for generalities of midwifery practice and technique, not for specifics of practice guidelines. Heart and Hands is useful. Studying Anne Frye's Holistic Midwifery texts on prenatal care and labor and birth would be very helpful as they reflect more accurately the CPM standards of practice.

In my experience I found taking the NARM to be a little frustrating; it's been a few years since I took it, but I thought more than a few of the questions were ambiguous. We were given the opportunity immediately after the test to provide feedback to NARM about the exam and hopefully they will ask you to do the same. I thought that was an excellent idea, a very respectful way of working with the test-takers to provide quality improvement.

Marla
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Old 03-16-2007, 10:37 PM
 
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Soooo.... how did it go???

Amy: Certified Professional Midwife and mom to Max (11) and Stella (6).
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Old 03-16-2007, 11:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nizhoni View Post
My advice is to *avoid overthinking* the questions on the NARM. It is basically geared toward entry-level midwifery practice. If you have a lot of experience, you may be tempted on some questions to think, "But on the other hand, what if . . . ?"
Quote:
Originally Posted by nizhoni View Post
I thought more than a few of the questions were ambiguous. We were given the opportunity immediately after the test to provide feedback to NARM about the exam and hopefully they will ask you to do the same.
I totally agree, and now that you all have taken it I can say that after going to births for many years and attending a formal midwifery school, I thought the NARM exam was extremely difficult for the reasons mentioned above. After taking the test I was absolutely SURE I failed it. And no amount of studying would have changed that. I thought so many of the questions came out of left field, and on many questions I could just not find an appropriate "middle-ground" answer. So I did take the opportunity to give feedback on many questions- I think I wrote two pages!

But most people report that the NARM was much easier than expected, including many of my midwifery school peers. They all thought I was little loony for freaking out so much. So, yeah, try not to overthing--or overstudy!
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