July 27, 2006

More sleep medicine technicians are taking and passing the exam to become registered polysomnographic technologists (RPSGTs), said the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technicians (BRPT), which administers the exam. The BRPT credited its implementation of computer-based testing and addition of more test sites—as well as the sleep medicine field’s growing demand for credentialed sleep technologists—as factors behind the increase in the number of people seeking to add the RPSGT credential after their names.

According to BRPT figures released this week, the second 2006 RPSGT-testing window in June and July drew 49% more applicants than the earlier spring testing window in March had. In addition, a slightly higher percentage of people taking the test passed. Overall, the pass rate increased from 63% to 68%.

"Candidates who took a wait-and-see attitude for the first computer-based RPSGT exam in the spring, found the second testing window favorable for them," said Bobby Stanley, executive director of the BRPT. Stanley credited the success to positive reaction to computer-based testing, noting the convenience of having more test sites, more dates, and more study preparation materials.

August 21 is the application deadline for the next 2006 testing window, which is set for September 18-29. Applications are taken on a rolling basis, so candidates may apply at any time with the dates of their application approvals determining the testing periods for which they are eligible. If approved, candidates may take the exam any time within a year of the application approval, or within the time frame of their current CPR certification, whichever is sooner.

The exam consists of 200 questions and takes 4 hours to complete. Through a partnership with Pearson VUE, a leading electronic testing company, the BRPT moved to computer-based testing in 2006, which along with shortening turnaround time for scoring the exam and improving data security also enabled it to increase the number of United States and international testing sites it offered. Still, despite the increased flexibility in where and when candidates can take the exam, the BRPT recommends scheduling an exam early to ensure maximum choice.

More information about the RPSGT exam is available at brpt.org, along with a free, downloadable 2006 RPSGT Candidate Handbook. The BRPT also sells a 2006 Study Guide and practice exams. Those who apply by August 21 will receive notification of their approval to sit for the exam within 2 weeks.

People eligible to take the examination include professionals with 18 months of paid clinical experience in polysomnography, credentialed professionals with 6 months of paid clinical experience in polysomnography from a BRPT-accepted health-related field such as nursing, respiratory care and electroneurodiagnostics, or graduates of programs with special recognition in polysomnography, as accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

The BRPT is an independent, nonprofit certification board. For more information, call (703) 610-9020, or visit www.brpt.org.