Jeff Nall reviewed the various steps for the CPRC exam and the broadness of the procedure in comparison to the rules and requirements of the APR exam and its Readiness Review.
In detail, Jeff explained the test is 6 hours long with 16 essay questions, including two lengthy narratives. Each scenario deals with individual topics, such as research, evaluation, implementation, strategic planning and ethics. Each question has a time frame assigned to it and that is the number of points to be earned for each question.
Jeff went through several sample questions, pointing out each question is looking for the applicant’s knowledge of the information on one of the main areas of the R.A.C.E. formula. The sample questions are at the FPRA website.
Jeff suggested putting some of the shorter questions into bullet points, leaving more time to deal with the details for the lengthy narrative questions. The two narratives deal with preparing a step-by-step plan in the R.A.C.E. formula. In fact, studying some of your Image Award entries would be beneficial in answering these questions.
An oral exam is also part of the CPRC process, but is administered at a different time from the written exam. It can be taken before or after the written exam, depending upon the availability of proctors and the panelists for the oral exam.
Your career has prepared you for this exam, Jeff said. Even if you have concentrated your career in one area, the exam deals more with seeing your thought process and the steps you will follow. There are also case study books that could be reviewed, or he suggested asking fellow CPRCs in your chapter to put some scenarios together. There is also a video on the state website explaining the process.
The passing score is 70 points. Three panelists handle the oral exams, and written exams are sent to two CPRCs who volunteer to serve as graders. A third CPRC is selected to review the exam if the two original graders do not agree on the applicant’s results. It takes about 4 weeks to return the exam to the state office.
If you don’t pass, you can retake either portion of the exam – written or oral. The written exam requires a $50 fee; the oral is FREE. The applicant will receive a letter with some critiques from the exam in order to assist the applicant with re-taking the exam.
CPRC pass rate is much higher, with 2010 being 100%.
“It really is not the bear of an exam that APR is,” said Nall. “This is not the experience of the APR, with its test anxiety, textbook-focused exam, but rather using your own mind to solve a problem, which you do every day with your employer or clients.”
The test is a long day, but it really allows you to be creative and solve your problems as if you were on the job.
The proctors can be from your chapter or a loan from some other chapter. Privacy for the applicant is respected by the vice president for accreditation and certification and the chapter.
The original fee for the exam is $150.
Jeff Nall, APR, CPRC
Vice President/Marketing Communications
Council on Aging of West Florida