I did it! I passed the COMT!
That being said, the COMT exam is no joke. In August 2018, the expert level test for ophthalmic assists was revamped to increase the knowledge areas for certification advancement. The official IJCAHPO Study Guide includes a list of recommended study materials but here is a rundown of somethings that colleagues and I have used in preparation of this top tier certification.
Firstly, Get the COMT Prep Modules
Through JCAHPO’s EyeCare CE web page, I purchased and watched all of Sharon Alamalhodaei’s COMT Prep Modules like 4 times. The course has a test you can take to receive 9 grade A credit and is pretty comprehensive. I took that test multiple times before passing but it prepared me for the COMT written. EyeTech.net supposedly has a really good study course that awards 12 credits. I spoke with someone who said she used it to pass the test but I personally have no experience with it.
Study Guides and Flash Cards
ATPO has the COMT flashcards which I practiced with daily which doesn’t hurt. Lastly, JCAHPO just released their new 2019 study guide complete with 100 sample test questions and is in the process of releasing new flashcards for the COMT.
Think Think Think
NOW. I can’t stress this enough. My test was a LOT of critical thinking. Instead of asking me what a certain drop might do, I was asked what type of drop is best for people with this that and the other diagnosis so they can lower their pressures without reactions or allergies. Knowing how the autosomal nervous system functions helps, too. Instead of asking what muscle did what action, I was asked which cranial nerve is under under inner sting. You need to take multiple principles and think critically to solve the problem.
Which brings me to a good point: KNOW YOUR MUSCLES AND CRANIAL NERVES. It is 12% of your test. Contact lenses are 7% and photos/ OCT/imaging is something like 14% too. Drive how to figure the amplitude of accommodation into your brain. That sneaky guy popped up a few times during my test.
My biggest COMT prep advice is simple. Don’t do like I did and wait to study AFTER scheduling the test. That was dumb. I need less less made my life a flaming dumpster for two months trying to cram as much information into my headspace as biologically possible. Study first and schedule when you feel ready. You have to have experience behind you to be able to apply what you’ve learned to real life situations so read it, live it, and retain it.
Both online modules mentioned above are good for 9 months after purchase so I would read the The Fundamentals for Ophthalmic Medical Personnel by Barbara Cassin and then work on the modules. This textbook is the blueprint for the test. I read it cover to cover and truly feel that it is one of the most important sources you can have for this test. In case I didn’t make myself clear enough: BUY THIS BOOK. It’s essential.
Again, it will only benefit you to over-study, so start early so you can celebrate later. I hope all of this helps with your studies.