RPSGT Study Tips

Studying for the RPSGT Exam

All questions on the RPSGT exam related to scoring are referenced to the the “AASM Manual for the Scoring of Sleep and Related Events”, and not to the R&K manual. The AASM manual contains a significant amount of information — in addition to scoring rules — which is useful and important knowledge for all RPSGT candidates. The “AASM Manual for the Scoring of Sleep and Related Events” is strongly recommended as a resource to all candidates preparing for the RPSGT exam.

How much time will it take me to prepare for the RPSGT exam?

That depends on the current academic and professional experience you have in the field. A general guideline is to allow at least six months to prepare.

As an RPSGT candidate – where do I begin?

A good place to start is by carefully reviewing the Candidate Handbook. The Handbook includes a list of Primary Reference Materials to study in preparing to take the exam, as well as a complete Examination Content Outline. This Content Outline is developed from a yearlong study conducted following best practices for exam development and involving the services of a psychometrician and a group of practitioners ranging in experience level and geographic distribution. This Content Outline is fine-tuned based on a survey of PSG technologists and the application of statistical analyses. These results determine the content areas that make up the practice of polysomnography, as well as how those areas should be weighted by number of items on the examination.

Study Tips to Share?

Send an email to with “Study Tips to Share” in the subject line. Include your name, credentials, sleep facility, city and state and we’ll consider including them on the web site in our Study Tips section.

Is there a study guide for the exam?

Yes! The BPRT has published a RPSGT Study Guide, which includes a great deal of information to help you. Sections include:

  • Developing a Self Study Program
  • Core Knowledge
  • The Examination
  • Sample questions

This is a true Study Guide to help understand the types of questions, how to best prepare for the exam and is only one tool for prospective candidates to utilize in preparing for the RPSGT examination.

Does the BRPT offer preparatory or review classes?

The BRPT does not accredit or endorse training courses. The BRPT does recognize those standalone polysomnography programs or polysomnography add on programs that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). A list of these accredited polysomnography programs can be found at www.brpt.org under Education Programs. For further information regarding the accreditation of training programs and other educational aids we suggest visiting the following websites: www.aastweb.org, www.aasmnet.org, www.caahep.org, or www.coarc.com.

What other resources are available?

Flashcards and other resources for studying for the RPSGT exam are available from various sources including the American Association of Sleep Technologists. Visit their web site at www.aastweb.org for prices and ordering information. You can also follow this link to take RPSGT practice exams.

General Advice on Studying

  1. Start preparing early (at least 6 months in advance)
  2. Set aside specific times in the day or week to study and stick to the schedule
  3. Find a mentor, study partner or study group
  4. Adjust study time to allow coverage in all areas about 1 month before taking exam.
  5. Refer to the Examination Content Outline continually to stay on course.
  6. Order the BRPT Study Guide.
  7. Take at least one of the practice exams offered by BRPT online.

Advice on studying for the RPSGT Exam from colleagues who have earned the credential

Before I began studying for the exam, I took a practice exam (available on the BRPT web site). This told me what areas I really needed to focus my studying on. Then periodically, I would retake the test to see if I needed to re-focus my studies again.
Laurie Stewart-Hanson, RPSGT | Fargo, ND

The study tip I have found most helpful is to put together a notebook using the exam outline. I allot a page or two for each item in the outline. While reading the recommended study references, I make notes under each topic. Once I have gone through all the recommended reference materials, I have my notebook complete and can easily carry it around to study…this is impossible when you have 12 reference books which often duplicate the same material. Studying from a single notebook like this has gotten me through both EEG, EP and PSG registry exams.
Kathy Johnson, R.EEG/EP T., RPSGT | Huntington, WV

I created flash cards for myself from information in review programs, the Atlas of Sleep, R & K and some of my respiratory therapy books. I studied daily for a minimum of 30-min to 1 hour for 4 months. I also created audiotapes that I could listen to.
Tammy P. Muth, RRT, RPSGT | Athens, Georgia

Most important study tip: Study, Study, Study! Knowing some of the basics like: Ohm’s Law, what capacitors do, what is the fall and rise time constants, what impedance is, different forms of electricity, how to compute the voltage of any EEG waveform, etc… Take a slow deep breath, take one topic at a time and learn it. If you don’t understand it ask for help (even if it means calling a colleague at another lab).
Ginny Rueber, RPSGT, BS | Rochester, MN

Many sleep techs feel that since they are technically skilled they should have no problem passing the exam. The exam, however, draws heavily on knowledge of basic scoring skills and rules. I have always believed that when you are studying sleep medicine you should start with the seminal papers written by the authors who developed the concepts. Many of these articles are on in the BRPT reference reading list. They will serve you well both on the exam and in your career as a sleep tech.
George Juszynski, RPSGT | Norwalk, CT

The best thing about being able to take the RPSGT exam is having to work a year before. Great idea. This should be a must for all healthcare exams. There were three from our center getting ready to take the exam. We quizzed each other, went to all the
seminars, but best of all we all scored on the fly. We were at a 6 bed center, during the night we picked each others brains — what do you think about this, how do I do that? We all scored above 90 on the exam and one of us scored 99! Just read everything you can get your hands on. Do not go unprepared.
Lisa Hodgin, RPSGT, CRT | Dennis, Ms


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