Thankfully, the International Hearing Society (IHS) has a lot of resources that will help you prepare for your written exam. For example, they offer several free webinars that focus on specific topics relating to the industry. Enrolling in these webinars can give you valuable insight into things you might not have even considered.()
On top of that, IHS has an online course you can enroll in. Unfortunately, this course is not free. It does, however, come with a textbook and a workbook, and you can add a training manual if you choose (course materials ship via USPS.) You can learn more about the course and the course materials on the IHS website.
The Washington Hearing Society has also created a study guide, which you can access from their website. Familiarizing yourself with the content in this study guide is a great step toward preparing for the exam.
To be clear, the written questions in the study guide might not accurately reflect the content of the exam. The purpose of the guide is to make sure you’re up to speed on the basic knowledge you’ll need to take the exam; it’s not designed to give you all the answers. Using the study guide is a great place to start, but if it’s your only resource you could find yourself drastically underprepared when it comes time to take the exam.
One thing to keep in mind is that the exam will feature a lot of hypothetical situations and will ask you what you would do were you to encounter them. You’ll need to apply your basic knowledge to abstract situations, considering how that knowledge would inform your answers. It’s not as simple as memorizing answers and reciting them. You need to be able to think on your feet.
For this reason, practical experience will be extremely valuable in getting a passing grade. In many cases, licensed hearing aid dispensers will hire non-licensed assistants to help them with tasks such as answering the phone and scheduling appointments. These jobs let you experience some of the day-to-day tasks of a hearing aid dispenser and work alongside a licensed professional. Additionally, there are internship opportunities in the field, which IHS supports as a legitimate pathway to becoming a dispenser. We recommend trying to get some non-licensed work or an internship so you can have some practical experience before taking the exam. This is a great step in your test preparation.
Clearly, there are a lot of steps you can take to ensure you pass your IHS exam. We hope you find them to be useful, and we wish you the best of luck in taking the exam.