how to study for RCFE administrator test

How To Study for the RCFE Administrator Test

You’ve set an important career goal as an administrator of a California assisted living facility, knowing the demand for excellent residential care facilities for the elderly is increasing in our state. In fact, the Public Policy Institute of California has determined a little more than 1 million Californians will require some help with their daily living activities by 2030.

To begin an RCFE administrator career, you need to take the 80-hour RCFE Initial Certification Training Program, required by the California Department of Social Services. The class is divided into two requirements: 60 hours attending a live class and 20 hours completed online, at your own pace. Once you successfully complete this exciting step, you have 60 days to pass the state examination. You must achieve at least a 70% score to receive your administrator certificate. The exam is 100 questions and “open book.”

If this two-hour test of 100 questions sends chills up your spine, don’t despair. We have some helpful strategies and proven study tips. Take each step, work hard on your RCFE classes and prepare for the test, and you can be on the way to your assisted living administrator certification.

Note the Qualifications for an RCFE Administrator Position

Before digging into study strategies, it’s helpful to review the requisites for an assisted living administrator. California assigns regulation of RCFEs to the Department of Social Services. The RCFE administrator of a facility with one to 15 residents must meet these requirements:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Possess a high school diploma or GED
  • Pass a Criminal Record Clearance
  • Health screening and a negative TB test
  • First aid and CPR certification

To run a larger RCFE, the administrator must complete these requirements plus attain one year of experience and 15 college credits to work with 16 to 49 residents. Three years of experience and two years of college qualify the administrator to run a facility with 50 or more residents.

Begin Preparations With RCFE Administrator Training

The required administrator certification training lays the foundation for everything needed to pass the certification test. Choose the vendor for all RCFE classes carefully. Talk to others who have taken the classes and make sure the content is clear, thorough, and helpful.

Start Early

Verify that you can begin the online training as soon as you register and start that portion of the course immediately. Set aside a regular time and quiet place to study and adhere to it. Post sticky notes around the house and utilize them to focus your attention on coursework rather than social media or Netflix.

Develop a Positive Mindset

This certification course differs from classes you had to take in school. You’ll actually use the materials you study here every day as you operate your RCFE and take care of your residents. For this reason, it is important to develop a positive mindset about the course material. 

Relate Course Materials to Real Life

As you learn from your instructor, apply the information to real-life experiences. Even if you aren’t currently working in a care facility, for example, think about how the knowledge about the health and nutrition needs of the elderly applies to your grandparents or an elderly neighbor. 

Practice for Perfection

As you move from course completion to test preparation, concentrate on the following strategies:

Review Your Materials in Sections

Your instructor conducted the administrator certification training in sections, and this is a good way to review for the test.

Develop a grid with a block for each day before the test, and cross out days unavailable for study. Write down your study plans for each day. If you don’t get to everything, reschedule the remainder for a future day.

Focus On Areas of Weakness

Inevitably, each trainee finds some areas of the course harder to master than others. Concentrate on subjects more difficult to understand or that give you problems on quizzes.

Consider a Formal Test Preparation Class

A test prep class gives you necessary information about what to expect on test day, as well as plenty of strategies to ensure you are ready. These practice tests for RCFE classes help you prepare and give you confidence. Assisted Living Education includes one in the online course training.

Review the Test Mechanics

Important facts about the test can help you get ready. For example, you have two hours or 120 minutes to answer 100 multiple-choice questions.

You will basically have one minute per question, so answer the ones you know first. Once you have completed the ones you know, go back and look up the ones you skipped. Remember, one minute goes fast.

Once you have completed the exam, try not to overthink the answers. So many people have changed a correct answer to incorrect because they finished early and over thought the answers.

Acquaint Yourself With Allowed Materials

Since this is an open-book test with these materials, you don’t need to memorize them. We recommend learning the table of contents in Title 22 so you are familiar where to find an answer while testing. This will save you precious time during the exam. Currently, the exam is being conducted online. You may have Title 22 and the Health and Safety codes open on your computer. You may also use the Title 22 copy from the course. 

If DSS goes back to “in-person” testing, you may not take any materials into the exam with you. They will provide a copy of Title 22 and the Health and Safety codes, but you will return these after the exam.

Take Multiple Practice Tests

Whether you are giving a speech, playing an instrument, or taking a test, the most important step is practicing. Not only do practice tests help you learn, but they also pinpoint areas of weakness needing additional study.

You Can Do It!

Passing the California RCFE Administrator exam is necessary to become a certified RCFE administrator, and with determination and a good plan, you too can attain the 70% score to receive your certification. Start your test preparations today, and you can be on your way to a meaningful career. And if you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at Assisted Living Education. 


People Also Ask

How much money can an RCFE Administrator make?

Salary ranges vary depending on the size of the facility and the associated responsibilities.