Free CHES Practice Exam

The Certified Health Education Specialist examination (commonly known as the CHES exam) was developed by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing. This test is appropriate for people who aspire to become health educators or advocates. The CHES exam is not mandatory, but can be a useful tool for professional advancement. Many employers take CHES certification into consideration when making hiring decisions.

The test format is fairly simple: you will have three hours to answer 150 multiple-choice questions. The minimum passing score varies slightly depending on the difficulty of the test version. For most versions of the CHES exam, a 94 or 95 is required to pass. The exam questions are based on the Seven Areas of Responsibility of Health Educators: assessing local need for heath education (10% of the exam); planning health education interventions and programs (15%); implementing health education interventions and programs (22%); conducting health education evaluation and research (13%); performing health education administration (14%); performing as a health education resource person (14%); and advocating for health education (12%).

The CHES exam is offered twice a year, in April and October. Before you register, check out the eligibility requirements. In order to take the exam, you must have a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree from an accredited institution of higher learning, and either an official transcript showing a major in health education or an official transcript indicating at least 25 semester hours or 37 quarter hours of course work in health education. These requirements ensure that the CHES exam is administered only to those who are capable of obtaining a job in health education or advocacy.

Practice Questions

1. Which of the following is not a true statement about the use of focus groups in the development of a needs assessment survey?

a. A focus group is a good way to obtain information and identify issues, concerns, or strengths by posing specific questions to be discussed using a small group of people
b. A focus group should consist of a mixed group of people in order to get a variety of opinions concerning specific questions to be discussed
c. The facilitator of the focus group should try to keep the conversation on topic by gently veering back to the question at hand but should try to let the participants speak freely
d. After the focus group is finished, the information should be compiled based on the answers to the questions and categorized within each question

2. When collecting health-related data, sources of secondary data include all of the following except:

a. Observation
b. Vital records
c. Peer-reviewed journals
d. United States Census Bureau

3. When identifying factors that influence health, addressing which of the following factors would be least likely to make a large impact on the overall health of a community?

a. Lifestyle factors such as smoking
b. Environmental factors such as access to affordable food
c. Psychosocial factors such as social supports
d. Biological factors such as genetics

4. What is the final step in the needs assessment process?

a. Validating the needs that have been identified
b. Identifying gaps in healthcare services
c. Data analysis
d. Conduct a resource inventory

5. Which of the following would be the most expensive survey method to use for data collection?

a. Telephone
b. Mail
c. Face-to-face
d. Internet

Answer Key

1. B: A focus group is a small group of individuals who are selected based on certain similarities such as age, stage in life, or place of residence. Trying to set up a focus group with certain similarities helps to keep individuals from feeling intimidated by others' opinions. Multiple focus groups can be set up using different types. The focus group is led by a moderator or facilitator who poses certain questions to the group involving strengths, issues, concerns, or other topics to be discussed. The facilitator should lead the discussion and try to help the group stay on topic but try to remain in the background so people can talk freely. Opinions are collected, and the information that is obtained is subjective and not statistically valid. Once the focus group is finished, the information can be compiled based on the questions that were discussed then categorized within each question. The information that is obtained can be the start of the needs assessment.

2. A: When conducting a needs assessment, sources of health-related data can be obtained from two areas. Primary data are collected using techniques such as interview, observation of the population being studied, community forums, questionnaires, or a self-assessment tool. Secondary data sources include obtaining data from government agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States Census Bureau, or the Department of Health and Human Services. Secondary data can also be obtained from state or local agencies that keep various types of vital records or statistics such as morbidity or mortality records, disease registries, or police records. Nongovernment agencies such as hospitals can provide various types of secondary data such as information on discharges. Peer-reviewed journals or scientific studies are also sources of secondary data.

3. D: There are many factors that may help to improve or hinder the health of a community. Biological factors such as genetics are important to address but may be less effective as part of a large group. Lifestyle factors such as increased rates of smoking, poor diet, or alcohol use have a direct impact on the health of a community. Environmental factors can include issues such as access to affordable food or health care, air quality, or water quality. Psychosocial factors may include availability of social supports, employment, income level, education level, or overall safety of the community. Other types of individual factors may include religious or cultural beliefs.

4. A: There are typically six steps in the needs assessment process. The first step is to determine why the needs assessment is being done and the scope of the project. The second step is gathering the data, followed by data analysis. The fourth step is to look at any factors that have been identified as having an impact on the health issue. The fifth step is to determine what the actual focus should be for addressing the health problem. The last step is to validate the needs that have been identified. This makes sure that the identified issue is a true need.

5. C: A face-to-face survey would be the most expensive type of survey to use because it is time consuming. Less expensive options include mail, telephone, or Internet surveys. Face-to-face surveys have a higher response rate than other types of surveys, but they increase interviewer bias and take away the option of a participant to remain anonymous. With a face-to-face interview, the surveyor is able to ask questions in the desired order, and it allows for additional questioning or asking for clarification if necessary. It is more difficult to summarize the data for face-to-face surveys.

CHES test blueprint and breakdown


Last Updated: 03/01/2017

© 2017 Copyright | All Rights Reserved
All material on this website is copyrighted. provides free unofficial review materials for a variety of exams.
All trademarks are property of their respective owners.