Free CBIC Practice Exam

The Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (CBIC) is an organization that certifies health care workers through the completion and passing of the CBIC exam. Once certified, certification lasts for five years. The exam is administered at over 140 testing centers in North America by Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP).

Prior to applying for the CBIC examination, certain specific educational and practice requirements must be met. Details about these requirements can be found online on the CBIC website. There are two ways in which to apply for the CBIC exam. One way is to apply online on the Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP) website. After applying online, a confirmation of eligibility is available immediately, and then a CBIC exam appointment can be scheduled. One can also apply online by mailing a paper application to AMP directly. This application can be found online in the Candidate Handbook on the CBIC website. After applying by mail, a notice of eligibility will be sent to approved candidates within two weeks. When applying for the CBIC exam, all fees must be paid as well, and these fees are outlined online. The eligibility window for both online and mail applicants lasts for 90 days. The CBIC must be taken during this 90 day window. There are no specific CBIC examination dates, and the CBIC exam can be taken on Mondays-Fridays at either 9 am or 1:30 pm. Exams can be scheduled by calling AMP directly or online on the AMP website. Exam locations can be found online on the AMP website.

The CBIC examination is computer-based, and consists of 150 multiple choice questions. Of these 150 questions, 15 questions are pre-test questions.

The major content areas effective July 1, 2007:

I. Identification of Infection Disease Processes

II. Surveillance and Epidemiologic Investigation

III. Infection Prevention and Control

IV. Program Management and Communication

V. Education

VI. Infection Control Aspects of Employee Health

After the completion of the CBIC exam, a score report is available from the CBIC examination proctor. The score report contains the raw score for the entire CBIC exam, which is the total number of questions answered correctly, as well as the raw score of each of the six major content areas. In addition, the score report will note whether the candidate has passed or failed the CBIC examination. The minimum passing score is determined using the Angoff method. This method estimates the probability of passing each question on the CBIC examination. The minimum passing score varies between different CBIC examination forms.

Prior to the CBIC examination, it is crucial to be familiar with the content and format of the CBIC exam. Reviewing the content structure online on the CBIC website can be useful. In addition, the CBIC website lists reference books which may be of use as study aids. Taking practice examinations and completing practice questions can also be of use. During the CBIC exam, taking advantage of the practice test at the start of the testing session is useful. This practice test is not scored, rather, it is for helping the test-taker become familiar with the computer testing environment. Pacing during the CBIC examination is also important. Time can be checked using the time feature on the testing computer. All questions presented should be answered, as any blank answers are considered to be incorrect in terms of scoring. If a question seems difficult, it can be skipped and returned to later during the CBIC examination. A best guess is better than no answer at all.

CBIC Exam Information

Practice Questions

1. Which of the following statements regarding Clostridium difficile spores is NOT true?

a. Hand washing is the most effective method to prevent C. difficile transmission.
b. Spores are noninfectious forms of the organism.
c. Ingestion triggers spore activation to their disease-causing form.
d. Spores can be recovered from computer keyboards and window coverings.

2. Identify the TRUE statement regarding enterococcal infections in the United States:

a. Most human enterococcal infections are due to Enterococcus avium.
b. Enterococci are normal inhabitants of the gastrointestinal tract.
c. Enterococci rarely show resistance to vancomycin.
d. Gram stain typically reveals gram-negative diplococci in short chains.

3. Which of the following pathogens is the LEAST likely to be associated with nosocomial wound infections?

a. Escherichia coli
b. Staphylococcus aureus
c. Coagulase-negative staphylococci
d. Bacteroides fragilis

4. A hospital's infection control nurse reported postsurgical wound infections by classification in a group of patients. Which was classified correctly as clean-contaminated (class II)?

a. Closed reduction of Colles fracture in 74-year-old woman
b. Emergency appendectomy and abscess evacuation in febrile 18-year-old man
c. Elective thoracotomy with right upper lobectomy in 52-year-old smoker
d. Stab wound to abdomen with intestinal perforation in 25-year-old man

5. A comparison of the incidence of lung cancer in a population of smokers compared with the incidence in a nonsmoking population defines which statistical term?

a. Relative risk
b. Incidental risk
c. Disease prevalence
d. Disease incidence

Answers and Explanations

1. A: In a manner similar to the spores of Bacillus anthracis, an outermost layer of Clostridium difficile spores called the exosporium renders these microbes sticky, which enables them to adhere to health care workers' hands or environmental surfaces, such as computer keyboards, window coverings, and telephones, used by clinical staff. The most effective prevention strategy is barrier protection, as in rigorous adherence to glove use, which should always be followed by thorough hand washing. Although many commercial products claim to rid hands of spores, their success rates are less than that of barrier methods. Spores are the noninfectious forms of the organisms, which are activated following ingestion to their disease-causing form.

2. B: The ubiquity and increasing antimicrobial resistance patterns among Enterococcus spp. is an infection control challenge for health care facilities worldwide. Vancomycin-resistant strains are frequently reported in the United States. These enteric, facultative gram-positive cocci grow in short chains. They are normal inhabitants of the gastrointestinal tract (large bowel) and female genitourinary tract. While E. faecalis causes the majority of infections and shows emerging resistance to many antibiotics, E. faecium isolates demonstrate a high degree of vancomycin resistance. Because many nosocomial enterococcal infections are transmitted by contact, these organisms are also found on skin and wounds, often as a result of hand carriage by health care workers.

3. D: The bacterial species most commonly responsible for surgical site infections (SSI) is Staphylococcus aureus. In one study, this species accounted for 20% of all SSI. Given this microbe's increasing rates of antimicrobial resistance, as in methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), these infections represent a formidable foe in terms of mortality, morbidity, and increasing health care costs. Following S. aureus in frequency are those infections caused by coagulase-negative staphylococci (14%), as in S. epidermidis, frequently found on skin and mucous membranes as normal bacterial flora. These organisms are often associated with infections related to indwelling devices and catheters, and in endocarditis. Following staphylococci in frequency are wound infections involving enterococcus (12%) and E. coli (8%). Although infections involving anaerobic Bacteroides fragilis are worrisome, these organisms accounted for only 2% of all SSI in the study noted, following other more frequently occurring infections related to pathogens such as Pseudomonas, Klebsiella, Proteus, and Enterobacter species.

4. C: Clean-contaminated or class II surgical wounds may involve entry into parts of the body that normally contain flora, such as the respiratory or urinary tracts; however, in order to qualify as class II, such procedures must be elective and not violate aseptic technique nor show evidence of an infectious process. By definition, the closed wrist fracture reduction does not involve a break in skin and would be a class I procedure. The emergency appendectomy with evidence of abscess implicates perforation and infection, and is thus a class IV wound. The elective thoracotomy with right upper lobe resection involves the respiratory tract, a potential source of contamination. However, surgery was elective and did not note infection or break in technique, so it is correctly classified as clean-contaminated.

5. A: Relative risk (RR) is a useful statistical term in infectious epidemiology as well as noninfectious disease surveillance. Although a noninfectious example is used here, the concept remains important to understanding risk of disease transmission in certain populations. Relative risk is a ratio that shows the risk of developing a disease or infection in a population exposed to a causative agent compared with the risk for developing the same entity in a population that is not exposed to that agent. Because RR involves two ratios, that of the event probability in the exposed group divided by that in the unexposed group, it is also known as the risk ratio. Disease prevalence references the number of cases of a disease in a given population at a set time; disease incidence represents the frequency or rate at which new cases of a disease are seen in a given population during a specified time frame. Disease incidence is often used in epidemiologic investigations.

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Last Updated: 03/01/2017

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