The COT® Certification Exam:  Should you take up JCAHPO on the "practice" skill evaluation offer?

The Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (800-284-3937) offers to give you a "practice" COT® skill evaluation for an $85 fee. If you happen to "pass" the practice, then the practice can be counted as your actual skill evaluation. If you "fail", then no harm done, you can still take the regular skill evaluation without an additional fee. On the face of it, it sound like a pretty good offer. Right? Read on.

My advice is to not take the practice offer. The price of the skill evaluation is included in your overall exam fee. If you fail the skill evaluation, the retest is $85. If you purchase the “practice”, you are essentially being penalized if you pass the skill evaluation on the first try. Here is how it breaks down:

You pass skill evaluation on first try:

Scenario #1: Exam fee= $325. You pass skill eval on first try. Total cost is $325.
Scenario #2: Exam fee= $325. Practice skill eval= $85. You pass skill eval on first try (“practice”). Total cost = $410.

You pass skill eval on second try:

Scenario #3: Exam fee= $325. You fail first attempt at skill eval. Retest skill eval=$85. Total cost= $410
Scenario #4: Exam fee= $325. Purchase practice skill eval=$85. You fail on first try. Second attempt is “free”. Total cost= $410

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