Case Exam Format

At the beginning of 2007, the CHC exam committee began an effort to improve and simplify the case analysis exam. Committee members discussed ways to make it easier for candidates to answer in the time allotted, and to make it simpler for reviewers to grade. Sample exams with more specific questions were drafted and tested; recently certified homeopaths, long time practitioners, educators and CHC board members completed trial case exams to evaluate this simpler and more concise approach. We are happy to say that we believe this process has been very helpful and successful, and we are moving forward with using this new style of specific questioning for part of the exam.

Starting with the March 2008 exam the case analysis essays will be replaced with 2 case vignettes with short answers questions. The format is much the same for the candidates in terms of reading a case and subsequently analyzing it. This portion of the exam is still open book and open computer. The change is in how the candidate relates ideas about the case. The way that answers are written will now be more concise. Instead of writing a full essay, the candidate will be asked to answer a series of short answer questions appropriate to the case. This will be quicker to complete, allowing the candidate to summarize ideas about the case without having to write full sentences and paragraphs in an essay form, while still conveying the same information. (Note that full, articulate discussion of case work for each candidate will still be reviewed later in the certification process during the evaluation of the 5 submitted cases of his/her own work.)

Here are examples of the kinds of short-answer questions each candidate will be asked to complete after reading the case. The questions may vary slightly depending on the specific case, but will be similar to these:

  • List 7 symptoms or themes that you feel most clearly represent the case, in order of the importance you assign to them. You can describe a theme using a sentence or just a few words as in bullet points.
  • List 5 rubrics that relate to these 7 symptoms or themes you have noted. You may choose to combine multiple rubrics on one line to be used as one rubric. Enter a rubric or rubric combination in each of the 5 lines below.
  • List 3 remedies that you feel could be indicated in the case based on these symptoms/themes and rubrics. Write either the remedy name or the repertory abbreviation for each remedy here.
  • Choose one remedy that you think is indicated most clearly of the options you considered.
  • List 5 reasons why you think this remedy is the most clearly indicated, associating those reasons to the aspects of the case you emphasized in the first question above.
Other types of questions that may be asked could include requests to identify the predominant miasm, etiology or a strange, rare or peculiar symptom.

Please notice how the same information can be communicated either in a full sentence essay or in short answer form. The preparation to write this short answer style of case exam is therefore the same: learning to see the case clearly and communicating thoughts will serve candidates well on either style of case exam. Remember that the reviewers are never looking for a specific "right" answer, only for a reasonable one that shows good analytical thought and understanding of homeopathic philosophy, materia medica and case assessment.

Download Case Exam Format Examples