What is the professional advancement committee (PAC)?

The Professional Advancement Committee leads a monthly study group for APIC DFW members who are preparing to take the Infection Prevention and Control Certification exam (CIC) and provides study materials, exam-taking tips and other related assistance as needed. The Committee also provides recognition to members who have become certified or have recertified during the year at the APIC-DFW annual holiday luncheon.

When does PAC meet?

PAC meets at 11:00am-12:30pm before every APIC DFW meeting.

Where does PAC meet?

PAC meets in person at the meeting locations listed on the chapter’s calendar. 

PAC meetings are available via webinar for those who cannot come in person. In order to attend via webinar, members must register for each webinar. A registration link will be sent out prior to each meeting.

What occurs during a typical PAC session?

During each session, a different chapter of the APIC CIC Study Guide is covered via a PowerPoint presentation. We cover study tips provided by past PAC attendees. We also address attendees’ questions and provide resource materials for their exam preparation.

PAC Session Resources

Exam Topic

Ch 1 & 2  -  CIC Exam and Test-Taking Tips

Ch 3 - Identification of the Infectious Disease Process

Ch 4 - Surveillance and Epidemiologic Investigation

Ch 5 - Prevention and Control of Transmission

Ch 6 -  Employee Health

Ch 7 - Management & Communication

Ch 8 - Education and Research

Ch 9 -  Environment of Care

Ch 10 - Cleaning, Disinfection, Sterilization, Asepsis

Revision Date

February 2018

February 2019







April 2019

contact information

Bethany Phillips and Erica Casanova


If you are looking to strengthen your infection prevention and control knowledge and authority with the CIC® (Certified in Infection Control) credentials, or are currently credentialed and preparing to retake the exam, prepare yourself with the newly updated Certification Study Guide, 6th edition, APIC’s popular review guide for the CIC® exam.  This newest edition reflects the 2015 changes to the CBIC exam.

Highlights of the new edition include:

•Many new practice questions

•Answer rationales and references for every practice question

•Chapter-by-chapter guidance for studying from the primary resources that CBIC uses to write the exam, including the APIC Text, 4th edition

•Three full-length practice tests with answer rationales and references for further study

•Helpful test-taking tips

The CIC® credential signifies you as a leader in infection prevention. Prepare for the exam with the leading organization on infection prevention and control. 

Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc.
1275 K Street, NW, Suite 1000 | Washington, DC 20005-4006
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email: Communications@apic.org


Multiple choice exams are not simply a matter of recognizing true statements from textbook material. They frequently ask the person to make fine distinctions between correct and nearly-correct statements. Although factual knowledge is essential; higher-order thinking questions sometimes make the content of the questions unrecognizable. These types of questions may require distinctions of recognition, or may involve thinking for synthesis, analysis, and application. People often read questions carelessly; therefore, it is important to learn about the type of thinking required to answer multiple choice questions and how to read the questions carefully.


1. Attend the Professional Advancement study group to join with fellow APIC DFW members in preparing for the CIC exam.
2. Review material in the Certification Study Guide and study kit.
3. Review practice questions in the Certification Study Guide and the sample SARE exam. Examine each question to determine the:

  • type of thinking required (recognition, synthesis, analysis, application);

  • degree of difference between incorrect and correct alternatives.

4. When studying the practice questions, consider groups of facts or groups of ideas that are similar in meaning.

  • Pay special attention to differences among facts and ideas within the question.

  • Consider what each fact or idea means or includes and what each does not mean or does not include.

  • Consider what is necessary or sufficient to include. For example, consider how two similar concepts differ and why that difference is important.

Taking the Certification exam:

1. Read directions carefully. Some alternatives may be partly correct or correct statements in themselves, but not when joined to the stem. Directions may say: "choose the most correct answer" or "mark the one best answer." You may be asked to "mark all correct answers."
2. Find out whether you will be penalized for questions that are not answered. Some exams penalize "guessing" by subtracting points for incorrect answers. If there is no penalty, then guess. If there is a penalty, it may be better to leave the question blank.
3. You will have 4 hours to complete 150 questions. This means you have approximately 1 ½ minutes for each question. Some questions, will take you only a few seconds, while others will require more time for thought. Work through the exam as follows:

  • Read every question carefully, but quickly, and answer only those of which you are 100% certain. Lightly mark those that need more thought.

  • Examine/study the questions marked. Answer those you are reasonably sure of without pondering too much on each. Erase the mark.

  • Finally, read the remaining unanswered questions. If you cannot come to a decision by reasoning or if you run out of time, decide whether you should guess. Erase the mark.

  • All extra marks must be erased to avoid problems with scanners.

4. Eliminate obviously incorrect alternative(s) first.
5. Read the stem question and every alternative in potential answers.

  • Determine if you can identify a correct sound or flow that the correct answer often produces. Eliminate any alternatives that do not agree grammatically with the stem.

  • Some people find it helpful to read the stem and anticipate the correct alternative before actually looking at the alternatives. If you generally do better on essay exams, this strategy may help. Research shows that one in three students scores better with this strategy.

  • Consider answers with "all of the above" and "none of the above." Examine the alternatives to see if all of them or none of them apply totally. If even one does not apply totally, do not consider "all of the above" or "none of the above" as the correct answer. Consider that a statement can be true, but not be relevant to the question.

  • Break the stem down into grammatical parts. Identify the subject and verb (if it is in the stem), and then examine all negatives, superlatives and modifiers (qualifiers). This step ensures that you will thoroughly examine and understand the stem.

  • Pay careful attention to negatives. Words such as "none", "not", "never", or "neither" indicate that the correct alternative must be a fact or absolute. Other alternatives could be true statements, but not the correct answer.

  • Words such as "every", "all", "none", "always", and "only" are superlatives that indicate the correct answer must be an undisputed fact.

  • Qualifying words such as "usually", "often", "generally", "may", and "rarely" could indicate a true statement.

  • If two alternatives are opposite, one is likely to be the correct answer.

  • Correct answers will be grammatically correct extensions of the stem.

  • If any clause is false, the entire statement is false.

6. If you are positive you made an error on a question, change it. Studies have shown that changing answers on a multiple choice or true-false exam is neither good nor bad.