Exam Resources

Learn about the complete requirements and criteria for advancing to Fellow status in ACHE. This presentation also details the Board of Governors Examination and the study resources available to help you prepare.

Advancement Information Session presentation

Steps for Taking the Exam

  1. Apply to earn Fellow status and become authorized to sit for the Board of Governors Examination in Healthcare Management. Please note that your authorization is valid for three years. If you do not take the exam within that three-year period, you will need to re-apply to advance to Fellow status.
  2. We will send you an exam registration form that explains how to register and schedule a date to take the exam. You can either take the computer-based version or paper-and-pencil format.
  3. Prepare for the examination through local study groups, the Reference Manual, Online Tutorial, Board of Governors Exam Review course, or the Board of Governors Exam Study Set.
  4. Return the exam registration form to ACHE along with the exam registration fee ($200 if you are advancing to Fellow; $350 if you are recertifying your Fellow status) when you feel prepared to take the exam—whether you choose the paper-and-pencil test or the computer-based option. Please note that you must take the exam within 90 days of the date on which you paid your examination fee. After 90 days, the fee will be forfeited and you will be required to re-register.
  5. Select an exam site:
    • For more information on site locations for computer-based testing, visit the Prometric Web site at You must submit your $200 exam registration fee to ACHE before you will be eligible to register with Prometric.
    • The paper-and-pencil exam is offered at ACHE's annual Congress on Healthcare Leadership in March.

Exam Overview

The exam begins with a short biographical data questionnaire that takes less than five minutes to complete. There are 230 questions. 200 are scored and 30 are pretest questions. Candidates will have up to six hours to complete the exam. Each question has four possible answers and a candidate's score is based on the number of scored questions on the examination. The pretest questions do not affect a candidate's score.

Pretest questions are included in order to evaluate them for possible use as scored questions on future examinations. The pretest questions are placed throughout the examination and cannot be identified during the examination.

Since there is no penalty for incorrect answers, it is to your advantage to answer every question, even when uncertain of the correct answer. No credit is given for questions with more than one response. Click here for sample questions from past versions of the exam.

The 10 Knowledge Areas Covered in the Exam

The knowledge areas identified as pivotal for the practice of healthcare management are defined below. (For more specific information on the types of questions asked for each knowledge area, click here.)

Governance and Organizational Structure
This area deals with the development and analysis of the organizational structure and with delineating responsibility, authority, and accountability at all levels of the organization. Functions include the development and implementation of policies and procedures for the governance process.

Human Resources
This area deals with assessing the need for and the supply of professional and other personnel. Functions include recruitment, selection, training, compensation, and evaluation of such personnel and examining ways to evaluate productivity and monitor accountability for results.

This area deals with the planning, development, establishment, analysis, and assessment of financial management processes for an organization's capital, budget, accounting, and related reporting systems.

Healthcare Technology and Information Management
This covers both management information and clinical information systems, including computer-based support for management, assessing how current technologies and major innovations are changing the way healthcare executives manage, using information systems for short- and long-range planning, using clinical information systems, and information systems acquisitions.

Quality and Performance Improvement
This area deals with the development, implementation, and evaluation of organizational accountability including TQM/CQI programs, quality assessment and assurance philosophies, policies, programs, and procedures.

Laws and Regulations
This area deals with identifying and interpreting the impact of government regulations and law on the organization; identifying the need for and working with others to develop new regulations and laws; investigating, monitoring, documenting, and enforcing existing statutes; and maintaining communication and cooperation with both public and private organizations.

Professionalism and Ethics
Professionalism deals with the development, monitoring, and maintenance of procedures to ensure that the needs of professional staff are met. Ethics includes identifying, monitoring, and disseminating codes of professional conduct; understanding the implications of ethical decisions, providing procedures to monitor standards of behavior within the organization; and determining, maintaining, and monitoring accountability procedures.

This area includes a broad range of organizations and professions involved in the delivery of healthcare. Included are managed care models, healthcare trends, and ancillary services provided.

This area covers general management principles, planning, organizing, directing, and controlling in addressing overall organizational objectives.

Knowledge that pertains to specific areas/concepts of the organization (e.g., marketing, business planning, strategic planning).

To assist you in preparing for the exam, ACHE offers a comprehensive Reference Manual for download. You may also take part in the Online Tutorial.

ACHE also offers a Board of Governors Examination Review Course. Check the Education area of for dates and locations.

Health Administration Press has assembled a collection of books to supplement the Reference Manual and help you prepare for the exam. Learn more or purchase the set.