If a candidate does not pass the exam, they are required to retake the entire exam including the multiple-choice and clinical case components.
No. Herbology is not tested in the Pan-Canadian Examinations for Acupuncturists. Great resources can be found on our website, www.acupuncturealberta.ca, that will help assist you with preparing for the Pan-Canadian Examinations. A few examples include, but are not limited, to the following, Pan-Canadian Examination Candidate Handbook and Competency Profile 2019.
You should receive access to the sample test via email about 30 days before the exam date. If you do not receive an email, make sure to check your spam folder/junk mail. Please contact us at [email protected] if you do not receive access.
You will be expected to know the extra points listed in the Pan-Canadian Exam Candidate Handbook. Please note that the extra points you need to know for the CAA Acupuncture Points Exam are different.
You will receive your Pan-Canadian Exam result 8-10 weeks from your exam day.
Masks are not mandatory. It is strongly recommended that you and all exam personnel wear a procedure mask that covers the mouth, nose, and chin.
You have 18 minutes to complete the Modalities Exam.
A cup of water will be provided in the exam room. You should extinguish the flame by
placing it into the water. Do not blow out the flame.
Yes, you can move the high-density pad. In fact, if you are demonstrating your technique on a high-density pad, you must move it to the general area of the acupuncture point.
Yes, you may use two heat shields that overlap as long as the overall diameter is at least 3 inches and the diameter of the inner area that is not covered by the heat shields is smaller than 1/4 in.
Only verbalize this step and do not actually light the moxa cone. Lighting the moxa cone from either the top and bottom is acceptable.
You do not need to purchase a sterilized clean field. You may use a paper towel to represent a clean field and indicate verbally to the examiner that it is a sterilized clean field. Pack your paper towel in a clean sealed bag as you need to demonstrate appropriate techniques to set up your clean field.
You must either use gloves (if you feel comfortable for exam-purposes), or clearly verbalize “I will use gloves”. Whether you use the former or latter method, you must state every instance of glove changing. You must still state your hand-washing as well.
You must demonstrate fire cupping over a needle on the high-density pad as your cup will not achieve suction on the foam-mannequin.
If you make a mistake, you are encouraged to correct your mistake by verbalization. You may receive some scores back depending on the mistake you made and the timepoint you verbalize to correct your mistake. Critical errors cannot be corrected at a later time.
Yes, you must follow appropriate clean needle and infection prevention and control techniques.
No. However, it is considered a critical error if moxa cone falls on the patient directly (i.e. foam mannequin or a high-density pad that is not covered by the heat shield).
Yes, you may use a cardboard wrapped with aluminum foil as a heat shield.
No, you cannot bring a protractor to check your needling angle. Candidates are expected to know and be able to demonstrate the appropriate needling angle for the acupuncture point tested without a measuring device.
No, you do not need to have an expiration date on the cup.
No, you do not need to explain how the cup was sanitized; you only need to indicate that the cup is sterilized.
Although you are not required to verbalize your needling angle and depth, it is strongly recommended that you do so. Please note that if there is a discrepancy between your demonstration and your verbalization, examiners will score your exam based on your demonstration, and not your verbalization.
Yes, you can use needles that are close to expiry as long as they are not expired.
It is not recommended to reach over a clean field.
No, you do not have to say how you would clean and disinfect the cups.
No, your acupuncture kit will not be scored. It is recommended that you do not overcomplicate your kit and bring only what is necessary for your exam.
It is recommended to bring pre-soaked cotton balls in an appropriate container for the fire cupping step. Ensure that you have poured the appropriate amount of isopropyl alcohol into the container for a smooth procedure. During the fire cupping step, press the cotton ball against the wall of the container if you need to remove excess isopropyl. The actions described below are considered mishandling of flammable material and will result in an error:
You are not required to verbalize acupuncture point precautions and contraindications during the Modalities Exam, but you must demonstrate the appropriate needling depth, angle, and direction.
You have 16 minutes to complete the Acupuncture Points Exam.
No, we do not provide measurement elastics and strings. You must bring your own measurement tools.
Yes, adhesive dots/stickers will be provided and are available in the exam rooms.
It is strongly recommended that you use proportional cun measurements as it is more accurate than quick measurements. However, you don’t lose marks for the methods you choose to locate a point. As long as the adhesive dot overlaps with the answer key, you will receive full marks.
Although you are not required to verbalize which acupuncture point you are locating and your locating procedures, it is strongly recommended that you do so. Please note that you will be scored based on the placement of your acupuncture point, and not your verbalization.
You will not be asked to locate acupuncture points on the scalp, around the mouth, nose, eyes, genitals and anus.
You are responsible to know the extra points listed on pages E-22 and E-23 of the AARE Candidate Handbook, except the extra points that cannot be found in A Manual of Acupuncture by Peter Deadman (i.e., you are not required to know the extra points that cannot be found in A Manual of Acupuncture by Peter Deadman.) Please note that the extra points you need to know for the Pan-Canadian Examination are different.
The adhesive dot/sticker is ½” in diameter.
It is strongly recommended that you use A Manual of Acupuncture by Peter Deadman and its videos to study for this exam. The videos demonstrate the best/essential body positions for needling and proper techniques on how to locate a specific acupuncture point, including the correct proportional cun measurement you should use.
No, you cannot use chest cun measurements for abdomen points. For example, you must use the lateral border of the rectus abdominis as the landmark to locate ST25.
Yes, according to the Safety Handbook, you should wear gloves if you have skin lesions on your hands.
Yes, you may need to locate extra points with more than one adhesive dot/sticker.
Yes, you must check off “Avoid Nerve/Artery/Vein” if it is a precaution/contraindication of the acupuncture point (e.g. LU9 [Taiyuan]). Failure to recognize potential injury to a nerve/artery/vein is not considered a critical error
You may check off “No Deep/Perpendicular Needling” or “Other” and write down “Avoid enlarged spleen/liver”. Failure to recognize potential injury to an enlarged spleen/liver is not considered a critical error.
No, you do not need to check off “No Moxibustion” for points on the face unless A Manual of Acupuncture by Peter Deadman specifically states contraindication to moxibustion.
No, you don’t need to check off “Contraindicated in Pregnancy” for points in the lower abdomen (e.g. CV3-7) and sacral region (e.g. BL27-34).
It is not recommended to ask your standardized patient to point out their pubic symphysis. The standardized patients are not trained to correctly point out the pubic symphysis.
No, you do not need to know the name of the nerve/artery/vein that you are avoiding for the precautions and contraindications. You can simply check off “Avoid Nerve / Artery / Vein” for that acupuncture point.
No, you do not need to locate the acupuncture points on both sides. You only need to locate the acupuncture points on one side.
Some Extra Points, such as Ex-LE 7 (Lanwei) require verbal interaction with the patients to find the point of maximum tenderness. For the rest of the acupuncture points, you should locate them using appropriate anatomical landmarks and proportional cun measurements.
No, it is not considered a critical error if you incorrectly mark an acupuncture point as “No Deep Needling” or “Avoid Lungs”. You do lose marks for answering the precautions and contraindications incorrectly.
This answer depends on the acupuncture point being located:
1. In most cases, you are evaluated on correctly locating the acupuncture point and you are not evaluated on patient body positioning. For points that do not require an essential body position, you should locate the point in a body position that allows full and easy access to the point that is safe and comfortable for your patient.
It is recommended that you use A Manual of Acupuncture by Peter Deadman and its videos to study for appropriate body positioning. However, you will not lose marks if you correctly locate acupuncture points in a different body position than demonstrated or illustrated by these resources (provided that they are not points that require essential body positioning [see 2. below]). You are expected to understand why an acupuncture point is located in such a way and what other positions may be appropriate.
2. In some cases, there are acupuncture points that require an essential body position, and that will be considered in the evaluation.
For example, SI19 (Tinggong) is an acupuncture point that requires an essential body position. In this case, you must place the adhesive dot with the patient’s mouth open.
No, you cannot locate lower abdomen points on the outside of the clothing. You must locate lower abdomen points on the skin.
No, you do not need to check off “No Moxibustion” for these acupuncture points. (e.g. SP7 [Lougu]).
No, you do not need to check of “No Needling” for these acupuncture points (e.g. BL56 [CHENGJIN]).
Yes, you may ask the standardized patient to sit up.
This part of the Acupuncture Points Exam is meant to test your understanding of acupuncture point precautions and contraindications. All reasonable responses are acceptable. For example, “No deep/perpendicular needling” and “Other – Avoid lungs” are both acceptable answers for GB21. Some tips to fill out the form are as follows:
Use A Manual of Acupuncture by Peter Deadman as reference to study for acupuncture points contraindicated for pregnancy.
It is optional to indicate “contraindicated in pregnancy” for lower abdomen and sacral acupuncture points. You will not lose marks for that indication.
It is optional to indicate “contraindicated in pregnancy” for KI6. You will not lose marks for that indication.