5 Resources for Graduates Preparing to Take the Behavior Analyst Certification Board Exam

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) has been providing professional credentials to behavior analysts since it was established in 1998. The exam tests applicants’ knowledge in behavior analysis and must be passed to receive those credentials. The certification exam consists of approximately 160 multiple-choice questions, 150 of which will be graded. Certification categories offered include Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Board Certified Behavior Analyst – Doctoral and Registered Behavior Technician.

Classes as Study Tools

Those looking to pass the Behavior Analyst Certification Board exam need to have attained a master’s degree, generally in behavior analysis, education or psychology, from a qualifying accredited university, either in the United States or abroad. Fortunately, accomplishing this feat also serves as a great resource for passing this exam as that process doubles as a significant study tool since concepts and principles, ethical and professional conduct and research methods are learned while taking those classes.

“Applied Behavior Analysis”

“Applied Behavior Analysis” by John O. Cooper has proven vital for many looking to pass this exam. In fact, a number of people have reported studying it closely and then passing the BCBA exam on their first attempt. Its completeness is commended as its 800 pages are filled with hundreds of citations, definitions of technical terms and concepts and graphs while providing its readers with “the conceptual and technical skills necessary to foster socially adaptive behavior in diverse individuals.”

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Training for Multiple-Choice Exams

Since all 150 questions on this exam are multiple-choice with four options available to the test taker, learning how to perform well at multiple-choice tests can help you pass. Although you have likely taken a number of multiple-choice exams throughout your life, it cannot hurt to take a refresher course and see how you can further those skills. The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has provided a useful resource for bettering those talents. For example, make sure that you memorize specific details that would likely be on the exam as attention to that level of detail tends to prove especially helpful when studying for multiple-choice tests as opposed to essay exams.

Planning the Test-Taking Experience

The BACB has a useful web page that breaks down exactly how many questions will be asked about which subject areas. Use this resource to plan out your test-taking experience and ensure that you are on pace to finish on time. For example, if every question took you the same amount of time, you would spend 90 seconds on each one as you are allowed four hours to take the exam. However, take a look at exactly how many questions will be in which subject area as you may want to ensure that you have extra time set aside for questions on areas you may not know as well, taking that time from subject matters you find relatively easy.

Practice the CBT Format

Just like public speakers perform best when they can practice their speech at the venue in which it will be held and actors are more convincing once they start rehearsing on the same stage in which their performances will be, it will help you to get the hang of the computer-based testing format that will be used for this exam ahead of time. Although many may not agree that doing this will be of much value, every second that you can save on your exam day can prove vital in the end. This testing tutorial may be found here.

Resource: Top 10 Best Applied Behavior Analysis Programs 2015

Although the BCBA does provide you with the tools necessary to pass this exam, note that the organization does not make it easy as only about 60 percent of first-time test takers pass it, so plan accordingly.