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5 Study Aids for Applied Behavior Analysis Students

Study Aids for Applied Behavior Analysis StudentsWhether you are in the middle of coursework in an ABA program or are getting ready to take your BCBA exam, it would benefit you to find and utilize the most widely-used and effective study aids to increase your chances of success. There is no use reinventing the wheel here; there are dozens of study guides online and on apps that have been created by ABA experts, along with students just like you. 

No matter what type of learner you are, there is something out there for everyone. You can choose to dive into a textbook, review digital flashcards through an app, watch videos and go through modules, or take practice quizzes and exams. And don’t forget about using each other for support. There are many ABA-related online communities via social media where like-minded students and professionals get together to share tips, advice, and can study together. 

There are many study aids available for applied behavior analysis students that can help them prepare for their certification exams. By making use of these aids and the various tools that some of them provide, students can review the material they will encounter on their exams and will be better prepared when the big day comes.

These are just a few of the best study aids for ABA students:

1. Applied Behavior Analysis by John Cooper

Written by John Cooper, who has over 40 professional publications in the realm of education and behavior, Applied Behavior Analysis was initially published in 1987. Over the years, this text has become invaluable to ABA students to the point where it continues to be published and is currently on its third edition. It is definitely one of the best study aids for students who are preparing for the Applied Behavior Analysis certification exam.

On Goodreads, Applied Behavior Analysis has hundreds of ratings with almost a 5-star average. 

Here are two useful reviews of the textbook:

Applied Behavior Analysis by John Cooper is a must for someone who wants to dive into more of an academic read. 

2. Brainscape: Learn Behavior Analysis

Brainscape, called the smartest flashcard app, is another terrific study aid for students majoring in applied behavior analysis. It is an online website dedicated to helping students learn and study a wide array of topics. Using the site’s flashcard tool, applied behavior analysis students can study terms pertaining to their field of study; they can even create their own flashcards. 

Brainscape maintains several decks of cards that students can browse through that include such topics as principles of everyday behavior analysis, experimental analysis of behavior, and ethics for behavior analysis.

This app is free, yet there are upgrades you can purchase to gain more features. 

Here are at least 450 applied behavior analysis flashcards you can utilize now. 

Here are two useful reviews of Brainscape:

Overall, Brainscape is an excellent app for applied behavior analysis students that they can use anywhere at any time that is convenient for them. 

3. Online Study Groups

There is no resource like other people who are pushing for the same goal when it comes to study time. And free resources always get high marks in our book! That makes the Facebook ABA Study Group one of our favorite resources for ABA therapy training.

It’s a private group, eliminating distractions from anyone who isn’t serious about their ABA therapy certification, and there are more than 45,000 members, giving you a broad spectrum of expertise and ideas to tap into for your own studies.

Not only will you find many students like yourself who are still in their ABA therapy certification programs, but also many experienced BCBAs who have already been through the process. Some of the mock exams that are posted in the group give the paid alternatives a solid run for their money! 

A huge benefit is that there is no cost to joining other than your own moral obligation to pitch in and help the next generation meet their own ABA therapy certification requirements.

4. Behavior Analysis Blogs

ABA Rocks is another highly helpful study aid for students studying applied behavior analysis. This site was created by an actual behavior analyst whose goal is to help individuals study for and pass their applied behavior analysis exams. 

Study aids provided on the site include ABA practice quizzes, flashcards, a forum where students can talk to other ABA students, informational blogs, and a list of ABA resources that can prove to be valuable to applied behavior analysis majors.

There are various other ABA-related blogs out there as well. 

How to ABA is another valuable resource for students of ABA, educators, analysts already in the field, and even for parents. The site offers free materials, a podcast, and even a book club. There are professional development and training opportunities through the site, and visitors can also read up on ABA-related topics on their informative blog. 

Another popular choice is the blog called I Love ABA

This site is unique, colorful, engaging, and helpful. The creators offer “practice tips, simple strategies, and free resources.”  Learn all about what it’s like to have a career in applied behavior analysis, as well as gain new BCBA tips from others who have been there.

ABA Works is made up of a team of clinical professionals and BCBAs who want to share their wealth of knowledge and experience with others. 

Their mission statement includes the following:

They offer conferences, free resources and study materials, the ability to get 40 hours of RBT training, career opportunities, and much more. 

5. Pass the Big Exam

Creators, Dana Meller and Priya Runyon, have made it super convenient and simple to utilize study materials and pass anything related to ABA and BCBA. They started the company in 2012 with the goal of creating “a program that bridged the gap between the ABA coursework and what is practically needed to pass the BIG exam.”

Their objectives are:

  1. To ensure students receive a comprehensive ABA Education/BCBA® Exam Preparation to fill any gaps created by their ABA coursework
  2. To create an organized, systematic, and multi-modal process to be effective for all types of learners/studiers
  3. To create a fun learning experience, with stimulus salience guiding knowledge acquisition

The website includes study manuals, mock exams, the “Big Exam Prep Workshop,” lecture series, and task lists. 

Here are two useful testimonials from Pass the Big Exam:

Pass the Big Exam is a comprehensive and convenient site for ABA students to use, and it has been proven to be effective time and time again. 

Study Aids for Applied Behavior Analysis Students: Conclusion

Graduates of ABA programs and students who are preparing to complete their programs will need to complete the Applied Behavior Analysis exam before they can become certified.

If you are in this situation, don’t fret! There are plentiful free and low-cost resources out there for you and your applied behavior analysis friends to use to increase your chance of success.  

Be sure to check out the five study aids listed above to see if they work for you. 

Brittany Cerny

Master of Education (M.Ed.) | Northeastern State University

Behavior and Learning Disorders | Georgia State University

Updated November 2021


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