How to Pass the BCBA Exam: Tips, Preparation & More

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Becoming a BCBA is the first step to being a successful professional in the field of autism. It requires both clinical and educational knowledge, test-taking skills, and more than just patience. Here are some tips that can help you pass your exam on your next try!

Becoming a BCBA is not easy, but if you’re really interested in working with children who have autism, it’s worth the effort. This article will provide some tips on what to do and how to prepare for this challenging licensure exam

The “how to pass the bcba exam the first time” is a blog post with tips, preparation and more.


Passing the BCBA test will take a substantial amount of time and effort. You must complete all criteria before taking the test, which include getting a graduate degree, performing supervised field work, and submitting an application to take the exam.

It’s time to start studying after you’ve been granted permission to take the test. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board provides practice questions and an exam task list. Exam preparation classes might also assist you in mastering the topic.

The test is four hours long and contains 160 questions. Pearson Vue testing centers throughout the globe provide it in a computer-based style. At your testing location, you’ll have your results right away. You get eight opportunities to repeat the test during the two-year validity term of your exam authorization if you need to.

You become a board certified behavior analyst as soon as you pass the BCBA test. As a BCBA, you may start working in a school, clinic, hospital, charity, or community organization right immediately.

You must remember to remain current with recertification criteria and renew your certification every two years after being certified.

What Does the BCBA Exam Entail?

You must first pass the BCBA test to become a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA). The last stage in the certification procedure is to pass the test.

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board notes that the goal of the BCBA test is to verify that everyone who will be working as a BCBA has entry-level behavior analyst expertise (BACB).

Many BCBAs specialize in dealing with particular disorders, such as autism or developmental disabilities, in addition to possessing extensive understanding of behavior analysis, which is covered on the test. Typically, these expertise emerge over the course of a career. You might start out as a general BCBA and eventually specialize on a certain clientele.

Prerequisites for Exam Participation

You must provide evidence demonstrating that you have fulfilled all of the requirements before you can apply to take the BCBA test. The following are the four primary prerequisites for earning a BCBA:

  • Obtain a master’s or doctorate degree at the graduate level.

  • Complete all course work that is appropriate.

  • Experiential learning under supervision (750 to 1,500 hours, depending on the placement).

  • Obtain a passing score on the BCBA test.

After you’ve met the first three requirements, you may apply to the BACB to take the BCBA test. An application consists of the following components:

  • Online application is complete.

  • Transcripts from the university.

  • Forms for verifying your experience.

  • Degree equivalency paperwork, curriculum assessment, or degree evaluation documentation are examples of additional supporting papers.

The whole application payment must be paid at the same time as the aforementioned papers are submitted.

How Does the Test Work?

The BCBA exam applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Once your application has been accepted, you may register for the test on Pearson Vue’s website. Pearson Vue is the sole provider of BACB examinations.

According to the BACB, the BCBA exam is given via computer-based testing (CBT). Pearson Vue provides free online courses so you can get a head start on learning the format.

The BACB explains the test procedure in detail, including:

  • Cost. There is a $245 application cost payable to the BACB, as well as a $140 examination appointment fee payable to Pearson Vue.

  • Length. There are 160 multiple-choice questions in the test, each with four alternative answers to pick from. You have four hours to finish the test.

  • Scores that are acceptable. The BCBA test has a scaled scoring system that ranges from 0 to 500. To pass, you must score at least 400.

  • Exam outcomes. As soon as you complete the exam, you will get your results at the testing center.

Your BCBA certification is valid as soon as you pass the test. Within 24 hours, you should get a confirmation email from the BACB, and your BCBA account will be changed immediately.

Taking the Exam Again

You have the option to repeat the test if you do not pass the first time. Within a two-year period beginning when you got your original clearance to take the test, you may repeat the BCBA exam up to eight times. To retake the test, you must first:

  • Submit an application for a retake of the test.

  • Pay the $140 test retake cost.

  • To retake the test, you must wait at least 30 days.

If you are still unable to pass the test after eight tries but your two-year eligibility window has not yet expired, you must wait until the two-year window expires. After that period, you may reapply for BCBA certification in its entirety. Applying for an assistant BCBA (BCaBA) certification is an alternative to waiting for the two-year exam window to expire.

Getting Ready for the Exam

The BACB has identified three primary resources to help you prepare for the BCBA exam. Sample exam questions, the BACB Task List, and Exam Preparation Courses are all highly recommended by the BACB to help you successfully prepare for and Obtain a passing score on the BCBA test.

Question Examples

The BACB provides five Question Examples from prior BCBA exams to give you an idea of the format and structure to expect on the exam. Take time to review these example questions several times until you feel comfortable.

Here are two examples of questions that may arise in the BCBA examination:

1. Kevin receives screen time if he puts his dirty clothing in the washing hamper after changing into his pajamas. Kevin, despite this, does not place his clothing in the washing hamper on a regular basis. “Remember to throw your clothes in the hamper or you won’t get screen time,” Kevin’s mother adds as he heads into his room to change his clothing. Kevin puts his clothing in the washing hamper after changing into his pajamas. Which of the following is an example of his mother’s reminder?

Positive reinforcement a) Verbal prompt b) Positive reinforcement

b) Reward with a negative reinforcement

d) Physical provocation

2. Angela screams and cries every time she goes to the dentist. Angela used to like coming to the dentist, but the cleanings during her past three appointments have left her in agony and bleeding. Because the dentist was often associated with pain, Angela’s reaction to seeing him enter the room was to scream and weep. The screaming and wailing generated by the sight of the dentist would be referred to as a(n): in the response paradigm.

a) Unconditional reaction

b) a stimulus that discriminates

c) generalized apprehension responser

d) Conditioned Reaction 

Tasks for BCBAs Another resource available to BCBA test candidates is the BACB Task List. It’s an 11-page paper that goes through all of the probable subjects that might come up on your test. You will avoid any surprises during the test if you familiarize yourself with the task list. The following are the three main categories in the task list:

Exam Preparation Course

The BACB’s final tip for passing the BCBA exam is to take an Exam Preparation Course. Courses are offered online and in person. Though the BACB does not endorse any third-party providers of such courses, it does acknowledge that review courses can be highly effective forms of review.

Practice tests are included in many of these BCBA prep courses. As part of a review course, you’ll take at least one practice test, but many courses require you to take numerous. This is one of the most effective approaches to study for the test. If you’re taking practice examinations on your own, keep track of your time to ensure you finish each one inside the permitted time.

Like all prep courses, BCBA Exam Preparation Courses cost money. Most ABA-related prep courses are fairly affordable.

When You Have Passed the BCBA Exam

When You Have Passed the BCBA Exam, you are officially certified to work as a BCBA. You may choose to work as an independent contractor or full-time as an employee for a larger company in a variety of settings.

As a BCBA, you’re in charge of developing and implementing ABA programs. Each care plan will be tailored to each of your customers’ specific needs.

You may either carry out your treatment plan personally and work with clients directly, or you can oversee other experts who conduct the therapy sessions. Most BCBAs collaborate with registered behavior technicians (RBTs), who carry out their treatment plan while working with clients one-on-one. RBTs must be supervised by a BCBA, BCaBA, or BCBA-D, while BCBAs may operate alone.

When You Have Passed the BCBA Exam, you can dive into your career as a board certified behavior analyst. Don’t forget to keep your certification current by meeting continuing education, ethics, and self-reporting requirements, and renewing your certification every two years.

Final Suggestions

Follow these basic study advice as you prepare for the BCBA test to guarantee you do well and pass on your first attempt.


The “bcba exam questions” is a guide that includes tips, preparation and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many questions do you need to get right to pass BCBA exam?

A: You need to get 45% of your questions correct in order to pass the BCBA exam.

What should I do the day before the BCBA exam?

A: First of all, make sure to review the course materials and study for at least a couple hours. Additionally, it is important to ensure that you are adequately rested because spending many hours studying could cause fatigue in your brain. Lastly, dont forget about diet! Eating well can be just as important for learning as sleeping well.

How do you break down the BCBA exam questions?

A: The BCBA exam is composed of multiple choice questions that are broken down into two sections. Study guide for the first section, and then a second quiz to review what you studied in your study guide.

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