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What Is The BCBA Exam? How To Pass It

Are you ready to take the next step in your career by becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)?

mark elias
Mark Elias
October 31, 2023

Becoming a BCBA is an incredibly rewarding accomplishment that can open many doors in the field of behavior analysis. However, before you can realize this goal, you must first pass the BCBA exam.

What Is The BCBA Exam?

The BCBA exam is a challenging yet rewarding exam that tests your knowledge, skills and abilities in the field of behavior analysis. The examination consists of 150 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as principles of behavior, ethics, assessment, intervention and more.

Prerequisites to Taking the BCBA Exam

In order to sit for the BCBA exam, you must have completed a master’s degree or higher from an accredited university in behavior analysis, education, psychology or a related field.

You must also have at least 1500 hours of supervised experience working with clients who have applied the principles of behavior analysis.

This article will provide some tips and advice on how to prepare for the BCBA exam and ultimately achieve success on test day. Here are four key steps that can help you pass the BCBA exam:

How To Pass The BCBA Exam

1. Familiarize Yourself with Exam Content

The first step toward passing any examination is to become familiar with its content areas. The BCBA exam consists of five core content areas: Measurement, Experimental Design and Data Analysis, Applied Behavior Analysis Interventions,

Systems Intervention, and Professional Conduct and Scope of Practice.

Make sure that you understand the material covered in each of these five core areas.

2. Develop a Study Plan

Once you have a good understanding of the exam's content, it is important to develop an effective study plan. Determine how much time you need to devote to studying for the exam.

Create a calendar that details when you will review certain topics and practice tests so that you can stay on track with your studies.

It is also essential to set aside specific times for breaks throughout the day—studying for an entire day without taking any breaks can make it difficult to retain information.

3. Utilize Practice Exams

Taking practice exams is an incredibly valuable tool when preparing for the BCBA exam.

Not only do they provide a good indication of your progress in mastering the material, but you can also learn how to pace yourself and manage your time effectively during the actual exam.

Additionally, there are many comprehensive practice exams available that cover all five core content areas of the BCBA exam.

4. Take Care of Yourself

Passing any examination requires both mental and physical energy. Make sure that you're taking care of yourself throughout the study process by eating healthy meals, getting plenty of sleep, and exercising regularly.

These activities will help keep your stress levels low and maintain a positive mindset when it comes time to take the BCBA exam.

By following these four steps, you can be well on your way to passing the BCBA exam and becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Good luck!

Can I Retake the BCBA Exam?

If you don't pass the BCBA exam on your first attempt, you may be eligible to retake it. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) allows applicants to retake the examination up to three times within a six month period.

After three unsuccessful attempts, individuals must wait an additional six months before reapplying for the exam.

The BACB also offers several resources and supports designed to help candidates prepare for and pass the BCBA examination. This includes practice exams, instructional videos, webinars and more. Be sure to take advantage of these materials as they can make all the difference in helping you achieve success on test day.

What Happens If I Don't Pass The Exam?

If you don't pass the BCBA exam, you may be eligible to retake it as mentioned above.

You may also want to consider taking a review course or workshop from an accredited provider, which can help you better understand some of the complexities of applied behavior analysis and improve your test-taking skills.

In addition, there are several other certifications related to behavior analysis that may be more appropriate for those who do not pass the BCBA exam.

The BACB offers several specialty credentials in areas such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Treatment Intensive Behavior Analysis (TIBA), and Organizational Management (OM). Depending on your background and interests, becoming certified in one of these areas could be a great way to further

What Happens After You Pass the BCBA Exam

Once you have passed the BCBA exam, there are still a few steps that must be taken before you can become officially board certified. The BACB requires those who receive certification to complete continuing education courses in order to maintain their credential and stay up-to-date on best practices in the field of behavior analysis.

In addition, most states require individuals to apply for licensure in order to practice as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Requirements vary by state so it is important to research what is necessary in your area and make sure all documents are filed correctly.

With the right preparation and guidance, success on the BCBA Exam is within reach. Achieving this important professional milestone can provide lifelong rewards for anyone seeking to enter or advance in the field of behavior analysis. Best of luck as you embark on this journey!


  1. https://www.bacb.com/examination-information/
  2. https://www.bacb.com/bcba/
  3. https://home.pearsonvue.com/bacb
  4. https://www.behaviorist.com/bcba-exam/
  5. https://www.supportivecareaba.com/aba-therapy/how-to-pass-the-bcba-exam