Working in behavior analysis necessitates certification by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, so be sure you know what it takes to get certified!
A test is required for certification, in addition to educational and work experience requirements.
Begin your exam preparation by investigating the test’s content and structure, being aware of the difficulty level as represented by average exam pass rates, and researching the best techniques to prepare for this test.
What to Anticipate During the Exam
In order to pursue a profession as a behavior analyst, students should be aware of two tests. Passing the BCBA test qualifies you as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst while passing the BCaBA exam qualifies you as a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst.
Both tests are offered four times a year; February, May, August, and November. You may not get your exam results for up to six to twelve weeks following the test date.
The BCBA and BCaBA exams are multiple-choice tests that are administered by computer. Each question has four alternative answers, and test-takers must select one of them.
The BCBA test has 150 graded questions, whereas the BCaBA exam has 130 graded questions. Both tests allow applicants to finish the test in four hours.
The material of both tests falls into one of two categories: either fundamental behavior analytic abilities or client-centered duties.
Measurement, experimental design, behavior-change considerations, the essential aspects of behavior change, particular behavior-change methods, and behavior change systems are all part of the foundation of behavior analysis.
The client-centered duties include questions about the identification of the problem, measurement, evaluation, intervention and execution, management, and supervision.
The BCBA exam and the BCaBA exam each have 26 and 24 questions, respectively, that focus on the most fundamental aspects of behavior change.
The behavior analyst’s client-centered tasks get the second-highest emphasis, with the BCBA test featuring 23 questions on this topic and the BCaBA exam addressing the issue in 18 questions.
Before you can sit for the test, you’ll need to meet certain educational and experience prerequisites.
BCBA Exam Passing Scores
How difficult are the BCBA and BCaBA examinations? Although the questions are designed to reflect the knowledge expected of an entry-level behavior analyst, you should still take this test seriously.
The Behavior Analyst Certification Board sets a passing score of 400 points on a scale of zero to five hundred as the minimum requirement for certification.
In general, more test takers pass than fail these tests. In 2015, 67% of those who took the BCBA test for the first time passed; this number dropped to 66% in 2016, and then to 65% in 2017 and 2018 among those who took the test for the first time.
In recent years, the percentage of passing marks on the BCaBA test has dropped significantly. In 2015, 71 percent of first-timers passed this test, but just 65 percent did in 2016 and 2017, and only 62 percent did in 2018.
Candidates who retook the exam had substantially lower success rates, ranging from 32 to 28 percent for the BCBA test and 38 to 32 percent for the BCaBA exam.
Exam Preparation Strategies for the BCBA
As a future behavior analyst, you want to have your certification exam under your belt as quickly as possible. Starting to study for the test early will save you from having to scramble at the very last minute.
For those preparing for the exam, there are both free and paid resources available, but a good place to start is with the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s Task List, which is the foundation for both the exam and the coursework.
Studying alone or in a group with fellow students or recent grads works for some, but taking a practice test before the real thing seems to be an approach that works for everyone.
You must pay to sit for the BCBA and BCaBA tests, much like other professional exams. There is an additional price of $125 for an exam appointment in addition to the $245 or $175 certification application fee.