This One Goes the Distance!
Ana C Villanueva, from Texas, an avid runner and a cyclist and yes, another newly minted BCBA, shared her tips:
“Hi all! My name is Ana and I’m from the very Southern tip of Texas. When I was asked to share my tips and tricks in preparing for the exam I was psyched! As you know, we have a saying here “Everything is bigger in Texas!” This was so true in establishing a goal. Big to me meant passing in 1 sitting. To do this I had lots to do in getting started and only 1½ months to prepare before my exam in May. So here it goes….
1) Get all necessary materials prepared.
After hearing mixed reviews on the FIT and the modules I decided to forgo each. This was mainly due to having just taken my LPC exam in March leaving little financial room for extra spending. I focused on the Cooper book, Baily & Burch Ethics, and any articles that were necessary to assist in areas I was having trouble in.
2) Dedicating a specific environment.
I transformed a back room into my study room, which held anything I would need to get me through hours of reading without interruption. Yes, you heard right. Hours of reading. Pencils, lead refills, notebook paper, earplugs, and Jordan Almonds (my reinforcers!).
Short-term goal was to have the entire textbook read within 1 month. Each day was dedicated to have 1-2 chapters read in depth. This meant reading before work, in-between sessions at work, during lunchtime, then an additional 5 hours at home. Once the textbook had been fully covered I utilized the chapter quizzes but chose random chapters out of order to test my knowledge.
Something I would love to stress to you future test-takers is please do not memorize definitions. I heard so many people passing out this advice and strongly warn against it. When reading the material, really learn about what you are reading and ask yourself how this will relate to your future jobs. Memorizing will go out the window with anxiety but knowledge will stay with you.
4) Get familiar with the content areas.
The textbook was so helpful in breaking down the location of the content area subtopics within the textbook. This meant going back through the entire book and re-reading areas to the fullest. At this point I used my “reverse studying” method.
Specifically, after reading about effective interventions within certain settings, I would ask myself how other interventions would compare in a similar situation. What made one intervention more likely to be used based on specific circumstances such as timing, environment, and resources available? Comparing interventions in this manner turned out to be so helpful for the exam as many of the questions were asked in this fashion. The exam will give you a scenario with 4 options and you are asked to choose the best intervention option based on the information.
5) Stay healthy
With so little time and intense studying there was no way I was going to stress myself out and end up getting sick before the exam! Eat right, get plenty of rest, and bump up on Emergen-C.
6) Test time.
Breathe. Stay calm. Use the “flag” for any questions that you feel any uneasin
ess on. During my exam, I must have flagged about 50 questions. Lastly, take all the time you need.
So these are my tips and tricks that helped me pass the BCBA exam. I wish all of you the best of luck and hope you will be the next one sharing your advice to other future test-takers.”
Ana Says it All..
I don’t have anything to add you… you know what to do…
Ana just accepted a job to New Orleans!!! Congratulations and shout out to her for generosity