JellyBean and Her 15 tips are Here!
Sara Jean, one of the first people I came across on Twitter… also took the May exam and passed. She kindly shared her tips:
“Ok here is my blurb…
“My background is Masters in Special Education Licensed PreK thru 12, Worked as a Special Education teacher for 7 years. Masters at Salem State University and Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate 5 Course Sequence at Endicott College in MA. Completed the certificate program and Masters degree from two different programs all at once. Finished in December 2012.
“In January 2013…I immediately started studying and did not stop until May 30, 2013
1. Started with a baseline of ALL Cooper chapters. Recorded all quiz results. Started re-reading all chapters with a score of 80% or lower.
2. Continued my weekly individual supervision hours with the Director of behavioral services who happened to be my supervisor. Also continued my bi-weekly study group meetings with supervisor and 2 other colleagues who planned to sit for the exam at the same time I did in May 2013.
3. Started SAFMEDS
4. I used Quizlet but only the Quizlet page which Dr. Michael Dorsey had put on his quizlet page. I used Quizlet on my phone with the chapters that just weren’t sticking with me
5. I took endless quizzes and exams that were supplied by my supervisor. I mean, stacks of quizzes. And then re-took the quizzes in May to see if my scores increased…they did!!
6. I sat in on the PASS the BCBA hour long webinar.
7. During April and May I met weekly with my colleagues taking the exam and we studied topics that were difficult or challenging. (Best study strategy) Sometimes we were able to offer each other watered down versions of the topics in a way that was meaningful to each other.
8. I had a vocabulary term each week posted on my white board in my classroom so I would be forced to look at it say it out loud and remember it!
9. I purchased the BDS modules and started those in September 2012. I had to take breaks with the modules because I began to loathe them. However, I completed the modules and then went back and reviewed the chapters I was struggling with based off of my Cooper quiz baseline.
10. I purchased one of the FIT mock exams. I scored well on about half of the sections. The other sections I made sure I went back and re-read Cooper.
11. I used the Michael Weinberg books…both of them. And scored above 80 on each practice exam.
12. I spent about 1-2 hours every night studying and the closer I got to the exam, the more time I spent each night. I typically spent 1-5 hours studying on weekends as well.
13. Right before the exam I re-took all the Cooper online quizzes and then studied the chapters with a score less than 80%.
14. Finally, a week before the exam I wrote up a study sheet of all the terms/topics that were still tricky for me, like IOA formulas. I studied this sheet right up until the night before the exam.
15. And this is how I passed the BCBA exam.
“I spent a ton of time studying. It became part of my nightly routine. Music on, headphones on, computer in my lap, Cooper by my side. All of my time spent was well worth it when I saw I had passed.
“In my opinion, the BDS Modules were extremely helpful, but only if they are used correctly and not as the single study method for exam takers. Other study methods MUST be used. People swear by SAFMEDS. I, however, did not use them faithfully. I found Weinberg’s books to be helpful but only to see where my gaps were. I suggest joining a study group. Talking in person with others who are sitting for the exam. Go to the study groups with an agenda and highlight questions to go over at each meeting. When participating in ONLINE study groups, don’t be intimidated by questions people are asking. And I would only look at the answers posted by reputable BCBAs because they had a better chance of knowing the answer.”
September is Here!
We just wrapped up our study tips. For those who are sitting, best of luck and you can do it. Go review Behavior Guy’s exam taking tips!
May the desired consequence be with you!