Category Archives: BCBA

BCBA Study Plan from a new BCBA

Returned I Have

Study Area
Study Area (Photo credit: Group3 Planners, LLC)

When I was looking to start this blog, I came across Lukin Murphy. He just got his BCBA early this year. I reached out to him for some advice and he kindly shared how he did it. (Note: I had posted this on the study group awhile back). Sorry, it took me awhile to get this running again.

Fresh Tips!

“Having a solid study plan is very important – the exam is not easy. I studied for 1.5 hours a day for 6 months after I finished my coursework at FIT. I highly recommend that you read the Self-Management section of Cooper – it is important material for the exam, but more importantly use it is a guide to manipulate the contingencies surrounding your studying behavior.

I used a checklist that was posted in my house which required that I use SAFMEDS, take notes of Cooper, and finish two Behavior Development Solutions modules each day. I wouldn’t let myself go to bed before checking off those items. Also, Quizlet has some excellent flashcard sets that you can use from your computer or smartphone as SAFMEDS.

Remember that the outcome of effective studying is passing the exam, but this is so far removed that it is not an effective reinforcer. This makes studying a “rule-governed” behavior. Rules aren’t always effective in maintaining high-effort behaviors, so arrange the contingencies in your environment to provide adequate reinforcement for your study behavior! Reward yourself and share your data publicly – whatever leads to increases in the target behavior.

It is worth the effort – stick with it!”

Quick-fire BCBA Terms

You heard the man! Fluency (SAFMEDS, Quizlet), delayed reinforcement, Premarck principle, Hi-P, behavior contract, go crash it!

Shout out to Lukin and his family!!!

May the desired consequence be with you!

Weird Wednesday ABA Style II

Get Over the Overcorrection!

Funny Somewhat Topical Ecard: Nice picture! Only 54 more times before your positive practice is over.

Well sorry for the delay… Family stuff first. It appears that I am not at the fluency or even the mastery stage on WordPress and smrtphne (I meant smartphone) and I am not going to spend hours typing with Mr. Thumbkins… Frustrating indeed!

Here’s my little creative DRO for the week:

Overcorrection Overview

There are 3 types in general:

1. Simple Overcorrection: return to original status. For example, Bobby throws food on the floor. His mom tells him to pick it up.

2. Restitutional Overcorrection: fix it and then some. Using the example above, Bobby throws food on the floor. His mom tells him to pick the food up, wash the dishes and mop the floor.

3. Positive Practice: it’s all about repetition. Continue with our little man here. Bobby throws food on the floor. His mom tells him to pick the food up again, again, and again…Well food may not be the best example in this case but idea you get, no?


May is almost over. BCBA exam is going to be history!!! People stop cramming. Go check out my study tips if you need a break/distraction! You can do it!

Same time next week?

May the desired consequence be with you!

BCBA Study Tips III

More BCBA Study Tips:

English: logo of quizlet
Go quizlet yourself! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As promised, I continue to ask BCBAs to share their advice on studying the BCBA exam. Let’s start round 3.

This is from my former supervisor, Vittorio Matinata, Jr. He is the clinical director of Creative Behavioral Consultants, a non-public agency in Los Angeles. And here is what he suggested:

“I think the main thing is getting comfortable with taking the exam itself. You have to use critical thinking skills during the test.  Take all 4 hours that are given to you, even if you are a fast test taker.

I would go to the BACB website and look at the number of questions per content area and spend more time studying the ones that have more questions.  Also, as you go through the content areas, decide which ones you think you are weaker on, and start breaking down the subjects on what to focus.  Create a study schedule for yourself and stick to it.

I think it would help to read an article a week from JABA. If you have a group, you could each read one article and present a summary of it to the rest of the group.

I don’t have a full practice exam.  I’ll ask someone who’s taken the exam if she has links for free tests to practice online.  I think a website called quizlet has practice ABA questions, and it’s free.”

A shout-out to Vittorio for sharing his tips!

My experience with Quizlet

I used Quizlet (I searched the keyword “BCBA” for you already, just click) to study as well, I recommend you all use the “Test” option as well. I configured the test to be multiple-choice only but you can work on True/False, Matching and Written if you like. I also set a limit on questions at 50 (I did over 50 once or twice, and I found it a bit repetitive and too LONG). I see Quizlet as a good supplemental app for fluency (especially for terms and definitions). However, keep in mind that some of the answers are WRONG. For example, in one of the sets, the definitions of Determinism and Empiricism were mixed up. So proceed wisely, ya?

Go “like” my FB page if you haven’t already? Please? Any comments and questions are welcome!

May the desired consequence be with you!

Now the BCBA Waiting Game…

I had just taken the BCBA exam… and yes, a sense of relief in some way but like Yogi Berra says, “it ain’t over till it’s over!” Now I am in the waiting stage…

English: New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra i...
Yogi Berra (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I want to thank my family, especially my wife for tolerating my non-behaviors (i.e. not helping around the house) and my behaviors (i.e. leaving big messes and my stress-related, variable-ratio yelling/crazy chanting/ranting…)

And I also want to thank friends and family for the support and good wishes!

Don’t think I have abandoned those who have yet to take the exam; I have some tips but I want to make sure I get the approval to post them from different sources. Plus, I have some ideas on some silly things to post here.

Comments and suggestions? Say hi to me here or there or there!

May the desired consequence be with us!!!

BCBA Study Tips II

Elephant Nudge
This one’s for you, Carlos! (Photo credit: Siddharth Pendharkar)

Study tips from another co-instructor from FIT and a fellow Heath brothers fan, Carlos Zuluaga:

“To study, I would recommend focusing on the materials from the first three classes (BEHP 5000, 5001, and 5002). Make sure that you review ethics and that you know some of the basics of the Standard Celeration Chart (you might get a couple of questions on this).”

Note: for those who didn’t attend FIT, the first three courses are pretty much the BCaBA requirement: Content Area 2, 3, 9, 10; Content Area 4, 8, 5, 6, 7; Content Area 1, 9, 10

Questions? Ask me. Want specific info? Let me know. I’ll do my best to help you out.

“Like” my FB page while you’re at it, ya?

Shout out to Carlos for sharing the tips!

May the desired consequence be with you!

Take the BACB Exam according to Behavior Guy

It’s May!!! It’s BCBA time! The BACB exam starts today until the end of the month. Work that EO (and in some cases, the AO), we can do it! I will sporadically (re-)post study/test taking tips from different sources. Let’s start with my main man…

Behavior Guy credit:

Behavior Guy a.k.a Corey’s top 10 test taking tips!

1) read the question carefully twice.
2) read the question carefully twice.
3) Determine what the question is asking: what are you being asked to identify, discriminate, etc.
4) Identify the behaver- WHO are we focused on
5) identify the target response: what are they doing?
6) Identify the relevant variables: what are the key words, what elements are related to the target response, etc.
7) Is there an effect on future frequency of behavior? Increase, decrease
What is the nature of the consequence? adding or removing stimuli?
9) Play the 50/50: eliminate any answers that you KNOW (and can rationalize why) are wrong.
10) pick the best answer, and move on. Do NOT go back and change your answer.

Check out my FB page, spread the word, join my study group!

May the desired consequence be with you!