Tag Archives: BDS


 This is the best one I could find… 88

Here Comes Number 88!!!

Well, I promised Mrs. Linsao that she would be no. 88 and I struggled to find one more tips… and so now I simply cut and paste the whole thing… and guess who turns 1 today! Happy Birthday, M-man!

“Hello Behavior Jedi!

“Now that I have put both my kids to bed, I can finally post some tips on how I prepared for the BCBA exam. A little background first: I received my Masters degree in psychology and I spent most of my training as an MFT (marriage and family therapist) focusing on behavioral therapy and ABA techniques to modify my client’s behaviors. I actually started out as a behavior tutor at a private agency in Redwood City working with children with autism. Sadly, I left as a result of my graduate program requiring me to obtain hours at a practicum. I have worked with children since I was 18 years old and was always fascinated on how one could manipulate behaviors. After I spent a few years in grad school and became licensed as an MFT, I went back into the world of ABA (which was always my intention after completing my goal of receiving my masters and MFT license). This is something I have done for 12 years and I was “doing” ABA before I even knew what ABA was. This was something I lived for years and only until I graduated from my masters program and entered the FIT ABA 5 course sequence program was I able to learn the language of the interventions I have been using for years. I absolutely loved learning about the protocols, FAA’s, etc. To me, knowing and understanding what the terms were helped me much more than knowing the “language of ABA.” Fluency and mastery is key as well as conceptualization and application. I’m generally a very introverted person so I often covertly will look at live situations and think about them in my head how ABA would work. That is just how I learn-I cannot “think out loud” or explain terms to people-that was for sure an AO for me (I do not like audiences but am working on this!).

“Now with that background, I spent Oct. 2012 until Jan. 2014 completing the FIT ABA certification classes. Those classes really helped me refine what I already knew but with actual textbooks, definitions, etc. I loved it all. In the meantime, I had just passed my MFT license exams (one in Nov. 2012 and the second in Dec. 2012). I got pregnant with my second child in September of 2013 and prior to that I was diagnosed with post partum depression. My second pregnancy was a very unpleasant and difficult one, but I refused any psychiatric medications. My father in law had a heart attack in Jan of 2014, he had triple bypass surgery, and then 48 hours after his surgery he went into cardiac arrest. He is still currently in a non responsive state. My son was born on May 31st, 2014-the day I scheduled my exam for which I cancelled 4 days prior on his estimated due date when I realized he was not coming on time! That was also the last day I spent studying.

“From June 1st until August 21st. I had absolutely no time to study or prepare for the August exam with a colicky newborn boy, a 2.5 year old active girl, and trying to purchase a new home . But, I told myself that I will go ahead and take the exam without any expectations. If I knew my stuff, then I’ll pass. If I didn’t, then I’ll study harder and try again. Attitude going into the exam is very important to me (I went into the MFT exams with the same attitude: no expectations). This helped tremendously with the test anxiety-I had NO test anxiety. I completed the entire exam in 2 hours, spend the next hour reviewing the 55 marked questions by going through those and unmarking the ones that I felt confident with, which left me with about 20 marked. I went through those 20 and again unmarked those that I felt confident and then I ended up with about 7 that I guessed on. I still had an hour left, so I used 40 minutes going over the entire exam 3 times. I caught a handful that I misread the question and that helped with realizing that reading the question carefully will make a difference on choosing the best answer!

“Test preps I used:

1. BDS Modules-this was NOT for me. I started feeling pressured to get the fluency and mastery so I stopped doing them after 2 weeks in. I learned nothing from them and it just made me more nervous!

2. FIT Guided Review-very helpful in discovering that there are fine discriminations you need to know to help you master the exam!

3. PASS THE BIG ABA EXAM-5 week Remote Workshop-this was helpful on my focus and studying schedule with the chaos that was going on around me. I needed this structure and I needed the impending deadlines each week to keep me motivated on completing my study tasks! I also did the weekend mock exam which really helped me on getting more practice in on reading questions carefully and fluency! The test is timed and as you read, I was able to complete the entire exam in 2 hours and spend almost the entire other 2 hours really looking over ones I was not sure of and rereading a lot of the questions 2, 3, and 4 times.

“I did not crack open any textbooks during this time. I also credit that I have had prior history of test taking in similar environment and setting (I had to do it twice for the MFT licensure!). That prior history really helped me with knowing what to expect at the testing center and how the computers will be set up and so on. It also prepared me for coping with the pressure of timed exams!

“That’s all I have for now. I did everything I could possibly do under the circumstances I had and did my best. And I believed in myself and believed I knew this stuff even if others may not think I knew a lot (since I was not one to overtly show people how much I knew). Now, I can relax and enjoy being a mommy to a BCBAby (term coined by behavior jedi)! I will eventually have a blog up, when I find time. Hopefully soon. I will let you know.

Amy Linsao
Fairfield, CA”

Thank you very much, Amy! Sorry it took so long… but hey I got it done… and guys, look at Amy! She studied hard and then she had to take a break to care for her newborn baby… and still she still got it done! It’s not easy but it can be done! Live, breathe and love ABA!

It took months to finally finishing posting all the great tips from the August 2014 crop… maybe I can build up some momentum?

May the desired consequence be with you!




English: North Dakota State Capitol, Bismarck,...
North Dakota State Capitol, Bismarck, North Dakota, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


MIA I was…

Sorry I lost track of things and I didn’t finish posting the August crop (of last year) and now I am way behind… well… I want you all to give a shout-out to Blake P. of North Dakota. He emailed me with his tips. So, let’s give him the stage:

BCBA Tips from Blake P. of ND


“I have been practicing ABA in North Dakota for the last 25 years. I took the exam for the first time in August and passed.

“The first thing I had to do was get my coursework at St. Cloud State University from 1989-1991 evaluated. Fortunately I had kept many of my text books and materials from back then and the BACB gave their approval. I think that says a lot for their program that their coursework from that far back qualified for the exam! They obviously have a strong program.

“I started gradually studying about 18 months ago and really ramped it up for the last 3 months. I got the new version of Cooper, Heron, and Heward (I used the first edition when I was in graduate school) and read it cover to cover. I also read the Baily and Birch ethics book and was part of a weekly discussion group which I participated in via video.

“In March I started using the BDS module series which I found very helpful. I completed these to 100% by July and also did their post test. I found the post test to be helpful as it had questions not included in the regular modules. It took me about three hours to complete and gave me a feel for what the real exam would be like.

“For the last month I started randomly using other people’s card sets on quizlet, completed the on line chapter quizzes for Cooper, Heron, and Heward, and began randomly going back through different modules from BDS.

“There is no substitute for studying. Even with all my coursework and experience I would not have passed if I did not study several hours each week.

“Good luck to everybody who is preparing to take the exam!”

Guys, there’s no quick fix…  make a long term goal, then shape your behavior, modify your game plan, divide and conquer! Of course, keep the white book (affiliate link) , Bailey (affiliate link) and BDS handy helps A LOT too!

Thank you Blake for sharing your study tips!

Just one more thing… if you haven’t checked out my FB page… you can click here. And while you are at it, go join the group to learn more about ABA.

May the desired consequence be with you!




A panorama of the Rose Garden at the Universit...
This is a snapshot of our BCBA Ben’s campus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ben Reiman of Western Canada

“BDS modules to 100% completion; daily involvement in online behaviour analytic conversation; article group discussions.

“I ‘m a behaviour consultant with a community living agency in western Canada. In the future I hope to provide supervision to others interested in working with adults in group home/day program settings.

“I went to the University of British Columbia.”

Not only you should study ABA, you should also think, discuss and live ABA!

Thanks, Ben Reiman, BCBA!


BCBA study tips LXXIX


Katie Bauer

“The first time I used bds and completed them to 100% and it was useless to me. This time around I would dedicate 2-3 hours a day to study looking over cooper understanding terms talking things over with my Bcbas that I work with and things that helped them. I sat through a few of the autism global projects lecture on tips to pass the exam. What really helped me the most this time, I paid for some private tutoring sessions with Andrew Houvourous he is a co- instructor at FIT but it was not affiliated with FIT he was just doing it on his own. Sooooo helpful!!! He really made me feel confident and helped tighten up some terminology for me, extremely intelligent guy when it comes to behavior and very passionate about the field. Great experience!! I also did FITs mock exam.

“Oh and I used Pass the Big ABA exam manual as well this was a huge help as well!

“I loved the manual!! So helpful! I really didn’t look into the course… too expensive and I already had invested in a lot of things… not sure what you are looking for in a bio- I am working as a Lead Care Team Member for an in home ABA company I am planning on interviewing with them for the BCBA position this week in Chicago. Love this company and I have been with them for 3 years I plan on staying with them or in a couple of years move to florida or california or maybe even australia for a change of pace!”

Funny enough, I think we got tips from all 3 potential destinations Katie mentioned (search these places, something SHOULD show up) Relocation, anyone?

Congrats to Katie Bauer, BCBA!




BCBA study tips LXXVI

English: Looking down Main Street from the Sou...
English: Looking down Main Street from the South Carolina Statehouse steps, downtown Columbia, South Carolina, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sara McGee Mansilla

“BDS modules, cooper book, safmeds, Behavioral detectives, and a passion for the work! Good luck to all still studying!”

Thanks and shout out to Sara!

BCBA Study Tips LXXV

I keep rolling out the study tips… this is one is by Nick, a fellow FIT guy… you will just have to love his story…

My journey from Nicholas Orland, anxiety ridden ABA student to Nicholas Orland, BCBA

“Time from taking the test until results It’s been about a month since finding out that I passed the BCBA exam. It was my first time taking it and it was filled with a lot of anxiety. Ugh, what a relief. The night I found out the scores were released was one of the most anxiety provoking experiences of my life (and I’m not being dramatic saying that). It was September 24th at around 5:00PM. I took the test on August 23rd. When you take the BACB exam, they indicate that the scores will be available 45 days after the last test is administered. Of course, looking back at when previous results have been released it is not always 45 days. It’s typically 20-30 days. If you are a crazy person like me, you look at the BACB Facebook and Twitter accounts and look at the days when the results are released. In June, I believe the results were released on the 24th. In March, it was the 19th. It was around September 10th I started checked the BACB website about 15 times a day. “Maybe they came up with a new way to get the score done quicker,” I would think. Of course they didn’t and I understand why. They need to analyze each question and throw out bad questions. Frankly, at the end of the day I’m glad they take their time doing that. Though I can assure you when you are going through this experience you will not feel this way.

“I continued to check the website and Facebook sites often and regularly. When I started doing an analysis on what time the scores were released, I realized that I really needed to take a step back and “chill out.” Once it was September 19th thought, that’s when I started getting really crazy with checking the BACB website. After all, in March the scores came out on the 19th. The 19th came and went and no scores were released. I knew that Labor Day may have pushed off the scores so maybe the 20th! The 20th fell on a Saturday in September, so I waited all weekend and began checking like a crazy person on the 22nd. Now when I say “like a crazy person,” I think it’s important that I operationally define that. “Like a crazy person”: defined as checking and refreshing the BACB website 60-80 times a day and checking Facebook groups often to see if anyone posts the “EXAM SCORES ARE UP” posts.

“Some very unfunny people would even post comments saying that the exam scores were up and everyone would check. I have a great sense of humor but to me that came off as cruel. I can’t speak for anyone else other than myself, but I had a lot on the line with this test. My job required that I have this certification. If I failed, I may no longer have the job. I know a lot of other people in the same situation. When you fail, it also means more time away from your friends, family and loved ones because you have to study more. Also, even looking past the job: I love this field. I love working with children with Autism. It is what (I feel) I’m supposed to do with my life, and by failing this test I may not be able to do it. It was a lot of emotions mixed up in this.

“Anyways, the 22nd comes and goes. So does the 23rd. Someone on the Facebook group indicated that the director of the BACB said the scores would be released “early that week.” I REALLY could have used an operational definition on “early”. Now it’s the 24th(Wednesday). I’m going insane. Checking the BACB website, going to the Facebook groups. The moderators of the groups were getting annoyed by all of the posts about the test and I understood why, but it was so painful to wait for. At 4:00PM there were still no updates. My exam status still said “active.” I went home feeling defeated and anxiety ridden. I knew I failed it.

“I don’t understand this effect, but from what others have said they have experienced the same thing. You walk out of the exam confident. “I got this!” I felt. About a week or 2 later a little self-doubt comes into play. You are unsure, but still confident. 3 week, all confidence is gone and you think you failed. Fourth week, you start planning a new career path because you feel not only did you failed, you probably got the lowest score.

“I was on that phase on the 24th when I was at home. I was watching television trying to take my mind off of the test stuff. I was looking at the “Students of Applied Behavior Analysis” group when someone wrote “Scores are posted”. I immediately check the BACB Facebook account (they typically post when the scores are released). Nothing. “Great” I thought. “Another really funny person messing with us.” I didn’t want to check and give this jerk the satisfaction of checking but at that point I was desperate. I checked under test and it still said active. I fell for it again! I HATE PEOPLE!!! As I was getting upset, I went to the certification tab. It wasn’t blank anymore. There was a number.

“OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG. I go back to the test page and I can’t. I try to sign back in and I get the page which indicating that the website is down. NOOO!!!!!!!!!! Wait, I passed though, right??? I thought I did. I mean, why would I see a certification number? But I didn’t see the “active” turn to “pass”. Maybe everyone’s page had a certification number because they were doing a general update?? I try to get back in and I can’t.

“So much is going through my mind. I know I passed but I need confirmation. I’m not assuming anything. I do what I’m not supposed to do. REFRESH REFRESH REFRESH. 2 hours of that. Finally I get in and I go to the test tab. PASSED. I was by myself but I literally screamed “yes” and jumped up and down. Victory was mine. It was over. This craziness was now over. Nicholas Orland, BCBA.

“The first thing is what everyone should do when something good happens: post it on facebook. I then texted everyone I knew and told them. I thanked my BCBA supervisors and just enjoyed the day.

“The challenging part after finding out you passed is how you interact with people who also took the test. I don’t want to push them to see if they passed or not because if I failed I wouldn’t necessarily want to talk about it. You do get a sense of who failed though because they typically go radio silent. It’s a hard thing to do because you want to support them but you also want them to come to you on their terms. Usually a few days later you find out how they did. I went out of my way to reassure them that they will eventually pass. And I know they will.

“As I look back on this, a lot of this obsessing was completely unnecessary. I hope this is not what people in the future go through when waiting for their exam. However, when I talk to my peers a lot of us did. I wish I didn’t care so much about this test. But I do. A lot of us do. And I think that’s a testament to the field and how we love it so much. We all want to succeed and do well. Having your BCBA dictates that.

“I know a lot of people who passed, but also know a lot who didn’t. I wanted to give an overview of what I used to be successful. Hopefully this will help some and make you feel more confident going into the test. This is a test that is passable. You just need to be prepared.

“Cooper Book The first thing you need to want to be a BCBA is a pulse. You’re alive? Awesome, one down! Second, you need a copy of the Cooper book (entitled “Applied Behavior Analysis, 2nd edition.” People refer to this as the bible, and it is. I still refer to it several times a week and it’s a great tool.

“Hopefully, you already have this book and have read it during your course work. I had a copy of the book but I did not read it as much as I should have. I look back on this and really regret it. For new students coming up and taking their course work, I recommend reading this book often and regularly. Not killing yourself reading it, but a little here a little there. There is so much information to take in and understand. You can’t cram for it. By becoming familiar with the text and reading it during your course work, you will learn the basics and feel better going into the “insane study phase” required for the test.

“When I began really focusing on Copper, I made flash cards for every term in the Cooper Book. I’m sure everyone has heard of SAFMEDS at this point (if you haven’t, go to YouTube and find a SAFMED video to give you an overview). Before my exam I was fluent on every term (meaning, I would be able to say the name of the term within 2 seconds of seeing the definition). Overkill? Maybe. But I wanted to pass.

“Once I got the terms down for the chapter, I then read the chapter. This helped me because I knew the basics of what was in the chapter after doing SAFMEDS. Then by reading the chapter, it focused on its application.

Bottom Line: Start reading the Cooper book early!

Website: Go to any website which sells books (such as Amazon) to purchase.

“BDS Modules The BDS Modules were the first tool I purchased. Everyone taking the test said “Buy the BDS modules”. I know a lot of people who passed just by doing the BDS modules. When I first got it I was a little overwhelmed. LOTS of tests. They even test you on how to use it! But it is a great tool!

“You take tests on each of the content area. And each test has two forms. One in which you have an hour to take, the other gives you a predetermined time limit (3-5 minutes typically). This is done so that you are fluent in your answering of the questions. You can also ask for a hint on each question, where it will direct you to a screen where it will explain why the answer is right.

“Also, at the beginning of the test it tells you where the information is based off of (if it’s the Cooper book or another text, and the chapter to find it in). The program can be expensive, but not excessively expensive (and you also get a money back guarantee if you do tests to 100% and fail the BCBA). You have access to the program for 6 months (or longer depending on the particular program you bought).

“The drawback is that there is no teaching component. I found myself memorizing the answers to the test questions sometimes and losing focus of some of the content area. You learn through repetition and self-teaching, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Bottom Line: This helps you get used to exam questions and helps you learn through testing. Loved it. Highly recommend.

Website: http://www.behaviordevelopmentsolutions.com


“My favorite study tool. I LOVE this program. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. Why? For three reasons.

“First, the manual. It is an amazing tool. It breaks down the complex concepts in a way that is easy to follow and uses very entertaining acronyms to remember concepts (I will NEVER forget the 7 dimensions of ABA). The manual is right next to my Cooper book and will always be because it’s a great resource. It also comes with about 300 plus note cards where you write down the concepts/terminology and learn from that.

“Second: The videos. When you purchase the 5 week course, not only do you get the manual but you get access to 15 hours worth of videos. These videos go through each content area of the manual. Prya and Dana (the two instructors) make the videos fun and very informative. I would listen to them on long commutes and it helped me understand the concepts so much better.

“Third: the 5 week remote classes. When signing up for this class, you get 5 2-hour classes with an instructor and classmates. The hours for the class are typically on the weekends so they are easy to attend. The class consists of going through the final test you are assigned each week based on the content area you studied (the instructor thoroughly goes through each question and answers). My instructor (Dana) was awesome. Very knowledgeable, very funny and also held us accountable for making sure our work was done.

“I’ve heard some people complain that it’s a little pricey, but for 15 hours of content, the manual, the 10 hours worth of classes, not to mention that they will respond to any question via email I think it was very reasonable priced.

Bottom Line: There is no program out there that comes close to this in my opinion in terms of exam review. I learned so much from this program and hope others learn about it and use it. I credit this program with passing the exam and making me more knowledgeable on ABA.

Website: http://passthebigabaexam.com

“Hope this helps . Remember, you are not alone in this journey. Groups like “Students of Applied Behavior Analysis” are here to help and support. Good luck!”

Nick, I am so glad that you come out alive from this emotion roller coaster! Thanks for sharing your step-by-step tips, and pros & cons of the preps! Congrats and shout-out to Nicholas Orland, BCBA!

BCBA study tips LXXIV

Sorry it’s been a LOOOOOONG while since I posted anything… well… time to unleash the tips from our August crop, ya?



Charity Choplin English of Houston, TX


“Let’s see:


“My study marathon began in May of this year. At first, I spent maybe a few hours per week just familiarizing myself with my materials and getting organized. Then I spent maybe 10 hours per week focusing on the exam. I read the PassTheBigABA Exam manual from cover to cover, alongside the Cooper book and BDS modules. I found it helpful to go back and forth and read what each author said about a given topic. That was helpful when seeking clarification on a term with which I struggled. I didn’t use SAFMEDS or study groups, though I’m sure that’s helpful for many people. The thing that helped me most was marking off sections of completion with a highlighter. My studying behaviors were highly reinforced by seeing sections highlighted from my list. I would also suggest that doing the BDS modules was the best preparation for me. I feel that the modules were more requiring than the exam which was perfect because I knew more than I even needed to take the test.


“The evening before the exam, I left my family to fend for themselves for dinner and I ordered Chinese and checked into a nice hotel nearby. I watched TV, ate fortune cookies, and casually perused my manual. I didn’t allow myself to feel any pressure to shove anything else into my brain. I accepted that I knew some things, and other things I probably didn’t. The next morning, I took it slow – ordered breakfast in, looked over a handful of definitions, and then drove the 45 minutes to the exam. During the exam, I found it helpful to pause often, look up or away from the questions, and just breathe deeply. I also found that a break was necessary, so I made myself leave the room, have a snack, and clear my head. Most importantly, I recommend that people study all throughout grad school for this exam. It shouldn’t be a sprint.


“I am a 2014 graduate of University of Houston-Clear Lake. I currently work as a supervisor in a clinical classroom that serves children ages 8 through 12. My professional challenge is all about bridging the gap from strict DTT typically used with early learners to more independent learning and school-readiness skills. I love learning more about my profession each day and hope to continue to build my clinical skills in this position for quite a while.”


Thanks, Charity! It’s a marathon, not a sprint! Take your time, be prepared… and tell your family to order Chinese food!

Congrats, my friend!


BCBA Study Tips LXXIII – Oops Edition

Mi Culpa!!!

I thought I had done sharing the great tips from our May crop… guess what? I missed Angela’s tip! My apologies to Angela and you all. I will let her take the stage.

Angela Bratcher of MO

“I did the BDS modules, and also bought the pass the big ABA exam manual. I also spent alot of time reading the cooper book! Just some things I did not find helpful were the FIT mock exams since they don’t really tell you what you need to work on and the Pass the Big ABA weekend session since it covered most of what the manual was already going over”

Thank you, Angela for sharing your tips!

We will resume our August crop next time!

BCBA Study Tips LXXI


English: CSUSB
English: CSUSB (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Wrapping up the May Crop


Like I said, I am posting the last tips from our May BCBA tips… and I did say that I had something back-to-back in store. Tuesday I posted the tips from Lana. And today I have Dawnyelle. These two formed a great, great friendship, no, I should say SISTERHOOD during their time studying for the exam. So there we are, take it away, Dawnyelle!


Dawnyelle DeLongchamp, of CA


“How did I pass the BCBA Exam? The first and foremost reason was my belief in God and the peace He was able to give me during my study period. I woke up every morning reading the ‘Jesus Calling’ devotionals, prayed and thanked the Lord all day long for the opportunity to take and pass this test.


“Here’s a little info on my background: I was born in and have never left Southern California. I went to CSUSB and graduated with a Master’s in Education with an emphasis in Special Education. I started my career as a Special Education Teacher and was in that position for approximately 8 years. I then went to CBU and graduated with my PPS credential and a Master’s in School Psychology. I started working as a District School Psychologist. This has been my current job for the past 7 years. To further my expertise in the field, I took the BCBA courses from FIT.


“How did I pass the BCBA?


Time Spent:


5-6 months before: 20-30 minutes a day 5x/week.


3-4 months before: 2-3 hours per day 5x/week.


2 months before: 5-7 hours a day 6x/week.


1 month before: 8-10+ hours a day/6-7x per week.


FIT (online courses) really prepared me and gave me a solid foundation in behavior analysis. With every course I made notecards from all of the PowerPoint slides presented. I started studying these notecards approximately 5 months before the exam. Through FIT, I also received many helpful study materials including ASR’s (active student response) which are applied scenario questions. Very helpful! I strongly recommend FIT!


  1. I had an awesome BCBA Supervisor! He lives, speaks, breathes ABA! This is key in becoming competent behavior analysts. You do by what you see, how you are taught, and how you practice.
  2. Two months before my exam, I ordered the BDS modules. I completed them to 100% in 3 weeks. Yes, I did memorized. However, I really feel BDS helped me on the actual exam in content and fluency. (https://www.behaviordevelopmentsolutions.com/)
  3. I ordered the Pass the BIG ABA EXAM manual and started studying it 6 weeks before the exam. I took it by chapter and studied until I understood all concepts presented. I made additional notecards for acronyms and AKA’s. I completed the whole manual. One week before the test, I went back through reviewed a chapter a day and took the chapter test (without looking back) and kept taking it until I had 100%. (http://passthebigabaexam.com/)
  4. About 5 weeks before the exam I joined several ABA Facebook groups (i.e. Students of Applied Behavior Analysis). I started following the “Behavior Jedi” and read all of the tips on his site (http://simpleaba.com/). He then helped me get hooked up in a private study group on FB. This group was amazing. What helped me most were the 100’s of sample applied questions posted. Not only would I answer the questions posted but, I also started posting my own scenario questions as well. I believe this was one of the key things that helped me really truly understand (not just memorize) ABA. I also realized I really like and have a knack for posting questions. Look for my study/guide and mock tests on Amazon soon!
  5. I printed out relevant articles and read them off and on throughout my studying. Helpful articles included: Some Current Dimensions of Applied Behavior Analysis (1968); An Implicit Technology of Generalization (1977); Right to Effective Behavioral Treatment (1989); Toward a Functional Analysis of Self-Injury (1994); and Functional Analysis of Problem Behavior: A Review (2003).
  6. I downloaded from FB, Mock questions/ASR’s from a BCBA professor from FIT on FB and went through and studied them. https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxsZWFybmFiYXxneDo0ZDQyZDliYTUzOTRlMGEw
  7. About 3 weeks before my exam, I signed up for and went to the live 2-day PASS the BIG ABA Exam Mock test. This helped me focus on what areas I still needed to study. It also gave me confidence in the areas I was strong in. I used these mock exam’s as study tools up until the day of the exam. (http://passthebigabaexam.com/)
  8. I started posting terms/concepts I had difficulty with around the house- in the bathroom, on the refrigerator, etc.
  9. I ordered and studied the Mark Valley BCBA prep book. This has two practice exams in it. Not all of the answers are accurate (3-5 inaccurate out of 300). However, after studying it was very obvious which ones were inaccurate. This helped me with fluency! (http://www.amazon.com/BCBA-BCaBA-Exam-Preparation-Part/dp/1477565337)
  10. I studied all Cooper quizzes online (http://wps.prenhall.com/chet_cooper_appliedbeh_2/) and Cooper chapter tests (I had received from my supervisor).
  11. For two months before the test (before I went to bed), I read the Bailey and Burch: Ethics for Behavior Analysts book. (http://www.amazon.com/Ethics-Behavior-Analysts-2nd-Expanded/dp/0415880300/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411749631&sr=1-1&keywords=ethics+for+bcba)
  12. The weekend before my test, I Skyped online with another student from the FB study group. We had two 12 hour study sessions. We went over every content area line by line and wouldn’t move on until we could give each other samples and scenarios in each area. This was an amazing experience!
  13. I listened to all of the Global Autism Project videos on youtube. (https://www.youtube.com/user/globalautismproject)
  14. The day before my test, my mom and I drove to the testing site and found exactly where I needed to go so I wouldn’t have the stress of getting loss the next day. Afterwards, we prayed together and went out to lunch. That night I had a formal business dinner for my husband’s job. Once I got home I briefly reviewed FIT materials that I had left out by my bedside.
  15. I cumulated and created a long list of tips before the Big Day! (email me for these: dawnyelledelongchamp@gmail.com)
  16. BCBA EXAM DAY: I got up early read ‘Jesus Calling’ (Amazon.com/Jesus Calling Amazon) and prayed nonstop. I ate a light breakfast and left. As I drove to the testing location I prayed the whole way! As I walked in, I had a peace that I know could only come from Jesus! They took my picture, patted me down, checked my pockets, took my fingerprints, and finally sat me at my computer. About half way through I took a restroom break and continued to pray. When I reached #103, I realized if I didn’t click right on the next button my answers were changing to “D.” In fact, where ever I would click on the screen my answers would move around. I started to panic and went back about 20 questions to make sure my answers hadn’t changed. About 5 of them had. I decided at that point to complete the test first and then go back. I completed the test with only 20 minutes to spare. I started at number one and only got to 18 when time ran out. I walked out feeling defeated and not knowing if all of my original answers had stuck or if there had in fact been a computer technical error with my other questions. When I came out of the testing center my parents surprised me and were waiting with flowers. I told my mom what had happened and we sat and cried together. I put everything I had into studying for this exam. I went home feeling very upset. I continued to pray and put all of my trust and faith in God knowing whichever way the results came that there was a plan for me and I would thank Him either way! My husband and I were celebrating our 17th Anniversary in Cancun when the “PASSING” results came. We both held each other and cried, saying over and over, “Thank you Jesus!”


“My Future Plans: Complete my Study Guide/Mock Exam’s Book and Publish! Interact and help others to study for the BCBA. Continue to live, breathe, study, and apply ABA EVERYDAY!


“Jeremiah 29:11 ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”


 Dawnyelle A. DeLongchamp, M.S., BCBA


There you have it, the 16 tips from Dawnyelle! She planned it 6 months prior to the exam! See how she gradually shaped her studying behavior! There is NO QUICK FIX to it! Premarck yourself! Work that EO! Work that AO!


I linked most, if not all, the books and exam prep materials. The ones on Amazon are affiliated links. Let me know if you need help looking for the articles.


May tips done, August tips coming!


May the desired consequence be with you!






BCBA Study Tips LXX

English: The Brooklyn Bridge, seen from Manhat...
English: The Brooklyn Bridge, seen from Manhattan, New York City. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Halloween is only days away… Kaitlynn Gokey, aka the Kait Lady, one of the many fine FIT co-instructors asks a few questions on Halloween over on the FB group, go check it out!

And Halloween is coming… so November is just around the corner…  I have two great, great, great tips posts which I will HAVE TO go back-back this week.

Let me start with Lana Revutsky of Brooklyn, New York. Remember awhile back I was pushing to roll out some May crop (and failed)? I was hoping to send her to her world travel tour in July but sith happens… anyway, here she is, back from overseas… smarter, stronger and more determined than ever. Take it away, Lana!

“I started studying 3 months out of my big exam. I first started with the BDS modules all the while obsessively combing through my FIT notes and aligning them with the task list. I had a filled out task list that someone shared with me but left it at traffic court where I beat a cell-phone ticket. In hind sight, this was a monetary fair trade agreement with the universe, as I ended up buying the Pass the Big ABA Exam manual which was the same price as my now beaten ticket. 9 hour Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night study sessions that mostly ended in my yelling at the CHH book, pacing in my office reciting facts and UMO’s while writing enough notes to render several dozen pens useless and provided a well exercised and well defined right forearm is how I think I passed this exam. I split the task list according the BACB website and attacked each section like someone trying to get home on an overcrowded 6pm train in NYC I gave myself 2 weeks per content area and left 9/10 for the last as it combines many terms and concepts from the other areas. I had many conversations on the FB’s Students of ABA. 15 hour study sessions with a new but now very dear friend and of course combed the internet for some magic formula that someone else used to pass. DON’T DO THAT! You will only make yourself crazy! The last 3 weeks before my exam turned into the craziest weeks of my life. I wrote a 15 page grant for my company, lost 10 pounds, slept 3 hours a night, and cried daily (I’m not even sure how I didn’t wither away from dehydration) The only advice I can give anyone tackling this mammoth of an exam is: it’s a marathon not a race. Pace yourself. Apologize in advance to all the humans in your life because maybe as I did, you’ll morph into some crazy version of yourself. Read the Cooper chapter summarizes. Do BDS. I repeat DO BDS! Don’t memorize them, really do them, take notes on concepts you don’t get, and discuss them with someone. Give your brain some breaks. I mean it! 12-hour study sessions are for college students hopped up on 2 pots of coffee! If its possible buy the Pass the Big ABA exam study manual, the Pass the Big ABA exam marathon weekend, and their mock exams. The manual will forever sit on my desk as a reference guide and their mock weekend scared me enough to study like a squirrel that only started to collect nuts in November. Lastly, just breath. Throw your weight at it. And remember its just a test. Not who you are and what you bring into this world.”

WOW! Thanks, Lana! Prepare, prepare, prepare, and be prepared! She knew it was going to be a huge battle physically, mentally and emotionally! And she did it!

Congrats and thank you, Lana!

We have one more from the May crop this week and we will move on to the August peeps.