Jaime from certain show did something quite, hmm, evil to show his love.
I did something quite different to show my love for ABA and my clients. Yes, I got my nails painted as a reinforcer. I might not be the smartest, strongest, most all-around man but I am man enough to serve as a nail-painting toy.
Functions vs Topography
As I said above, Jaime and I both did something for love. However, the topography is VERY different.
Just remember there is more than one way to get things (or achieve that particular function). Screaming, spitting, cursing, punching someone in the face can all lead to going to the principal’s office, which is a great way to escape from class work. Different topographies, same results.
While Jaime did something quite unthinkable to show his love, I showed my love for ABA and my clients by getting my nails painted.
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.
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?
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!
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.
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/)
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!
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).
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/)
I started posting terms/concepts I had difficulty with around the house- in the bathroom, on the refrigerator, etc.
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)
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!
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.
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.
This is THE kitchen sink version of the BCBA study tips for the February of 2014 group!
Thank you all for sharing your tips and I apologize for being such a late, lousy poster!
Enjoy Terri’s treat!
I started studying Safmeds 8 months before my exam date and studied them daily for a couple of months. After that I periodically reviewed them until the text date (maybe 1x monthly). I did not create my own flashcards; rather I used a link provided by my supervisor.
I started the BDS modules 6 months before the exam.
Initially I just started going through each module to mastery but I quickly realized that I was just memorizing answers which wasn’t going to work, so just prior to each new content area in the modules, I outlined each Cooper chapter related to that particular content area and then took the online Cooper quizzes (tracked the results for each chapter on a data sheet). AFTER taking the quizzes, I completed the related modules to 100% for that content area. Then I moved onto the next content area and repeated. Doing it this way, it took me 3 months to complete the modules. I completed all modules to 100%.
Once I finished the BDS modules, I re-read/studied all Cooper chapters where I had performed with less than 80% on the online quizzes. Then I took the quizzes again for these chapters. There were a handful of chapters where I was still scoring below 80% and a couple where I was scoring in the 60s. Ugh!
PASS THE BCBA EXAM PRACTICE TEST
Next, I purchased The New BCBA & BcaBA ExamPreparationfrom Amazon. It is important to know that this is NOT a study guide.It simply has two tests with answers provided in the back. Correct answers are provided, but they are NOT explained anywhere. I took the pretest, checked my answers (with answer key in the back) and did horrible.
This is when I started to get very nervous about the test. Prior to this practice exam I thought I knew the content. In fact, I became so nervous that I changed my test administration date to the end of the month from the original scheduled appointment at the beginning of the month. Time to take control & conquer! I divided two, 5-subject notebooks into sections by task list; with the 10 content areas becoming the titles for each “subject” in the notebooks. I went through each question from The New BCBA Exam Prep practice test (whether I got it correct or incorrect) and made sure I knew why the correct answer was indeed the correct answer. (It is important to know that there are some incorrect answers in the key; which I found during this process). If I was not completely clear on a topic or knew that I would want to review it again, I wrote it into my notebook with notes and comments under the corresponding subject heading. Then I took the 2ndtest in the book, did equally poorly, and repeated the review of questions and writing notes in my notebook like I did for the first test.
Using this practice test was a critical point as it made me aware that there were a few topics I had not addressed at all in my studies; such as precision teaching and direct instruction. Had I not used this practice test I am CONVINCED I would have missed related questions on the exam.
For concepts that were still fuzzy, I studied them using this text; again adding notes as needed to my notebooks.
WEEKEND PRIOR TO TEST
I read the entire Bailey & BurchEthics books. I didn’t study anything specific from the book; just read it from cover to cover.
Memorized all IOA formulas and made up tons of data to practice all of these formulas.
Studied Standard Celeration Charts using a document that I found online (see attachment) [Jedi note: email me for this]
Develop a study schedule, know that you will not be able to stick to it exactly, and revise frequently.
While working on BDS modules, I studied them almost daily. Once I completed the modules; most of my studying was done on the weekends; with very little studying after work during the week. I was worn out and simply could NOT study after work so I made up for it on the weekends instead.
With all that weekend studying, plan on snoozing some. I often fell asleep while reading the Cooper text, and my husband referred to those days as “sleep studying.” It was a given that it would happen, so I just planned accordingly.
Take the practice quizzes on the Cooper website, but make sure you explore why EACH question was correct; not just the ones you missed.
Here comes another overseas BCBA, Kathryn Millano-Mendoza!
“Hello everyone. I passed the February 2014 BCBA exam; first time to take it. I have Masters in Education with specialization in Child Study, undergraduate Psychology.
“[I] took FIT online course then another year for my supervised work. Purchased BDS module and had an intensive 2 months review (4 hours reading the CHH, journals and other related books –Ethics BB, old FIT study guidelines, online CHH then another 4 hours of answering BDS) when necessary I went back and watch old FIT videos. It actually helped me a lot and enjoyed watching Jose again
“As I work and make reports and speak with my co-workers i made sure I used the terms I read and shared it with them.
I ended my review with positive results from BDS Modules. Evenings are fun night and made sure my weekends are my off days from review. I ate cereals, apples, chocolates when reviewing under a tree (quiet green place) or in my office with less distraction. Kept positive thoughts and prayed really hard!
“I live in the Philippines, you can imagine how limited my resources are but… I did it! I’m now the first (last time I checked, haha not bragging here, just sooo happy!!!) Filipino based in the Philippines who took the courage to take formal study, training and passed the BCBA exam. Glad to serve Filipino families and other aspiring professionals.
“I especially thank FIT and their excellent mentors and my supervisors.
“For those who didn’t pass… take it one step at a time (like the song of Jordin Sparks) you’ll get there!”
Kiara of CA, who uses a different last name… shares her study tips:
“I would recommend reading each chapter of the cooper book thoroughly-I used the guided notes for each chapter from the prenhall website as loved them! Also, reading the bailey and burch ethics book( very important)! I do not recommend the bds modules, but the manual I purchased from pass the big aba exam was great! Last, the guided review offered through Florida tech was worth every penny!!! Add all of those together with 2-3 hours of studying 4-6 days a week and you’ve got an excellent study package”
There you have it, the California style (or I’d rather have the Animal style).
I haven’t said this for awhile… May the desired consequence be with you!
“FIT foundation!! BDS modules-completed all but not to 100% 1 FIT mock exam And loved how PASSTHEBIGABAEXAM study guide orgazied everything. Cooper book and online quizzes Bailey’s Ethics book SAFEMEDS”