Tag Archives: study group

BCBA study tips LXXVIII

English: I took photo with Canon camera in San...
Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Rebecca Donnell of Texas, Texas State University

 

“haha if i had i would! i definitely would suggest Weinberg for people who have never taken it before. This was my experience: I took the BCaBA following a Weinberg study weekend and passed first try. Then on my first go at the BCBA I got sick inside of my exam and kind of had to forfeit. Round 2, I used my old Weinberg materials, plus some quizlet stuff that i found reliable (not a lot) and made sure I could give NON AUTISM examples (as that is the population I work with) of each term. Putting it real world terms instead of Autism made me SURE i understood.”

Thanks for the tips, Rebecca!

Funny enough, I think this is the first few times I heard a newly minted BCBA said Weinberg… what’s your take?

 

 

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

PASS THE BIG ABA

“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 LXXII

November – GAME TIME!

Halloween just came and left… I hope you had a wonderful time (don’t forget to donate some of your candies… think this is one of the sites…!) I am going to post the great tips from our brand new BCBAs/BCaBAs from the August crop… enjoy!

Megan Woods of AZ

“I was put through the ringer by my supervisors. I had three, including Sorah Stein! I think that the varied experience with my supervisors was a huge help. I also used the PASSTHEBIGABAEXAM study guide and listened to the lectures while I drove. And, I reinforced my studying by allowing myself to watch episodes of Prison Break. :)”

Great supervision and Premarck!  Now that’s a wining recipe!

What about a little info and future plan, Megan?

“I have been working in the field since 2009 after my nephew was born with Down Syndrome. Graduated NAU IN 2012 and took my time with supervision while I started my family. I plan to go into working with individuals with dementia someday but currently work with adolescents in a residential setting.”

Thanks and congrats, Mrs. Wood!

Exam takers, keep on trucking! Work that EO (and AO)!

May the desired consequence be with you!

Best School: Ball State

Ball State University

Happy Halloween!

I started off the “Best School” posts with FIT. Now, I have our friend, Zack Migioia of Thrive ABA, to share his thought on his school. And while you are it, don’t forget to check out his study tips!

Ball State University: An affordable, convenient option for those looking for a master’s program in ABA.

Ball State University is one of the most innovative schools in the United States. Their distance education program is superb and I found the master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis to be very helpful in preparing me for a career as a Behavior Analyst.

For those who are interested in learning about both Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis, this program will give you a solid education and will help prepare you for a career in either the school, clinic or professional setting. I found the instructors to be very knowledgable and also found the content to be helpful and informative. Ball State University is a great school and I highly recommend that you check it out if you are looking for a graduate program in Applied Behavior Analysis.

Zack Migioia M.A., BCBA, LBA Thrive ABA Consulting LLC

Work Wednesday VI – Delayed Edition

J-O-B in Kentucky

Community Living in Kentucky (CLiK) is seeking Positive Behavior Support Specialists (PBSS) to serve children and adults with developmental disabilities whom present a variety of needs (intellectual disability, physical disability, skill deficits, challenging behavior, etc.) in the Warren, Allen, and Daviess County areas. Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) preferred or behavior therapists with experience providing services under BCBA supervision. Minimum requirements include: Masters degree with 1 year experience. Full and part time contractor positions available. Direct and indirect billable services provided by CLiK include but are not limited to: formal development of Functional Assessment and Positive Behavior Support Plan, formal behavior tracking of target behaviors, development of teaching procedures to address skill deficits, creation of visual teaching materials, caregiver support and training, discrete trial training, precision teaching, and fostering independence by implementing self-monitoring procedures. All interested should contact CLiK Executive Director, Julie Cole at juliecole@clikgroup.com or 270-843-5300. Check us out online: www.clikgroup.com

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!