As I said the plan to learn and help like-minded people and ABA students did not change. (“Nothing!” That’s a line from the Godfather) So, I have been reaching out to people who passed the BCBA exam and asked them to share some tips. A few of them replied me faster than the Millennium Falcon going on hyper drive and I can’t thank them enough! I am in the middle of compiling their advice and yes, each of them will be coming in the near future. (I am going by the order I received the tips!!!) More there will be and hey, my fellow Jedi, if you are ready to share, you know where to find me and I’ll happy to do the heavy-lifting (cut and paste) for you (get credit you will, of course). Please do share! Like my aunt says, “sharing is caring!”
How I Did What I Did
But first, I want to chime in on my approach for the BCBA exam. My application was delayed due to some paperwork mishap, so I did not have time to work on the modules, tutoring, or guided reviews. Luckily I did take the FIT mock exam prep and it really helped me lay out my strengths and weaknesses according to the task list. And yes, they set an extremely high standard for passing: 90% on each task list!!! I remember there were only 8 questions in one particular Content Area. Do the math, you are screwed if you missed ONE! (And yes, miss one I did!) I then spent more time on the areas I was struggling with while putting the stronger areas on maintenance.
I reviewed the entire task list. And if I couldn’t come up with a simple explanation or definition, I used the glossary/index on the very end of the White Book for a quick review. Don’t worry! You are not going to know every terms in the book! For example, I was clueless about many IOA formulas and different kinds of generic tact extensions. As you go through the task list, you will find out more unfamiliar terms. That’s a good start! Now you can go study those terms… or at least take a good look at them and move on. Initial stimulus was probed, now return to the regular programming. There are still a lot to do! A Jedi does more than just wielding a light saber all day ya know!
Need Mentor(s) You Will!
Luke has Obi-Won and Yoda and you surely can use some guiding lights as well! Can you think of people who had taken the exam and are willing to help in person or online? Start with your supervisor(s), colleagues and the instructor(s) in your program. Of course, this study group is always on your side! Whenever I came across a question or a term I was not familiar with, I just reached out to one of my mentors (whom included our very own Behavior Guy, Corey Robertson, his colleagues, Rob Satterfield and Jan Montgomery-Pierce, my friend/former supervisor, Shannon Chang) and my study buddies. Yes, alone you are at the exam but study you can with many Jedi, Padawan or Jawas, or droids if you would like. In fact, I bugged them so often that I thought they might block me, or throw me in the chamber in Jabba’s palace but they are just too nice to do that (ain’t that a SR- for me!)
LSYS: Light Saber Your Self
My primary choice of weapon (well study tool) was my study guides from FIT with the white book as my secondary. For me, this combo worked very well. You need to equip your own tool according to your own study habits, and strengths and weaknesses. Set up the environment to your advantage for maximum results (i.e. don’t study when you are extremely tired or when Mad Men is on). Also, ask yourself this: DO I REALLY UNDERSTAND THIS? If you can’t explain a concept or an experimental design, chances are you haven’t fully understood it yet. I dig Dr. Pat Friman’s approach big time, so I always attempt to do it the layman way (using everyday language for ABA principles) but you may want to go more clinical/academic way. Just go with your instinct and your past history of reinforcement!
On the Big Day
Don’t do anything you haven’t done on the day of the exam. Be familiar with the direction (unlike some idiot who ALMOST didn’t make it because he automatically went on the wrong freeway…) Remember the 10 test-taking tips Behavior Guy listed (it’s on this blog, somewhere… find it before I do… please). What works for me may be vastly different from what you do but you have the talents and EO in you, and remember this:
YOU CAN DO IT!!! (Is my Jedi mind trick working? A little bit?)
Please let me know if you had any questions, comments, suggestions. And go “like” and say hi to me on my page, or go “follow me” here with a quick update!
Thanks again! And you know where to find me!
P.S. Does anyone have any Lego Star Wars photos (No, not that game) please share with me! I could totally use some of those (like Luke carrying Yoda around and stuff) in this post!
May the desired consequence be with you!
- I Did It! (behaviorjedi.wordpress.com)