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?
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.
- 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/)
- 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 (https://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).
- 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
- 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)
- I studied all Cooper quizzes online (http://wps.prenhall.com/chet_cooper_appliedbeh_2/) and Cooper chapter tests (I had received from my supervisor).
- 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)
- 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!
- I listened to all of the Global Autism Project videos on youtube. (https://www.youtube.com/user/globalautismproject)
- 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.
- I cumulated and created a long list of tips before the Big Day! (email me for these: firstname.lastname@example.org)
- 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!