Study Plan for the NBCOT® Exam

  1. I took a practice exam blind (no studying) from the AOTA test prep program to determine what my weak topics were.
  2. Then I made a study schedule and prioritized/spent more time on the topics I were weakest at.
  3. Then I studied the AOTA test prep PDFs for each of those topics. I also used the Pass the NBCOT course materials that befit the topic I was studying that day. Now what exactly is this “studying” you speak of? Typing out outlines and writing/drawing out topic notecards ended up working best for me.
  4. After finishing the PDF of each topic, I’d create a timed quiz (on the AOTA test prep) made out of 20 new questions from those topics and keep taking a new one til i get at least 75%. Then I moved onto the next topic!
  5. As part of my schedule, I took a whole timed practice exam (out of the purple book, then any remaining new questions on AOTA) every week. This part is important cause it gets your mind used to focusing for 4 hrs straight before the real thing. The last practice exam I took was a week before the exam (I didn’t take it the day before cause I didn’t wanna burn out. Literally felt like my brain was numb after taking one of those).
  6. Throughout these 6 weeks, I watched OT Miri’s videos ON REPEAT. This helped drill the info into my head, as well as learn some tricks on how to remember certain bits of confusing info (eg. nerve injuries of the hand, SCI levels, ACL, the list goes on). I was doing her SCI dance during the actual exam (SUCH A LIFE SAVER).

Days Before the NBCOT® Exam

  1. 3 days prior— Looked over the outlines I created/notes I wrote down. Listen to Rhonda Bryne’s The Power for positive self-talk.
  2. Two days prior– -Go over the Pass the NBCOT test taking tips, as well as any leftover outlines/notes I missed the day before. Keep watching OT Miri videos on repeat.
  3. One day prior— Relax; any last minute studying will be useless but if you must, go over the Pass the NBCOT test taking tips again.
  4. Day of the NBCOT exam— Plan something fun afterwards! A spa date with your bestie to de-stress. Anything to get your mind off feeling like you’ve failed (cause you probably will feel that way, but then again most everyone does).

Paperwork While Studying

  1. ASAP: Get your transcripts & proof of graduating your program into NBCOT and get your ATT Letter. I scheduled a date to have a deadline for myself cause I work better under pressure. Take note of the NBCOT scoring calendar and schedule your test at least 3 days BEFORE a scoring date if you want to find out on that date.
  2. ~1 month before taking your exam: Apply for your state license (if you know where you want to work). Depending on your state, it may take a while to process. For California, YES YOU CAN SUBMIT AN APP WITHOUT KNOWING YOUR SCORES YET. I took a risk and paid the $40ish for NBCOT to automatically send CBOT my scores, but I believe that helped me get both my R & L on the same day when I found out I passed.