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How to Best Prepare for the NBCOT Exam

29 May 2019 | 0 comments | Posted by Rebecca Nelson in Academia

Prepare for NBCOT exam correctly

Preparing for the NBCOT exam is the final step in the transition from student to a new practitioner, and that's not an easy feat! In their study preferences, students vary, but most would agree that they want their study materials to be closely related to the exam itself.

Like many candidates, as you aspire to achieve your goal of certification, you probably wonder, "How can I be ready for the exam prep?" With the many options available, it can be challenging to decide which study tools to use. Are you supposed to use a study guide, practice test, flashcards, discussion groups, social media, school notes, specific texts or lists, and facts? Or will it be most beneficial to use a combination of all these?

Well, there is no magic answer, sadly! In the end, you are the only person who can make that decision, taking your learning style into account, current academic strengths and weaknesses, experience in clinical fieldwork, and resources. But one thing is sure: following a realistic and well-planned schedule of study can help you feel more prepared for the certification examination.

OT Practice Test

The Occupational Therapist Practice Test will help you pass the Occupational Therapist Registered Exam National Board of Certification, or NBCOT-OTR, which is a test that evaluates the knowledge and ability of the test-taker to perform adequately in an occupational therapy setting.

The Occupational Therapist Registered Exam National Board of Certification will consist of a total of 200 NBCOT multiple-choice questions covering four different domains.

These are: acquire information on factors that influence professional performance throughout the occupational therapy process; formulate conclusions on client needs and priorities for developing and monitoring an intervention plan throughout the therapy process; select interventions to manage a client-centred program throughout the occupational therapy process.

Preparation Tools can help you

You should study until you are ready to take the certification exam and then take the practice tests. Your results will give you an insight into your actual preparation level. Leave enough time to study more after taking the practice exams as most people find they weren't as prepared as they thought. This following are some of the prep tools that can help you in the test.

Official Study Guide for NBCOT.

This guide is the one study guide recommended by the program. It costs $60 and has the most up-to-date, accurate information available. Real NBCOT test questions that have been retired are the test questions in this study guide. Other study guides are available, which cost less but have not the same level of items as those in the NBCOT guide.

Test Blueprint.

Review the blueprint for the OTR NBCOT Certification Examination provided in the FW seminar and available on the NBCOT website link. The plan specifies the percentage of examination questions in each of the four domains.

Entry level practice of self-assessment.

This self-evaluation tool turns statements of domain, task, knowledge, and skills into a questionnaire to help you identify your familiarity. This tool would be a better starting point for identifying focus areas for your study.

Preparation exams on Facebook.

Every week on Monday, NBCOT posts a test question, and people post discussions over the week. The answer posted on Friday with rationale. Go to Facebook and NBCOT "friend," the account and you will get access to the questions.

The domain, task, statements of knowledge, and skills.

These are detailed statements based on the questions posed in both parts of the Certification examination has a multiple choice and simulation sections.

Making an Exam Prep Study Plan

Questions are written that combine various statements of knowledge, tasks, and skills in all four fields with different populations and different treatment contexts. Therefore, it will not be an effective use of your time to review the content by each course.

Integrate what you've learned throughout the entire curriculum in different courses. Take the questions as an example: "You work in rehabilitation one month after injury with a client with quadriplegia at C4 level.

Make an honest assessment of the strengths of your knowledge and areas for improvement. Some of them, as mentioned earlier tools, will provide you with this information. By now, you know enough about behavioural goals to see that it is unlikely to be successful to say you plan to study 3-4 hours a day.

Identify specific areas that need to be worked out and set time limits, so you don't run out of time to study everything. If that helps (online or in person), get a study group. Challenge each other to establish links between different concepts and courses. That's going to help.


Students studying from 6 weeks to 3 months are doing their best on the Certification exam. We know that you're worried about working and getting started. But graduates who don't study don't pass the exam, no matter how good they've graduated from school. Our piece of advice is to review until you feel ready, take the practice exams, and then have more time to study before the exam.

About the author

Rebecca Nelson is a freelance creative writer. Her experience in business and digital marketing coupled with an interest in tech entrepreneurship makes her a fine contributor in the field of business and internet marketing.

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Recommended reading

If you enjoyed this post and have time to spare why not check out these related posts and dive deeper down the rabbit hole that is academia.

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