- The BACB® examinations are only offered to individuals who are seeking BACB certification or continuing education, and for no other purpose.
- Both the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® Examination and the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® Examination are comprised of multiple-choice questions with four possible answers.
- The Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination has approximately 150 questions. The Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst Examination has approximately 132 questions. (Effective in 2015, the examinations will be based on the 4th Edition Task List. The BCBA examination will have approximately 150 questions and the BCaBA examination will have approximately 130 questions.)
- Examinations typically include up to 10 pilot questions, in addition to the graded questions listed above. Therefore, candidates sitting for the BCBA exam will usually answer 160 questions total and BCaBA exam candidates will usually answer 142 questions total. (Effective in 2015, the examinations will be based on the 4th Edition Task List. Therefore candidates sitting for the BCBA examination will usually answer 160 questions and those sitting for the BCaBA examination will usually answer 140 questions total.)
- Candidates are given a total of four (4) hours to complete the Examinations. This time period includes time spent reviewing and agreeing to the 'BACB Terms and Conditions' for taking the examination and time spent reading instructions.
- The Examinations are based on the content areas included in the Third Edition Task List found on this website. (Effective in 2015, examinations will be based on the content areas included in the Fourth Edition Task List found on this website.)
- The Examinations are professionally developed to accepted examination standards and are based on the results of a formal Job Analysis and survey. The BACB Examinations are administered by Pearson VUE, Inc. of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The BACB follows nationally accepted standards for test development.
- The examinations are administered using a computer-based testing (CBT) format. A tutorial is available here to allow candidates to become familiar with the CBT format. The BACB recommends that candidates use the tutorial prior to their testing appointment.
- The BACB examinations will be offered during “testing windows” of approximately one month's duration four times per calendar year. The examination will be available only during these testing windows. The exact dates for testing windows will be listed here as they become available.
|BACB Examination 3rd Edition Content Outlines||Number of questions|
(Task List Content Area 1)
|Definition & Characteristics, Principles, Processes & Concepts
(Task List Content Areas 2 and 3)
|Behavioral Assessment, Selecting Intervention Outcomes & Strategies
(Task List Content Areas 4 and 8)
|Experimental Evaluation of Interventions
(Task List Content Area 5)
|Measurement of Behavior, Displaying & Interpreting Behavioral Data
(Task List Content Areas 6 and 7)
|Behavior Change Procedures, Systems Support
(Task List Content Areas 9 and 10)
|Total Number of Questions||150||132|
*Task List Content Areas 5, 6 and 7 are combined for BCaBA coursework & exam results.
|BACB Examination 4th Edition Content Outlines||Number of questions|
|Basic Behavior Analytic Skills||BCBA®||BCaBA®|
|C||Behavior Change Considerations||3||3|
|D||Fundamental Elements of Behavior Change||28||24|
|E||Specific Behavior Change Procedures||15||13|
|F||Behavior Change Systems||8||8|
|Client-Centered Responsibilities (will include at least 2 questions addressing ethics per section)|
|G||Identification of the Problem||14||9|
|K||Implementation, Management and Supervision||14||12|
|Total Number of Questions||150||130|
Terms and Conditions
The "BACB Terms and Conditions" for taking the examination must be agreed to prior to commencing the examination. Failure to agree to the Terms and Conditions will result in dismissal from the examination. Note that the time you spend reviewing these Terms and Conditions is part of your examination time.
The Terms and Conditions are as follows:
This is the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination (or Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst Examination). You will have four (4) hours to review and accept these Terms and Conditions AND answer the examination questions. When answering questions, choose the BEST answer to each question.
Proctors are not allowed to provide comments on any of the questions appearing on the examination. If there is a problem with a question, such as a typo, select the 'comments' button and make a note concerning the problem. Comments may be used during post-examination review; however, comments are not graded and do not affect individual scores. The BACB will not provide feedback to you regarding your comments. You will not be given extra time to make up for the time lost while providing comments.
If you need to use the restroom, raise your hand to inform the proctor. The proctor will secure your workstation while you go to the restroom. You will not be given extra time to make up for the time lost.
All questions on this examination are equally weighted. There is no penalty for guessing, therefore, it is to your advantage to answer every question on the examination even if you are not sure about the correct answer. No credit will be given for questions which are left blank.
No test materials, documents, notes or memoranda of any sort are to be taken from the testing area. YOU ARE PERMANENTLY PROHIBITED FROM EVER DISCLOSING THE CONTENT OF BACB EXAMINATION QUESTIONS. This prohibition includes verbal, written, and/or electronic (e.g., email, chat room, or other internet or electronic) disclosure. The BACB examinations and individual questions are copyright protected and highly confidential trade secrets. Any disclosure or reconstruction of test questions and content shall be a violation of BACB rules and subject to damages including, but not limited to, the cost of replacing the compromised question(s) and reconstruction of the exam, if advisable, at the discretion of the BACB.
Proctors are authorized to maintain a secure and proper test administration. You may not communicate with other examinees during the examination. The BACB considers unauthorized sharing of examination content with others to be a violation of the copyright and to constitute cheating. Cheating or permitting cheating (such as letting someone copy your answers or providing information on the content of examination questions to others), will be cause for automatic disqualification and dismissal from the examination. Any irregular, disruptive, inappropriate or suspected cheating behavior by you may result in your relocation or removal from the examination site and/or a refusal to release your examination scores; in such event, your examination fees will not be refunded or deferred.
General Rules for Taking the Examinations
- Candidates are advised to plan on arriving at the testing center approximately 30 minutes prior to their testing appointment in order to allow sufficient time for the check in process. The check in process includes security measures such as photographing, fingerprinting, and obtaining an electronic signature from each candidate. Candidates will not be permitted to enter the testing area 30 minutes following the starting time for their testing appointment.
- No cameras, tape recorders, radios, telephones, beepers or electronic transmitting devices, notes or reference materials, books, briefcases, backpacks, portfolios, purses, etc. may be taken into the testing area. Personal items may be stored in lockers made at available at the test centers.
- Scratch paper, calculators, rulers, frequency finders, textbooks, reference materials and notes are NOT permitted in the testing area and you are not allowed to remove any exam materials from the administration room. A dry-erase board will be provided at each workstation. Earplugs are available upon request at all testing centers. Some testing centers also provide noise-canceling headphones upon request.
- No food or beverage items are permitted in the testing area.
- No visitors are permitted in the testing center.
- Candidates leaving the testing area to use the restroom will be fingerprinted when they leave and again before they re-enter the testing room.
- Smoking areas are not provided.
- No questions concerning content of the examination may be asked during the testing period. The candidate should listen carefully to the instructions given by the testing center staff and should read all directions carefully.
Information about Exam Results
- Candidates will be notified of their results within 45 days of the last examination date, via their online Certificant Gateway accounts.
- Every BACB examination undergoes psychometric statistical equating to assure that scores on different examination forms are adjusted for differing levels of difficulty. Therefore, the actual number of correctly answered items required to pass each examination form may vary depending on the level of difficulty of that examination form. Thus, because the passing score may vary from one examination form to another, passing candidates receive only notice that they have passed the examination and no score is provided.
- Candidates who do not pass the examination are provided with percentages of correctly answered items and total number of items in primary content areas. Exam content may not be appealed.
- The following administration-specific information will be posted on the BACB website: a. notice of the number of candidates for the examination, b. notice of the number who passed, and c. notice of the percentage that passed. Other examination-related statistical information will not be available.
Information about Passing Scores
The BACB uses the modified Angoff method for establishing the passing score for each “base” examination form. Subsequent examination forms are statistically equated to the base examination form to ensure that any differences in difficulty level are taken into account. As a result of the equating process, the pass rates generally remain quite stable throughout the life span of each “base” examination form. New “base” examination forms are created approximately every five years or whenever there is a significant change to the examination content, such as the introduction of a new Task List. Periodic replacement of the base examination is required to ensure that the items on the base examination do not become over-exposed to candidates. Items that become over-exposed may no longer accurately measure the candidates’ knowledge of the required content.
The modified Angoff method is a criterion referenced method that relies on the judgment of a panel of subject matter experts, who are BACB certificants. The panel members are carefully selected to be a representative sample of the overall certificant population based on a variety of factors, such as experience, type of practice, and geographic region. The experts participate in a training exercise which orients them to the passing-score process prior to estimating the percentage of minimally competent candidates who will know the answer to each item. The ratings for the entire panel of experts are then averaged together to arrive at a recommended passing score. The recommended passing score is then reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors.