While studying for the BCBA exam, I found it extremely helpful to write my own flashcards. I thought to myself, “if only I had pre-made cards that had the term I needed to know, I could still get the practice of reading and writing my own definitions.” So, here you go! I want to go over how to get the most out of these flashcards by considering fluency and terminology grouping.
As you know, the BCBA exam is timed, so the faster you are able to identify the ABA terminology, the more likely you are to get the question correct. Moving quickly through the flashcards, and increasing your response time will increase your pace. After you write all of the terms and feel confident in their definitions, you should mix them up. Running through the cards mixed will give you a shorter latency, and build fluency!
One benefit to these flashcards is that all of the terms are categorized by related concepts, specifically by Cooper chapters. Studying the terms grouped by chapter will allow your brain to make the connection between concepts. Also, writing down the definitions in this order (rather than alphabetical) will keep you organized as you continue on your studying journey.
I found it extremely helpful to conceptually group the terms I was studying. After you finish writing all of the cards, then you can mix them up for a bigger challenge. Remember, the test is not categorized by terminology or chapter. The test will randomize all concepts, so to get the most out of these flashcards make sure you mix up all concepts so your brain gets used to switching around!
One study tip I like to share: Instead of focusing on how the terms are different from one another, try to discover their relationship. I realized ABA terms are all related in a giant web. Yes, some terms are different from one another, but conceptually they have more relations. Once I realized this the second time studying, concepts began to stick and I was able to apply the terms fluently.
How to use
- Print out the flashcards.
- Use a paper cutter (or scissors) to cut the flashcards. Keep them grouped by page! I recommend cutting them out as you go to help stay organized.
- Start at the beginning, which will start you on Cooper chapter 1.
- After you complete the flashcards, run through them in order several times.
- Once you feel comfortable with all of the concepts, mix and shuffle them to build fluency.
- Carry the flashcards with you and run through the flashcards any chance you get!
I hope you find this free tool useful in your studies! I recommend pairing these flashcards with Cooper readings when finding the definitions. I also recommend utilizing these flashcards with our course and 30 or 60-day study plan. In this study plan, you are given the Cooper page numbers that are associated with each task list and a clear study guide to follow.
All of the terms you need to study for the exam are downloadable here.
Reach out if you have any questions!
February is right around the corner- don’t wait to set up your BCBA/BCaBA study plan!
The biggest challenge for me while studying was navigating all of the information that was thrown my way. I was left with many materials and no structure. For example, you have Cooper, flashcards, the task list, practice tests, and other notes, but where do you start? All of the information can be a bit overwhelming.
Just like working out, set yourself goals for each day in small steps. Just like you set up goals for your clients, you want to make sure we are writing the appropriate, attainable goals for yourself. Of course, you should still add in a little reinforcement for the full effect.
Solidifying a study plan is key to a successful studying adventure. Don’t just start reading Cooper, because you may read too much for the day, or not enough. If you break down the material in smaller units and set yourself reading goals, this will help you review and feel like you have studying under control.
Here are 3 tips when creating a study plan:
1. Allow yourself “catch up” days.
Writing in catch up days will set yourself up for success and prevent you from getting behind. It also may just give you the break you need if you are caught up.
2. Do not cram the week before the test.
Do leave yourself 1 full week before your test to create your whiteboard, and review key concepts. I would recommend even 2 full weeks. If you start studying soon enough (at least 90-60 days before the test) you will retain the information. I have heard some people worry about losing the information they have learned. This is not the case if you start early enough. You will maintain the content if you pace yourself!
3. Group concepts together.
Group concepts together that are related. Check out our study plan included in our full course that breaks down exactly which tasks to study, which slides to review, and correspond with exact Cooper readings.
We took care of the hard part for you and put together a study calendar along with our 90 Complete ABA Prep course. You can check the course out here.
After you establish a study plan, set up reinforcement after each week. This will keep you encouraged and keep your momentum flowing.
Feel free to contact me for any further study tips!
You can read me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Well, here we are. You know why we are here. You failed. Maybe for the first time, struck down in the prime of your optimism. Or maybe you have been here before and you know these walls all too well. Go ahead, let’s cry it out.
Here are some playlists so you can drive around the city by yourself and ugly cry at stop lights. That cute dog in the car next to you is does nothing to cure the emptiness inside.
Not a car crier? Then pop one of these bad boys on and cry it out in the shower. Or lay on the bedroom floor and cry even harder when you realize how bad you need to vacuum.
Here are some playlists that can meet you where you are so you can wallow in self-pity.
1. Life Sucks:
2. Sad Indie:
3. Sad Vibe:
4. Down in the Dumps:
Get it all out, take the whole day if you need to. Then tomorrow is a new day. Wake up, brush your self off and get back at it. You’ve got this.
Today, some of you got your results… Whether they are what you wanted, or not, remember we are all in this together. We all want to make a positive influence on individuals lives using ABA. Luckily, most of you can continue to do that either way!
If you didn’t pass, keep practicing. This test is known for being a beast. It may have been 50 points, it may have been 5, either way you know what to study from here. Study like a first time test taker, and take this failed attempt as fuel for the next time. You WILL pass.
If you did pass, congratulations. You are on the other side. You will never have to test again! Now that you are a BCBA, you get to learn the clinical challenges and responsibilities associated with your certificate. Be proud, and support your fellow ABA buds!
Either way, you deserve to relax, unwind and treat yo’ self.
August is right around the corner, time to start making those study plans!
How are you preparing to study for the August BCBA/BCaBA tests? Are you navigating the overload of info related to the task list? Our comprehensive study plan combines easy to navigate slides with visual charts, examples, practice questions, and Cooper readings throughout.
If you like individualized instruction, this course is perfect for you. I am available by email so I am always glad to answer any study questions you have along the way. Additionally, if you sign up for the Complete Plus course, you get an hour of individualized tutoring. That tutoring hour is a great time to dive into your most challenging topics. I will create an individualized study session including practice questions and examples.
If you’re like me, you like the concepts broken down. We all know Cooper can be a little dry to read through. That is why I find the slides extremely helpful to break down the concepts in a way that makes sense. I am also a visual learner, so the pictures and visual charts are a useful way to filter out the noise.
Congratulations new BCBA’s! You made it through the wilderness. Somehow you know you made it through… (Madonna anyone?)
You did it!!!!
How does it feel to be on the other side? Relieved? You should be, you worked hard to get here! That test is no joke, and you conquered it! Finally, you refresh your page to see “Pass” under your name. Is this real? Did I finally survive alive? Did I receive reinforcement for this independent group contingency? (Let me stop) The point is, you should immediately sign your name with your new credentials after it. You should also order a certificate frame, and update your email signature!! Shout it from the rooftop!
You guys rocked it, and you should be proud. Celebrate with your significant others and family. They deserve an award as well for putting up with you every time you may have lashed out at them for being stressed, or blew them off to study.
Hopefully, the course helped you, but don’t give us all of the credit. Your dedication to the material and analytical skills paid off here today.
Encourage your fellow ABA colleagues and help them study and beat this thing. If you loved the course and feel it helped you in your studies, leave a review! We’d love to hear your feedback.
Best wishes guys!