EXAMINATION INFORMATION


When in-person testing was restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the BACB sought approval from its accrediting body to participate in an exception program that offered flexibility for RBT candidates by permitting remote testing, with the understanding that additional data collection and security measures would be required. Remote testing became available for the RBT certification program on April 15, 2020.

On March 1, 2021, in response to typical examination-security concerns associated with remote testing, the BACB will begin restricting remote testing in select geographic regions as needed. If remote testing does not appear as an option at the time of examination-appointment scheduling, it is due to these restrictions, and in-person testing will still be available. Candidates who have an existing OnVUE appointment scheduled after March 1, 2021, and who are located in restricted regions will receive an email within the first two weeks of March with guidance on how to reschedule their examination appointment at a testing center.

Remote testing was approved by the NCCA late last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Because this examination-delivery method is new, additional security measures, including restrictions when necessary, are needed to meet the security requirements for administration of high-stakes examinations.


The BACB continually monitors data from all of our examinations. When suspicious scores in any geographic region reach a particular threshold, we restrict access to remote testing in that region for an undetermined period of time to prevent lapses in examination security.


Only the RBT candidate will be aware of the restriction at the time of scheduling their examination. Due to COVID-19, testing-center availability and remote-testing security must be constantly monitored, so restricted areas are updated regularly.


As an RBT Supervisor, you will need the help of the RBT candidates under your supervision to determine whether they are in a restricted area. Because restricted areas are updated regularly, the BACB is not able to provide additional information about geographic regions to supervisors or RBT candidates.

Please visit the Pearson VUE website and our BACB COVID-19 Updates web page for further details and scheduling.

BACB examinations are offered to individuals seeking BACB certification. Before taking a BACB examination, you must first apply to the BACB and provide the requested documentation showing that you have met all eligibility requirements. After receiving authorization for the examination, you may register and pay for your examination through Pearson VUE’s website.

BACB examinations are only available at authorized Pearson VUE testing sites worldwide that meet the security requirements necessary for administration of high-stakes examinations (i.e., Pearson Professional Centers). The BACB currently has authorized the availability of testing sites in 37 countries and evaluates the addition of new sites routinely and by requests made via our contact us form.

The examinations are administered using a computer-based testing (CBT) format by Pearson VUE. Pearson VUE’s website offers:

  • a tutorial to become familiar with the CBT format
  • information about what to expect at a Pearson VUE testing center
  • examination locations, testing centers, and languages offered

RBT


Please refer to the Examination section of the RBT Handbook for comprehensive information about our certification examination, including preparation for the examination, policies and rules, and what to expect after passing the examination.

Any appointment canceled or rescheduled within 30 days of the examination date will be subject to a fee. Appointments canceled or rescheduled 30 or more days prior to an examination appointment will not incur a fee.

Fees
30 to 5 days before the examination appointment $27
5 days to 48 hours before the examination appointment $32

Note: If an examination is canceled or rescheduled within 48 hours of the appointment, no refund will be provided.


2016 2017 2018 2019* 2020**
Number of Candidates Tested
First Time 9,420 20,445 22,609 30,578 28,794
Retakes 956 3,208 3,867 5,605 6,634
Percentage of Candidates Passing
First Time 88% 86% 87% 87% 84%
Retakes 51% 49% 54% 52% 52%

*Due to anomalous RBT-related activity in one geographic region, its testing data have been removed from this column. The RBT data for all regions are as follows for first-time test takers: # tested = 37,615, pass rate = 80%; and for retakes: # tested = 15,981, pass rate = 28%.
**Due to anomalous RBT-related activity in one geographic region, its testing data have been removed from this column. The RBT data for all regions are as follows for first-time test takers: # tested = 41,662, pass rate = 80%; and for retakes: # tested = 15,241, pass rate = 46%

You will be notified of your results at the testing site as soon as you complete the examination. The BACB will confirm your results via email, and they will appear in your BACB account within approximately one week of completing the examination.

BCaBA


Please refer to the Examination section of the BCaBA Handbook for comprehensive information about our certification examination, including preparation for the examination, policies and rules, and what to expect after passing the examination.

Any appointment canceled or rescheduled within 30 days of the examination date will be subject to a fee. Appointments canceled or rescheduled 30 or more days prior to an examination appointment will not incur a fee.

Fees
30 to 5 days before the examination appointment $59
5 days to 48 hours before the examination appointment $69

Note: If an examination is canceled or rescheduled within 48 hours of the appointment, no refund will be provided.


    2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Number of Candidates Tested
  First Time 812 1,012 1,253 1,450 1,042
  Retakes 341 493 751 989 667
Percentage of Candidates Passing
  First Time 65% 65% 61% 62% 66%
  Retakes 37% 35% 32% 36% 41%

BCBA

Please refer to the Examination section of the BCBA Handbook for comprehensive information about our certification examination, including preparation for the examination, policies and rules, and what to expect after passing the examination.

Any appointment canceled or rescheduled within 30 days of the examination date will be subject to a fee. Appointments canceled or rescheduled 30 or more days prior to an examination appointment will not incur a fee.

Fees
30 to 5 days before the examination appointment $59
5 days to 48 hours before the examination appointment $69

Note: If an examination is canceled or rescheduled within 48 hours of the appointment, no refund will be provided.


    2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Number of Candidates Tested
First Time 4,096 4,785 6,124 6,884 6,583
Retakes 3,251 3,297 4,454 6,327 6,166
Percentage of Candidates Passing
First Time 66% 65% 65% 63% 66%
Retakes 28% 31% 28% 27% 31%

Examination Scoring

The BACB uses the modified Angoff method for establishing the passing score for 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. The BACB maintains a large pool of questions that can be used to generate many different forms of the examination that are equated to the base examination.

The modified Angoff method is criterion referenced, meaning that the passing score for each base examination is established by a panel of BACB-certified subject matter experts and then approved by the BACB Board of Directors. Your performance on the examination is not dependent on the performance of those taking the examination with you.

The BACB is committed to reporting uncompromised and valid examination scores. On rare occasions, circumstances may invalidate examination scores. The BACB reserves the right to cancel or withhold examination scores due to suspected or documented misconduct during testing at a Pearson VUE site or violation of the BACB Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts. Invalidation may also occur due to situations beyond your control—or that of the BACB’s—at the testing site. Should this occur, you are encouraged to submit an administrative appeal.


The BACB maintains a large pool of questions that can be used to generate many different forms of each examination. For security reasons, the examination forms are updated on a regular basis. Furthermore, multiple forms of the examinations are in use during each testing period, and candidates are randomly assigned to these forms.


The BACB uses statistical data on how each question performs to evaluate the difficulty of each examination form. The examinations are carefully constructed in order to minimize variations in difficulty from one form to another. However, it is possible to have slight variations in difficulty based on the particular combination of questions that are selected for each examination form. This is taken into account when the passing scores are set, so it does not matter which examination form each candidate takes.

Every BACB examination undergoes psychometric statistical equating to assure that scores on different forms are adjusted for any difference in the levels of difficulty. Therefore, the actual number of correct answers required to pass each examination may vary depending on the form and level of difficulty of that examination. Thus, because the passing score may vary from one examination to another, the raw number of questions answered correctly is not reported.

Passing candidates only receive notice that they have passed the examination; no additional report is provided. Failing candidates are provided with reports regarding their performance. For the BCBA and BCaBA examinations, the report includes the percentage of questions answered correctly and total number of questions within each of the primary examination content areas. For RBT examinations, the report provides a list of the RBT tasks for which the candidate answered items incorrectly. This information is provided solely for the purpose of guiding future study efforts.


Please see the Examination Scoring section, which describes the method used for setting passing scores.


Scaled scores are created when the number of questions that candidates answer correctly is mathematically transformed so that the passing score equals a certain point on a scale starting at 0 and ending at a number that equals the highest possible score. For BCBA and BCaBA examinations, the scale starts and 0 and ends at 500, with the passing score equaling 400. For RBT examinations, the scale is 0 to 250, with the passing score equaling 200.

This transformation is very similar to converting inches to centimeters. For example, a 10-inch ribbon will be 25.4 centimeters long. The length of the ribbon has not changed—only the units of measurement that were used to describe it.


The use of scaled scores allows us to directly compare scores from one examination form to another because the passing standard will always be the same (i.e., a scaled score of 200 for an RBT examination, or 400 for a BCBA or BCaBA examination). In the long run, this process will make the scoring of the examination easier to understand for all concerned. No matter which form of an examination a candidate takes, the scaled passing score will remain constant.


The scales used on the BCBA, BCaBA, and RBT examinations are similar to scales used by other large testing programs, such as the SAT, ACT, or GRE. The scales have more points than there are questions on the examination.


The use of scaled scores does not affect whether an individual candidate passes or fails the examination. The pass/fail decision is always made by comparing the number of questions answered correctly to the passing score that was established using the criterion-referenced process. All candidates who correctly answer more items than are required to pass the examination form that they took will obtain scaled scores that are between the scaled passing score and the top of the scale (i.e., between 200 and 250 for the RBT examination, or between 400 and 500 for the BCBA and BCaBA examinations). Candidates who did not answer enough items to pass will obtain scaled scores between 0 and just under the passing score (i.e., between 0 and 199 for the RBT examination, or between 0 and 399 for the BCBA and BCaBA examinations). Scaling does not affect the rank ordering of candidates. A candidate who answers more questions correctly than another candidate taking the same examination form will always obtain a higher scaled score.


Unfortunately, no. The BACB will not report the number of questions answered correctly or the overall percentage of questions answered correctly. However, failing candidates will be provided with examination reports as described above. This information is provided to assist failing candidates with targeting areas for further study. Visit the RBT, BCaBA, and BCBA sample score reports for examples.


Information on your performance is provided to assist you in identifying areas for additional study. However, you should use caution when interpreting this information. The number of items asked about each task is relatively small and therefore may not be predictive of your understanding of the task. When you prepare to take the examination again, you should study all of the content. If you study only the areas for which you answered items incorrectly, you might perform better on those areas but worse on others.

Examination Accommodations

To request examination accommodations:

After the BACB receives your request and supporting documentation, it will conduct a review of the requested accommodation. This review is typically completed within 10–14 days. If the BACB requests additional documentation, however, the review of your request may take longer.

The BACB is dedicated to complying with all accommodation requirements, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended. While the BACB does not offer an official accommodations handbook or guide, we encourage you to refer to the following sources for examples of appropriate supporting documentation for your request:

ADA Revised Title III Regulations
Request Behavior Analytic Terms Translation for Examination Support
United States Medical Licensing Exam Guidelines for Test Accommodations
ADA National Network Guidelines

Documents

Translated documents are available on the Translated Documents web page.

General Examination Information

Examination Content and Structure

Examination Forms