About RBT Exam

About RBT Exam

Key Takeaways:

  1. The RBT certification is a valuable credential for professionals who deliver behavior-analytic services under the supervision of a BCBA or BCaBA.
  2. To be eligible for the RBT exam, candidates must meet age, education, background check, training, and competency assessment requirements.
  3. The RBT exam is a 85-question, multiple-choice exam that covers six content areas: Measurement, Assessment, Skill Acquisition, Behavior Reduction, Documentation and Reporting, and Professional Conduct and Scope of Practice.
  4. Candidates must pay a $50 certification application fee and a $45 Pearson VUE examination appointment fee to take the RBT exam.
  5. Rescheduling or canceling an RBT exam appointment must be done at least 48 hours before the scheduled time to avoid additional fees.
  6. RBT exam results are provided immediately at the testing center, with a passing score determined by the modified Angoff method.
  7. Candidates who do not pass the RBT exam have up to 8 attempts within a 12-month period to retake the exam.
  8. Maintaining RBT certification requires annual renewal, ongoing supervision, adherence to the RBT Ethics Code, and completion of the RBT Renewal Competency Assessment.
  9. The BACB offers a variety of resources, including the RBT Task List, RBT Ethics Code, and RBT Handbook, to support candidates throughout the certification process.
  10. Candidates can find additional assistance through Pearson VUE customer service for exam scheduling and the BACB Contact Us form for general certification questions.

The Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) certification is a paraprofessional credential offered by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). This certification is designed for individuals who work directly with clients receiving behavior-analytic services and who practice under the supervision of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) or a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA). RBTs play a crucial role in delivering behavior-analytic interventions and support to clients, helping them develop new skills and reduce challenging behaviors.

To become an RBT, candidates must meet specific eligibility requirements, including completing a 40-hour training program, passing an initial competency assessment, and undergoing a background check. Once these requirements are met, candidates can apply for the RBT certification and take the RBT exam.

The RBT exam aims to assess a candidate’s knowledge and understanding of an RBT’s essential tasks and responsibilities, as outlined in the RBT Task List. The exam ensures that all RBTs have demonstrated a baseline level of competency in the core concepts and principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) and can apply this knowledge in real-world situations under the supervision of a qualified behavior analyst.

By passing the RBT exam and maintaining their certification through ongoing supervision and adherence to the RBT Ethics Code, RBTs demonstrate their commitment to providing high-quality, evidence-based services to clients and contributing to the field of ABA. The RBT certification also offers increased professional recognition, career advancement opportunities, and the ability to work collaboratively with BCBAs and BCaBAs to make a meaningful difference in the lives of the individuals they serve.

Historical RBT Examination Results

Historical RBT examination results show that the number of candidates tested has increased significantly from 2019 to 2023, with 73,690 first-time candidates and 30,573 retake candidates in 2023.

Testing and Passing Measures2019*2020**2021***20222023
Number of Candidates Tested
First Time30,57828,79443,45258,32273,690
Percentage of Candidates Passing
First Time87%84%83%77%74%

The percentage of candidates passing the RBT exam on their first attempt has decreased from 87% in 2019 to 74% in 2023, while the percentage of retake candidates passing has also decreased from 52% in 2019 to 41% in 2023.

Exam Eligibility Requirements

RBT Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to take the RBT exam and obtain certification, candidates must meet the following requirements:

Age Requirement

  • Candidates must be at least 18 years old at the time of application.

Education Requirement

  • Candidates must have a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent (e.g., GED).
  • Candidates must submit proof of their education, such as a copy of their diploma, transcript, or other official documentation.

Background Check Requirement

  • Candidates must pass a criminal background check and an abuse registry check within 180 days of applying for certification.
  • The background check must be comparable to those required for home health aides, childcare professionals, and teachers in the candidate’s state or country of residence.

40-Hour Training Requirement

  • Candidates must complete a 40-hour training program that covers the RBT Task List and meets the BACB’s requirements.
  • The training program must be delivered by a qualified BACB certificant (BCBA or BCaBA) or an RBT Requirements Coordinator.
  • Candidates must provide proof of completion by submitting a certificate or other official documentation.

Initial Competency Assessment Requirement

  • Candidates must pass an initial competency assessment demonstrating their ability to perform the tasks outlined in the RBT Task List.
  • The assessment must be completed after finishing the 40-hour training program and within 90 days of applying for certification.
  • The assessment must be conducted by a qualified BACB certificant (BCBA or BCaBA) or an RBT Requirements Coordinator.
  • Candidates must submit a completed RBT Initial Competency Assessment form with their application.

Meeting these eligibility requirements ensures that candidates have the necessary knowledge, skills, and background to perform the duties of an RBT effectively and ethically. Candidates should carefully review these requirements and ensure they have completed all necessary steps before applying for the RBT exam.

Exam Content and Structure

Exam Format

The RBT exam is a computer-based, multiple-choice examination consisting of 85 questions, 10 of which are unscored pilot questions. Candidates have 90 minutes to complete the exam.

Content Areas Covered

The RBT exam is based on the RBT Task List (2nd ed.), which outlines the core competencies and skills required of an RBT. The exam covers the following content areas:

Content AreaNumber of QuestionsPercentage of Examination
Skill Acquisition2432%
Behavior Reduction1216%
Documentation and Reporting1013%
Professional Conduct and Scope of Practice1115%

Exam Development Process

The RBT exam is developed using a rigorous process called the Job Task Analysis (JTA). This process involves:

  1. Developing a draft task list
  2. Conducting a content validation survey with subject matter experts (SMEs)
  3. Creating a new examination blueprint based on the survey results

The BACB works with qualified SMEs to ensure that the exam content is relevant, accurate, and representative of the skills and knowledge required of entry-level RBTs.

Sample Exam Questions

Here are a few sample questions similar to those found on the RBT exam:

  1. Which type of data collection is most appropriate for measuring the duration of a behavior?
    a) Frequency
    b) Rate
    c) Latency
    d) Duration
  2. When implementing a behavior reduction intervention, an RBT should:
    a) Provide attention to the client only when the problem behavior occurs
    b) Use positive reinforcement to increase the frequency of the problem behavior
    c) Withhold reinforcement following the occurrence of the problem behavior
    d) Provide escape from demands contingent on the occurrence of the problem behavior
  3. Which of the following is the most important consideration when documenting a client’s progress?
    a) Using technical jargon to describe the client’s behavior
    b) Ensuring that the documentation is objective and accurate
    c) Including personal opinions about the client’s behavior
    d) Making sure the documentation is lengthy and detailed

Answers: 1. d, 2. c, 3. b

These sample questions provide an idea of the type of content and format you can expect on the RBT exam. It is essential to review the RBT Task List thoroughly, study all content areas, and take our practice tests to ensure you are well-prepared for the examination.

Scheduling and Taking the Exam

How to Schedule the Exam

  1. After your RBT certification application has been approved, you will receive an email from the BACB with instructions on how to schedule your exam through Pearson VUE.
  2. Visit the Pearson VUE website and create an account or log in to your existing account.
  3. Select the RBT exam and choose your preferred testing location, date, and time.
  4. Pay the examination appointment fee and complete the scheduling process.

Exam Fees

  • RBT certification application fee: $50
  • Pearson VUE examination appointment fee: $45

Rescheduling and Cancellation Policies

  • Rescheduling Policy: If you need to reschedule your exam, you must do so at least 48 hours before your scheduled appointment. Contact Pearson VUE through their website or customer service to reschedule.
  • Cancellation Policy: If you need to cancel your exam, you must do so at least 48 hours before your scheduled appointment. Contact Pearson VUE through their website or customer service to cancel.
  • Associated Fees for Rescheduling and Cancellation:
    • 30 to 5 days before the examination appointment: $27
    • 5 days to 48 hours before the examination appointment: $32
    • Less than 48 hours before the examination appointment: No refund

Exam Accommodations

If you require accommodations due to a disability, you may request them through the BACB. Submit the BACB Examination Accommodation Request Form and supporting documentation from a qualified professional to the BACB for review. Accommodations must be approved before scheduling your exam.

What to Expect on Exam Day

  1. Arrive at the testing center at least 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment time.
  2. Present two forms of valid, government-issued identification (ID). The primary ID must have your photo and signature, while the secondary ID must have your signature.
  3. Test center staff will take your photo, obtain an electronic signature, and scan your palm vein.
  4. You will be provided with an erasable whiteboard and marker for use during the exam.
  5. The exam will be delivered on a computer, and you will have 90 minutes to complete it.
  6. After completing the exam, you will receive a printed score report indicating your pass or fail status.

Exam Security and Confidentiality

  • No personal items, including electronic devices, notes, or study materials, are allowed in the testing room.
  • You must not share or discuss the exam’s content with anyone, including other candidates or RBTs.
  • You will be monitored by test center staff during the exam to ensure the integrity and security of the examination process.
  • Engaging in any form of cheating or unauthorised behavior may invalidate your exam results and result in potential disciplinary action by the BACB.

Understanding the scheduling process, fees, policies, and examination day procedures can ensure a smooth and successful RBT exam experience.

Exam Results and Retakes

How and When Results Are Provided

  • You will receive your exam results immediately after completing the RBT exam at the testing center.
  • The results will be provided in the form of a printed score report, indicating whether you passed or failed the exam.
  • The BACB will also send you an official email confirmation of your results within one week of your exam date.

Passing Score

  • The passing score for the RBT exam is determined using the modified Angoff method, a criterion-referenced approach that involves a panel of subject matter experts.
  • The exact passing score may vary slightly between exam forms but typically falls around 70-75%.
  • Your performance on the exam is compared to the predetermined passing score, not to the performance of other candidates.

Retake Policies and Procedures

If you do not pass the RBT exam on your first attempt, you may retake the exam by following these policies and procedures:

  1. Wait at least 7 days after your previous exam attempt before rescheduling.
  2. Submit a new RBT Examination Retake Application through your BACB account within 48 hours of your failed attempt.
  3. Pay the retake fee ($45) to Pearson VUE when scheduling your new exam appointment.
  4. Schedule your new exam appointment through Pearson VUE, selecting a date that is at least 7 days after your previous attempt.
  5. You have a total of 8 opportunities to pass the RBT exam within a 12-month period, starting from your initial authorization to test.
  6. If you do not pass the exam after 8 attempts, you must wait until your 12-month authorization period ends before reapplying for RBT certification and starting the process again.

It is important to use the time between exam attempts to review the RBT Task List, study materials, and practice questions to improve your knowledge and performance on the retake. Consider working with your supervisor or a study group to identify areas for improvement and develop a study plan to address them.

Being aware of the exam results and retake policies can help you navigate your RBT certification journey, even if you need to retake the exam.

Preparing for the Exam

Preparing thoroughly for the RBT exam is essential to ensure your success. By using effective study strategies, focusing on the RBT Task List, and utilizing recommended study materials, you can increase your chances of passing the exam on your first attempt.

Study Strategies and Resources

  1. Create a study schedule: Establish a consistent study routine and allocate dedicated time for exam preparation.
  2. Review the RBT Task List: Familiarize yourself with the content areas and tasks covered in the exam.
  3. Use active learning techniques: Engage with the study material through methods such as summarizing, teaching others, and creating flashcards.
  4. Practice with sample questions: Answering practice questions can help you gauge your understanding and identify areas for improvement.
  5. Join a study group: Collaborating with others preparing for the exam can provide support, accountability, and the opportunity to discuss challenging concepts.

RBT Task List and Its Importance

The RBT Task List is the foundation of the RBT exam content. It outlines the key knowledge and skills required of an entry-level RBT, organized into the following content areas:

  1. Measurement
  2. Assessment
  3. Skill Acquisition
  4. Behavior Reduction
  5. Documentation and Reporting
  6. Professional Conduct and Scope of Practice

Thoroughly studying and understanding each task within these content areas is crucial for success on the exam and in practice as an RBT.

Exam Preparation Tips

  1. Start early: Begin your exam preparation well in advance of your scheduled test date to allow sufficient time for thorough study.
  2. Focus on understanding concepts: Rather than simply memorizing facts, strive to understand the underlying principles and their application in real-world scenarios.
  3. Take breaks: Incorporate regular breaks into your study sessions to maintain focus and avoid burnout.
  4. Manage test anxiety: Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, to help manage stress leading up to and during the exam.
  5. Simulate exam conditions: When taking practice exams, try to recreate the testing environment to familiarize yourself with the exam format and time management.

Maintaining RBT Certification

Maintaining RBT Certification

Once you have passed the RBT exam and obtained your certification, it is important to understand the requirements for maintaining your RBT status.

Annual Renewal Requirements

To maintain your RBT certification, you must complete an annual renewal process, which includes:

  1. Submitting an RBT Renewal Application through your BACB account
  2. Paying the annual RBT renewal application fee of $35
  3. Completing the RBT Renewal Competency Assessment
  4. Agreeing to adhere to the RBT Ethics Code and other BACB policies and requirements

The renewal process must be completed before your certification expiration date, which is typically one year from the date you passed the RBT exam.

Ongoing Supervision

As an RBT, you must receive ongoing supervision from a qualified RBT Supervisor or RBT Requirements Coordinator. The supervision requirements include:

  • Receiving at least 5% of your monthly hours spent providing behavior-analytic services
  • Participating in at least two face-to-face, real-time contacts with your supervisor per month
  • Having at least one of the monthly contacts be an individual meeting, while the other may be a small-group meeting
  • Ensuring that your supervisor observes you providing services in at least one of the monthly contacts

Your supervisor is responsible for monitoring your work, providing feedback, and ensuring you deliver behavior-analytic services ethically and effectively.

Adherence to the RBT Ethics Code

As an RBT, you must adhere to the RBT Ethics Code, which outlines the ethical and professional standards for RBTs. The code covers topics such as:

  • Responsibility to clients
  • Competence and service delivery
  • Confidentiality and privacy
  • Professional conduct
  • Responsibility to supervisors and the BACB

Failure to comply with the RBT Ethics Code may result in disciplinary action, including the potential revocation of your RBT certification.

Renewal Competency Assessment

As part of the annual renewal process, you must complete the RBT Renewal Competency Assessment. This assessment:

  • Evaluates your ongoing proficiency in performing core RBT tasks
  • Must be completed within 45 days before your certification expiration date
  • Must be overseen by a qualified BACB certificant (BCBA or BCaBA) or an RBT Requirements Coordinator

The assessment ensures that you maintain the necessary skills and knowledge to continue providing high-quality behavior-analytic services as an RBT.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What is an RBT?
    An RBT, or Registered Behavior Technician, is a paraprofessional who practices under the supervision of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) or Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA). RBTs assist in delivering behavior-analytic services and support to clients.
  2. What are the requirements to become an RBT?
    To become an RBT, you must:
    • Be at least 18 years old
    • Hold a high school diploma or equivalent
    • Pass a criminal background check and abuse registry check
    • Complete a 40-hour training program
    • Pass the RBT Initial Competency Assessment
    • Pass the RBT exam
  3. How much does it cost to become an RBT?
    The costs associated with becoming an RBT include:
    • RBT certification application fee: $50
    • Pearson VUE examination appointment fee: $45 Some additional costs may include background check fees and the cost of the 40-hour training program, which varies by provider.
  4. How do I prepare for the RBT exam?
    To prepare for the RBT exam, you should:
    • Thoroughly review the RBT Task List (2nd ed.)
    • Study the materials from your 40-hour training program
    • Review the RBT Ethics Code
    • Use BACB-approved study guides and resources
    • Take practice exams to familiarize yourself with the format and content
  5. What happens if I fail the RBT exam?
    If you do not pass the RBT exam, you may retake it after waiting at least 7 days from your previous attempt. You have a total of 8 attempts within a 12-month period to pass the exam. If you do not pass within those 8 attempts, you must wait until your 12-month authorization period ends before reapplying for certification.
  6. How long is RBT certification valid?
    RBT certification is valid for one year from the date you pass the RBT exam. To maintain your certification, you must complete annual renewal requirements before your expiration date.
  7. What are the annual renewal requirements for RBTs?
    To renew your RBT certification annually, you must:
    • Complete the RBT Renewal Competency Assessment
    • Submit the RBT Renewal Application
    • Pay the annual renewal fee of $35
    • Receive ongoing supervision
    • Adhere to the RBT Ethics Code
  8. Can I supervise other RBTs as an RBT?
    No, RBTs cannot supervise other RBTs. A qualified BCBA, BCaBA, or RBT Requirements Coordinator must provide supervision.
  9. What should I do if I have a question or concern about my RBT certification?
    If you have questions or concerns about your RBT certification, you should consult the BACB website and the RBT Handbook. If you cannot find the answer to your question, you can contact the BACB directly using the “Contact Us” form on their website.

Additional Resources

To help you navigate the RBT certification process and access important information, we have compiled a list of relevant BACB documents, web pages, and contact information for further assistance.

Links to Relevant BACB Documents and Web Pages

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