Updated: Nov 1, 2022
The registered Behavior Technician (RBT) role is vital in delivering ABA treatment. It is also a position that has seen significant growth and is expected to continue growing in the foreseeable future. Over the past decade, the need for BCBAs has risen over 5,000%! With that, comes a tremendous need for RBTs to provide direct care under BCBAs supervision.
If you are interested in a rewarding career in the ABA field, becoming an RBT is the best first step. Assuming you have already completed the training and competency checklist, the final step in the process is an examination to test your knowledge on the RBT task list. Read on for study prep tips and tricks.
Find your baseline
A baseline is a measure taken prior to intervention. Before studying for the exam, it's helpful to take a full mock exam to see what level of understanding you have before delving into studying. Of course, you should consider that the level of difficulty and quality of the mock exam may vary. But it is a good first step.
The RBT task list is broken down into six sections. A mock exam will show you which sections of the task list you are generally strong in and which sections you could continue to focus on.
Once you have your baseline, you can continuously measure your progress through your study efforts. Fun fact-This is precisely what you'll be doing with your clients!
Invest in a study guide.
Study guides break down each item in the task list to help you understand the concepts and provide real-life examples. I suggest walking through each section one item at a time. Pay extra attention to the concepts that you still don't feel confident in being able to apply. You'll want to dedicate some extra time working through those.
A great way to test your understanding and to improve your fluency is to use SAFMEDS. These are essentially flashcards. The acronym stands for "Say All Fast Minute Everyday Shuffle". With the definition on one side and the concept on the other, you want to test both sides to ensure you can quickly identify the concept when you read the definition and vice versa.
Graph your progress
Graphing your own progress is a perfect way to have a visual representation of your study progress AND practice actual tasks you will be doing as an RBT! You could do this by graphing the number of tasks on the task list that you have mastered. Or the number of flashcard terms you've got down pat.
Final thoughts: Don't overthink it! Once you understand the terms and how to apply them to real-world situations, you're solid. Feel free to reach out if there are any concepts I can help break down further for you.
A career in ABA can be so rewarding and a perfect way to gain lifelong skills. Before you sit for your RBT exam, make sure you have a strong handle of the material outlined in the RBT handbook.