NBCOT® Exam and Exam Prep

The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy or simply NBCOT® has, for the most part, designed and fabricated examinations to determine the skills and knowledge of people who want to pursue their career in this progressing field. People who obtain NBCOT® certification are, believe it or not, regarded to possess all the essential qualities by the high-caliber practitioners.

Examinations are scored on a scale from three hundred to six hundred. An individual’s score is, for the most part, based on the number of correct answered questions and the comparative complexity of the exam version. There’s no difference between questions answered incorrectly and unanswered questions.

To pass the exam, people taking the exam need to get a score of at least four hundred and fifty. However, the fail and pass determination is solely based on the total score. To help you prepare for the NBCOT® examination, it will be best to review and subscribe to any exam prep available out there. Prepare for the NBCOT® exam with the help of practice tests and study guides.

What You Need To Know About The Exam

There are a couple of things that you need to take into consideration before taking the NBCOT® exam. First, you have at least four hours to take the examination. You can, without a doubt, take breaks, but the time does not stop.

Second, there are over two hundred multiple choice questions. If there are unanswered questions, it’ll not be taken into account on your overall score. Third, you can skip questions and go back to them as long as you’re within the four hours limit. Thus, do not worry if you cannot answer the question right away. If the answer doesn’t come to you, skip the question and come back to it later if you still have time.

Fourth, it is forty dollars cheaper to apply for the examination online rather than sending a paper application by mail. Apply online via the NBCOT®. Lastly, you need to get a score of at least four hundred and fifty for you to pass the examination. However, if you fail, you can retake the exam in forty-five days. Take note that you can always retake the exam. There is no limit.

Exam Prep Advice

Let’s face it. It is undoubtedly a daunting and frightening task to answer two hundred questions within four hours. However, you can battle out this hurdle by being prepared. The key to any examination is to prepare oneself, specifically mentally prepared, to sit for hours to answer the exam.

Do not think too much and get yourself out about it. Be that as it may, it is not a great idea to blow the NBCOT® examination off like it is no big deal. For a little help, here are some helpful tips to mentally prepare yourself for the exam.

  • Do not wait until the week before the exam to study. Hence, you must study at least six weeks in advance to prepare yourself — at least three hours per day.
  • Create a study plan. You can begin by answering a self-assessment test to determine where your main points should be, then adjust and modify your study strategy to methodically hit those points. Jot down your strategy or plan as a simple outline to keep track of things, enabling you to exercise most of the practice questions as you go nearer to your exam date. The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy offers a few blueprints and guides for the exam. Check out their website to take advantage of the free exam prep materials.
  • Before taking the actual exam, make sure to eat a protein-rich meal in the morning. By that we mean, cottage cheese, yogurt, or eggs would be an excellent choice.
  • Be early at the test center. Being late is most probably the last thing you want before taking the exam. Also, you need to fill out some paperwork before you can start. So, get there early.
  • Use the restroom before entering the test center because it will lessen the possibilities that you will need a break. Remember, the time will not stop if you take a break.


There are several free exam prep materials, free flashcards, and practice exams available out there for you to take advantage of. The NBCOT® offers free exam prep in the structure of self-assessment tools, helping you identify and determine areas to focus on as you create your study plan.

So, what does passing the examination means for your career? Passing the examination and becoming a certified occupational therapy means that you are an officially licensed occupational therapist. It will aid you in legitimizing your skills, giving you confidence and belief in your abilities, and most especially, help you look for a job.


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