How to Study for Nbcot

How to Study for NBCOT

The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) is a crucial step for individuals seeking to become licensed occupational therapists in the United States. The exam evaluates the knowledge and skills necessary to practice as a competent occupational therapist. To ensure success on this challenging exam, it is important to develop a comprehensive study plan. Here are some tips to help you effectively prepare for the NBCOT:

1. Familiarize yourself with the exam format: Start by understanding the structure of the NBCOT exam. It consists of four clinical simulation test (CST) items and 170 multiple-choice questions (MCQs). Becoming familiar with the format will help you allocate time and resources accordingly.

2. Create a study schedule: Design a study plan that suits your learning style and commitments. Set aside specific times each day or week to focus solely on exam preparation. Consistency is key, so stick to your schedule as much as possible.

3. Identify your strengths and weaknesses: Assess your knowledge and skills to determine areas that require more attention. Focus on strengthening your weaker areas while maintaining your strengths. This will ensure a balanced and comprehensive study approach.

4. Utilize study materials: Invest in reliable study resources, such as textbooks, online courses, practice exams, and flashcards. Use these materials to review and reinforce your understanding of essential concepts and principles.

5. Join study groups or find a study partner: Collaborating with others can enhance your learning experience. Join online forums or local study groups to discuss concepts, share study strategies, and engage in collaborative problem-solving.

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6. Practice with sample questions: NBCOT provides sample questions that mimic the exam format. Practice answering these questions to familiarize yourself with the types of questions you may encounter. This will also help you identify areas where you need further studying.

7. Take breaks and prioritize self-care: Studying for the NBCOT can be intense, so it’s crucial to take regular breaks to avoid burnout. Engage in activities that help you relax and recharge, such as exercising, spending time with loved ones, or pursuing hobbies.

8. Review regularly: Continuously review the material you have studied. This will help reinforce your knowledge and ensure that the information remains fresh in your mind.


1. When should I start studying for the NBCOT?
It is recommended to start studying at least three to six months before your scheduled exam date. This will allow you ample time to cover the required material thoroughly.

2. How much time should I dedicate to studying each day?
The amount of time you dedicate to studying each day depends on your personal schedule and commitments. Aim for at least two to three hours of focused studying each day, or more if your schedule permits.

3. Should I study alone or join a study group?
Both options have their merits. Studying alone allows you to focus on your own pace and preferences, while study groups provide opportunities for discussion and different perspectives. Consider what works best for you and adapt accordingly.

4. Are practice exams necessary?
Yes, practice exams are essential. They help familiarize you with the exam format, identify areas of weakness, and build confidence in your test-taking abilities.

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5. How do I manage test anxiety?
Test anxiety is common, but there are strategies to help manage it. Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, before and during the exam. Additionally, maintaining a positive mindset and focusing on your preparation can help alleviate anxiety.

Remember, the NBCOT exam is challenging, but with a well-structured study plan, dedication, and perseverance, you can confidently work towards passing the exam and starting your career as a licensed occupational therapist.