How To Pass The National Massage Exam (NCBTMB)

Published: 21st January 2010
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You gotta do it.' In thirty-five of the fifty states, plus the District of Columbia, the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork Exam is used or recognized in statute or rule.' Possessing NCBTMB credentials is one of the most effective ways to establish yourself as a serious and credible professional.' Unfortunately, too many massage students and professionals experience some sort of anguish in anticipation of sitting for this exam.' Will I pass?' If I don't can I take it over?' Should I take a prep course?' How much of the asian modalities will it cover?' Should I get hands-on experience before taking the exam?' Questions upon questions are asked as fear causes many to procrastinate or decide to avoid the exam all together.' This is foolishness.' The NCBTMB exam is passible and actually realitively easily when you prepare for it correctly.

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  • Start Early - The most important thing you can do is begin.' If you are a massage therapy student start now.' Don't wait until you graduate or until a potential employee tells you that the NCBTMB is a prerequisite for employment.' Begin reviewing practice questions daily.' This way you understand the format of the questions and you get comfortable with the process of elimination.' This will also help you identify areas that you may need to play special attention to in class.' If you are a practicing therapist in a state that has yet to make the exam a requirement it would be in your best interest to start studying for it.' They don't call it the NATIONAL Exam for nothing.' It's speculated that all states will eventually adopt the NCBTMB exam as a part of state statute.' Why wait until the last minute?

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  • Study Effectively- Take the time to understand the structure of the exam and the subject matters that it covers.' You can visit NCBTMB's websites for details or contact the nearest massage school for more information.' Knowing what to focus on will help you make effective use of you study time.

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  • Find a Study Buddy -' Why be a loner.' Partnering up with a buddy will help keep you motivated.' You can bounce ideas off of each other and help in clarifying complex topics.' Connect with your instructors as most have already passed their exam.' Ask them for advice and for study tips.

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  • Set a Date - The best way to achieve a goal is to set a date of completion.' Agreeing to take the exam in four to five months is not good enough.' Set a specific date (i.e.Saturday' June 26, 2010) and stick to it.' Give your self benchmarks throughout your study program.' For example, mastery of and anterior and posterior muscles of the legs by February 21, 2010.


In preparing for the NCBTMB exam it may seem like there's so much to know but if you start early and focus on each subject matter separately it won't seem so overwhelming.' Use study questions from various review guides and websites to gauge your progress.' There are several sites that offer practice exams.' Many massage therapy schools offer review sessions for current students and graduates.' Participate!' Most importantly believe that you can do this.' Set your mind to it.' Start today and in no time you'll be among the thousands of distinguished massage therapists that boasts the NCBTMB credential.

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