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BCTMB, NCETMB and NCETM, Massage Board Certification and Licensure

 

Requirements for NCETM/NCETMB Licensing Exams

The NCETM/NCETMB or National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork is a 125 question massage test created and overseen by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork. The test questions are written and based upon a sample study of massage practitioners every five years. This ensures that the questions stay up to date with current massage therapy laws and practices. The National Massage Certification Exam is used to measure the skills and knowledge acquired by the massage student in their approved massage school or course work. An approved school or course consists of at least 500 hours of didactic massage training. In addition, the training must include 100 hours of in classroom training in Anatomy and Physiology, 200 hours of training on massage theory and application, and 2 hours of massage ethics. The remainder of the required massage course hours are to be completed in related fields such as pathology, business practices and Complimentary Alternative Medicine (CAM for the NCETMB). The NCETM requires you to know the basic 500 hour curriculum information, with modality definition knowledge, and basic knowledge of aromatherapy. The NCETMB is different in that it requires you to know CAM assessment, application, and diagnostic tools used in ayurvedic and acupuncture treatments.

The NCETM/NCETMB exam scores are submitted to your State Massage Board and are part of your licensing process. The BCTMB exam is an Advanced Placement Exam that can be acquired 6 months after you have graduated. You can apply and take the exam before all the requirements for the Board Certification are fulfilled, however you will not receive your Board Certification until you have completed all requirements.

The breakdown of the massage questions on the NCETM and the NCETMB are as follows:

NCETM

Question Estimations

20 questions on Body Systems 14%-18%

22 questions on Anatomy, Physiology and Kinesiology 20%-24%

20 questions on Pathology 15%-19%

48 questions on Massage & Bodywork Assessment & Application 30%-34%

15 questions on Professional Massage Standards, Ethics, Business & Legal Practices 11%-15%

for a total of 125 questions to complete in 125 minutes

NCETMB - Includes Complimentary Alternative Medicine (CAM) Assessement & Application questions

Question Estimations

19 questions on Body Systems 13%-17%

26 questions on Anatomy, Physiology and Kinesiology 19%-23%

20 questions on Pathology 14%-18%

44 questions on Massage & Bodywork Assessment & Application 33%-37%

16 questions on Professional Massage Standards, Ethics, Business & Legal Practices 11%-15%

for a total of 125 questions to complete in 125 minutes

NCETM and NCETMB Fees: $185.00

If you fail the exam you will have to send in another application and pay the fees again.

This breakdown of massage questions allows you to see where the NCETMB focuses their content, creating a focal point for your studies. The highest concentration is in the A&P & Kinesiology, followed closely by the Massage & Bodywork Application and Assessment. The Pathology, Body Systems, Professional practices, and history content are essential to know as well. These subjects provide knowledge for and in behalf of your client's conditions, enabling better connections on how the massage affects the client and the professional community as a whole. When you are studying with us, it is important to note the content weight in order to better prepare yourself for the exam. Please make sure to review all sections to keep the information fresh, so a faster recall of your knowledge is obtained when taking the actual exam.

You must have your NCETM/TMB Online application processed in order to become eligible for the National Massage Examination. You are eligible to take the examination when you have received the Authorization To Test Letter (ATT). You only have three months (90 days) from the time the ATT is issued to be eligible to schedule and take the NCETM/TMB.

If you feel confident and comfortable, you can even submit your NCETM/TMB application before you graduate, so that when you have received the ATT letter you can take the exam, and decrease the waiting period between graduation and Licensure. Some schools even set time aside to help prepare and send in your application along with tuition paid NCBTMB fees. Check to see if your educational establishment sends your application to the NCBTMB for you.

After receiving your ATT from the National Board, you must schedule a time to take the exam in a testing center near you. To make your appointment contact Pearson VUE, and utilize the information contained within your ATT to set your time to test. Prepare yourself by reading and understanding the Pearson VUE Professional Examination Rules. This process can also be done right after you have submitted your online application through the NCBTMB portal.

A passing score of 300 or above is necessary for the NCETM/TMB. This score is on a scale that ranges from 100 to 400, with 400 being the highest obtainable score. The scale score is not the amount of correct questions answered or even the percentage. It is based upon a transformed raw test to report the massage student’s test performance. You will receive a Pass or a Fail result right at the testing center after you complete the exam. Each subject area has a percentage within the examination that is sectioned off and scored individually. If a section is reported as Satisfactory or High, this section of subject comprehension meets or exceeds a level of acceptability. If the testing reports Middle, then the score for that section is marginal. An Unsatisfactory or an Area of Improvement result is well below the subject’s comprehension expectations. In the event that you do not pass your exam on the first try, you will need to study and review each section, even if you received a Satisfactory or High scale score for that section. If you need to retest, you will not get the same exam questions due to different content within each test form given.

Passing Score Information

To be qualified to take the NCETM/TMB you must first find out if your state accepts the exam as part of your licensing requirements. If yes, then you may apply directly with the NCBTMB or your school can help you prepare and send in the application for you. The fee required to take the exam is $185 due with the submittal of your NCETM/TMB Online application.

 

BCTMB- NEW Board Certification

**As of January 1st 2013 the Board Certification Exam BCTMB is available for Advanced Certification**

 

Requirements for Board Certification BCTMB

- 750 Education Hrs. including CE's and core curriculum

- 250 Hrs. of post graduation- No matter the amount of school hours (6 mo. minumim Hands on Experience)

- Background check included in application

- NCBTMB Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice Affirmation

- Maintain current CPR certification

- Oppose Human Trafficking- Read rules and Attest in application

- Pass the BCTMB or Board Certification Exam

Board Certification Exam Fee: $250

Board Certification Exam Application

BCTMB:

Question Estimations

56 questions on Evaluation of Anatomy, Physiology and Kinesiology 34%-37%

18 questions on Massage Communication & Assessment 10%-12%

70 questions on Massage & Bodywork Pathology, Body Systems, Assessment, & Application 43%-46%

16 questions on Professional Massage Laws, Standards, Ethics, Business & Legal Practices 8%-10%

for a total of 160 questions to complete in 160 minutes

 

Board ReCertification Requirements

- 24 Hrs. CE & 100 Hrs. Hands on Experience Every 2 years

- Background check included in application

- NCBTMB Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice Re-Affirmation

- Maintain current CPR certification- not part of CE's

- Oppose Human Trafficking

Board ReCertification Fee: $85

The Past National Certification can no longer be renewed as of 12/31/2012

The Massage-Exam.com website is a resource for basic Massage information about our online practice exams and other links to major Massage organizations. We are not affiliated with NCBTMB, FSMTB, AMTA, ABMP, IMA, or AMC. Information gathered from these organizations websites is to help educate and inform our fellow Massage Therapists.

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Tips on taking and passing the National Certification Examination for Massage Therapy:

These tips have been gathered from dozens of resources. They can be applied to the BCTMB exam as well as any test structured in the same format. Data on the NCBTMB exams have been compiled from interviews with certified and licensed massage therapists that have passed the NCETMB or NCETM. From online massage therapy related forums as well as recognized authorities on examination preparation and test taking techniques.

Material to study for the BCTMB, NCETMB or NCETM exam:

* Realistically you should have a working knowledge of all materials covered in your NCBTMB approved massage course. There is no secret method to passing, the Massage Exam Practice Testing Application will make you familiar with the format and content of the multiple choice questions. You can solidify the concepts of massage assessment and application by studying the massage answer rationales that accompany every question.

* Even though the BCTMB, NCETMB and NCETM exams have a minimum passing threshold, you should strive to learn more than just what is necessary to pass the exam. Reading the rationale that accompanies every question on Massage Exam, will help further your knowledge and open your understanding to the concepts taught from your text. Paying attention to the rationales will also build confidence in your personal abilities as a Massage Therapist, adding a stronger foundation for your new career.

The days before the BCTMB, NCETMB or NCETM Exam:

 * Be sure to eat a balanced diet and drink lots of water the days before the massage exam. Try to include B vitamin foods in your meals like oatmeal, bananas and raisins.

 * Do not try to cram for the massage exam. This is not an effective way of preparing for an exam. If you don't know the information you need the night before the exam, you are not going to know it after a day or night of cramming. Get some sleep or just relax the day or night before the exam instead of cramming. The rest will do more for you than pouring over text books and sample massage exam questions.

* Do not eat a sugar loaded meal or drink a lot of coffee before your exam. This will only add to your existing test anxiety.

* Study for your massage exam regularly over several weeks to get the best results from your test preparation.

* Download a map of the testing center location and arrive early to eliminate the stress of being late. Being late for an NCBTMB exam is not tolerated and you will have to reschedule. You must be approved and signed up for the BCTMB, NCETMB or NCETM, you can't just walk in to the testing center and request to take the exam. The only thing you can bring into the testing center exam room is your photo ID. Scrap paper will be provided for you in the testing area along with pencils if you are in need. These items must be returned at the end of the exam. Some testing facilities may even have a locker issued to you for your personal belongings to be stored during the exam.

* Dress in multiple layers when you go to take your exam so that you can take off what is not necessary if you are too warm. The temperature of the testing center can change during the day especially if the exam is held in a seldom used room or building.

* Use the restroom before you start the exam.

While taking the BCTMB, NCETMB or NCETM (NCBTMB exams):

* Use caution with questions that contain words like always, except, never, most appropriate and other words that qualify a question. Watch out for words that put limitations on a potential answer.

* Be sure to read the entire massage question completely at least two times and then formulate the correct answer in your head before you take a look at the multiple choice answers. If you look at the choices of answers before you understand the question entirely, you may be lead into choosing a wrong answer.

* There are four possible answers to each massage question. Two of the answers can often be eliminated right off the bat after reading the question through two times. Once these two answers are eliminated, you only need to decide the "best possible answer" between the two remaining choices.

* Don't over think or complicate the question. Do not add elements into questions that are not already written into it. These things can cause you to overlook the basics of the question, which is usually what you are being tested for.

* When you have completed the massage exam, review and check your answers if you have time. You are given two hours and forty minutes to complete the exam so you should have a while to review it after you have completed it. There is most certainly at least one question that you read incorrectly. Do not spend your review time waiting out in the car for your friend to get done.

* Don't forget to breath!

The NCBTMB or National Certification Board of Massage Therapy and Bodywork does an excellent job of detailing all of the information about the NCETM/NCETMB, here in this link below.

NCETMB Massage Therapist Examination Handbook

 

NCBTMB's Application Overview

Step 1: Sign up for NCBTMB Career Management System

Step 2: Apply to take the NCETM/TMB Licensure, or NCBTMB Certification

Step 3: Receive the Authorization To Test (ATT) confirmation email or monitor NCBTMB Career Management System for application progress

Step 4: Call or Schedule online with the Pearson VUE nearest you (can not do this without confirmation code in ATT)

Step 5: Schedule and take Exam within 90 Days (after 90 days you must apply and pay fee again)

Step 6: Receive Pearson VUE email confirmation of Place, Time, and Date

Step 7: Take the NCBTMB exam and receive results at the Pearson VUE's checkout desk (results are automatically sent to your state board listed on the NCBTMB exam application)

 

The Massage-Exam.com website is a resource for basic Massage information about our online practice exams and other links to major Massage organizations. We are not affiliated with NCBTMB, FSMTB, AMTA, ABMP, IMA or AMC. Information gathered from these organizations websites is to help educate and inform our fellow Massage Therapists.

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Tips on taking and passing the NCBTMB exams:

These tips have been gathered from dozens of resources. They can be applied to the NCBTMB exams as well as any test structured in the same format.

Taking the NCBTMB exams can be a painless experience if you are prepared with the knowledge of the course material AND an understanding of what to expect of the NCBTMB exams itself. We have created this page to aid in answering some of the more common questions associated with taking the NCBTMB exams. This includes facts and advice related to taking and passing the exams. It is intended to aid the MT candidate in his or her pursuit of license and registration as a Massage Therapist.

NCBTMB exams are Static (Summative) Test. It measures what you have learned and is a set of standardized tests with a set amount of time and a set amount of questions.

Facts you need to know about the NCBTMB Exams
Advice on how to take and pass the NCBTMB Exams
What materials to study for the NCBTMB Exams
Before taking the NCBTMB Exams
During the NCBTMB Exams
NCBTMB Question Breakdown
How The NCBTMB Exam and Questions are Constructed

 

Facts you need to know about the NCBTMB Exams:

NCBTMB exams test questions are multiple-choice with 4 potential answers, only one of these answers is correct. All questions are created by Massage Therapists, and these tests are designed to measure the knowledge and skills necessary for massage and/or bodywork practitioners to be able to identify important and safe components for an entry level practice.

• The NCBTMB exams are standard CBT (Computer Based Testing) format test. All testing will be performed at a computer workstation at Pearson Vue testing centers, which are located all over the United States. Before you start the NCETM/TMB, a tutorial will provide you with the necessary tools to utilize the Pearson VUE CBT format to your advantage.

• The CBT (Computer Based Testing) that the NCBTMB exams utilize is called Static (Summative) Tests and each exam is a standardized exam. You will have 2 hours and fifty minutes to answer 125 questions to complete the exam and receive your results.

• The NCBTMB exams are administered at the Pearson VUE testing center. This CBT, or Computer Based Test, will deliver questions one at a time to the candidate. Your name will be displayed at the top of the screen and on the top right side you will see your time remaining (you also have the option of clicking on the clock icon to get rid of the time count). The progress indicator under the time will show you first the question number you are on and then the total number of questions. The bottom left of the screen shows the navigation buttons. You can choose the Previous screen, the Navigator settings, or Next screen. The Navigator button in the lower right corner opens a window that allows you to move freely around the exam questions. The Navigator window also allows you to view the question status (complete, incomplete, or unseen), and items that are marked or flagged for review.

• Items displayed in the Navigator window are sorted by question number. You can choose to sort the questions by Question Number, Status, or Flagged for Review. To change the sort display click, the column heading once to change the current sort order from ascending to descending order; click it again to change from descending to ascending order. An arrow pointing up () indicates that the column is sorted in ascending order; an arrow pointing down () indicates that it is in descending order.

• When answering the question you may click on the bubble to the left of the correct answer or on the answer itself. If you click again, this will remove the selected answer.

• To flag a question for review, click the button in the upper right corner labeled Flag for Review. If you flag an item for review, a flag appears next to that item on the review screen. Review of items must be done during the testing time. You can select items for review whether you have answered them or not. To un-flag the item, click the Flag for Review button again and the flag image disappears. When you reach the last item in a section, press the Next button to move to the Review Screen.

• You can move to each question within the review screen by clicking on it or selecting Review all. NOTE: Do not click on the End Review button until you are satisfied with ALL your answers. The End Review ends your exam, it is located in the lower left side of the screen.

• There may be some questions that have a graphic displayed in order to fully answer the question correctly.

• Exam fees ($185) can be paid online at the NCBTMB exams website.

• If you do not pass the exam, you will fill out the NCBTMB exams application online, and send in the ($185) fee again. This MUST be received by the NCBTMB within the eligibility letter timeframe or 60 days after your failed exam date to avoid sending in an additional application.

• After three failed NCETMB test attempts, you will be required to complete and report 100 hours of additional education with the core curriculum focusing on areas of weakness, and then you will be given 2 additional attempts to pass IF you have taken and sent in proof of completing 100 hours of additional education with core curriculum or a focus on the areas of weakness. You must send in the failed score report and fee within 60 days of the failed exam indicating that you wish to retest. You will have four months from the time you fail the exam to complete the extra training. (If you need more time to complete your additional education, you must submit in writing to the NCBTMB within the specified time frame).

• After five failed NCETMB test attempts, you will be given 3 additional attempts to pass IF you have taken and sent in proof of completing 500 hours of additional education with core curriculum or a focus on the areas of weakness. You must send in the failed score report and fee within 60 days of the failed exam indicating that you wish to retest. You will have one year from the time you fail the exam to complete the extra training. (If you need more time to complete your additional education you must submit in writing to the NCBTMB within the specified time frame).

• You will receive the official exam score at the Pearson VUE testing center immediately after your examination. No other report will be sent to you in the mail or email.


• The score will automatically be reported in a sealed transcript or electronically to the state board that you wrote on the application, providing it is a state that accepts NCETMB scores. The score will be reported to this first state at no cost.


• If you need to have your score sent to another state board, or need another hard copy sent to either you or another agency, you must fill out the NCETMB Report Request Form within the application and pay $15.00 per report.

• You can find an NCBTMB exams testing location on this page of www.personvue.com

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Advice on how to take and pass the NCBTMB exams:


The following advice has been gleaned from dozens of sources. Information contained within has been compiled from interviews with Massage Therapists who have taken and passed the exam, related Massage discussion forums, and nationally recognized test-taking authorities.

To use our site effectively it is best to review the content of your graded exams. When you have finished your practice test and have received your score, don’t stop there. Check each incorrectly answered question and find out why you missed it. Was it because you didn't read the question correctly or missed one qualifying word? If you answered the question correctly or incorrectly, it is important to read the rationale, there may be further insights that can help you in the long run with a deeper understanding about the subject, or an easier way to remember the content.

When reviewing your tests, make sure you are breaking down the questions effectively. This is the time to practice reading each word slowly. It also helps, while reading the question, to insert one of the answers into the question to see if it fits or to see if it registers with anything in your knowledge base. If you take time on each word, focusing on the overall relevancy, you will train your brain to pick out the best possible answer. Visualize the muscle in relation to the body, see the direction of the fibers, recall the origin and the insertion (more moveable attachment) and run through the available actions of that muscle.

Practice using scrap paper to write things down. Sometimes writing content down will trigger the information you are looking for. When you take the exam at Pearson VUE they will give you paper and pencil or board and marker to use while the exam is taken and then ask for it back when the exam is completed.

It is also best in your preparations to study at least an hour each day. When you answer a question incorrectly, use that information to find a subject matter you need to learn more about. Read all about it in your books, and look it up online. Try to make deeper connections in regards to the body relationship as a whole. As you continue to do so you will find that you can recall information faster and with more accuracy.

Taking the NCETMB can be a painless experience if you are prepared with the knowledge of the course material AND an understanding of what to expect of the NCETMB test itself. We have created this page to aid in answering some of the more common questions associated with taking the NCETMB. This includes facts and advice related to taking and passing the exams. It is intended to aid the MT candidate in his or her pursuit of license and registration as a Massage Therapist.

NCETMB is a Static (Summative) Test. It measures what you have learned and is a set of standardized tests with a set amount of time and a set amount of questions.

 

Material to study for the NCBTMB exams:

* Realistically you should have a working knowledge of all materials covered in your massage curriculum. There is no secret method to passing the Exam. The Massage-Exam Practice Testing Application will help you become familiar with the format and content of the multiple choice questions. You can solidify the concepts of massage assessment and application by studying the massage answer rationales that accompany every question.

* Even though the NCBTMB exams has a minimum passing threshold, you should strive to learn more than just what is necessary to pass the exam. Reading the rationales that accompany every question on Massage-Exam, will help further your knowledge and open your understanding to the concepts taught from your text, and will build confidence in your personal abilities as a Massage Therapist, and add a strong foundation to your new career.

The days before the NCBTMB exams:

* Be sure to eat a balanced diet and drink lots of water in the days before the massage exam. Try to include B vitamin foods in your meals like oatmeal, bananas, and raisins. Get plenty of rest.

* Do not try to cram for the massage exam. This is not an effective way of preparing for any exam. If you don't know the information you need the night before the exam, you are not going to know it after a day or night of cramming. Get some sleep or just relax the day or night before the exam instead of cramming. The rest will do more for you than frantically pouring over your textbooks and practice massage exam questions.

* Do not eat a sugar-loaded meal or drink a lot of coffee before your exam. This will only add to existing test anxiety.

* Study for your massage exam regularly over several weeks to get the best results from your test preparation.

* Download a map of the testing center location and make sure you know exactly where the test center is, and arrive early to eliminate the stress of being late. Being late for the NCBTMB exams is not tolerated and you will have to reschedule. You must be approved and registered for the NCBTMB exams; you can't just walk in to the testing center and request to take the exam. The only thing you can bring with you is your photo ID and a couple of pencils. Scrap paper will be provided for you in the testing area along with pencils, if you are in need. These items must be returned at the end of the exam. Some testing facilities may even have a locker issued to you for your personal belongings to be stored during the exam.

* Dress in multiple layers when you go to take your exam so that you can take off what is not necessary if you are too warm. The temperature of the testing center can change during the day especially if the exam is held in a seldom used room or building.

*Use the restroom before you start the exam. You are allowed to go during the exam, but take care of it sooner rather than later. You will be required to take one form of ID with you while testing, your ID will be verified each time you leave and enter.

*You must bring two forms of ID to the exam site. One of the IDs needs to have a photo.

While taking the NCBTMB exams:

* Use caution with questions that contain words like always, except, never, most appropriate, and other words that qualify a question. Watch out for words that put limitations on a potential answer.

* Be sure to read the entire massage question completely at least two times and then formulate the correct answer in your head before you take a look at the multiple choice answers. If you look at the choices of answers before you understand the question entirely, you may be led into choosing an incorrect answer.

* There are four possible answers to each massage question. Two of the answers can often be eliminated right away after reading the question through two times. Once these two answers are eliminated, you only need to decide which answer is the "best possible answer" between the two remaining choices.

* Don't over think or complicate the question. Do not add elements into questions that are not already written into it. These things can cause you to overlook the basics of the question, which is usually what you are being tested on.

* When you have completed the massage exam, review and check your answers if you have time. You are given two hours and forty minutes to complete the exam so you should have a while to review it after you have completed it. There will most certainly be at least one question that you read incorrectly. Do not spend your review time waiting out in the car for your friend to get done.

 

Look at the breakdown of questions. A large portion of the exam is related to Massage Assessment & Application 35%, Anatomy, Physiology & Kinesiology is the next highest content at around 22%, A&P Body sytems follows at 16%, as well as Pathology 16%, with 13% dedicated to Professional Ethics and Standards. Many students overlook this.

The NCBTMB exams may NOT be based upon the textbook you used in your class. The exam is based upon the NCBTMB exams Reference list.

• Remember, although the NCBTMB exams exam looks at a minimum requirement to pass, nobody wants a "just made it by the skin of my teeth" therapist. Know your stuff.

• Obviously take advantage of the Massage Practice Tests here on our site. There is detailed score tracking and exam review features that let you see your strong and weak areas while you continue to take exams and improve.

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Use this information when studying and preparing for your final exam. Breakdown the subject matter to understand it better:

1. Knowledge: arrange, define, duplicate, label, list, memorize, name, order, recognize, relate, recall, repeat, reproduce, state.


2. Comprehension: classify, describe, discuss, explain, express, identify, indicate, locate, recognize, report, restate, review, select, translate.


3. Application: apply, choose, demonstrate, dramatize, employ, illustrate, interpret, operate, practice, schedule, sketch, solve, use, write.


4. Analysis: analyze, appraise, calculate, categorize, compare, contrast, criticize, differentiate, discriminate, distinguish, examine, experiment, question, test.


5. Synthesis: arrange, assemble, collect, compose, construct, create, design, develop, formulate, manage, organize, plan, prepare, propose, set up, write.


6. Evaluation: appraise, argue, assess, attach, choose, compare, defend, estimate, judge, predict, rate, core, select, support, value, evaluate.



KNOWLEDGE
• Remembering;
• Memorizing;
• Recognizing;
• Recalling identification and
• Recall of information
o Who, what, when, where, how ...?
o Describe

COMPREHENSION
• Interpreting;
• Translating from one medium to another;
• Describing in one's own words;
• Organization and selection of facts and ideas
o Retell...

APPLICATION
• Problem solving;
• Applying information to produce a good result;
• Use of facts, rules, and principles
o How is...an example of...?
o How is...related to...?
o Why is...significant?

ANALYSIS
• Subdividing something to show how it is put together;
• Finding the underlying structure of a communication;
• Identifying motives;
• Separation of a whole into component parts
o What are the parts or features of...?
o Classify...according to...
o Outline/diagram...
o How does...compare/contrast with...?
o What evidence can you list for...?

SYNTHESIS
• Creating a unique, original product that may be in verbal form or may be a physical object;
• Combination of ideas to form a new whole
o What would you predict/infer from...?
o What ideas can you add to...?
o How would you create/design a new...?
o What might happen if you combined...?
o What solutions would you suggest for...?

EVALUATION
• Making value decisions about issues;
• Resolving controversies or differences of opinion;
• Development of opinions, judgments, or decisions
o Do you agree...?
o What do you think about...?
o What is the most important...?
o Place the following in order of priority...
o How would you decide about...?
o What criteria would you use to assess...?

This is the nuts and bolts of how the NCBTMB exams are built. Below is an example of how an NCBTMB exams question is constructed. This will give you some insight into the thinking behind each question.

Steps to Question Writing

A well-designed multiple-choice item consists of three main components: a stem (asks a question or poses a statement which requires completion), key (the correct answer/s), and distracter(s) (incorrect option/s). The following section is designed to enhance the candidate’s understanding of the NCBTMB exams question writing process.

Step 1. Select an area of the test plan for the focus of the item
* Client Assessment


Step 2. Select a subcategory from the chosen area of the test plan
* Acute Injury


Step 3. Select an important concept within that subcategory
* Assess and prioritize the injury, care, and techniques


Step 4. Use the concept selected and write the stem
* Client worked in yard yesterday and their right lower back is in spasms
What are the first questions that need to be answered?


Step 5. Write a key to represent important information the Massage Therapy student should know
* Pain scale, use of hydrotherapy, pain medications and restricted movements
~ ROM is stopped at the pain, don’t let client push through the pain


Step 6. Identify common errors, misconceptions, or irrelevant information
* Differences in pain concepts are individualized
* Name of muscles that are close to the prime mover but do not assist or are antagonist to the ROM focus
* Lack of understanding of expected findings related to specific pathology findings


Step 7. Use the previous information and write the distracters
~ Trapezius
~ Acute injuries can be manipulated if pain scale is under 4
~ Injury can be worked within 24 hours even with inflammation and spasms present


Step 8. Complete the item using the stem, key, and distracters


The Massage Therapist must be mindful of the client and the client’s pain tolerance. Ask more history questions to have a better understanding of the injury stage.


1. ROM helps to find out the muscles involved in the primary area and the compensating or pain posture offenders (Key).


2. Ask questions to see if the spasms are protecting the injury to determine if the client needs to see a doctor or if you are able to relieve the spasms.


3. Obtain information about what the client is wanting to achieve from this massage and give realistic information about your abilities, what you can and cant do, and why.


4. Create a treatment plan for the massage and give useful homework to obtain more relief.

In this example you can see that the question is asked at the Evaluation level of Bloom’s Taxonomy. That is the highest form of question. It requires you to know information about each answer option, and then weigh each answer against the other to determine techniques and application.

In this sample question you can see that a client can still obtain a massage if acute injury protocol is followed. The right information must first be obtained within the assessment in order to apply helpful techniques. The NCETMB likes to make sure the client’s safety comes first. It requires you to really think about each option and only use the information presented in the question and answers.


Massage-Exam.com would encourage every person to read all the available information on the NCBTMB exams website. They detail for you how their tests are constructed and administered. Knowing this information helps you better prepare and be more confident in your ability to test.

*Good Luck, and Don't forget to breathe!

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State Regulations for Licensing Exams

State

BCTMB

Advanced Cert.

Not required to obtain a license

NCETM

NESL

No longer Used

Other
Alabama
x
x
Alaska
Not Regulated
Not Regulated
Not Regulated
Not Regulated
Not Regulated
Not Regulated
Not Regulated
Arizona
x
x
x
x
x
x
Arkansas
-
-
-
-
x
x
California
x
x
x
x
x
x
Colorado
x
x
x
x
x
x
Connecticut
x
-
-
-
-
-
Delaware
x
x
x
x
x
x
Distric of Columbia
x
x
x
Florida
-
x
x
x
x
x
Georgia
x
-
x
x
x
x
Hawaii
State
State
Idaho- Starting July 1st 2013
x
x
x
x
Illinois
x
x
x
x
x
Indiana
x
-
x
x
x
Iowa
x
x
x
x
x
x
Kansas

In

Process

Not Regulated

In

Process

Not Regulated

Not Regulated
Not Regulated

In

Process

State
BCTMB
NCETM
NESL
Other
Kentucky
x
x
x
x
Louisiana
x
?updates
x
x
Maine
x
x
x
x
Maryland
x
x
x
-
x
x
Massachusetts
x
Michigan
x
-
x
-
x
x
Minnesota
Not Regulated
Not Regulated
Not Regulated
Not Regulated
Not Regulated
Not Regulated
Not Regulated

Mississippi

x
-
-
-
x
x
Missouri
x
-
x
-
x
x
Montana
x
x
x
x
x
x
Nebraska
x
x
x
-
x
x
Nevada
x
x
x
x
x
New Hampshire
x
x
x
x
New Jersey
x
x
x
New Mexico
x
x
x
x
New York
State
x
State
State
BCTMB
NCETM
NESL
Other
North Carolina
x
x
x
x
x
North Dakota
x
x
x
Ohio
x
x
Oklahoma
Not Regulated
Not Regulated
Not Regulated
Not Regulated
Not Regulated
Not Regulated
Not Regulated
Oregon
x
-
x
-
x
x
Pennsylvania
x
x
x
x
x
Rhode Island
x
x
South Carolina
x
x
x
x
x
x
South Dakota
x
x
x
x
x
Tennessee
x
x
x
Texas
x
-
x
-
x
x
Utah
x
x
x
x
x
x
Vermont
Not Regulated
Not Regulated
Not Regulated
Not Regulated
Not Regulated
Not Regulated
Not Regulated
State
BCTMB
NCETM
NESL
Other
Virginia
x
-
x
x
x
x
Washington
x
x
x
West Virginia
x
x
x
x
Wisconsin
x
x
x
x
Wyoming
Not Regulated
Not Regulated
Not Regulated
Not Regulated
Not Regulated
Not Regulated
Not Regulated
 
39
40
39
Other
Puerto Rico
x
x
x
US Virgin Islands
x
x
x
  Updated 8/7/13 - If the State Regulations specifically stated an Exam from the NCBTMB it is listed on our comparison grid. If the State Regulations stated a NCBTMB exam all exams available are listed.  

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