Get Certified ─ A Comprehensive Guide to Preparing for the RBT Certification Test


If you are looking for a challenging and rewarding career, becoming a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) may be the perfect choice for you. The RBT certification is widely recognized as the standard for behavioral technicians, and passing the RBT exam is essential for those looking to work in this field.

This article will provide a comprehensive guide to preparing for the RBT Certification Test. We will discuss what to expect on the test and offer tips on how to prepare. Let’s get started!

What Is a Registered Behavior Technician?


RBTs are paraprofessionals that have certification in behavior analysis. Their primary duties include delivering behavior-analytic services and practicing under the close supervision of an RBT supervisor or coordinator.

The RBT certification is usually pursued by individuals already employed in settings where behavior-analytic services are provided, and they will likely continue working in these settings after becoming certified. Applicants will primarily assist qualified BCBAs and BCaBAs with service delivery activities.

For over 20 years, the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® (BACB®) has set the standards for behavior analyst certification. The BACB is a nonprofit corporation that offers professional certification for behavior analysts. It was established in 1998 to meet the needs identified by behavior analysts, governments, and consumers of behavior-analytic services. The BACB’s mission is to protect consumers of behavior-analytic services by establishing, promoting, and disseminating professional standards of practice.

How To Apply For Certification


The BACB RBT Handbook was released in January 2020. To become certified as an RBT, certain requirements must be met, such as passing the RBT certification exam. These requirements exist to ensure that entry-level behavior technicians are competent and have the skills necessary to deliver behavior analysis services under supervision.

To apply, you must:

  • be at least 18 years old;
  • have completed high school-level education or equivalent;
  • pass a criminal background check and an abuse registry check;
  • obtain 40 hours of qualified training;
  • complete an RBT initial competency assessment.


The education requirements to become an RBT certified include the following:

  • Being at least 18 years old when you submit your certification application;
  • High school-level education or equivalent;
  • Submitting either a high school diploma or transcript that reflects a graduation date OR a post-high school institution transcript demonstrating enrollment in one course.

If you live in a country without an equivalent to a high-school diploma, you must provide documentation that proves you were enrolled full-time in your required duration of schooling. This documentation must be professionally translated into English.

Background Check


In order to maintain your RBT certification, you must complete a criminal background check, and an abuse registry checks within 180 days of applying for the certification. These checks are required for individuals who provide similar services, such as home health aides, childcare professionals, and teachers.

You will demonstrate meeting this requirement by having your RBT Supervisor or RBT Requirements Coordinator confirm that you passed a criminal background check and an abuse registry check as part of your RBT certification application.

If your employer has already conducted a review that proves you are suitable for employment (e.g., criminal background check, abuse registry check), then RBT supervisors/requirements coordinators are not required to confirm this again. However, if audited, they must provide documentation supporting their attestation.


In order to become an RBT, you’ll have to complete a 40-hour training that covers the topics in the RBT 40-Hour Training Packet. This includes learning about the RBT Task List (2nd edition), the RBT Ethics Code (2.0), and ongoing supervision. The training:

  • needs to be done under the watch of a qualified BACB certificant;
  • can be completed at any time before applying for certification.

Include a copy of your 40-hour training certificate with your application to show that you fulfill this requirement. Your training provider will give you the certificate when you finish the program. Make sure to double-check with your instructor that the course meets this requirement before completing it.

Initial Competency Assessment


You will only be able to apply for the RBT certification after you have successfully completed a 40-hour training, as well as pass the Competency Assessment. The assessment must be:

  • overseen by a BACB certificant who meets all supervision requirements;
  • completed no earlier than 90 days before submitting your RBT certification application payment.

To demonstrate that you meet this requirement, please complete the RBT Initial Competency Assessment with your assessor and upload the completed assessment along with your RBT certification application.

How to Find a BCBA Supervisor for Your Competency Assessment

If you’re not getting certification help from your employer, finding a BCBA supervisor is the next step. If this is difficult, don’t worry – the BACB has covered you. They have a search function on their website so that you can locate BCBAs near you who offer supervision services. And if there are no local options or if online supervision would be more convenient for you, the site also provides listings of BCBAs from across the country who provide remote support.

If you know the name of a BCBA, search for them here to get their contact information. By clicking on the arrow next to their name, you can see additional details about the certificant including whether they’re able and willing to offer supervision. The BACB only provides options for those seeking certification as a BCaBA or BCba; however, if you are an RBT candidate looking for someone who can provide oversight specifically, there is no option provided.

You will need to reach out to potential candidates individually to ask about that possibility. A BCBA completes an 8-hour supervision course and collects CEUs for every certification period to maintain their license.

By clicking on the name of the BCBA, you will be given the option to contact them via email form. In most cases, they will respond promptly. If unable to provide supervision, many are willing to help find what you need.

Taking RBT Certification Exam


Before you take the exam, go to the BACB Gateway and sign up for an account. You will be given guidance on what needs to happen next in order to apply for the exam. This includes uploading documentation that proves your eligibility, such as your certificate of completion from coursework and getting a BCBA supervisor’s attestation. The BACB currently charges $50 for this application process.

The RBT exam is done at a Pearson Vue testing site and needs to be scheduled with the testing center once your application gets approved by the BACB. Also, The fee for taking this examination is $45. You might be wondering what makes this particular exam different from other BACB exams – well, it Continuous availability, including on Saturdays!

How To Prepare For The RBT Exam

The RBT certification exam is a set of multiple-choice questions designed to measure how well you know ABA terms and principles. The content of the exam corresponds closely with the items on the task list, so if you finish your 40-hour training, you should be ready to take it.

There are a few different ways you can prepare for the exam. Review the material from your 40-hour training, identify any terminology that’s unclear, and consult with your BCBA supervisor. Your BCBA supervisor is a great resource for helping you understand the material – so don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

Quizzma offers a free RBT practice exam. The information available on this website is free of charge.

Your employer might offer to pay for the exam, but be sure to know what they expect from you in return. If you’re planning on looking for a new position, completing the exam beforehand could help increase your starting salary when applying.

Most people don’t enjoy taking exams, but being prepared for them will help ease your mind going into the exam.



1. Can I Retake The RBT Exam?

You can retake the RBT exam as often as you like within each one-year authorization period. If you do not pass the exam on your first attempt, don’t worry – about 50% of candidates who decide to retake the exam usually pass on their next try. Just make sure you study hard for the retake!

2. What To Expect On Exam Day?

Rising early is critical for future therapists taking the exam. 30 minutes before the test is recommended. The tester should bring identification and two forms to sign up for the test without any trouble. Food and beverages are not allowed in order to keep all focus on the exam itself.

The exam is done on a computer, meaning that each exam has a set of randomized questions. This reduces the likelihood of cheating by having fewer people with access to the test bank. The exam undergoes frequent updates for this reason as well.