What is the BCBA Exam Pass Rate?

The Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) exam is known for its rigor and comprehensive assessment of a candidate’s knowledge and skills in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Understanding the pass rate for the BCBA exam can provide valuable insight into the level of difficulty and the importance of thorough preparation. This blog post will explore the BCBA exam pass rate, what it indicates, and how candidates can increase their chances of success.

BCBA Exam Pass Rate Overview

The BCBA exam pass rate is the percentage of candidates who pass the exam in a given year. This rate can vary based on several factors, including changes in exam content, candidate preparation, and the overall difficulty of the test. According to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB), the pass rates for the BCBA exam over recent years have been as follows:

  • 2022: Approximately 65%
  • 2021: Approximately 66%
  • 2020: Approximately 68%
  • 2019: Approximately 63%

These rates reflect the percentage of first-time candidates who successfully passed the exam. It’s important to note that pass rates can fluctuate year to year due to various factors such as changes in the exam format or content and the preparedness of the candidate pool.

What the Pass Rate Indicates

The BCBA exam pass rate is an indicator of the exam’s difficulty and the level of preparation required to succeed. Several key points to consider include:

  1. Rigor of the Exam: The pass rate underscores the challenging nature of the BCBA exam. It is designed to ensure that only qualified individuals who possess a thorough understanding of ABA principles and practices achieve certification.
  2. Importance of Preparation: The pass rate highlights the necessity of comprehensive preparation. Candidates who invest significant time and effort into studying and gaining practical experience are more likely to pass.
  3. Quality of Training Programs: Variations in pass rates can also reflect the effectiveness of the training and education programs candidates undergo. Programs that align closely with the BCBA Task List and provide robust practical experience tend to produce candidates with higher pass rates.

How to Increase Your Chances of Success

Given the moderate pass rate, it’s crucial for candidates to approach their preparation strategically. Here are some tips to increase your chances of success on the BCBA exam:

  1. Understand the BCBA Task List: Familiarize yourself with the content areas and tasks outlined in the BCBA Task List (5th edition). This will give you a clear understanding of what topics to focus on.
  2. Use Quality Study Materials: Invest in reputable study guides, textbooks, and practice exams. Resources that are well-aligned with the BCBA Task List will help ensure comprehensive coverage of the exam content.
  3. Develop a Study Plan: Create a structured study schedule that allows you to cover all content areas thoroughly. Regular review and practice can help reinforce your knowledge and improve retention.
  4. Join Study Groups: Collaborate with peers to discuss difficult concepts, share study strategies, and gain different perspectives on challenging topics.
  5. Gain Practical Experience: Engage in supervised fieldwork to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world settings. Practical experience is invaluable for understanding how ABA principles are implemented.
  6. Take Practice Exams: Use practice exams to simulate the test-taking experience, identify areas of weakness, and improve your time management skills.
  7. Focus on Ethical Guidelines: Ensure you have a solid understanding of the BACB’s ethical guidelines, as ethical and professional conduct is a significant component of the exam.


The BCBA exam pass rate reflects the exam’s rigorous nature and the level of preparation required to succeed. While the pass rate indicates that the exam is challenging, it also underscores the importance of thorough and strategic preparation. By understanding the exam content, using quality study materials, and gaining practical experience, candidates can increase their chances of passing the BCBA exam and achieving certification.

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