A letter written by: Victoria Guggenbiller  
As a former faculty member I had a lot of difficulty preparing my students for the NBCOT® exam.  Therefore, I decided to reach out to many program directors at a variety of  colleges and universities to better understand the challenges they face when helping students prepare for the NBCOT® exam.  

Here are some of their major complaints.

Lack of Accountability. Time and time again both OT and OTA program directors complain that students are not held accountable for their study habits and practice scores. A book or a two-day course doesn’t give program directors the ability to make sure their students are really getting through the material and comprehending the material better afterward the course is over.  Furthermore, program directors consistently complain that it is difficult to identify students who are in jeopardy of not passing the exam before it is too late.

Lack of Structure. Many program directors, after seeing their students fail the NBCOT® exam, find that often these students were overwhelmed with tons of study materials due to the lack of organization. This caused the students chances for passing the exam to suffer. 

Studying the Wrong Material. A lot of the study prep courses have been for around for a long time, reusing materials for years on end, which ends up not being similar to what is currently on the NBCOT® exam. Students use their valuable time focusing on outdated and unnecessary topics. Students also end up wasting time studying material they already know and feel comfortable with instead of focusing on the material they struggle with.  This usually leads to considerably lower scores than the student expected. 

Special circumstances.  Program directors often find that students with accommodations, learning disabilities, or who speak English as a second language have difficulty passing the NBCOT® exam on their first try.

Cramming too much into a short period of time.  Our college and university partners find that using two to three-day in-person courses doesn’t give their students enough time to learn the material and doesn’t allow for follow-up when students have questions afterwards.  This approach also doesn’t help reduce test anxiety.  

How PasstheOT.com addresses these issues

Knowing these concerns we aimed to make Pass the OT different from the rest of the study preps for the NBCOT® exam.

Here is what sets us apart.


Pass the OT is an expert at the NBCOT® exam
We know this test backwards and forwards and have spent many years developing a program that accommodates all learning styles and abilities. Because our program is web based, we can add information right away without waiting for editing or printing. This also allows us to be on top of material and add information once it is completed. We are always striving to make our program the most effective and efficient program for both OT and OTA students.

Our course is structured, comprehensive, up-to-date, easy to use, and simulates the actual exam  
Pass the OT focuses on providing students with a study plan to eliminate guesswork of what to study and we simplify complex material through audio recordings, charts, videos, and online timed/untimed tests and accommodation tests.  We also give students the proper tools to assess their strengths and weaknesses so that they can focus their study efforts.  With other test preparation services that provide books and pdfs, the material simply gives too much information, only a definition without providing a clinical application example, or has test questions on all topics. Competitor programs don’t provide enough focus on interventions and this is tremendously important since 50% of the test is intervention based. Our webcourse is quite different. We believe in making test preparation as easy as possible for the student by providing visual, auditory, verbal, and kinesthetic reinforcement of the information.

We offer One-on-One Tutoring
Unlike a competitor program that offers a 2 day course, we have experienced tutors available to assist students throughout their entire study process and assist students as questions arise. This enables us to hold students accountable, act as a coach and motivate, reduce  test anxiety, test critical thinking, simplify material, and discuss real-life application of material while they are studying it.  Pass the OT tutors provide students easy ways to learn material and how to decipher between information that is important or irrelevant. Our tutors eliminate frustration and help with creating a customized study plan so the student does not have to take the exam multiple times.

We provide faculty with tools to hold students accountable
Pass the OT provides program directors and faculty with tools, such as the student activity logs, student score tracking for practice quizzes, initial assessment tests, and accommodation tests.  We also break down our practice tests into 25 key categories which allows the students and faculty to know which areas the student has weaknesses in and requires additional focus.

We can quickly identify students that are having difficulty, and provide them with proper support before they take the exam
Too many times students that are having difficulties slip through the cracks and are not given the proper assistance they need before they take the exam.  Students have a tendency to focus on topics that they know, are good at, or had fieldwork in. We believe that students should not continue to go over these areas, but to focus on areas that are more challenging and difficult.  With our sophisticated score tracking, we can quickly identify these types of students and reach out to them to make sure that they receive the proper guidance and tutoring before taking the actual exam, possibly advising them to postpone until we know they are ready.  This saves students from failing the exam, which costs them another registration fee and likely a couple months potential salary as a certified OT or OTA.  This approach helps us increase our university partners’ passing rates.

Pass the OT communicates with our students in real time from the moment they sign up until the day they pass
Through our sophisticated chat platform, we can interact with students in real time.  This allows us to troubleshoot issues, explain things further, or handle any other concerns that they might have.

 

The NBCOT® exam is one of the most intimidating challenges that students face. Colleges and Universities focus on teaching students everything they need to become capable occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants.  Our school partners let Pass the OT focus on preparing their students for the exam, while they prepare them for everything life as an OT and OTA may throw at them.

Biggest Pitfalls Program Directors and Faculty Face Preparing Students for the NBCOT ExamPitfalls Program Directors and Faculty Face Preparing Students for the NBCOT Exam

** Victoria Guggenbiller, OT/L earned a Master’s of Occupational Therapy degree from Cleveland State University and she holds a bachelor of arts degree with a major in psychology and minor in biology. As adjunct faculty in the division of Health and Wellness Sciences at Lorain County Community College she advocates for student success and holistic learning.