Finding out you failed the NBCOT® exam can be disheartening. All your hard work and money you contributed towards preparing and taking this exam seems to be meaningless at this point. You may first feel shocked followed by anger or sadness. You may be feeling discouraged at this point. However, it is important to take a deep breath and take action towards your next steps. Failing the NBCOT® exam will not define you as an occupational therapist. Remember, at this point you have successfully completed all coursework, research projects and fieldwork, thus earning your Master’s degree in occupational therapy.

If you fail the NBCOT® exam you may schedule to retake the exam 30 days after your last examination date. You will need to reapply and obtain a new Authorization to test (ATT) letter. Once you receive a new ATT letter, you should proceed to schedule your examination directly with Prometric as you had the first time. If you received testing accommodations for the first NBCOT® exam you took, remember to reapply. All of this information can be in the Testing Accommodations Handbook on the NBCOT® official website.
You may be discouraged and cannot possibly imagine sitting through the 4-hour NBCOT® exam again. However, you must find resilience and put your failure behind you. Once you receive your scores, you will be provided with a report analyzing your overall score, along with information determining your overall performance within each domain. Take the time to look this over and understand which domains you may have struggled with. Also acknowledge your score and determine how many points you were off from a passing score. Whether you are 50 points away from passing or off by only 5 points, you must look back on your preparation for the exam and determine what you can do better for the next time.
There are various reasons why you may have failed the NBCOT® exam. Whether you failed on account of poor test taking skills or study skills, you will need to determine the next step needed to pass the NBCOT® exam. Although it is important to acknowledge why you failed the NBCOT® exam, try not to dwell on your shortcomings. Instead, take your weaknesses and develop a new strategy. Maybe you need to review more on musculoskeletal disorders or ethical decision making. On the other hand, perhaps you second guessed yourself and changed your answers during the exam. Either way, there is most likely a better way you could have prepared for the occupational therapy certification exam. Allow yourself to take a day or two to reflect on your study strategies and initial preparation and then decide how to proceed.
The NBCOT® exam requires you to invest in the right study tools. Perhaps, it is time you sign up for an online course. has a 90% pass rate, offering the most effective, efficient and affordable test prep for the NBCOT® exam. offers 1:1 tutoring session, practice tests, study guides, and much more. These are all resources needed to successfully pass the NBCOT® exam and become a registered occupational therapist. Do not stress about passing the NBCOT® exam and sign up now at