We all think we can multitask; indeed, the ability to multitask is considered a skill! You can multitask when one of the tasks doesn’t require thinking – like folding laundry while watching TV. However when you’re shifting between two activities that both require you to think, you’re really task-switching and your brain is not designed to do this well. It is estimated that shifting between tasks – even when that shift takes only fractions of a second — can cost as much as 40% of a person’s productivity! “Studying” with distractions – cell phone, social media, TV, for instance – will take you considerably longer than if you worked without distractions.
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.
If you’re about to begin preparing for the NBCOT® Exam, chances are, you’re dreading the experience. We totally understand…we’ve been there.
Can studying for this exam ever be fun? Not in the true sense of the word “fun”, but at least it can be more enjoyable than you think it could be.
As we enter summer 2020, I wanted to take this opportunity to reach out and send you all a note of love and my most sincere gratitude.
My PTOT team has stood by my side, happily working during this crazy time, to ensure that we continue to give you the best support to help you pass the exam! During these ever changing and uncertain times, your faith in PTOT and my unwavering commitment to make sure you are prepared to take the exam is being honored in every way.
Whether you are studying for the OT exam which is in 8 weeks’ or 4 weeks’ time, students tend to start with great enthusiasm and dedication. However, this positive attitude tends to be short lived, and most students find themselves struggling to stay motivated and maintain consistency throughout their studying. Even many hardworking and motivated students sometimes become unmotivated to study on certain days.
1. Listen to music: While some experts argue that the ability to concentrate during silence or while listening to music, is left up to personal preference, many agree that playing certain types of music, such as “obscure 18th century composers,” can help students engage those parts of their brain that help them pay attention. In addition, listening to music may also improve your mood and change your whole outlook about studying in general.
2. Exercise first: The benefits of exercise on the brain have been well established in the fields of health, fitness, and psychology. Studies show our brainpower gets a boost following even a short workout, as our bodies are pumping oxygen and nutrients to the brain. According to Dr. Douglas B. McKeag, breaking a sweat shortly before “cracking the books” can significantly improve your performance during your post-workout study session. Exercise automatically makes you more alert, open and able to learn new information.
Many students think about how to best spend their time while studying. However, what comes before your study session can be just as important, especially if you want to improve your memory for what you are about to learn.
In today’s Education Tips, we will explore different ways of how you can boost your memory and improve your learning experience. We will explore some useful, no-cost and effective ways of what you can do before you sit down to study.
COVID-19 has been described as a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Characterizing COVID-19 as a pandemic is not an indication that the virus has become deadlier. Rather, it’s an acknowledgement of the disease’s geographical spread. The uncertainty about this new virus can lead to stress and anxiety, and a sense of helplessness.
Many Occupational Therapy students are about to take the OT exam.
Here are some helpful tips to help you fully prepare, have success, and be a bit less stressed out.
⟶ START STUDYING EARLY ⟵
You may be trying to avoid studying for the OT exam for as long as possible but if you can give yourself 6 to 8 weeks, you will set yourself up for success. It is best to set aside 4-8 hours a day of study time, if possible.
We’ve all been there. You’ve just set up your books and laptop, perhaps you have a nice cup of tea or a glass of cold water next to you. You feel ready to conquer the next couple of hours of work ahead. The NBCOT® Exam is yours! You have this and you’re going to do great!
Then, “WHAM!”, without a warning, a tornado of thoughts hits your brain.You start thinking about your plans for later; what you’ll eat for dinner tonight, tomorrow, next week? Who said you’ll even be home for dinner next week? What about what you’ll feed the cat? Do you even have a cat? If you did, what’s its name? Charlie? Gideon? Bob? What are you doing this weekend? Why didn’t “so and so” text you back? Did they forget about you because you’ve been studying so much?
Achieving goals on your own is a huge accomplishment. However, sometimes it requires motivation from others in order to succeed. Sharing your progress and being held accountable has shown to be an effective strategy towards accomplishing goals. This is especially true when it comes to passing a test. In order to pass a test, it is clear you must prepare by dedicating time to study. The NBCOT® exam is comprehensive. It requires the ability to apply your knowledge and clinical decision making across several practice areas. This exam requires weeks or even months of preparation in order to pass, and to be eligible to become a licensed and registered occupational therapist.
Due to the complexity of the NBCOT® exam, many graduates seek out other individuals to help them understand the material more clearly. Studying with a partner or in a group has many benefits. A partner can help you stay accountable for studying and prevent procrastination. Studying for the NBCOT® exam involves extended time, commitment and concentration. With an accountability partner, you can work together to set daily or weekly goals and check up on one another. If one of you begins to lose motivation, the other can help push you to stay committed. One of the keys to passing this exam is to maintain focus. Therefore, using accountability as a study strategy creates motivation and helps you to stay on track. (more…)
While preparing for the NBCOT® exam, you may find there are infinite resources to choose from. However, not all test prep is created equal or reliable. Purchasing test prep materials can also be expensive. Therefore, it is important to decide which test prep will best accommodate your learning style in the most cost-effective way. While some learners may prefer paperback books to highlight key concepts and mark pages, online test prep has shown to help NBCOT® candidates pass the certification exam at a higher rate. There are many reasons why online prep is the right choice for preparing for the NBCOT® exam.
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. (more…)
Congratulations! You have completed your graduate course work and fieldwork and are now eligible to take the National Board Certification of Occupational Therapy (NBCOT®) Exam. Before you begin studying, there are a few steps you need to take first in preparing for this exam. The first step is applying for the NBCOT® exam. You can either apply online or via mail. Applicants are required to submit an official transcript stating that all academic requirements have been fulfilled. You may also be required to submit fieldwork verification by your academic fieldwork coordination. Upon approval of eligibility to take the exam, you will then receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) Letter by e-mail or mail within 10-15 business days after all documentation is submitted and received. The ATT letter will include contact information for Prometric and instructions to schedule your exam at various test locations.
If you have a disability and require special testing accommodations, there are specific steps you need to take prior to scheduling your exam. Review NBCOT® testing accommodation page at
http://www.nbcot.org/testing-accommodations for specific details on how to receive these accommodations. Here you can find the TA handbook which outlines the necessary documents you need, how to schedule your exam through a TA advocate, and any additional information you may need to know.
Setting the date to take your exam is especially important in preparing for the NBCOT®. It is recommended that you schedule your exam soon after you receive your approval letter. Your ATT letter is valid for only three months. Test locations may fill up fast depending on your location, so you do not want to wait until the last minute. The exam may take up to four hours to complete. Therefore you may want to factor this in while scheduling, in order to determine what time of day is best for you. (more…)
Occupational therapy is a tough but rewarding profession, and few people choose this field for the money. Most occupational therapists are passionate about helping people lead better lives, and are intrinsically motivated by their work and their patients. Still, your education was not cheap, and it is only fair for you be to adequately compensated for your skills and hard work. As of 2018, the median salary for occupational therapists is around $83,000, but this can vary widely. Here are some of the variables that go into determining the salary of an occupational therapist.
It was a late September morning. I woke up with a pit in my stomach, searched my apartment for any signs of 13, my lucky number, and logged into the NBCOT® exam portal to see if I had passed the exam on my second try. I clicked the core browser and immediately began crying.
“442,” the score box read.
How could I score lower after just missing a passing score by two points a month ago? Furthermore, I had a job all lined up and now I couldn’t take it. To say I was in shock and totally heartbroken is an understatement. (more…)
Those who have been reading this blog and following my articles may or may not know that it took me three times to pass the NBCOT® Exam. While I certainly credit part of my success to a change in perspective and taking better care of myself mentally and physically, switching from Therapy Ed®to Pass the OT was, without a doubt, the critical step in my eventual, and long overdue completion of my occupational therapy degree. (more…)
Starting any Fieldwork II experience is stressful. Whether it’s your first or your second, there’s always a sense of apprehension about what exactly to expect, and how to make a good impression during that crucial first week. Yet even in the midst of feeling overwhelmed by the constant stream of new information coming your way, there are steps you can take to make sure that the first week goes as smoothly as possible. Here are some tips to help you out. (more…)