Registered Behavior Technician Exam – Your Complete Guide to Study Guides and Practice Tests

To earn the Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) credential from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB), you much meet the requirements. One of the final steps to becoming an RBT involves passing the Registered Behavior Technician Exam, a comprehensive test that validates your previous training and experience.

An important step on your path to a career in applied behavior analysis, the RBT exam assesses your competency level regarding the skills you need to deliver services to clients. You can take the exam only after you have completed your mandatory 40-hour RBT training and have been evaluated by a behavioral therapist to ensure you have mastered the basic competencies.

You can maximize your chances of passing the exam by understanding its format, scoring method, and the best study strategies.

How to Register for the RBT Exam?

Register for the RBT exam by creating a free account on the BACB website and submitting your qualifying materials for the RBT credential. The required documentation for the certification application include:

  • Proof of your completed 40 hours of RBT training
  • Completed RBT Initial Competency Assessment from a board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA) or board-certified assistant behavior analyst (BCaBA)
  • Copy of a diploma or high school transcript

Upon approval of your application, you’ll receive an email with the details for exam. Pearson VUE, the test administrator, charges a $45 exam appointment fee. This fee is in addition to the certification application processing fee of $50 collected by the BACB.


If you are a veteran who qualifies for the GI Bill, you may receive reimbursement for BACB certification examination fees from the VA. Check the GI Bill website to see if you are eligible for this benefit.

Where Do I Take the RBT Exam?

You have two options for taking the RBT exam, both of which are administered by Pearson VUE:

  • In person at any Pearson testing center
  • Online through a proctored remote exam (As of September 1, 2023, the RBT examination is only delivered at in-person test centers. Due to examination-security concerns)

Pearson VUE has testing centers in major cities around the country. Online proctored testing is offered through Pearson’s OnVUE. You will need a computer that meets the Pearson VUE system requirements, a reliable internet connection, and a webcam.

You can take the test anywhere, but you will be observed throughout the test, so you must be comfortable with being monitored in your personal space. No study materials, electronic devices, or visitors are permitted in the room while you are completing the exam.

Restrictions for Online Testing

As of 2023, remote testing is restricted in due to security concerns. If Florida residents try to take the test remotely, their results will be invalidated, and they will be subject to disciplinary action.

A Good Registered Behavior Technician Study Guide Will Cover the RBT Task List Front to Back

  • Measurement (12 questions) –Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is all about observable behaviors, which can be captured by collecting data. You can use this data to measure progress and evaluate interventions. This content area includes measurement and recording techniques you will use on the job.
  • Assessment (6 questions) –Although board certified behavioral analysts are responsible for most diagnostic and assessment processes in behavioral therapy, RBTs assist in these tasks. You must know how to help with developmental and social evaluations of clients.
  • Skill Acquisition (24 questions) –As the largest category on the test, this includes implementation of basic behavioral training procedures, such as discrimination training, stimulus control transfer procedures, and task analyzed chaining procedures.
  • Behavior Reduction (12 questions) –Reducing undesirable behaviors requires specific strategies and techniques, including differential reinforcement and extinction procedural training.
  • Documentation and Reporting (10 questions) –Objective documentation and reporting are crucial for ensuring that clients receive the highest quality services. As these are included part of a client’s medical records, they must be managed according to HIPAA regulations and individual state laws.
  • Professional Conduct and Scope of Practice (11 questions) –Professional conduct for RBTs and their scope of competence are governed by the RBT Ethics Code 2.0. This section of the exam assesses your understanding of the code and your role in delivering services.

The RBT Task List is your master reference for what you need to know for RBT certification, but you can find supplemental study guides, both on paper and online, that will cover the topics in more detail.

How Many Questions are on the RBT Exam?

The RBT exam contains 85 multiple choice questions with four possible answers. Only 75 of the questions will count toward your score. The other 10 are pilot questions under consideration for future versions of the exam. You won’t know which questions are scored and which are not, so it’s important to do your best on each one.

Is the RBT Exam Timed?

You will have 90 minutes to complete the exam. Remember to arrive — or log in — early because once the exam has been in progress for 30 minutes, you will not be allowed to enter the exam area.

How Many Questions Can You Miss on the RBT Exam?

BACB does not reveal the number or percentage of questions you have answered correctly as you progress through the RBT exam. The passing score of the test is established by a group of subject matter experts who use pre-specified criteria to assess candidates’ knowledge — as opposed to measuring them against the performance of the group. Thus, there is not a set number of questions that must be answered correctly.

Stacking The Deck To Pass The RBT Exam With a Registered Behavior Technician Practice Test

Registered behavior technician exam prep isn’t complete without taking a practice test … or several!

BACB does not specifically endorse any of the many third-party practice tests available for the RBT exam. However, the exam is entirely based on the RBT Task List, and any exam creator that follows that pattern can give you the preparation you need.

Free and paid practice tests are available on paper and in electronic format online. Although online practice tests are closer to what you will experience with the actual exam, but you can get ready for the real thing using either kind.

The Registered Behavior Technician Handbook, which you can download from BACB, also includes a list of practice questions. There are only a handful, but they do come directly from the source of the test, so it’s a valuable addition to your exam-prep toolbox.

Is the RBT Exam Hard?

The RBT exam is hard if you don’t study for it! But if you pay attention during your required 40-hour training course and if you have picked a qualifying program that covers the right categories and skills, you should have no problem at all passing the RBT exam.

According to the 2022 BACB Annual Data Report, 77% of candidates passed the test the first time they took it. If you’re nervous about sitting for the exam, taking a practice test will give you the confidence to ace the real thing.

Is the Registered Behavior Technician Competency Assessment part of the Registered Behavior Technician Test?

No, the RBT competency assessment is not part of the RBT exam. Instead, the competency assessment happens in-person, where you are evaluated by a qualified BACB supervisor who has completed the 8-hour supervision training. Although the competency assessment follows your required training, it must be completed before you file your application and take the exam.

What is the RBT Competency Assessment Like?

The RBT competency assessment is a brief, in-person evaluation conducted by a qualified BCBA or BCaBA. The assessment can be completed in one or more sessions as long as it is completed after the 40-hour training and not more than 90 days before you submit your RBT certification application.

The assessment may involve a behavioral therapy client or a person role-playing as a client. You will also be interviewed by the assessor about your client and the relevant task. You will demonstrate competency in the following 20 tasks:

  • Continuous Measurement
  • Discontinuous Measurement
  • Data and Graphs
  • Preference Assessments
  • ABC Data
  • Discrete-Trial Teaching
  • Naturalistic Teaching:
  • Chaining
  • Shaping
  • Discrimination Training
  • Stimulus Control Transfer
  • Prompting
  • Token Systems
  • Crisis/Emergency
  • Antecedent Interventions/Differential Reinforcement/Extinction
  • Session Notes
  • Client Dignity
  • Professional Boundaries
  • Supervision Requirements
  • Clinical Direction

Preparing For Exam Day and Acing The Registered Behavior Technician Test on the First Try

Just having the knowledge in your head for the exam isn’t enough. You must also be comfortable with and ready to carry out all the processes around taking the exam.

The RBT Handbook covers the expectations and rules surrounding the test, including:

  • Bringing two valid forms of identification with you to the testing center
  • Ensuring your PC is compatible with the Pearson test system if you are taking the test remotely
  • Leaving all electronic devices and notes outside of the testing area
  • Refraining from eating and drinking during the test
  • Refraining from asking questions about the test during the exam period

regulationAccommodations can be made for students with vision or hearing difficulties. Make sure to request any accommodations in advance.

Plan to arrive — or log in — at least 30 minutes early for the exam. The security measures required to verify your identity can cause delays at check-in. Proctors will monitor you throughout the test.

What Happens if You Fail the RBT Exam on the First Try?

It’s never fun to talk about what happens if you don’t get a passing score on the RBT exam, but don’t worry! It’s not the end of the world.

You can retake the exam eight times in the 12 months following your first try. Within 48 hours of your failed test, you’ll find an exam retake application available online in your BACB account. You’ll have to wait at least 7 days after the failed attempt and pay the $45 exam appointment fee for each retake.

If you’re serious about being a competitive candidate when applying to registered behavior technician jobs, you should be serious about preparing for the RBT exam, too.