If you are thinking of taking the MBLEx, chances are you have thought about how hard or easy the test will be. There is no reason why everyone can’t pass the MBLEx, as long as they understand the exam and the information. We are here to help you with that! In this article, we’ll be answering some of your burning questions surrounding the difficulty of the MBLEx and offering our favorite tips to help you crush the exam.
Why Do Massage Therapists Fail Exams?
There are many reasons why a massage therapist might fail the MBLEx exam. There are a few obvious reasons, which we’ll discuss here. Still, it is worth noting that since each person’s experience and background are different, every person taking the MBLEx will come into the exam with a different amount of preparation. These are some of the most common reasons that a massage therapist might fail the MBLEx, but this is not an exhaustive list.
Lack of preparation
Lack of preparation might seem obvious, but it can mean a lot of things. Some massage therapists might feel like they have just completed school, which is designed to teach them the information they will need to pass the MBLEx, so they don’t find it necessary to study. This can be misleading, though, since studying will help cement the information and make sure that you are refreshing yourself on skills and topics that you may have covered a while ago.
A general lack of preparation could also be attributed to the type of education that a particular student has gone through. As with any other type of schooling, not all massage therapy schools are created equal. If you attend a less highly regarded school, you may need to do more preparation for the exam on your own.
Poor test-taking skills
It might seem harsh to say that poor test-taking skills are a reason that many students might fail the exam, but this is true with any exam. Taking a test is a skill that we all have to develop. For some students, this skill comes much more naturally than others, but it will always take some effort to become good at taking tests.
Practicing taking exams is the best way to overcome poor test-taking skills. With an exam like the MBLEx, which lasts for more than one hour, test takers also have to work on their sustained focus in order to pass the exam. Like test-taking, focus is something that you can develop over time, and it will degrade over time without regular practice.
Not taking care of yourself
Making sure that you take care of yourself is a great way to put your best foot forward when it comes to sitting the exam. This includes, but is not limited to, getting a good night’s sleep before the exam, eating a good breakfast, and making sure that you are hydrated. By doing these simple things, you are setting yourself up for success.
If you don’t take care of yourself, you are not fueling your brain, and you won’t be able to function at your highest possible capacity. Understanding how to provide your body with the resources it needs to focus and maintain sustained mental activity is essential to passing any significant test.
Is the MBLEx Really That Hard?
Many students find themselves asking, “How difficult is the MBLEx?” The answer will vary depending on each student, so it can be challenging to answer. In order to answer the question of how hard is the MBLEx, it is vital to understand how the test functions and is designed.
The MBLEx is a computer adaptive test (CAT), which means that the level of difficulty of the questions will change and adapt as you take the test. It also means that no two MBLEx exams will ever be exactly the same since the computer will be dolling out questions to you as it sees fit.
For some students, the MBLEx might be very hard, but these students are getting more questions correct, so they probably won’t find it that challenging. On the other hand, some students will be given an MBLEx that is primarily more straightforward questions, but these are the students who are getting lots of questions wrong, so they will probably think it is more challenging.
Let’s take a student that is well prepared for the test. To start off, the computer will give the student a handful of medium-difficulty questions in order to gauge how the student is doing. Assuming this student gets the majority of those questions correct, the test will begin giving more complicated questions. Since this student prepared well for the exam, they likely won’t find this too challenging and will be able to complete all 100 questions.
One thing to note that does tend to make the MBLEx a challenging exam is the time frame. You will be required to complete 100 questions during a time of 110 minutes. If you are unable to complete all 100 questions, you will receive an automatic fail, so time management is essential to your success.
What Does the MBLEx Test Consist Of?
The MBLEx is designed to test if future massage therapists are adequately prepared for their job. The test will cover everything from a general understanding of the human body to the legal side of working with clients and everything in between. There are a total of seven categories that the test will consist of. Each category will make up a certain percentage of the questions you are given, but all categories are weighted relatively similarly.
The categories are:
Anatomy and physiology
This section makes up 11% of the total questions on the exam. It covers the basic human anatomy and physiology. This section is pretty straightforward and is not likely to trip anyone up too much.
Kinesiology is the study of the mechanics of human movement and makes up 12% of the exam. Understanding how the body moves and works are essential to a massage therapist’s success.
Pathology is the study of the causes and effects of disease and injuries on the body, and it makes up 14% of the total questions on the MBLEx. Massage therapists must understand this field since they will be dealing with people recovering from injuries quite frequently.
Benefits and effects of massage
This section is 15% of the questions on the exam and covers all the essential benefits and effects that massage can have on the body. It would be pretty challenging to be a massage therapist and be unable to explain to your clients why massage is going to help them.
Client assessment is the most considerable portion of the exam, with 17% of the total questions. This section covers most of the basics of an initial consultation and communicating with clients.
Ethics, boundaries, laws, and regulations
This is the first of two sections on the exam that cover the legal side of working in massage. The ethics, boundaries, laws, and regulations are a very necessary section of the exam, and it accounts for 16% of the questions. All massage therapists must have an excellent working understanding of the rules, so they are protected, and their clients are safe.
Guidelines for professional practice
The final section is the guidelines for professional practice. This is 15% of the questions on the MBLEx and covers the professional side of being a massage therapist. Understanding how to be a good massage therapist is only one part of the battle. Being good at working with people professionally will be crucial to your success.
What is the Minimum Score to Pass the MBLEx?
Since 2017, the MBLEx has been a pass/fail exam. This means that you will only see pass or fail on your scorecard, and you won’t ever know your numeric score. This also means that there is no way to say the minimum score to pass the MBLEx since the test is CAT and is scored based on an algorithm. We won’t be able to tell you how many questions you can get wrong on the MBLEx or how many questions you will need to get right.
As long as you are well prepared for the MBLEx, it shouldn’t be a problem that you won’t know the minimum passing score because the pass rate for the MBLEx is around 72% for first-time test takers. Now, if you find yourself thinking, “I wonder how many times you can take the MBLEx?” don’t worry. There is no limit to the number of times you can take the exam, but the passing rate for retakes of the MBLEx drops significantly to around 40%.
How to Pass the MBLEx Test: 3 Tips
Take practice tests
Practice tests are helpful in a variety of ways. Not only do they help you increase your ability to focus for prolonged amounts of time, but they also give you a good idea of how well prepared you are for your exam. Practice tests can also help guide and direct your future studying, so you can focus on the sections of the exam that you are not doing as well on.
Study all sections of the exam
Since there are seven sections to the MBLEx, you need to make sure that you are studying all seven sections. Of course, if you are struggling more with some sections than others, you should focus your attention there, but be mindful not to neglect the other sections. There is a reason for each section to be on the exam, so you’ll want to make sure you are prepared for all of them.
The best way to prepare for the MBLEx is to start studying a month or two in advance and study frequently for short amounts of time. Cramming, or studying only right before the exam for really long amounts of time without adequate breaks, is not a suitable method for studying. In fact, cramming can tire your brain out and lead you to feel less prepared than you were before cramming.
Wrapping Things Up: How Difficult is the MBLEx?
Ultimately, the MBLEx is designed to test your readiness to enter a professional field that works closely with people’s bodies. It is often viewed as a very personal experience to get a message, so massage therapists must take it seriously. That being said, the MBLEx is not designed to be impossible to pass, and most test takers do pass the exam the first time they take it. With our tips and tricks, we know that you can too!