MBLEx Exam: How To Succeed In 2019

In Massage therapy 101 by KellyLeave a Comment

Hello, My name is Kelly and I have been a massage therapist for almost 13 years and I have seen many changes in that time. Over the years I have mentored several massage students on their journey to becoming massage therapist but I wanted to create this article to help those that are struggling with the MBLEx exam. This information is intended for current massage students or those that have been MT’s for a while but recently moved to another state and need to now take the MBLEx exam in order to obtain a license in that new state.

What is the mblex exam?

The MBLEx exam is a standardized test created by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Board (FSMTB). It consists of 100 multiple choice questions and you have 1 hour and 50 minutes to complete the exam. As of July 1, 2018 the exam requirements will change slightly. The MBLEx exam 2018 breakdown:

  • Anatomy & Physiology (11{aa85435535b2bb3a4ba78547bb21fc32eb7710b0e77a951858af600607b97eba})
  • Kinesiology (12{aa85435535b2bb3a4ba78547bb21fc32eb7710b0e77a951858af600607b97eba})
  • Pathology, Contraindications, areas of caution, special populations (14{aa85435535b2bb3a4ba78547bb21fc32eb7710b0e77a951858af600607b97eba})
  • Benefits and physiological effects of techniques that manipulate soft tissue (15{aa85435535b2bb3a4ba78547bb21fc32eb7710b0e77a951858af600607b97eba})
  • Client assessment, reassessment & treatment planning (17{aa85435535b2bb3a4ba78547bb21fc32eb7710b0e77a951858af600607b97eba})
  • Ethics, Boundaries, laws, regulations (16{aa85435535b2bb3a4ba78547bb21fc32eb7710b0e77a951858af600607b97eba})
  • Guidelines for professional practice (15{aa85435535b2bb3a4ba78547bb21fc32eb7710b0e77a951858af600607b97eba})

So this looks a bit scary doesn’t it? I would like to make something clear for you. The MBLEx is not designed with the intention to fail students. The reason the test has changed is that the industry is continuing to change. In 13 years I have seen so many changes and new opportunities for MT’s, it truly is awesome. The reason the test is hard because the FSMTB wants to set the bar high for new massage therapist to increase the individuals credibility in the health industry.

The day’s of simply graduating from a massage program and you’re good to go for the rest of you’re career are long gone. The massage therapy industry is just as viable and important as physical therapy or occupational therapy. Massage Therapy is everywhere and the demand continues to grow. Many types of organizations see this and want MT’s in their networks, because of this need and demand the industry standards should be difficult to ensure the quality of the providers.

How to pass the MBLEx exam in 2018?

Before you can sit for the mblex exam you must complete a massage therapy program. The current (2018) standard massage program is 750 hours and can take 10 months up to 2 years to complete. For more information about massage programs please check out Is Massage Therapy The Right Career For Me

Passing the mblex sounds scary and can be intimidating but this test was not designed with the intention to fail you, it was created to push you! It doesn’t matter you’re obstacles in life, the harder you work for something the more rewarding the prize will be. It is hard and it is challenging but if you push yourself and study you’re butt off you will pass this test!

I didn’t pass the first time, heck I didn’t pass my second time either. I have a learning disability, ADHD, and crazy test anxiety. I was also working full time at a physically demanding stressful job that left me drained every day. Despite my challenges I knew this was what I wanted to do! I also new I needed help in order to pass the test because I said I was not going to take it again till I got some help. At $250 a test I couldn’t afford to take it again till I felt confident I would pass.

At my school I was aloud to audit as many classes as I wanted to, so for 12 weeks I went back to school. I worked 8 hours during the day then I was in class 4 hours a night. I treated the classes like it was my first time; I did all the assignments, quizzes,tests, and projects.

It doesn’t matter you’re hurtle in life if you are struggling with anything, fight for it! If you’re school does not have an audit program or it has been may years since you graduated or you have moved and you do not have access to you’re schools recourse. Whatever the case maybe if auditing is out of the question their are options for you as well.

In addition to going back to school I also used flash cards, muscle charts and medical terminology charts to help me study. Anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology make up a large portion of the exam so it would be wise to get “you’re learn on” in these areas. To do this I recommend anatomy and physiology flashcards. You can pick out a muscle group for the day, takes the cards with you and look over them throughout the day. Repatriation is key to learning something to memory.

Do you like coloring? Maybe you should try an anatomy coloring book, if you’re a parent trying to squeeze studying in, get a coloring book and color together and as you color tell you’re child what muscle you are coloring and tell them what is does. Say out loud the A’s O’s and I’s and show them what action it does. I have found I learn much quicker and gain a better understanding of something as I teach it to others. It’s a very powerful tool.

What If I Fail The MBLEx exam?

What if you work really hard, study you’re but off and you still fail the exam? So what?! The world is full of success failures. The one difference between those that fail and those that succeed is the willingness to continue when you’re backs against the wall! Chances are if you failed the first time around its not because you were not smart enough or didn’t know enough. You very likely over thought the question in the first place. When taking the MBLEx exam go with you’re gut. Use common sense and trust you’re instincts. 

One thing that helped me and if this applies to you please jump on this. As stated earlier I have a learning disability, it’s well documented, I had a case worker all throughout school it was not fun but that was the hand I was dealt. As I was preparing to take the test for the third time I applied to the board to have additional time for my exam. I sent to the testing center official documents stating my learning disability and the special accommodations I received throughout school, one being additional time for exams. The board approved my request and I was allowed 3 hours to take my exam.

If you have any type of disability that has been documented you too could receive special accommodations, you simply need to apply. Taking the time crunch out of the equation made a big difference for me. I did not need three hours to take the test but not needing to look at the clock helped my anxiety tremendously. I went as far as placing a sticky note on the monitor to cover the clock ticking away. Even if you don’t get additional time for you’re exam and if you suffer from test anxiety, covering the clock it helped a bunch.

Free MBLEx Practice Tests

I strongly recommend taking a practice exam every day. One of the biggest set backs students have is over thinking the question. Over analyzing a question is a time waster and energy drainer. If you take one practice test everyday you will start to see similarities in questions, you will become more confident in you’re test taking abilities and you will have less anxiety going forward with the MBLEx. 

If you Google free MBLEx practice test, you will see their are not a lot of free version out their (at least I didn’t) The MBLEx just like anything else in this world is a business and people wanna get paid! However, I did see one site at www.tests.com that looked promising. You will have access to many types of relevant questions but if you want a break downs of answers or any information beyond correct or incorrect you will need to pay.

Next we have the GoogleMBLEx Practice Test APP. Again this APP is helpful but it will have limitations as well. For instance, views state it has limited questions and doesn’t explain why an answer is wrong. This can be problematic when you’re studying, it is important to have feedback to help throughout you’re learning experience. Not being told why an answer is wrong when you think it is right is counter-productive and not effective.

I will mention that their are several paid programs you can join as well. As I can see these are a month to month subscription with flashcards, practices test and tutorials to follow. I see they range from $29/month up to $50/month. This avenue is absolutely OK to go especially if you have been out of school for a while and really need to freshen up and get you brain moving.

I personally would not go this route. When I was struggling yes I was able to audit classes but in addition to that I reviewed several books that I purchased which had practices tests, lessons and one of them came with an app I could download. This route is a one time payment and you have the materials for life. Before I give my book recommendations I want to discuss the 2018 changes so you have the information you need to make the right purchase for you’re studying needs.

MBLEx Exam changes in 2018

Here is the official outline for the MBLEx exam with the July 1st 2018 changes. If you choose to take no other action after reading this post please at the very least print the updated outline of the exam so you can get an idea of how the test is broken down. Effective July 1st 2018 MBLEx changes.

The changes are minimal but the PDF I provided above will give you a better understanding of what the MBLEx exam is testing for. With this hopefully it will provide a path for you as you study for you’re up coming test.

Study Tools To Help You Succeed

There are a few books out their for the MBLEx and I would strongly recommend you looking into. I’m a visual learner for sure and I need things laid out for me telling me exactly what I need to be doing and how to do it. Lucky for you their are several resource available today that were not available when I was struggling back in the early 2000s.

My number one choice for efficient studying in 2018 would be MBLEx Test Prep for 2018, in addition to this I would recommend getting the flash cards as well. Both are by the same author and work in conjunction and would provide you with a cohesive learning experience. 

Separately you could also purchase Anthony and physiology flash cards as stated earlier. 13 years later I still have my flash cards and I use them in my office as a visual aid when educating my clients. Best $20 I ever spent!

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Recap: Best Ways To Study For The MBLEx In 2018

I hope you found this article useful as you prepare for the 2018 MBLEx exam. I hope I provided you with the knowledge you needed to advance you in you’re goals. Remember, the test is not designed with the intention to fail you. Study hard, do not second guess yourself, and go with you’re first chose to answer.

Try some of my study tips at the beginning of the article:

If you follow these suggestions and work hard you will gain the confidence you need to pass the MBLEx exam in 2018! If you are prepared you will be successful. If you have any questions or need me to go into more details about anything please feel free to leave a comment below. Good luck!







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