NBCOT® Exam for OTs and OTRs

NBCOT® Exam for OTs and OTRs

The National Occupational Therapy Certification Board, Inc. (NBCOT®) is the United States  national certification body for professionals in occupational therapy. The NBCOT® Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR) exam consists of 3 items for the clinical simulation test (CST) and 170 questions for four and three options for multiple single choice responses.

NBCOT® is a non-profit agency that through its fully accredited credentialing programs has certified over 214,000 occupational health care professionals in the United States.

NBCOT® conducts a periodic job analysis to determine which tasks are most frequently performed by registered occupational therapists at the entrance level and which tasks are most critical to the function of their job. These analytical results are then used to update the OTR exam to reflect current field practice. The latest of these analyzes took place in 2008.

The Objective of the said Test

Registered occupational therapists are healthcare professionals providing an assessment of patient needs and abilities, therapeutic planning and supervision, and outcome assessment for individuals facing practical challenges in their daily roles and activities.

The OTR certification exam assures the public and potential employers that those involved in occupational therapy practice have attained a widely accepted standard level of knowledge, skills, and professional behavior.

To take the OTR certification exam, candidates must have a minimum of an entry-level master’s degree in occupational therapy (OT). Students who are applicants for a Master’s or Ph.D. degree in OT can apply for and take the examination, but their results will not be released until proof of graduation is submitted. Candidates must have a sound moral and ethical character to be certified by NBCOT®.

The Structure of the Test and Environment

The NBCOT® OTR consists of four primary areas of knowledge: acquiring information on factors influencing professional performance throughout the occupational therapy process; formulating conclusions on client needs and priorities to develop and monitor an intervention plan throughout the vocational therapy process; selecting interventions to manage a client-centered program throughout the occupational therapy process.

At Prometric Testing Centers, testing for NBCOT® tests takes place. Candidates are expected to come at exam destination at least thirty minutes early there and present a government-issued identification with a photograph and signature. A secondary identification, such as a debit or credit card or voter registration card, is also required.

The NBCOT® OTR test is conducted in a computer format. The time allocated to complete all 170 questions of multiple choice and three CST issues is four hours. Before the examination begins, there is a ten-minute tutorial, and it won’t count against the four hours allocated.

Test Scoring

The OTR examination consists of two sections, each of which contains a different question type. These two sections have a different score. The first section uses a multiple-choice format where only one correct answer is given to each question. Since only correct answers are counted when the score is calculated, there is no penalty for guessing when a candidate in this format is not sure of the correct answer to a given question.

The second section contains scenario-based questions that may have more than one correct answer. A candidate must select as many as 12 possible answers to these questions. These kinds of questions will be scored differently. Each correct answer is given points to the overall score of the candidate while each incorrect answer deducts points from the total score.

Reapplying for NBCOT® Exam

Before committing to your next examination, it may be tempting to take some time to reflect and review material. We advise that before applying for your second attempt, you will not waste time. It takes 30 days to resume the NBCOT® exam after taking it your first time, and by the time your application is accepted, you will have 90 days to resume the exam.

Before taking the NBCOT® exam a second time, we also strongly recommend attending a prep course, for more inquiries, you can visit this website. In our NBCOT® Exam Prep Course, an experienced TherapyEd instructor will guide you through the reasoning strategies you will use while taking the NBCOT® Exam and help you to clear any hurdles that may interfere with passing the exam on your second attempt.


Review your study plan in addition to securing your NBCOT® attempt examination date. As you update your study strategy and calendar, focus more on the areas you’ve been struggling with. Having already taken the exam, you now have the advantage of being able to identify and focus on the areas where you first became weaker.

You may also have realized that all-night, cramming study sessions are not the most effective way of learning material after your first NBCOT® exam attempt. Develop a plan to gradually cover the most challenging material over the months or weeks leading up to your second attempt and block your NBCOT® exam content on your calendar every day.

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