A Complete and Comprehensive MBLEx Study Guide
- March 28, 2018
- Posted by: claudine
- Category: MBLEx Study Guide
There’s no question about it: working as a massage therapist is an exciting prospect. It doesn’t matter what part of the country you’re in or what type of practice you run, either. Regardless, you’re sure to end up meeting all sorts of interesting clients that expand your personal horizons — and get the opportunity to help them feel better at the same time. Sure, massage can be challenging at times (which is true of any occupation). At the end of the day, though, bodywork is undeniably rewarding.
Before you can embark on your massage career, you’ll first need to actually obtain the training necessary to become a practicing bodywork professional. This involves signing up for and taking a massage therapy program. While in school for massage, you’ll have to master a ton of information in a very short period of time. The info you’ll need to assimilate isn’t just limited to what you’d traditionally think of as “massage,” either: you’ll also have to learn a lot about anatomy and physiology, biology, and more. Plus, you’ll need to gain the skills necessary to be able to keep a massage business afloat. Managing a practice isn’t easy, after all. In the end, you’ll have a lot of disparate information that you’ll need to absorb in a relatively short amount of time.
After many months of hard work, you’ll graduate from your massage program. Now, it’s time to get out there and put everything you’ve learned into practice! Well, it’s almost time, anyway. First, there’s one more thing you’ll need to do: pass the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination, or MBLEx exam. In virtually every state in the country, achieving a passing score on the MBLEx is an important prerequisite for obtaining a license to practice massage. Without a passage grade on the MBLEx test, you won’t be able to start practicing.
Are you convinced that acing the MBLEx will be a piece of cake? Maybe you’re thinking in terms of all of the exams you’ve taken during your time in massage school. Perhaps you scored fairly high on them, and you assume that this means that you won’t have much trouble with the MBLEx. Here’s the thing, though: the MBLEx is a totally different animal from the tests you took while in school.
The exams you took during your massage education program were broken up into individual subjects and topics. They likely weren’t standardized tests, either. They focused on what you’d learned in a particular class, and that was it. Some of them were likely even hands-on tests that evaluated practical skills.
The MBLEx is completely different, though. It’s a standardized test that’s meant to cover virtually everything you learned while in massage school. Depending on your learning style, achieving a passing grade on a standardized test like the MBLEx can be a real challenge. Fortunately, though, passing the exam is possible.
Here’s what you need:
- A comprehensive MBLEx study guide
- The right approach to studying
- Enough time to master the material and prepare for the test
If you have all of those boxes checked, you’re well on your way to becoming a licensed massage therapist! And that’s where this blog comes in. We’re here to present you with this MBLEx study guide to help you prep for the real thing. Standardized tests aren’t easy, and a lot of people find them to be particularly difficult because they don’t mesh well with their individual learning style. Using this guide, though, you’ll be on the path to success.
As an adult learner, there are some important things to understand about standardized tests in general, the MBLEx in particular, and how you should go about studying. In this MBLEx study guide, we’ll talk about:
- Standardized tests and how they work
- Different learning styles and how they apply to standardized test taking
- Key terms that are included as part of the MBLEx exam
- How to set goals for studying
- Practice tests and how they fit in with your MBLEx study program
Are you ready to ace the MBLEx? There’s no better place to start than with this blog post! Let’s dive in.
Standardized Tests: How Do They Work?
When you hear the phrase “standardized test,” it’s not uncommon to feel more than a little anxious. No one likes them, after all. They conjure up memories of the SAT, the GRE, and other stressful testing events. What’s the purpose of standardized tests, though?
Stressful as they may be, standardized tests do indeed have a reason to exist. The point of using a standardized test to evaluate someone for a particular opportunity is that they offer a way to measure an individual’s aptitude in a particular area relative to other individuals. While there are plenty of people in the world of education who question the usefulness and practicality of standardized testing, there’s also general agreement that they’re quite helpful in many ways. You can understand, too, how standardized testing would assist in helping different states all across the country in evaluating all potential massage therapists according to the same means of assessment.
There are a lot of tips floating around about how to prep for a standardized test. A lot of this information is useful, but some of it is downright wrong. Particularly when it comes to the MBLEx, it’s important to be sure that the information and guidelines you use for studying are actually relevant to the specific test you’ll be taking. Guidelines for the LSAT or GRE don’t necessarily apply to a test like this one, and that’s why we’ve put together this MBLEx study guide.
In general, here’s what you want to do to prepare yourself for the MBLEx test:
- Identify your adult learning style and understand its implications for your approach to standardized test prep
- Review the key terms related to the MBLEx test, and ensure that you understand what they are and what they mean
- Set necessary goals in order to achieve the result that you want
- Practice taking the exam using MBLEx practice tests
As we’ll see, that last point is particularly important. Nothing better prepares you for a standardized test like the MBLEx than a well-designed practice test.
Ready to continue on our MBLEx study guide journey? Let’s examine adult learning styles and how they can influence your approach to studying for a test.
What’s Your Learning Style?
Before we go any further, take a moment to think back to your time in massage school. Did you ever pair up with a friend to study for an upcoming exam? Maybe you pulled out your notes and sat down together. But, as you begin to look at each other’s notes, you notice something: things are different. It’s not that one of you has things “right” while the other is “wrong.” Your notes basically cover the same information. The issue is different: maybe you wrote down what your teacher said, and your friend wrote down what was included in the PowerPoint slides. Or, maybe it’s the other way around. Either way, you’ve got a fairly different interpretation of what you ought to focus on when preparing for the upcoming exam.
What’s going on here? The answer is surprisingly simple: the two of you just have your own individual learning styles. Even when you’re presented with the same set of information, you end up absorbing it in fairly different ways. In the same way that you absorb information based on your individual learning style, you’ll generally benefit from certain forms of study more than others. There are three primary learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. The different learning styles are often abbreviated as VAK.
What do these different learning styles mean for you? Let’s find out.
If you’re an auditory learner, you tend to prefer to hear something out loud rather than having to sit and read it in a textbook. You remember things that you hear with ease, and might be surprised that other people have no memory of something that was said in a conversation. If you’re a music fan, you may have the ability to remember the details of a song and even sing it one note at a time. Auditory learners sometimes have issues with textual information, and can be somewhat slow as readers.
Where auditory learners excel with aural information, visual learners can soak up anything they see. Some people have trouble remembering what was written on the board in a class, but not you. You can close your eyes and practically picture it, in fact. Meanwhile, you may have issues trying to remember something that you heard in class.
Are you the type of person who has trouble sitting through a lecture or reading a full chapter of a textbook, but who loves hands-on projects? If so, you might be a kinesthetic learner. In massage school, you probably excelled when it came time to do physical palpation, anatomical location exercises, massage technique practice, and so on. Kinesthetic learners can still work with aural and visual study aids, but they tend to do well with more frequent breaks to get some time away from visual and audio materials.
Your Unique Learning Style
Not everyone falls clearly and neatly into one of these categories. It’s not unusual to be some mixture of the three. So, if you don’t find yourself identifying 100% with one of the descriptions above, don’t worry: that’s completely normal! Still, though, it can be helpful to get a sense of which of these learning styles resonates more with you as an adult learner.
Are you an auditory learner? If so, the more time you spend hearing the information you’ll be tested on, the better. Rather than reading for hours on end, trying saying the content out loud to yourself. If you can find video study aids with accompanying sound, that can be incredibly helpful. Really zero in on the audio, and commit the audio itself to memory.
Are you more visual than auditory? That’s great: be sure to spend plenty of time with text materials. Write down outlines to help you see how things relate to one another, and consider using lists to memorize large chunks of material.
If you’re kinesthetic, that’s great, too — especially for someone who wants to practice massage. Just be sure not to try and make yourself sit still for hours on end. You’ll need frequent breaks from studying. And, if you can incorporate something tactile into your practice — like drawing out mind maps or creating flash cards — so much the better.
Key Terms for Study
As part of any MBLEx study guide, you’ll want to focus on the key terms that are going to be tested. Fortunately, one of the great things about the MBLEx is that the main topics to be covered are explicitly laid out ahead of time.
Here are the main topics you’ll need to understand for the MBLEx test (treat these as key terms):
- Guidelines for professional practice
- Ethics, boundaries, and law as related to massage
- Assessing and reassessing clients, and formulating treatment plans
- Techniques for soft tissue manipulation
- Contraindications, pathology, special populations, and areas of caution in massage
- Anatomy and physiology
Don’t waste your time reviewing information that fails to address one of these categories. Do your best to focus your time around these topics.
Now that you understand what type of learner you are and what key areas you need to focus on, it’s time to set goals for your study plan.
Take your current workload and schedule into account. How much time can you realistically set aside for studying? Do you have personal obligations that will dictate when you can and can’t concentrate and focus on preparing for the MBLEx? Look to create as much time in your day as possible, but don’t set goals that you can’t meet. If you set the bar too high, you’ll feel like you’ve failed when you don’t manage to meet your own expectations — and that can be a recipe for disaster.
MBLEx Practice Tests
Ready to study for the MBLEx? While it can be incredibly helpful to review the general material that the MBLEx will cover, the best way to study is simple: MBLEx practice tests.
Standardized tests can be overwhelming, but the best way to prepare for them is by taking practice tests. In fact, well-designed practice tests can be dramatically more effective for increasing your test score than simply reviewing the material to be tested. That’s because going through the motions of testing and exposing yourself to the types of questions that you’ll be asked is incredibly helpful. The next best thing to taking the test, after all, is taking a practice test.
Bamboo™ offers unlimited practice testing options and access to thousands of simulated MBLEx questions. Want to get started on the road to MBLEx success? Click here to find out more.