MBLEx Practice Tests: Everything You Need to Know

What is on the mblex

Amongst the allied health professions, massage therapy and bodywork is quite possibly the most rewarding. While it can admittedly be physically demanding, there’s no question that it’s a highly satisfying occupation. As a massage therapist, you encounter a wide range of patients, each of whom brings their own particular set of issues along with them. Your job is to assess their current state, and put together an effective treatment plan based on their condition. While the work can be challenging at times, all it takes is a client getting up from the table, smiling, and thanking you for helping them feel better to remind you why you got into this line of work.

Of course, before you can experience the joys and challenges of running a full-time massage therapy and bodywork practice, you have to become a licensed practitioner. While you were in school, you devoted the vast majority of your time and energy to learning the ins and outs of massage. You read extensively, sat through hundreds of hours of lectures, and put your newfound knowledge to use in a clinical setting. After graduating from a full-time massage program, you might feel like you’re ready to dive into the profession in its entirety. After all, you’ve been through school, and you’re ready to get to work. In the vast majority of states, though, you’ll need to demonstrate that you’ve attained mastery of the concepts presented in massage school before you’re legally permitted to practice bodywork on paying clients.

Unless you live in New York or Hawaii, or a state where massage is completely unregulated, your ability to start your own practice or go to work for someone else hinges upon whether or not you can pass the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx). In a word, the MBLEx is what determines whether or not you become a practicing massage therapist.

On the one hand, you feel fully prepared to take the exam. After all, you just spend months and months in school for massage. You studied for tests, practiced with friends, and learned everything you could. Why wouldn’t you be ready to take the MBLEx?

The problem is simple: the MBLEx is first and foremost a standardized test. Sure, it’s a measurement of what you learned while in massage school. But beyond that, it serves as a means of determining whether an incredibly wide range of students are prepared to enter the bodywork profession. And the only way to do that is through a so-called “standardized” measurement of each would-be practitioner’s skill set. After all, there are thousands of people seeking to enter the massage profession. Without a standardized test, how could a state board determine whether each of them is ready to work with clients?

Unfortunately, standardized tests present a special challenge to a significant portion of the population. If you’re particularly adept at studying for and passing standardized tests, congratulations: you’re one of the privileged few. For the rest of us, though, studying for and taking a standardized test presents a major challenge. It’s not just a question of understanding the information being tested. After all, you’ve already done that by completing massage school. Additionally, it’s a matter of being good at taking the MBLEx itself. It’s as simple as that: passing the MBLEx is a question of preparing yourself adequately for the format and content of this particular standardized test.

So, what’s the best way to prepare yourself for a standardized test like the MBLEx? There are a number of ways to study for an examination. You can read over your notes, use mnemonic devices, create flashcards, and so on. We’ll examine each of these options below. However, the best way to prepare yourself for a standardized test it through the use of practice tests. In other words: when you’re ready to start studying for the MBLEx, you need to be taking practice tests. Not just once, but repeatedly. In fact, the more practice tests you take, the better.

But what makes for an effective practice test? How do you know if the practice test you’re taking is helpful or not? Are other study tools just as useful? What content is actually being tested for with the MBLEx? With that in mind, where do you find the best MBLEx practice tests available on the Internet?

We’ve put together this guide to answer all of these questions. If you want to become an MBLEx practice test expert, read on.

MBLEx Practice Test Basics

 MBLEx Practice Test

The MBLEx itself consists of 100 questions, presented in multiple-choice format on a computer. There are some particularities related to the exam: you can’t skip questions; there’s no ability to flag questions for later review (you must answer them in the order presented); and, in the top corner of your screen, a timer (set for 2 hours) will be visible.

In other words, the MBLEx isn’t like the tests you probably took during your time in massage school. It’s not a physical stack of papers passed out to you, where you circle some multiple-choice answer, write a couple of essays, and so on. It’s not a tactile, practical examination where you identify musculoskeletal structures in front of one of your instructors.

Instead, the MBLEx is administered in its entirety using a computer, and in a very specific format. Your job as a student, then, is to prepare for the test in terms of the format in which it’s being presented.

Of course, there are other study tools aside from practice tests. Let’s look at each of these and examine their pros and cons, before delving further into how to utilize practice tests effectively.

Other Study Tools

mblex study guide

We’ve already made the claim that practice tests are your best bet when studying for a standardized test. However, before we explore that topic further, let’s examine the variety of other options available to you when studying for a test like the MBLEx.

Rereading texts

When studying for a test, the first thing most students do is simply review their notes, along with any published texts they were assigned as reading material. This seems like an obvious choice: after all, you’re being tested on the material in your notes and the texts you’ve read, so why not reread it as a means of studying?

In the case of the MBLEx, there are a number of pitfalls here. First and foremost, it’s important to consider the fact that there’s a limited scope of material being tested: see the list below of topics included in the test. In other words, it’s possible to review notes and materials from your course of study at massage school that won’t even be mentioned as part of the MBLEx test, let alone focused on.

Just as significantly, though, is the fact that reviewing material repeatedly doesn’t necessarily prepare you for a multiple-choice standardized test. Your ability to read through material isn’t the same as being able to reproduce it in a controlled environment while taking a test.

Highlighting and summarizing

Similar to rereading material you’ve previously studied, highlighting texts and summarizing material in your own words is another means of studying and preparing for an exam. These two options seem superior to simply rereading a text at first glance: after all, you’re honing in on what’s important, and putting things into your own words.

The problem, though, lies with the fact that it’s impossible for the average student to know what they should be highlighting. Even if you’re aware of what subjects are included as part of the MBLEx, it’s not possible to know which aspects of your notes and school texts are the most relevant to the test itself. Similarly, if you attempt to summarize material in your own words, you might be focusing on the wrong material altogether. This is where a professionally designed, targeted series of practice tests can significantly improve your performance.

Mnemonic devices

A mnemonic device is a memory technique: you use an acronym, image, or some other symbol to help your recall information. For example, you make use of an acronym to remember a string of words; or, a particular picture in your mind reminds you of a certain topic.

The problem with mnemonic devices when it comes to a standardized test is simple: the time spent creating and utilizing mnemonic devices is better spent preparing for the test in whatever format it’ll be administered. Additionally, utilizing mnemonic devices can be time consuming, and the MBLEx is timed. In other words, you could potentially waste precious time trying to recall the detail of a mnemonic device while looking at one question after another, rather than simply answering the questions.


Flashcards are, in some ways, meant to simulate test questions. You see a flashcard related to a topic, hold the answer in your mind, and flip it over to see if you’re right. On the surface, this technique seems like it’d be an effective way to study for a standardized test.

Ultimately, though, flashcards are not the same thing as test questions. At the end of the day, utilizing actual test questions to prepare for a standardized test is the best way to study. Flashcards may come closer to simulating the real thing than rereading, highlighting, or memory devices. However, they still can’t replace the effectiveness of a practice test.

Practice Tests: The Best Study Tool

Here’s the bottom line: studies show that test performance is not directly connected with the amount of repetition a student undergoes in attempting to memorize material. Instead, test performance is directly linked with the amount of time spent testing the material itself.

Feel free to review, reread, highlight, discuss, and flip through flashcards. But at the end of the day, the best way to prepare for a standardized test is to take practice tests.

Now that we’ve established the fundamental importance of practice tests, two questions remain. First: what’s actually being tested as part of the MBLEx? And, second: how can I select a practice test that adequately covers this material?

The Format of the MBLEx: Content Overview

While you likely learned an incredibly wide range of information during your course of study in massage school, the MBLEx focuses on a particular set of topics. By reviewing these topics, you’ll have a sense of what material an effective practice test will cover. Here’s a comprehensive list of what’s included as part of the MBLEx exam.

Professional Practice Guidelines

Hygiene for massage therapists

How to properly and safely utilize equipment and supplies

Safety practices

Topics include facilities, client safety, and personal safety for therapists.

Care for therapists

Proper body mechanics, protective equipment, injury prevention, and self-care.

Cleanliness and sanitation

Draping techniques

Business practices for therapists

Topics include strategic and business planning, office management, hiring and interviewing employees, effective marketing, recordkeeping (both client and business records), and proper documentation.

Terminology associated with business and healthcare



Muscular locations, attachments (both origins and insertions), actions, and fiber directions

Muscle components and characteristics

Muscle contractions

Structure and function of joints

Range of motion

Concepts include active, passive, and resistant ranges of motion.

Anatomy and Physiology

Tissue injury and repair

Energetic anatomy concepts

System structure and function

Each system of the human body is covered, including: circulatory; digestive, endocrine; integumentary; lymphatic; muscular; nervous; reproductive; respiratory; skeletal; urinary; and special senses. Both structure and function are included.

Pathology, Contraindications, Special Populations, Areas of Caution

Pathology overview


Topics covered include site-specific and pathology related contraindications. Also included are tools and special applications.

Medication classes

Areas of caution

Special populations

Client Assessment, Reassessment, and Treatment Planning

Organizing a massage or bodywork therapy session

Client evaluation and consultation

Topics include verbal intake and client health history.

Palpation assessment

Range of motion in clients

Collection of written data

Visual assessment, both general and postural

Clinical reasoning

Topics include ruling out contraindications, setting goals for client treatment, evaluating the client’s response to previous treatment, and the creation of an overarching treatment strategy.

Physiological Benefits Associated with Soft Tissue Manipulation Techniques

Identifying the physiological effects of the manipulation of soft tissues

The benefits of touch, included psychological components

Application of heat and cold

The benefits of soft tissue manipulation, especially for particular client populations

Techniques associated with soft tissue

Topics includes types of strokes and sequences of application.

Ethics, Laws, Regulations, and Boundaries

Foundations of ethical behavior

Boundaries in the professional environment

Sexual misconduct

Laws and regulations related to massage therapy and bodywork

Violations of code of ethics

Defining and understanding the therapeutic relationship

Dual relationships

Scope of practice for massage therapists and bodywork professionals

Communicating professionally


Ethical principles

Finding the Right MBLEx Practice Tests Online

With all of this in mind, it’s clear that you need to select an online practice test provider that offers the best product available. Considering that practice tests are the best way to prepare for the MBLEx, it’s essential to ensure that the practice tests you use are the quality available.

You need a practice test provider that has a proven track record. A company that offers the best MBLEx practice tests in the industry. You need Bamboo™.

Why choose Bamboo?

Bamboo is without a doubt your best option when it comes to preparing for the MBLEx test. Why?

More questions on our practice tests

At this point, you understand how essential it is to make use of practice tests in preparing for the MBLEx. Despite this, our competitors offer a small selection of practice questions on their tests. Meanwhile, Bamboo has over 5,100 practice test questions: thousands more than our competitors.

Unlimited practice tests

You know how important practice tests are. So, why would you sign up for a service that limits the number you can take? Believe it or not, our competitors place a limit on the number of practice tests you can sit for. Bamboo gives you an unlimited number of testing opportunities.

Interactive review courses

Studying and reviewing material before taking a practice test is flat-out dull. Some review courses are so boring, you’re likely to fall asleep. Bamboo is different: our review material is interactive. It holds your attention, which leads to better retention.

Customized content

Every student is a little different. Your individual background will have a significant impact on what comes easily to you, and what requires more time, energy, and focus on your part. While other online test prep providers offer all of their students the same format and material, Bamboo acknowledges how unique our students are. That’s why we automatically format the content you’re presented with based on your areas of weakness. This translates to less time spent studying, and better performance on the MBLEx.

Compatible with smartphones and tablets

Nowadays, we’re constantly on the move. It’d be great to sit and work from a computer at home while studying, but this isn’t always realistic. That’s why Bamboo has made all of our study materials available via mobile phones and tablet devices. No matter where you are, you can always sneak in a few minutes of study time.

The best pricing in the industry

Quality is important to us here at Bamboo, but value is, too. That’s why we have flexible pricing options: with our entry plan at just $39, Bamboo can fit any budget.