Prep for the MBLEx: Four Things You Need to Know

If you’re a massage therapy student, you know that your schooling ends with the infamous licensing exam. If you’re looking to prep for the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination, or the “MBLEx,” we  put together some tips to help you study and prepare. At Swedish Institute’s Massage Therapy program, we provide our students with the knowledge and tools to prepare for the MBLEx exam. Below are some tips for how students can best prepare for exam day. 

1.  What’s on the MBLEx? 

The MBLEx is the licensing exam used in 46 states to find work as a licensed massage therapist, and it is notorious for covering a wide range of information. It covers topics including anatomy, kinesiology, pathology, bodywork modalities, the laws of massage, and much more. Essentially everything you’ve learned in school is fair game for this exam. So how can you prepare for it? 

2.  How to Study for the MBLEx Exam 

Studying for any test can feel daunting, but cramming is never the answer. Instead, you should spend plenty of time leading up to the exam going over all of your notes from your classes. One tip we recommend is to create a student group with fellow students. That way you can  workshop ideas together, and you won’t be going through the process alone. 

Another good tip is to look back at old quizzes and tests that you’ve taken. These are often the types of questions that might appear on the exam itself. It’s great prep for the MBLEx and allows you to reapproach questions you’d previously had issues with. That way, you can remind yourself of answers from your earlier classes. 

If you are visual learner, you can also convert your class notes and exams into flashcards. This is also a great way for your family members and friends to help you prepare even if they do not know the material, or if you are not able to meet up with your peer study group.  

There are so many online study guides and practice tests that you can take to help you prepare for the exam. When taking the practice tests, we recommend starting off by taking the exams open book and timing yourself. As you get faster at recalling the information, then take the exams closed book to mimic what it will be like on exam day. Here are a few resources to check out: 

3.  Taking the Test 

The examination is given in person and is 100 computer-adaptive multiple-choice questions and takes 2 hours to complete. The computer-adaptive questions mean that the difficulty of the next question increases as you answer each question correctly. This adaptation continues until a question is answered incorrectly, and then the process begins again

A flow chart to help prep for the MBLEx examination, explaining how adaptive questioning works

The MBLEx is graded on a pass/fail system, and it costs $265 to register for the examination in the first place. One of the biggest advantages of taking the MBLEx is that you’ll likely be able to access your results almost as soon as you’ve finished the test. Since the exam is electronic, it is scored quickly and lets the test taker know how they did on the MBLEx, and whether they need to prep to retake the exam soon after.  

4.  Passing the MBLEx 

If you’ve passed the MBLEx, congratulations! You’re now ready to start a career as a licensed massage therapist. We recommend that our alumni and graduates get in touch with their career services representative to discover the kinds of jobs that are available to you.  

If you didn’t get the result you wanted on the MBLEx, don’t worry too much; this just gives you more time to prepare to retake the exam soon, now knowing even more about the types of questions you can expect and much more.