My MBLEx Experience

I DID IT!!!!!

      I passed my MBLEx 6 days ago.  This is what you spend a year working up to. There is lot of weighing on this exam because you can't practice the skills you have acquired from your certification program until after you've passed the MBLEx and received your license. If that isn't enough to give you a some anxiety maybe this will...the fee to take the exam is an investment that makes passing the first time around a huge priority to a student's bank account.  Last but not least, the fear of the unknown it honestly what gave me the MOST anxiety. I am a prep and plan kinda gal.  So like anything else, I started trying to find as much information on this exam process as possible so I didn't feel completely out of my element test day.  Because this is still a fairly new licensing exam, there isn't much information available for the anxious test taker to look up.
     Before panic sets in I have great news, I am here to knock fear of the unknown off your list of exam anxieties! My goal for this post is to walk you through the exam from my experience from applying for the exam to celebrating after you've passed!

#1 Apply
     You don't have to wait until after graduation to take your exam!  Because our school is awesome and wants to give us the BEST they offer more hours than the state requirement to sit for your exam.  If this is something you would like to do I would recommend sharing that with Christy as soon as possible so she can help you come up with a plan of when may be an appropriate time to take it and make sure your school records are being sent around the same time as your application.  Both are needed for you application to be considered complete.  You can apply and pay online or you can snail mail it.  Payment is due at the time of application. Fun fact, you can't see the days/times available to take your exam until after you've submitted your application and received your ATT. Something that totally blew this color coded calendar kinda girls mind! In the meantime there are some videos and FAQ pages on the linked website that may answer some of your questions about the test and security procedures.
 
#2 Wait for your ATT
     Once your completed application (application, payment and school records) has been processed you will be emailed (or snail mailed) your Authorization To Test (ATT).  This document will has your Candidate ID# that you will need to schedule your exam because NOW you can access the exam schedule.

#3 Schedule your exam
     With your ATT close by, visit https://wsr.pearsonvue.com/fsmtb/.  You will need the candidate ID# from you ATT to create an account on this page.  Once you have done so, you will be able to look at the available testing centers, days and times with seats open for the MBLEx exam! It is in your best interest to do this as soon as you get your ATT because availability for dates and times that may work best for you could be booked up.  Another fun fact, I scheduled my test for two days after I received my ATT.  I wanted to just get it done before I psyched myself out to much.

#4 DONT PANIC
     You now know when your test is and exactly how much time you have for some last minute cramming.  I LIVED on my ABMP exam coach and AMTA pocket prep app for a couple days. If you are a anxious test taker in general, like myself, I highly encourage you to not touch any of these prep materials the day of your exam.  Spend this time doing whatever is going to bring you peace and relaxation.  For me, this meant a pretty lazy morning, a long hot shower and lengthy conversation with God followed by a improv karaoke session in the car the whole drive to the test center. 

#5 Make your plan for test day 
      When you schedule they tell you to arrive at the test center 30 minutes before your test appointment time. There are driving instructions included on your appointment conformation, but make sure you feel confident in those directions and leave in plenty of time. I even went so far as to check the google maps street view of the testing center since the Pearson Vue testing centers aren't labeled as such with road signs.  For example the road sign outside of my testing center was marked as a University of Michigan Professional building with no mention of Pearson Vue anywhere not even after you entered the building! 
        If you're able to convince someone to drive you so you can just relax instead of trying to focus on driving while managing a roller coaster of emotions then definitely do that ;-) Just make sure they are aware they can not go in the testing center with you. You are allowed up to 2 hours to take your test, so maybe suggest your driver brings something to entertain themselves with or send them across the street to the mall if you're testing in Ann Arbor. Make sure you get enough sleep the night before and eat well and stay hydrated the day before and day of your test. 

#6 The Actual Test: security process and steps at the Ann Arbor testing center
      When you first walk in the building there are elevators immediately to your left.  On the appointment conformation it tells you the Pearson Vue Testing Center is in Suite 3a....the problem is there are no signs tell you where to find Suite 3a.  Luckily it also says it is in the lower level so I took the elevator down.  When you get off of the elevator it opens up to a long hallway.  If you take the hall to the right there are restrooms just around the corner. Use them! You can use the restroom during your test but it is a process with all the security measures and it eats up your test time!
            Continue down the hall and two or three doors down on the right you finally see a sign just outside of the door that says Pearson Vue.  When you go in there will be someone sitting at a desk to check in and direct you.  While they are scanning the two forms of ID you have to provide (the approved list of IDs will be on you application) you are given a rules and regulations form to read. After you have read and agreed to the information your picture is taken and then your palm is scanned.  After that you are directed to lockers where everything expect for your primary ID is to be stored. Take the key out of the locker and bring it with your ID to the test proctor.  You are asked again to confirm your name and then instructed how to pat yourself down, making sure you aren't sneaking in any notes. The palm scanning and pat downs really freaked me out hearing about it but the moment I was actually doing it I found it pretty comical.  I was even told "now shake out and squeeze you top knot" LOL  Then you must once again scan your palm to be 'signed in' for your test.  You are reminded of some more rules, given a dry erase board and marker to write anything down but you can not write anything until after your test has been started, and then told if you need anything or are done with your test to not move away from your computer or out of your chair but to silently raise you hand and wait to be escorted by the test proctor out of the room.
        The test proctor walks you into the room and maybe it was just my experience or just the norm under the circumstances but body odor of 4 other anxious test takers in the room about pushed me back out the door.  You are then walked to your cubicle and your test begins!
        Your test will conclude with pushing a button that says end testing session.  Then quietly raise your hand and wait for the test proctor to come get you.  Don't forget your ID, locker key and dry erase board.  You then have to go out and have your palm scanned for the third time.  You are then directed back to the desk you started at where you will be handed a piece of paper with the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam title, your picture, candidate ID# and test status: PASSED!
#7 CELEBRATE!

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