Taking the Board of Certification (BOC) examination is a culminating event in an athletic training student’s professional preparation—an event that often produces a great deal of anxiety and anticipation. I can vividly recall my own experiences as an undergraduate student 14 years ago trying to prepare for a version of the BOC exam very different from what exists today. The exam has evolved in recent years into a computer-based assessment format that challenges students’ cognitive understanding of athletic training principles along with their critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills in the five domains of our discipline. In early 2010, the BOC announced revisions to the testing format to include alternative-type questions and “testlets” in addition to the traditional multiple-choice questions. As a result, athletic training educators are faced with the challenge of preparing students for this new testing format.
As a program director I have observed very bright and academically prepared students struggle with the BOC exam due to test anxiety and lack of familiarity with the testing format. That is why I view the Study Guide for the Board of Certification, Inc., Entry-Level Athletic Trainer Certification Examination, Fourth Edition, as a much-needed resource for students in preparing for the exam and becoming acquainted with the new format. Susan Rozzi and Michelle Futrell have extended Douglas Kleiner’s previous editions of this text into a cutting-edge resource for athletic training students and educators. The Study Guide includes a detailed description of the new exam format along with more than 1,000 multiple-choice questions and more than 70 interactive testlets that provide students ample opportunity to practice test taking in a computer-based format. The testlets are a unique component that does not exist in other BOC exam preparation materials and will certainly prove to be a valuable resource for students.
When preparing for the BOC exam, students often feel overwhelmed and wonder how to tackle the seemingly impossible task of reviewing every bit of information they have learned in their academic program. I can personally attest that several of the exam preparation tips provided in the Study Guide are quite effective in helping students to overcome this daunting task. For example, using the results of practice tests to guide the development of a study calendar has proved very effective in my own program. Students should use this book to supplement their exam preparation plan. They should still review content-specific textbooks, position statements, and course notes and use the practice questions as a means of formative assessment throughout the review process. Students should not try to “cram” for the exam but rather use a methodical approach to studying based on their personal strengths and weaknesses in each content area.
As an educator, I am very excited about this latest edition of the Study Guide and look forward to integrating the extensive collection of practice test items and testlets into my own exam review course. Best of luck to all students who will use this resource in preparing for the BOC exam. You can do it!!
Jolene M. Henning, Ed.D., ATC, LAT
Director, Entry-Level Master’s Athletic Training
University of North Carolina at Greensboro