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Hi Massage Students,


As many of you have been on this page for a while now, I wanted to check in and see who, if any among you, are currently in (or just past) the credentialing process.


Have you taken the MBlex exam? The NCBTMB exam? How was it? What did you do that prepared you to take the exam? What advise can you pass down to massage students who will have to take the exam soon?


How has the process of becoming a state licensed massage therapist felt for you? Has it been straightforward, or have there been challenges? If you've encountered speed bumps along the way, what knowledge or resource(s) would have helped you?


I appreciate your input!



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Replies to This Discussion

I took the MBLEx a couple weeks ago, just before graduation.  I found that I studied a little more than I really needed to, but better to over-study than to under-study.  I obtained the book "Mosby's Massage Therapy Review," which was very useful.  I am currently awaiting my license.  

I took the MBLEX just over a month ago. My school did much to prepare me for this test, providing me with some great study/review tools. I gave myself some time, after graduation, to take the test, and studied/reviewed the "Review for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork Exams" (3rd Ed.) by Joseph Ashton and Duke Cassel. 

I had heard that the exam brushed a very broad stroke over massage/bodywork, so I didn't study too intensely. I skimmed over the stuff that I 'knew' and focused in, a little more, on the stuff (in the review book) that we didn't spend a lot of time on, during my program. 

I was extremely nervous, going in. I felt like maybe I hadn't studied enough. However, my scores were great! The thing to remember is, with the MBLEX, it's multiple choice, so the answer is on your screen. If you can't remember the answer right off the top of your head, you just have to deduce which answer best fits the question. Most of the time, two of the four possible answers were way off, so you just had two possibilities, giving you a 50/50 chance of getting it right. 

The process of becoming a State licensed mt has been pretty straight forward, for me. No real speed bumps to speak of. If you're reading this, and you're in Denver, I can give you more specifics around getting your background check, finger prints, and registering with DORA....just send me a message and we can chat. 

Best wishes to you on your journey!


I took my Mblex exam on Nov 2nd.. I had started studying for it about a month earlier. I was going over the text books and different quizzes that we took in school.. Especially my anatomy! I also bought the practice quizzes that I found online for $20 for a month. (Only used it for 4 days though!) One of my classmates had found a link to 20 different practice exams that had 125 questions on each quiz. So through all the tests.. I passed!!

My advice for anyone taking the exams is to just relax, breathe, and remember to never second guess yourself!!

Best wish on your fabulous up coming career!!
~ Joyce ~

I also took the MBLEx.  My school provided me with the study tools and available classes to focus on the parts i needed help with.  I took the MBLEx specifically for the lack of Chinese Med. questions.  I did purchase two Kindle review books, as well as those provided by my school...they focused on different topics and I think altered each other well.

I took the MBlex upon graduating from school. The school I attended offered free access to a massage review site. I studied the tests, and quizzes, I took in school along with the review website and scored very well on the exam.  Out of the whole test there was perhaps 3 questions that I had no idea what they were even asking much less what the correct answer was. I was fortunate in that the school I attended offered Theory of Chinese Medicine and Shiatsu as a core part of the course so I had no difficulty with the handful of questions that dealt with eastern medicine.

As far as advice for taking the MBlex, I would strongly advise people to sign up for a good online massage test course. The one I used gave me a great idea on what to expect when I took the test.

Licensing for me was very straightforward. I triple checked all of the info my state (Texas) requires to obtain a license. I then mailed it to Austin and received my physical license three weeks to the day that I over-nighted the packet to the state. Make sure you send an original copy of your transcript to the state, and a copy of either your Mblex exam or your NTCMB exam. Even though the state of Texas doesn't include either of these test results in their required info send it any way. Oh, and make sure your keep a copy your self.

Thanks for replying to this - your answers will help me steer new students in the right direction when selecting test-prep materials. Congrats to you all for passing on round 1! Doing the industry proud :)

Erin,  I recently took the NCBTMB exam, mostly due to the revisions that will be made at the end of the year.  I would much rather take one exam and have alphabet soup come after my name on my resume, than take the MBlex, and be forced to take the NCB exam at a later point.

Fortunately for me, my program had an excellent physiology instructor.  This enabled me to pass the exam with flying colors.  Unfortunately, they do not tell you how well you did, just that you have passed, so I can't give statistics on that.

Honestly, the biggest hurdle would have to the the phys.  Ethics scenerios are more common sense than anything else, and the massage techniques you can guess the answer depending on how you use the technique if you don't know off the top of your head.  However I think most people without proper education in the matter wouldn't be prepared for the random off the wall renal function question they may throw at you.  If you get the phys down, everything else will be a breeze.

As for the licensing process as a whole, I can only convey my frustration.  Living in the "great" state of Illinois, I can say that the process is slow and excrutiationly painful.  I sent in my application at the beginning of June.  At the beginning of July I received a letter from my state saying that they had received my application and would then hand it to the correct department.  In short, my application sat in a mailroom bin for 4 weeks before they even opened the envelope.  I also received a letter from the state stating that they had not received my test scores.  Curious as to why, I called the NCBTMB and was informed that even though I had indicated the state I wanted my test scores sent to, they had managed to overlook that, and not send my scores to anyone.  Granted, I may be an exception and other people's licensing processes may go without a hitch, but my experience showed me the ocean of bureaucratic nonsense you have to wade through to become fully licensed.

Fortunately, everything is taken care of now, and I can actually start building my career in this field.


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