First of all, you are not alone. The pass rates for both BBS exams, especially the Clinical, have been at historic lows since January of 2017. You need feel no shame, no self-blame, no “I didn’t study enough.” The problem isn’t you. It’s the exam. (Have a look at Ben Caldwell’s blog, “California’s MFT Clinical Exam is Broken,” at www.bencaldwelllabs.com, for the latest details.)
Second, don't give up. Get that application for re-take in immediately. (If it’s Law and Ethics, you will probably need to take a 12-hour CEU review course, and include the evidence with your application. (Be sure it’s the TWELVE hour course, not two sixes. The least expensive online one is at www.CEMobile.me, which is the continuing education division of PrepJet.)
Third: Write down everything you can remember about the exam you just took. Why? Some of the questions that WERE experimental are now going to be for real. Also, you may be able to identify topics or styles of question that were particularly troublesome, and that will help you decide what to emphasize in your re-studying. Be sure to make notes on your process as well—did you run out of time? Did your brain fuzz out at a particular stage of things? Did you get discouraged and/or angry and/or terrified? Did you change answers at the last minute, or leave things blank? Did you feel like you were or weren’t passing? All of this data will help you plan to do things differently next time.
Fourth: Take a little break now. Recover emotionally. Regroup. Remind yourself why the heck you’re doing this. Start looking around for the help you need, but don’t just jump into another program, or back into the one that didn’t work before.
Fifth: Make a plan and follow it. It has to be YOUR plan. Personalized. No coach or prep course, including me, or PrepJet, knows YOU the way you do. Nobody knows exactly how you learn, how you process information, and most critically, nobody knows exactly what is on the exam.
I will say it’s likely you will need different resources than what you used before. And of course I think the best resources are at www.prepjet.net. You will be pleasantly surprised at the low cost of a monthly subscription. There are practice tests that I’m told are “eerily similar” to the real exam. (I made sure our questions cover every single “task and knowledge statement” from the BBS Examination Plan.) There is brief but focused content to study if you need it. And, if you pay a slightly higher subscription price, there is coaching from me.
If you’re still reading, let me say again how sorry I am that you are having to repeat this exam, and how much I believe you can pass! Please feel free to contact me with more questions, or go ahead and sign up at www.prepjet.net.
Kathy Wexler, LMFT
Executive Director, PrepJet MFT Programs