I never realized how there are regional dialects of OT until I moved across the state and started interacting w/ people from multiple different OT/OTA schools. For example, when referring to the national testing board, people from my school always pronounced each letter (N-B-C-O-T). Yet, over here, the people from the OTA school nearby always say "Nibcot."

But no matter how you say it, thoughts of NBCOT can frighten just about any sensible student. Crawling through the gauntlet that they've created can be difficult, but few lose limbs in the process. Here's some tips that'll keep you from losing extra money and sanity though:
  • Name Game: Several of my classmates and I got married after graduation. Changing your name is hard enough, changing it w/ NBCOT can cost you big bucks. Either register before the wedding and delay changing your name until after the test, or register for the test after you've already changed your name. AVOID at all costs registering under your maiden name and then trying to take the test with your married name.
  • Forms: I believe that the ACVF form can let you register for the test immediately after graduation. That will give you time to get your transcript sent, and until the board gets that, forget about getting your scores.
  • Know thy Licensure Act: check in with your state board to get a jump on temporary permits or your license long before you want to work. Make friends with the people in the state board office so that they can guide you through the process. (shout out to Vonda)
  • Prepare: I may do a full test-prep section some time, but until then, here's my basic guidelines. Take a practice test, and review it so you can ID your weak spots. Brush up on things you forgot or don't recognize right off using your main textbooks. Don't procrastinate.
  • Post-Test Patience: perhaps the hardest part of the process... the waiting game. This is where it is to your advantage if you don't have a current job. Try to relax after the test, though you will inevitably feel awful. Don't panic, don't second guess.
Navigating the bureaucracy of the national board can be difficult, but keep your cool as you go through the process. Turn to your teachers, classmates, and most importantly the office folks at the board. They can help you get through the complicated parts- because that's their job. They're a free resource, even if you do have to get stuck on hold all day to get to them. Best of luck with the initial prep!

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