The BCBA exam (an Annika fanfic)

The BCBA exam (an Annika fanfic)

Postby Fiamat » Sat Mar 11, 2017 3:41 pm

The BCBA Exam (an Annika fic)

Okay guys, I wrote this Annika fanfic in two hours (which is why it might be a little bit choppy, but I had to write something Annika), this takes place when she was relatively new to her job at St. Dymphna's and taking her BCBA exam to become a certified behavior analyst. The test questions I took from a few sample questions I found from some exam prep seminars. Enjoy!

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“Wait, what is the difference between an SD and an MO again?” asked Annika freezing as she was in the middle of reading through a copy of Cooper, Heron and Heward. She was told that it was the “White Bible” of all things behavior analytic and she needed to read it, live it, love it, and learn from it according to one of her grad school professors. During the whole period of the couple months before preparing for the exam she read through all of her grad school behavior analysis books in order and now her brain felt filled to capacity and overflowing. She tried this method known as SAFMEDS where you try to see how many flashcard questions you can get correct within one minute, but whenever she tried it her brain froze in panic and could only focus on the time ticking away and she couldn’t answer anything without completely flubbering.
It was supposed to be a method popularized by the DAUGHTER of B.F. Skinner so it has to work? Does Julie Vargas not know what the work anxiety means or something? There was also an online test prep program she took and though it was intense and it did help with working and did have a guarantee with passing or your money back, she really hoped that her mind didn’t go blank like it did the first three times she took the test and failed and the last two times she took the test, she seemed to think that she was getting the answers right but she failed. She did do surprisingly well in the ethics section which is odd because that section tends to trip people up, it was just the other sections that scored low, but the last time she was only four points away from passing the test so maybe she has a shot.
The exam itself had a really weird way of passing the scores since it varied different times you took the tests. The reasoning for this being that each new questions they switch in and out vary slightly in difficulty so to account for this, the passing criteria would change ever-so-slightly by a few points. It was kind of stupid Annika admitted. This test usually had a sixty to seventy percent pass rate so she was sure that there were other people in the waiting room that also failed in addition to those naive first timers.

So, there she was in the waiting in the waiting room of the testing center three hours away from work clutching her book waiting for her name to be called. She thought maybe coming to the testing center slightly early would calm her nerves and make her less likely for her voice to croak.

“May those with number 6, please come to the desk to get checked in.” one of the proctors said. Annika rose from her seat with her book clutched in her hand taking a deep breath. She tried her best to walk proudly with confidence as she approached the desk.

“Okay, here is a key to a locker, no other unapproved items will be allowed in the testing room and those not put away will be confiscated and you will fail your test.” Said the woman coldly. Everyone here talked so robotic it made Annika wonder what they were like outside of their testing center jobs.

“Oh… ak…” said Annika in her sorry attempt to say okay, but her voice croaked and only guttural sounds came back. She just gave a solid nod and went to the small shoe locker and put away her purse and study materials and anything she might have in her pockets which was nothing but lint, yet it could never hurt to double check. She was kind of used to this process already being her sixth time going through this mess again. She walked back up again. During her first exam she went through the trouble of getting her tablet with communication approved for an accommodation, but it took forever and there was so much hoops to jump due to all of the potential of ways you can cheat on a tablet and there was no oral exam on the BCBA exam so it was not really necessary anyways and having to get it approved each time was maddening in of itself so her voice was locked away with her other stuff.

“Okay, now, the security guard will pat you down and run you through the metal detector just to make sure, it isn’t that I think you aren’t honest, it is just procedural.” Annika didn’t care that the female security personnel was patting her down with her vinyl gloved hands and used the wand on her though, it was all something expected. Security gave the proctor the okay and she motioned Annika to follow her to the test room and getting some white boards and markers from the stack. Annika followed the proctor down the hall into a computer lab where she was taking the tests with the others who were also taking their exams. Annika’s lips were clamped tight this this entire time, she couldn’t even open her mouth to breathe she was nervous, taking big breaths through her nose was all she could do but yet she started to get light-headed and stopped.

“Okay find a computer with, take a white board and marker and sit down. We will come by and assist you in starting the test for you. You have three hours to complete the test, you can take a break in the small room across the computer lab any time, but the timer will continue to run out and you must set your test into break mode. Also, you may not go back into the lobby and may not talk. You will have a white board and marker issued to you. We test the markers to make sure they have ink, but if you need a new one please raise your hand. Good luck…” That was the most cold good luck ever given to her with the exception of the other times the proctor also said good luck when she had to go take the test. Annika grabbed her marker and sat down. The chair was at least relatively comfortable and a swivel chair. She waited for the proctor to start her test by instructing her the information she needed to type and then she was off. There was one attendant sitting at a desk overlooking the entire computer lap and the chairs were situated so he could see her monitor at all times. It was a little bit uncomfortable.
“Okay, first question…” Annika thought trying to ignore the clock “Well… okay, what is the function of this behavior if this lady sings in the shower, but she is also a professional singer and sings in front of crowds. Well, if that is the case it would be attention, but wait, she is singing in the shower and it is alone, but what if she isn’t alone? What if her brother is peaking on her or something? It has to be attention!” she thought as she clicked the option and hit yes.

“Okay next question… Well, oh, well, it is about if a study about the number of times a spouse promises to do the dishes is an applied behavior analysis study and why or why not… Well, they didn’t actually wash the dishes or anything, but making a promise is a behavior you just have to operationally define it so if you do that it could be. Wait, are they going by Baer, Wolf, and Risley’s definition? So maybe it isn’t, but they are just trying to trick me are they? Ummmm uh… I have so many questions left ummm… yes! I got this!” and she hit the answer she thought it was.
Annika went through this for many more questions one by one until her last question “Shoot, what is a response class again? Come on brain, work!” she thought tapping her forehead “Oh yeah, a group of responses that produce the same effect but the topographies are different, right! This is easy! Done and with fifteen minutes to spare! I didn’t waste time writing comments in the comments section since they don’t even look at them or anything, that is probably the right answer and she raised her hand. The proctor by the door came over to her. Annika pointed to the screen that stated something like “Test done, results will be posted in one month, thank you for taking the test” and she escorted her out of the room back to her locker after taking the board which Annika mostly used to doodle on and write out behavioral contingencies for certain questions.

“Okay, your results should be posted by the BACB within a month, take the stuff from your locker and have a nice day” said the proctor before going back to the testing room. Annika was sure she passed the test this time. Her anxiety melted as she drove back to St. Dymphna’s to her teacher’s dorm to email how certain she was going to pass to her grad school friends on social media or something. The next month Annika was completely ecstatic and she found herself often times writing her name with the letters BCBA at the end of it. One time in the cafeteria, one of the students, Natalya, caught her staring off into space long when everyone was leaving to the call of the lunch bell. It a big thud with her fist on the lunch table to wake up and a “What the heck is your problem.” to make her realize she was in a daze.
Even Annaliese during her one on one tutoring sessions noticed she was a little more happier than usual in her tone of voice and that extra hop in her step when she was getting her teaching materials or the prize box after a job well done. That all changed though when that fateful email came to Annika, but for some reason she couldn’t bear to open it. She didn’t know why, I mean, she passed right? Why was she so scared? Was it the possibility she didn’t pass? Nonsense, she thought through the answers and totally destroyed the trick questions this time. It had to be different than the last five times. It wasn’t different from the last five times, infact, she had the lowest score than any of her times taking the test other. Annika looked at her desk and broke down in tears banging her head at her desk and hugging her pet succulent, a haworthia retusa plant named Juicy.

“Oh Juicy, I totally failed again, what could I have done wrong? What could I have done wrong? Did I overthink the questions?” asked Annika in whisper to her potted friend. “Wait, that is it… I did overthink the questions, this is why I have been failing these tests, isn’t it?” She walked over to the email and hit the link to apply to retake the test. She also began searching the web for a BCBA test prep course, one that she didn’t try yet that maybe specialized in second or more time test takers.

“Seventh time is the charm, isn’t it Juicy?” she turned to her plant swallowing her tears embracing her temporary newfound confidence.
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Re: The BCBA exam (an Annika fanfic)

Postby Hamlet » Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:34 am

Buddy this is really good and fun! Throughly enjoyed it. I've got to suggest you use double spacing for your posts though, otherwise it kind of appears as a wall of text, and that can be really offputting.
Words,Words,Words.
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Re: The BCBA exam (an Annika fanfic)

Postby Fiamat » Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:04 am

Okay, good to know. I do double space when I'm writing it in Word, but it never transfers over when I copy and paste.
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