I'm not sure if there's anything worse than the excruciating purgatory between taking the exam and finding out if you passed. OK - for those of you that aren't waiting on your results, that may seem a little dramatic. For those of you that tested last month - please tell me I'm not the only one that felt this way!
This first week wasn't too bad. You knew the results wouldn't come out, and honestly, you were just relieved to take the BDS modules out of your daily routine. Your bag felt lighter without Cooper sitting in there day after day. Your paper cuts from practice exams and SAFMEDS were starting to heal - it was great!
But then, week two came. You started to analyze the different questions and the answers that you gave. Maybe you sat down to figure out how many questions you were unsure of, and whether you could still pass if you got them all wrong. You felt so confident walking out of the exam, but now, serious doubts were starting to creep in.
And here we are in week three. The week of frantic portal refreshing and constance email checking. You realize it might be a little early for the results to be released, BUT there was that one month that they were released in the SECOND week of the month! You find yourself waking up at 2AM to log in to the BACB website to make sure they didn't post the results at 1AM (They didn't). You ask previous test takers whether they found out through the portal or through e-mail first so you know where to place your energy (The portal). This week is tough. You're a living, breathing example of a Variable Interval schedule and you do not like it.
So what can you do to replace the frantic portal refreshing and e-mail checking? Here are some things you can start with:
1. Recommit yourself to your clients. If you do pass, chances are your role with your clients may change shortly thereafter. Enjoy the direct service piece of your job for the next week or so. Your days of bubbles, trampolines, and kinetic sand may soon be replaced with report writing, Excel, and IEP meetings.
2. Schedule time with your supervisor. While we all know this isn't the case, many people assume when you become a BCBA, you no longer need supervision. In fact, most insurance companies don't require or pay for supervision of a BCBA. Get the most out of your supervisor while you still have the chance. Ask questions that you've been holding on to, no matter how silly they may be. Discuss cases that interest you an articles that you could use a second opinion on.
3. Dress for the job you have not the job you want. Similar to bubbles and trampolines, your days of wearing workout pants and jeans to work may be limited once you become a BCBA. IEP meetings, school observations, parent trainings, and team meetings all require you to ditch the athletic wear in exchange for something a little more professional. It'll be fun to play dress up at first, but someday you'll long for the summer day that you could wear Nike shorts and a T-shirt to work.
4. Go out with your friends/family/significant other and let off some steam. Whether that means going out to a bar, taking a vacation, going for a long drive, taking dance classes - whatever it is - do it. And don't check the portal or your email during that time!
To those of you waiting for the results - just know there are about 2,000 people right there with you! Good luck!