The MBLEx exam has quickly become the most common massage exam, used by 42 states for licensure. Whether you’re just starting to study for your MBLEx exam, or looking for some last minute information, here is everything you need to know about the MBLEx exam.
About the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB)
Before you can study for the content and test questions, you need to understand the purpose of the MBLEx. In 2005, the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professions (ABMP) held a meeting to address issues common to their members. In the meeting, they discussed concerns of a valid and reliable licensing exam.
Three key issues continued to rise to the surface:
• the need for consistent scopes of practice and entry level standards across the country
• the need for a valid and reliable licensing exam that would be accepted by all jurisdictions
• the need for a common database with licensing and disciplinary information and the ability to store critical documents
Regulators and educators discovered that there was a need for an organization to formally bring the regulatory community together. Thus, the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards was born. Since 2005, the FSMTB has been committed to establishing a foundation upon which to build the organization and begin the work necessary to carry out the desires of the states. The best thing about the MBLEx exam is that it allows states to “own” the exam, so they can dictate policies that pertain to the exam, specifically for their state.
Applying for the MBLEx
To apply for the MBLEx, you must fill out the application on the FSMTB website. There is also an application fee of $195. It normally takes up to five business days for the FSMTB to process your MBLEx exam application. If the application is incomplete, they will contact you within those five days. Once the application is approved, the FSMTB will send you a Notice to Schedule (NTS) via email or postal mail (if email address has not been provides).
From the date the NTS is issued, you will have 90 days to schedule your test. If you cannot test within those 90 days, you will have to reapply. You can locate a test center here. Once you arrive at the testing center, you must bring two forms of identification; one requires a photo and signature and must not be expired.
MBLEx Exam Outline
If you’re not sure what the MBLEx will cover or how the MBLEx exam is divided, here is a brief content outline from the FSMTB website.
- Anatomy & Physiology – 14%
- Kinesiology – 11%
- Pathology, contraindications, areas of caution, special populations – 13%
- Benefits and physiological effects of techniques that manipulate soft tissue – 17%
- Client Assessment, Reassessment & Treatment Planning – 17%
- Overview of Massage & History Bodywork, Culture, and Modalities – 5%
- Ethics, boundaries, laws, and regulations – 13%
- Guidelines for Professional Practice – 10%
Passing the MBLEx exam does not mean you can start practicing right away. The MBLEx exam is only one-step in the licensing process. However, failing the MBLEx exam can postpone your career as a licensed massage therapist for months. Make sure your prepared for all sections of the exam with a comprehensive, interactive MBLEx study guide like Massage Prep!