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APPLY FOR MBLEX 2017-04-09T21:18:03+00:00

To apply to take the MBLEx EXAM the applicant must submit a completed Application Form and fee payment.

By submitting the completed application, the applicant is acknowledging having reviewed the Examination Content Outline and has obtained education and training in the content subject areas.

Additionally, the applicant is agreeing to abide by and with the policies and procedures promulgated by FSMTB found in the MBLEx Candidate Handbook. This includes all policies regarding examination irregularities, cheating, and cancellation of scores.


Should you have any questions about the policies or procedures found in the Candidate Handbook, please contact the MBLEx office at your convenience.

Application Process

  • Submit Application: Candidate may apply online or by mail 
  • Application Processing: FSMTB processes the application within five business days
  • Authorization to Test (ATT): FSMTB sends ATT via email, candidate must test within 90 days
  • Schedule MBLEx: Candidates may schedule online or call toll free, selecting date, time, and location
  • Confirmation: Appointment confirmation is sent to the candidate via email
  • Take MBLEx: Candidate will receive results at the testing center and the FSMTB sends results to the designated state board or agency within 24 hours

Reminders

  • It will take three to five days to receive your ATT. If you have not received it after the fifth day and the FSMTB has not contacted you, please call our Customer Service Call Center
  • Within your 90-day eligibility window, you may change your test date or test site online by contacting Pearson Vue. You may not make changes less than one business day prior to your appointment without forfeiting all fees
  • On the test day, you are required to bring two forms of identification to the test site. Please ensure the name on both of your identifications match the exact name provided on your application. For more information on appropriate forms of identification, please see the candidate handbook

Testing Accommodations
The FSMTB complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and will accommodate requests from qualified candidates with a diagnosed disability for accommodations to take the MBLEx if the request is reasonable and properly documented and does not fundamentally alter the examination or jeopardize exam security. Submission of an accommodations request does not guarantee that testing accommodations will be made. The FSMTB will review your request and professional recommendations to determine whether the accommodation is reasonable and appropriate to the testing environment or whether it would fundamentally alter the nature of the examination. To request accommodations, submit the ADA Accommodations Request Form. If you require accommodations in the application process itself, contact the FSMTB for assistance. Additionally, you are welcome to send your accommodation requests or any ADA-specific questions to ada@fsmtb.org.

ADA Testing Accommodations Handbook

ADA Request Form – English

Veterans Affairs Reimbursement

Veterans taking the MBLEx can be reimbursed for the cost of the exam. Visit the Veterans Affairs website to learn more about how the reimbursement process works. Payment is issued only after you have submitted the required information to the Department of Veterans Affairs. You can find the application here or on the Veterans Affairs website.

If you have questions about reimbursement for the MBLEx, you can access the Veterans Affairs website or call 888-442-4551, or for those who are hearing impaired call 1-800-829-4833.

Check Your MBLEx Application Status
To check the status of your MBLEx application, please send an email to mblex@fsmtb.org. Be sure to include your name and date of birth. Please keep in mind that it will take three to five days after you submit your application to receive your Authorization to Test (ATT).

Change of Contact Information
Should you need to change your contact information as provided from your application, please fill out the following form and submit it to the FSMTB.

Change of Contact Information

The MBLEx is administered on a daily basis, year-round at test sites across the United States. Once you are approved to test and receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) via your email, you will use that information to register for the exam date and testing location of your choice. For more information on finding the nearest test site to you, please visit Pearson VUE’s website.


Candidates will have two hours to complete a 100-item, multiple-choice examination on a computer. Of this time, five minutes is allotted to a security and confidentiality agreement and five minutes to a brief survey. You should ensure you are aware of FSMTB security policies. See below.

Weather and Testing Centers
The FSMTB is committed to providing you with a positive examination experience, even when Mother Nature has other ideas. Please make the best decisions about your safety and plan accordingly. If you are scheduled to take the MBLEx in an area that is experiencing extraordinarily dangerous weather conditions or other similar issues, you will be notified if the test center is closed and your appointment will be rescheduled.

In the event that the test center remains open, you will be expected to attend your appointment as scheduled. You may opt to reschedule your appointment at no cost, provided that you reschedule more than 24 hours before the initial appointment. All other unscheduled absences will be recorded as a “no-show” and all fees forfeited.

In developing the examination, every effort is made to respect and include the various forms of Massage & Bodywork practiced in the United States. Reviews of the field will be undertaken periodically to ensure that the examination remains relevant to current practice standards.

MBLEx Content Outline
MBLEx Content Outline (Español)

Exam Content Development
A fundamental requirement for best practices in testing is to conduct a formal Job Task Analysis (JTA) every five to seven years to ensure the examination reflects current practice. The FSMTB has conducted two JTAs, one in 2007 and the second in 2012. The FSMTB sought input from professionals in the massage, bodywork and somatic practice field. The content for the MBLEx was based on this feedback from the thousands of practitioners around the country. Such input is paramount to ensure that this is an exam for the profession, by the profession.

Additionally, there was continuous involvement from the regulatory community and testing and psychometric professionals at every step of the exam development process.

2013 Job Task Analysis
2007 Job Task Analysis

You may request an additional copy of your exam results to be reported to a State licensing board or agency, employer or request a copy to be sent yourself, by completing the MBLEx Score Transfer Form and mailing it with the appropriate fee to the FSMTB. You can mail in the form to:

Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards
Attn: MBLEx Score Transfer
P.O. Box 198748
Nashville, TN 37219

Candidates are solely responsible for submitting requests in a timely manner. You are encouraged to check with the State in which you are applying, for licensure-related deadlines.

Score Transfer Form
Score Transfer Form (Español)

How do I send my examination results to my licensing board?
How do I send my examination score to a new state if I am moving?
What type of paperwork from my school or other outside sources do I need to submit to take the MBLEx?
How fast does FSMTB process my application?
What is the fee to take the MBLEx?
If I need to retest, how soon can I apply and is there a limit to the number of times I can retake the MBLEx?
Can I withdraw my application?
Can I change my test date or location?
How long is the examination?
In what languages is the MBLEx offered?
What identification do I need to take to the test center?
When I pass the MBLEx can I start practicing massage and bodywork immediately?
Do I need to renew my MBLEx?
If I have already passed the NCE, will I now have to pass the MBLEx too?
Where can I find study material?
How much Asian theory is on the MBLEx?
Why did the FSMTB develop the MBLEx?
What kind of input did the FSMTB seek in developing the MBLEx?
Why didn’t the FSMTB set any minimum educational hours or eligibility requirements to take the MBLEx?
Does a licensure exam water down the standards for the profession?
How does the MBLEx help the States?
Why is voluntary certification an inappropriate tool for Licensure Boards?
Is certification redundant?
Why wouldn’t we want a standard of excellence for the profession?
Is it a conflict of interest for a State Board to use the MBLEx if one of the State Board members is on the Board of the FSMTB?

How do I send my examination results to my licensing board?
You will indicate on the MBLEx application form the state you wish your exam results be sent to for licensure purposes.

How do I send my examination score to a new state if I am moving?
You may request that your exam results be reported to a licensing board or agency by completing and submitting the MBLEx Score Transfer form.

What type of paperwork from my school or other outside sources do I need to submit to take the MBLEx?
To apply to take the MBLEx, submit a completed Application Form and fee payment. There are no transcripts from your school or letters required. However, FSMTB does reserve the right to request verification of education at any time.

How fast does FSMTB process my application and the fee cost to take the MBLEx?
Once FSMTB receives your application, you will be notified of your approval status within five business days. After you received approval via email with your Authorization to Test, you will have 90 days in which to take the test.

What is the fee to take the MBLEx
Your application fee of $195 will be processed upon submission of the application. Should you need to retake the MBLEx, it will cost $195.

If I need to retest, how soon can I apply and is there a limit to the number of times I can retake the MBLEx?
FSMTB allows candidates who have failed the MBLEx to retake the examination after thirty (30) days has elapsed from the previous examination attempt. You must reapply online or mail in the MBLEx application form and fee.

Additionally, the FSMTB does not limit the number of times a candidate may take the MBLEx. However, a state licensing board or agency might have such limitations in place. Check to see if you state licensing authority has a limit to the number of times a candidate may attempt to pass the MBLEx.

Can I withdraw my application?
Yes, but you must first cancel your testing appointment with Pearson VUE. Then you may withdraw your application at any point up to one business day prior to your test appointment by submitting a written request to FSMTB via email (mblex@fsmtb.org). Fees are refundable, minus a $45 processing fee. Requests to withdraw your application that is received by FSMTB less than one business day prior to testing will not be honored and all fees will be forfeited. Applicants who have withdrawn their applications and reapply in the future must reapply as new applicants subject to all application and fee requirements in place at that time.

Can I change my test date or location?
You may change your test date online or via the Customer Service Call Center. You may not make changes less than one business day prior to your appointment without forfeiting all fees.

How long is the examination?
Candidates taking the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination have two (2) hours to complete a 100-item multiple-choice examination on a computer. Of this time, a maximum of five minutes is allotted to the security and confidentiality agreement and five minutes to a brief survey.

In what languages is the MBLEx offered?
The FSMTB currently offers the MBLEx in English and Spanish.

What identification do I need to take to the test center?
You must bring TWO forms of identification (ID) to the test site – the primary form of identification must include a photograph and signature and must not be expired. The secondary form of identification must include a signature and must not be expired; it may include a photograph but a photograph is not necessary. The same version of your name must appear on your application, the Authorization to Test (ATT), and on the identification, you present at the testing center. Temporary or renewal Drivers Licenses are not acceptable forms of ID.

When I pass the MBLEx can I start practicing massage and bodywork immediately?
No. Passing the MBLEx signifies that you have passed the licensing exam which is only one component of licensure requirements.

Do I need to renew my MBLEx?
There is NO renewal requirement. Once you pass the MBLEx you do not need to pay any more money or take any classes to maintain your MBLEx result. There are no annual fees or renewal dues. Your status with the MBLEx remains constant throughout your professional career as long as you maintain a license to practice in good standing.

If I have already passed the NCE, will I now have to pass the MBLEx too?
Someone who has taken the NCE should not need to take the MBLEx to maintain licensure in their own state; however, if you are relocating, it would be wise to investigate licensure requirements for the new state of residence.

Where can I find study material?
The FSMTB has produced the only Official MBLEx Study Guide with a practice test, click on the MBLex Study Guide Link on this page to order.

How much Asian theory is on the MBLEx?
While there are no modality or approach specific questions related to Asian theory, there are questions that ensure a basic knowledge of various modalities. For instance, the MBLEx would not ask “What meridian is responsible for…”, instead, it would be more likely to ask, “What modality utilizes meridians for treatment?”

Why did the FSMTB develop the MBLEx?
There are four major reasons: to offer the first standardized licensing exam for the massage and bodywork profession; to facilitate professional mobility; to give the regulatory community oversight over exam content, organizational policies and procedures pertaining to the exam; and to significantly speed up the process of application and examination to avoid unnecessary delays in licensure.

It is of critical importance for the regulatory community to ascertain and oversee exactly what is being practiced and to utilize best practices in attaining that information. In addition, the State Boards and Agencies unanimously indicated that they needed a licensing examination that was State owned and operated.

What kind of input did the FSMTB seek in developing the MBLEx?
The FSMTB sought input from all professionals in the massage, bodywork and somatic practice fields. The Federation wanted to find out exactly what people in the massage and bodywork profession are practicing around the country so we opened up the Job Analysis to everyone in both regulated and non-regulated states.

We secured a team of 15 psychometricians and testing experts and a core group of 60 subject matter experts to create a list of all the tasks that a massage or bodywork therapist needs to perform in their job. This list of tasks was then validated by several thousand practitioners – 7,646 to be exact.

The content for the MBLEx was based on this feedback from the thousands of practitioners around the country – that is why we say this is an exam for the profession, by the profession – and with heavy involvement of the regulatory community at every step.

Why didn’t the FSMTB set any minimum educational hours or eligibility requirements to take the MBLEx?
One reason is that the Federation did not want to pick an arbitrary number of hours of education as a minimum eligibility requirement – it would be arbitrary because there was no data upon which to make a sound decision about appropriate educational hours. Until we are able to ascertain what an appropriate educational standard might be so that we can make a recommendation to the States, it should remain the prerogative of each State Board to determine what is right for their State.

The content of the MBLEx reflects the broad spectrum of knowledge and core competencies identified by the profession for safe and effective entry-level practice. Proficiency in the content areas is based on sound education standards; however, the MBLEx is based on practice and did not evolve from a curricular base.

Demonstrating knowledge through passing an examination is only one component of licensure. Education is another component. Good character (for example lack of criminal history or commitment to a code of ethics) may be another component.

Does a licensure exam water down the standards for the profession?
Absolutely not. That would be like saying that the fact that every physician has to take the US Medical Licensing Examination is watering down the medical profession. Licensure needs to assess the broad spectrum of core competencies required for safe and effective practice. The MBLEx is the only exam designed specifically for this purpose to meet the needs of the licensing boards.

How does the MBLEx help the States?
The State Licensing Boards and Agencies that are members of the Federation “own” the MBLEx so they are able to dictate policies that pertain to the exam by virtue of their membership and rights to vote.

Why is voluntary certification an inappropriate tool for Licensure Boards?
The regulatory boards have no control over the decisions of the private certification agencies. State regulatory boards should not be at the mercy of, or beholden to any party that can dictate or jeopardize the regulatory boards’ function, decision making or integrity. The FSMTB exists to fulfill and protect the needs of the regulatory community without delegating that authority to any other entity.

Is certification redundant?
No, not at all. Certification is a good thing and has a rightful place in the credentialing landscape of a mature profession. Independent organizations are entitled to decide what standards people have to meet to join their organization. We are just saying that certification is NOT appropriate for licensure and certification standards should not be imposed upon the licensure community.

Why wouldn’t we want a standard of excellence for the profession?
A standard of excellence is obviously a good thing and that can be the role of certification but excellence and entry level do not go hand in hand. A standard of excellence should not be required for licensure to gain entry into a profession. The role of the regulatory board is to protect the public, not to license only to those who meet an arbitrary standard of excellence.

Is it a conflict of interest for a State Board to use the MBLEx if one of the State Board members is on the Board of the FSMTB?
No. The fact is that you have to be affiliated with a State Licensing Board or Agency in order to be able to be on the Board of the FSTMB. The FSMTB is a membership organization and membership is comprised only of the State Licensing Boards and Agencies. Any State Board member or senior staff person of a State Licensing board or agency is eligible to serve on the FSMTB Board or any FSMTB committees.

FSMTB has developed informational video tools to provide insights for individuals or schools:

What to Expect Video

What to Expect: must  reviewThis video was designed with the examination candidate in mind! It provides insights into what you can expect the exam to be like at the testing center. There is information about how to answer the exam questions, how to manage all of the onscreen options for viewing the exam questions and what to expect when the exam time is nearing the end.

[intense_video id=”pZtzvLoUZVM” video_type=”youtube” video_url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZtzvLoUZVM”]

Transcript: What to Expect Video

Exam Security Video

Exam Security: This video emphasizes the non-disclosure agreement that all exam candidates must agree to before taking the MBLEx. The MBLEx is copyrighted; therefore any breaches of the non-disclosure agreement are potentially punishable in a court of law. FSMTB cannot stress enough the importance of this agreement!  Schools and exammust reviewthis area carefully to avoid the consequences!

[intense_video id=”VMVO8Q97mgY” video_type=”youtube” video_url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMVO8Q97mgY”]

Transcript: Exam Security Video

Computer Adaptive Testing

[intense_video id=”iO8RFqBS69I” video_type=”youtube” video_url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iO8RFqBS69I”]

Transcript: Computer Adaptive Testing Video

Identification Video

[intense_video id=”r2D6jbkoHfs” video_type=”youtube” video_url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2D6jbkoHfs”]

Transcript: Identification Video

The MBLEx Study Guide, published by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) is designed to assist candidates to prepare to take the MBLEx.


In every section you will find:

  • A description of each topic area
  • Topic area study points
  • Sample MBLEx questions

Also includes:

  • Tips for successful studying
  • Practice exam
  • User-friendly workbook format

Order Your Copy of The Only Official MBLEx Study Guide Today!

$29.95 each + Shipping & Handling (Visa or MasterCard only)

Save on shipping and handling fees with larger orders! Contact StudyGuide@fsmtb.org for pricing.

FSMTB case pricing on the MBLEx Study Guide!
Purchase a full case (28 guides), including shipping & handling for a flat rate of $850.
That’s a huge savings on shipping and handling fees!