Over the past several decades the professional field of massage therapy has grown steadily. The Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) is a relatively new test. The exam is given by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB). In 2005, the FSMTB was formed to provide consistency in registration, training, and certification regarding massage therapy. By 2007, the MBLEx was put in use and since that time has become accepted by a vast majority of states.
The test is a component of licensure for those seeking certification in massage therapy and was developed for several important reasons. First, members of the FMSTB believed that a standardized licensing system was needed for the massage and bodywork profession. Second, the test is designed to provide the option for professional advancement for those seeking certification of their qualifications. Finally, by having an organized system in place, unnecessary delays between application and taking the exam could be avoided. Examinees should be aware the passage of the MBLEx is only one component of licensure requirements.
The content for this exam is based on input from thousands of massage practitioners throughout the United States. The application process includes filling out an application form from the FSMTB and enclosing the $195 testing fee. Give 5 business days for the organization to process the request and then an email notification will be sent to the examinee allowing them to register for the exam. It is the test-takers responsibility to either call of schedule online with Pearson VUE, the company that administers the exam, a test time and date. Once the date is selected a person has 90 days to take the test. Examinees must bring two forms of identification to the test site, one of which must have a photo and signature. A driver’s license meets those requirements. The computer based test is composed of 125 multiple choice questions and lasts 2 ½ hours. The test is offered in both English and Spanish and score results are available immediately after you complete the test. If an additional score report is needed then an MBLEx Mobility Form must be filled out and $20 submitted.
|Sections of the MBLEx Test|
|MBLEx Test Subject Areas||# of Questions||Percentage|
|Client Assessment and Treatment Plans||20-22||17%|
|Benefits and Affects of Techniques||20-22||17%|
|Pathology with Contraindications and Cautions||15-17||13%|
|Ethics, Boundaries, Laws and Regulations||15-18||13%|
|Guidelines for Professional Practice||11-13||10%|
|Anatomy and Physiology||16-18||14%|
The MBLEx is designed to last two and a half hours. It will have 125 questions that are all multiple choice, with only one correct answer. For admission, two forms of ID are required for each candidate, one of which needs to be a photo ID. Test takers may take a break, but it will be deducted from the two and a half hours allotted for the exam, so it is recommended to use the restroom before beginning.
The MBLEx is a 125 multiple choice exam designed to test candidates who wish to become massage therapists. The 125 questions deal with the following eight content areas: Client Assessment and Treatment Plans; Benefits and Affects of Techniques; Pathology with Contraindications and Cautions; Massage History; Ethics, Boundaries, Laws & Regulations; Guidelines for Professional Practice; Kinesiology; and Anatomy & Physiology. The testing period lasts two and a half hours. All 125 questions are expected to be answered at the end of this period.
- Sample MBLEx Exam Questions:
- What three main organs make up the nervous system?
- A. Brain, spinal cord, and ATP.
- B. Brain, skin, and nerves.
- C. Brain, spinal cord, and nerves.
- D. ATP, spinal cord, and nerves.
- The plane that goes from top to bottom, which divides the body in left and right sides directly in the middle is referred to as which of the following?
- A. Sagittal.
- B. Frontal.
- C. Transverse.
- D. Midsagittal.
- Which of the following minerals, when deficient leads to fatigue and anemia?
- A. Calcium.
- B. Cobalt.
- C. Iodine.
- D. Copper.
- Which of the following would help a therapist document their work on a client?
- A. HIPPA.
- B. S.O.A.P.
- C. ICD-9-CM.
- D. HPI.
- Which of the following massage techniques could leave the client feeling fatigued and listless for up to 48 hours after the massage?
- A. Hydrotherapy.
- B. Swedish massage.
- C. Lymphatic drainage.
- D. Reflexology.
- If a runner injures their biceps femoris, what will they likely be unable to do?
- A. Flex their arm.
- B. Flex their knee.
- C. Flex their wrist.
- D. Flex their foot.
This exam is scored on a scale from 300 to 900. A score of at least 630 is necessary for passing. As wrong answers are not counted negatively towards your final score, be sure to answer every question. If an examinee does not meet the required score, there is no limit on the number of times a person can take the test, but a new application must be filled out and another $195 paid.
It should be noted that there are no prerequisites for taking this examination. Anyone wishing to sit for the exam may do so, as long as they fill out the application and pay the fee. The reason given by the FSMTB for no set educational hours is that they find it arbitrary to assign certain requirements. In their view, the MBLEx reflects broad knowledge and core competencies, thus passage of the exam is an adequate display of competency. If accommodations are needed for a test-take with disabilities an application form and documentation are required. Check with the FSMTB for more information regarding this when you first apply for the exam.
Answers to Sample Questions
1:C; 2:D; 3:D; 4:B; 5:C; 6:B;
- Information from Pearson VUE 24 February 2014
- Massage Exam 16 March 2014
- Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards History 24 February 2014
- Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination Application Form 16 March 2014
- Massage Magazine 24 February 2014
- Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination Handbook 24 February 2014
- Massage Exam FAQ 17 June 2014
- Massage Exam 17 June 2014
- Healing Arts Institute 24 February 2014
- Questions and Answers 16 March