How I Studied for the BOC Exam

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Posted May 17, 2016

Elishia Jackson, LAT, ATC

By Elishia Jackson, LAT, ATC

You were admitted to an athletic training program, spent hours with your head in text books and reviewing notes, and spent more hours observing and working with BOC Certified Athletic Trainers (ATs) to get your athletic training clinical hours. Now it is senior year and time to start studying for, quite possibly, the most important exam you’ll ever take, the BOC exam. If you’re nervous, don’t worry, that’s normal!

The first thing I had to remind myself was that, in actuality, the past 3 years in my AT program I have been studying for the exam. Everything I learned in classes and in the clinic have prepared me for the BOC exam and the professional world. Therefore, I collected past notes, exams and lab papers. Luckily, most of my documents were already organized into a very large binder – my athletic training “hero,” as I like to call it. I began there by reading and reviewing all that I had collected.

Another tool I used was Principles of Athletic Training – A Competency Based Approach by William E. Prentice. This was the first athletic training book I purchased when I started my athletic training program. I used it for reference throughout my time as an undergraduate, and I still continue to use it as an AT. With this book, I decided to start from the very beginning and read or scan through it from cover to cover and make note of concepts and topics I wasn’t comfortable with. Afterwards, I went back through and spent time reviewing and studying those topics more in depth until I felt confident with them.

I did also find it very helpful to utilize the sample exam questions and exam development and scoring from the BOC website. They offer 25 sample exam questions formatted in the exact way you will see them on the real exam. This was especially helpful because I felt more prepared knowing what to expect, including all the question formats, buttons to click for going to the next question, and answering the question or flagging the question to come back to at a later time. Find these and other BOC study tools here:

I dedicated about a week of study time to reading and reviewing the NATA Position Statements and Code of Ethics. These are important to know not only for the exam but for your future career as an AT.

NATA Position Statements:

NATA Code of Ethics:

When it comes down to it, everyone learns and studies differently. This is what worked for me, and I hope it gives you an idea of how you want to study for your own exam. Good luck!

About the Author

Elishia Jackson is originally from the small town of Orting in Washington State. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training with a minor in Coaching from Eastern Washington University in 2015. Jackson has experience with athletic training at the collegiate level (NCAA and NAIA), and high school level. Her passion for athletic training stemmed from her time as a junior level Olympic gymnast. Jackson suffered multiple injuries including a career ending neck injury. She believes working in the athletic training profession is a way to help others achieve their goals and dreams. In the future, she hopes to be able to enter back into the world of gymnastics as an Athletic Trainer.

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