How to be ready for the CBIS Exam!

There are a few ways you can prepare for the CBIS exam – you can do self-study with The Essential Brain Injury Guide 5.0 (the CBIS textbook/reference), OR you can attend a CBIS training session with a Certified Brain Injury Specialist Trainer (CBIST). 

So you have studied and even taken a CBIS course, but what to expect now? 

In order to take the CBIS exam, your application has to be approved by the ACBIS – you can’t take the exam in the online ACBIS portal until you get the seal of approval from them.  You can check your applications status either in the ACBIS application portal, or by emailing

The ACBIS now utilizes an automated proctoring system so you can take the exam whenever you feel ready – keep in mind though that if you take the exam at night or on a weekend, you’re going to have to wait until the next business day to get any type of assistance in the event there’s a technical hiccup.  In the ACBIS portal, there’s instructions on how to check and prepare your computer to make sure everything is going to work well when you’re testing

Need to take a review course? Check out – the Certified Brain Injury Specialist live course AND Exam!

Who is eligible to take the exam?

  • Applicants must have had 500 hours of currently verifiable direct contact experience with people with brain injury.  Experience can be paid employment and/or academic internship.
  • Qualifying experience must include formal supervision or have been conducted while the applicant operated under a professional license.
  • Volunteer work and other personal experience does not qualify.
  • Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent.

How does the exam work? 

The exam is 70 questions, multiple choice with 5 possible options.  Be sure to read each question carefully as there can be some tricky language such as “except”, “all of the above”, “none of the above”, and “A and B ONLY”.  You must achieve 80% or above on the exam to obtain your CBIS credential.

Still have questions? Have a look at our CBIS FAQ page!

How long should I study for the CBIS exam?

This is a question that we get often, but that there isn’t a direct answer for… Do some self-reflection and see how you learn best.  Think back to the last time you had to study for an exam in college – did you notice yourself re-writing your notes or making your own outline?  Did you use a highlighter and post-it flags?  Did you repeat stuff aloud as you were reading it?  If you feel you’re more of a ‘visual’ learner, you may find yourself using highlighters and rewriting the outline to structure things so it makes more sense to you. 

People who take a CBIS course will also connect with others in the class and form study groups – it’s never a bad idea to get to know your fellow participants!  There’s no prescribed amount of time it takes to prepare – again, you have to think back to the last time you were in college and how long it took you to feel prepared for your classes, assignments, and exams. 

If you took a prep course, it’s a good idea to schedule the exam within 2-3 weeks of the end of course so the information is still fresh in your mind.  Taking time to prepare is good, but taking too much time can blur all of that good info you’ve got stored in your noggin.  

Are there any resources to help me take the CBIS exam or prepare?


ARC Seminars offers a 2 day, 13 hour long exam prep course that comes with a variety of resources, study guides, and as well as access to an experienced CBIST who can help you navigate preparing for, and obtaining your CBIS credential.  

The CBIS prep course has a live and a self-paced version – so whatever your study style, we have something for you! Have a closer look right here – CBIS Training course & Exam

You can also find a Facebook Group with lots of CBIS and CBIS hopefuls, where you can ask questions, get study tips, and discuss clinical situations with other neuro peers! Check it out right here!

You can contact us below if you have any more questions, or reach out to Good luck!

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