Athletic Training Board of Certification (BOC) Exam

A career as an athletic trainer will have you working side-by-side with physicians, helping athletes take care of their bodies to ensure they can perform at optimal levels.

As aspiring trainers, you must prove you have acquired all necessary skills before you can start helping athletes prevent injuries or assist with rehabilitation. Up-and-coming athletic trainers must pass the Athletic Training Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC) exam before they can get to work.

Learn everything there is to know about the exam here.

What is the Athletic Training BOC exam?

The non-profit credentialing agency, BOC, offers a certification program for entry-level athletic trainers. The agency sets the standards for athletic trainers, as well as the continuing education requirements for trainers.

The computer-based exam tests individuals on their knowledge, skills, and abilities required to practice as athletic trainers. The content of the exam is based on the current Practice Analysis, 7th Edition (PA7).

Who is eligible to take the exam?

Students in their last semesters before graduation and graduates from Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE)-accredited programs may take the exam.

Athletic Rehabilitation Therapy Ireland (ARTI) and Canadian Athletic Therapists Association (CATA) certified individuals also may take the exam.

What is the content of the exam?

Individuals have four hours to complete the 175-question test. Candidates are permitted to move forward and back to question throughout the exam, which contains standalone and focused scenario questions called “testlets.”

Standalone questions include multiple-choice, multi-select, drag and drop, and hotspot items. Focused “testlet” questions include scenarios followed by up to five questions related to the provided situation.

Individuals will be evaluated in the following content areas:

  • Injury and illness prevention and wellness promotion – 19.8% of questions
  • Examination, Assessment, and Diagnosis – 24.3% of questions
  • Immediate and emergency care – 15.5% of questions
  • Therapeutic intervention – 27.4% of questions
  • Healthcare administration and professional responsibility – 13% of questions

Where can you take the test?

The exam, which only available in English, is offered at testing centers throughout the US, Canada, and Ireland. Candidates must register using BOC Central.

How much does the test cost?

Individuals must pay non-refundable one-time fees to take the test. The cost is $35 for National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) members and $60 for non-members.

The exam fee is $330 for those taking the test for the first time and those re-taking it. The exam fee is $430 for ARTI members taking the test for the first and those re-taking it.

National and international individuals re-taking the exams during their one-year eligibility period do not have to pay application fees.

Since the exam is recognized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans may be entitled to exam fee reimbursements.

What do you need to bring on test day?

Test takers must bring test center confirmation emails, as well as valid, government-issued photo IDs, such as state driver’s licenses or passports, on exam days.

The names on the IDs must match exactly to test rosters. If your ID does not match the test roster, you won’t be permitted to take the exam.

What items are prohibited during the test?

When you log into the exam, you must agree to a candidate attestation statement. Doing so means you agree to specific standards and conditions, such as not cheating or helping others during the exam.

Agreeing to the statement means you will not bring electronic devices, including smartphones, cameras, and other equipment that photograph or copy testing materials, into the exam room.

Others devices, including calculators, mp3 players, tablets, and personal computers, as well as notes, dictionaries, and other similar items, also cannot be used.

Food and drinks, as well as personal items, such as backpacks, purses, jackets, and other outerwear that has pockets, are prohibited. Those who bring any of the above items must turn them over to test proctors.

When are scores reported?

Within two to four weeks from the last day of the exam window, results are posted to candidates’ profiles in BOC Central, which is the agency’s online test registration portal. After results are posted, test takers receive emails that contain directions for accessing their scores online.

What score do you need to pass the Athletic Training exam?

A passing score is 500.

How Can I Prepare for the Athletic Training Exam?

That’s a great question.  We’ve broken down the answer into three parts.

  1. Do yourself a favor and study.  Do not walk in unprepared. We have recommended prep materials below, but that only helps if you actually try.  Plus, studying is actually proven to be the best antidote to test anxiety.
  2. Take care of yourself.  Make sure you’re eating well, exercising, and sleeping.  All of these things are scientifically linked to brain performance.  If you take care of your body, you’ll be helping your grades.
  3. Get a study guide or set of flashcards.  Some people study better a certain way. Find your study strengths and make the most of them.  We’ve tried to make it easy for you by tracking down the best study guide and flashcard set for your exam.  Below you’ll see links to both!

Study Guide



Last Updated: June 21, 2021