Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx)

Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx)

This exam is consistently maintained by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) to be an accurate assessment of entry-level massage and bodywork professionals nationwide. The MBLEx will test your knowledge and skills related to various forms of bodywork and massage techniques used in the U.S. and make sure those skills are up to current practice standards.

Who is Eligible?

To be eligible to sit for this exam you must submit a completed application form, a $195 fee, and a record of your education to the FSMTB. This application will include the acknowledgment of your review of the content areas included in the exam and your experience in those areas. Your massage therapy education program should also submit their records of your completion or progress.

Applications can be made at any time online or by mail and take about five business to be fully processed and approved.

When and Where is it Taken?

Once you have submitted all the necessary information and your application has been processed, you will be sent an Authorization to Test letter. This will be sent via email with an invitation and instructions for scheduling your exam. You will be given a 90-day window to schedule and take your exam before your application expires.

This exam is administered by computer year-round at test sites all throughout the U.S. A complete list of dates, times, and locations will be provided to you so that you can choose the most convenient for you.

Special accommodations are available upon request for those who are not able to test under normal conditions.

After you have completed the scheduling process, you will receive a confirmation email including the date, time, and location of your exam appointment.

What Should I Bring?

It is crucial that you arrive at least 30 minutes early for your scheduled exam. This will allow you to have time completely check-in and be ready before the exam begins. Anyone who arrives late will not be admitted and will have to reschedule for another day, forfeiting all exam fees.

You will need to bring at least two current and valid forms of identification with you to the testing center, a primary/photo ID and a secondary ID. Both must contain your signature and full name as it appears on your application. One must also include a recent and recognizable photo.

Personal items are not permitted into the testing area. These include but are not limited to:

  • Cell phones
  • Calculators
  • Scratch paper, pencils, or study materials
  • Food or drinks

You will be dismissed and your scores voided if you have these during testing.

What is Covered?

The exam has 100 multiple choice items. You will have no more than two hours to finish. Below is a brief outline of the exam and the sections included on it.

Anatomy and Physiology (11%)

Systems structure and function, tissue injury and repair, concepts of energetic anatomy

Kinesiology (12%)

Range of motion, proprioceptors, locations and actions of muscles, components and concepts of muscles, joint structure and motion

Pathology, Contraindications, Areas of Caution, Special Population (14%)

Pathologies, areas of caution, classes of medications, contraindications, special populations

Benefits and Physiology Effect of Techniques that Manipulate Soft Tissue (15%)

Soft tissue techniques, hot/cold applications, aspects and benefits of touch

Client Assessment, Reassessment, and Treatment Planning (17%)

Written data collection, visual assessment, clinical reasoning, client consultation and evaluations, an organization of massage/bodywork session

Ethics, Boundaries, Laws and Regulations (16%)

Ethical behavior, dual relationships, principles, confidentiality, scope of practice, professional boundaries, code of ethics violations, professional communication, massage/bodywork laws and regulations

Guidelines for Professional Practice (15%)

Safety practices, therapist hygiene and care, draping, business practices, healthcare and business terminology, use of equipment

You are not allowed to skip or return to questions.

How is it Scored?

You will receive your unofficial score report at the testing site once you have completed your exam. FSMTB will send out copies of your results to the state board or agency you indicated on your application within 24 hours. You may purchase additional copies for yourself and/or others after if you would like.

Your score will indicate your pass/fail status according to the present passing standard at the time. As the exam is continuously being evaluated and changed, this passing score does as well.

Retakes are available after 30 days if you do not pass. You will have to submit another application and fee to do so.

How Can I Prepare for the MBLEX Test?

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!


Last Updated: July 31, 2019