The BOC exam is required for certification as an athletic trainer at the entry level. The Board of Certification, Inc. sponsors this athletic-trainer exam and certification program. It provides a number of study resources to help prepare for the BOC test.
There is a long list of references used by the BOC to create the certification exam. It is so long that you may not be able to purchase everything on the list. It is likely that there is a great deal of overlap in knowledge presented by all of these athletic-trainer textbooks and reference materials. Below, you will see some tips on how to handle this difficult situation.
First, access the BOC exam reference list. You may find this from the link in the Resources at the bottom of this article. Now, if you look closely, you will see that some of the references can be grouped into general categories. For example, AAOS Emergency Care and Transportation of the Sick and Injured and Emergency Response Management for Athletic Trainers are dealing with the same general topic.
What you could do is purchase at least one reference from each of these overarching categories of topics. That way, you could start to study without spending an arm and a leg to start getting ready for the BOC exam.
Now, once you think you have studied all the major categories, you can test yourself with some free BOC sample questions. These are also linked to in the Resources below.
Do that practice test to get an idea if you are even close to having the knowledge necessary to pass the BOC athletic-trainer certification exam. If you are doing very well, then you know you are on track. But if you have noticeably weak areas, you may have to either buy more references or use the references you already have to shore up your weak areas in athletic training.
You could also attend an accredited course that may teach you what you need to know (provided you also study hard) to pass this certification test. The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education has a list of accredited programs. Contact the schools individually for pricing and additional information.
Note: Bear in mind that you generally must complete a course to get BOC certification as a personal trainer. However, that does not necessarily mean you will be able to pass the BOC exam. You still need to assess your readiness level with the tools provided by BOC.
Finally, before you dive in and take the actual exam, you have the option of taking some commercial BOC practice tests. As of August 2011, there are 5 online practice exams that cost $30 each. You can buy only one or as many as you like. Use the study mode if you want to get all of the correct answers, but make sure you are grading yourself as you go along. The program will not give you a score if you are in study mode.
Board of Certification: Reference List for the BOC Exam
BOC: Free Sample Test Questions
BOC: Commercial Practice Tests for Becoming a Certified BOC Athletic Trainer
BOC: Accredited Athletic Trainer Training Courses