Get to Know the BOC Exam

The purpose of this post is to provide an overview of the BOC athletic training exam, how the exam is structured, and tips for passing. If you’re preparing for a BOC exam, you can check this out or save it for later when you’re ready to take the exam.

The BOC Exam: A Quick Overview

A certification program for athletic trainers was established by the Board of Certification, Inc., or BOC, in 1989. As part of its mission, the BOC sets and reviews standards in the athletic training field, introducing updates periodically.

Additionally, the BOC is the only organization that offers an accredited certification program for athletic trainers in the United States, the BOC athletic training exam.

Here are some key points about the BOC exam:

  • A student must be enrolled in or have completed a CAATE-accredited athletic training program to take the BOC certification
  • The director of the program must confirm that the student is enrolled in the program before the student can apply for the exam
  • Students who have graduated can either submit a director’s confirmation or an official transcript demonstrating their degree completion
  • As part of the International Arrangements, students who have been certified by the Canadian Athletic Therapists Association (CATA) or the Athletic Rehabilitation Therapy Ireland (ARTI) are also eligible to take the BOC exam. As of late 2021, the British Association of Sports Rehabilitators (BASRaT) has a provisional acceptance. Athletic Trainers who hold the ATC certification may also sit for the qualifying exams of the CATA and ARTI. 

Test Structure of the BOC Exam

Students should be well-versed in the structure of the BOC exam, everything that will be covered, and how they can prepare for it.

Approximately 175 questions will be asked within the four-hour examination period, covering material and diverse topics that fall under the following categories:

  • Injury/Illness Prevention and Wellness Protection
  • Clinical Evaluation and Diagnosis
  • Immediate and Emergency Care
  • Treatment and Rehabilitation
  • Organization and Professional Health and Wellbeing

A question’s point value varies depending on the weight assigned to a particular content area, as well as the number of questions within that content area. There are multiple types of questions, including drag and drop, multiple-choice, multi-select, hot spot, and others.

The BOC exam scores range from 200 to 800. A minimum score of 500 is required to pass the test and become a BOC-certified athletic trainer.

Tips for Passing the BOC Exam

Your athletic training program will provide you with the best preparation for the BOC exam and your ultimate career as an athletic trainer. However, there are a variety of ways you can prepare for your certification exam so you’ll be ready.


In order to prepare effectively for any major exam, using study materials created by experts in the field who are familiar with the test is essential.

Using quality practice exams and study guides in preparation for the BOC athletic training exam will:

  • Assess your knowledge of specific exam domains
  • Improve your understanding of the format of the BOC exam
  • Measure your performance for the upcoming BOC exam


In addition to practice exams and study guides on ATStudy Buddy, students preparing for their BOC certification can find a wealth of resources online. Several organizations and websites provide these materials, but you will find some of the best resources on the BOC site. They provide:

  • An exam reference list
  • Practice analysis
  • Information on exam development and scoring

Take the time to visit their website so that you can prepare fully for your upcoming test.


Since you cannot take the BOC exam until you are in your final semester or have graduated from an athletic training program, you have plenty of time to prepare. Taking copious notes in class and using BOC study guides and practice tests to cross-reference information you are learning can help you prepare for the actual exam years in advance.

Your instruction and notes will still be the foundation of your studying if you are getting close to taking the BOC exam. Stay focused and you won’t have a problem.


Last but not least, remember to take care of yourself. Doing the best you can on the BOC exam is not enough if you are cramming the night before.

Prepare early, then relax. You will do well on the exam if you have taken the right steps. Good luck!

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