When researching occupational therapy schools to apply to, one factor to consider is the NBCOT® Exam pass rates.
After students complete an occupational therapy program (Master’s MSOT or Doctorate OTD) they become eligible to sit for the certification exam. *PhD candidates do not need to sit for the board exam.
Unlike other countries for entry-level occupational therapists, in the United States, students need to pass the OT board exam to be able to practice.
After passing the NBCOT® Exam for occupational therapy or occupational therapy assistant, new grads may use the OTR designation and COTA designation, respectively.
You may sometimes see OTR/L. The L is for licensed — licensure by the state which includes some steps such as background backs and verification. This is just an application process and does not require additional examination like you do to obtain the R for the NBCOT® exam.
While there are many variables and factors that affect the outcome and the actual NBCOT® pass rates of students based on the school, it is an indicator in general of how well a school may be preparing its students for the board exam.
Each school publishes these scores to the NBCOT® every year, based on the type of degree earned.
Check out this page (Scroll down to School Performance) to view the most recent scores to help you decide which occupational therapy school you should apply to.