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So You Missed the Deadline to Apply for the IBCLC Exam, Now What?

Confused about what to do after you missed the deadline to apply for the IBLCE exam?

IBLCE® offers the certification exam only twice a year in the United States. (And only once a year in some other locations.) Like many others, you might not have realized that applications for the exam are due months before the actual exam date. If you missed the deadline to apply for the IBCLC exam this time, what should you be doing now?

Stay on top of dates for the next window

Familiarize yourself with the IBLCE site and the key dates for upcoming exams and application deadlines. In the past, the application deadline has been in mid-May for the October test, and mid-November for the April test.

Have your eligibility criteria completed

If you haven’t already, make sure you have your 14 health sciences subjects completed according to the requirements.

Be sure to have your 95 hours of lactation specific education. You still have plenty of time to complete those hours with a comprehensive course if you haven’t already done so, or if you’re already halfway completed, you can earn the other 45 hours with our Step Up program.

Complete your lactation specific clinical experience according to pathway requirements. This can vary greatly person to person, so be sure to determine which pathway is the best fit for you, and what you need to do. Some of you will be able to complete the clinical experience before the upcoming November deadline. Some might not.

I’ve found that some people have missed the deadline because they thought they needed to complete their requirements before they sat for the exam, rather than before they apply for the exam. Nope! Don’t get tripped up on that. Get your stuff completed before you apply in November if you wish to sit for the exam in April.

Be prepared with what you’ll need for the next application period

Have a checklist with all of the information you’ll need in order to complete the application. Have a file with all of the necessary certificates and have your documentation ready. You don’t want to be scrambling at the last minute to get everything together.

Find an accountability partner

If you missed the deadline a few days ago, it still stings, I’m sure. Try not beat yourself up. However, make sure you don’t let it happen again.

It’s easy to procrastinate and put things off when you’re only answering to yourself. Just like finding a workout buddy for the gym, or a pacing partner on a sales team, you and your accountability partner will both do better because you have the same goal. I’ve explained much more about how an accountability partner will help you stay on task and complete steps in accomplishing your goal.

Start studying

Once you’ve completed your application requirements, use your quiet time to start reviewing your study material! I you’re like me, you probably underestimate the amount of time you’ll need for any given task. So, give yourself time.

You may have missed the deadline to apply for the IBCLC exam this cycle, but don’t let it derail you from achieving your goal. Whatever the reason you did not submit your application, you can move forward and be ready for the next window!

Did you recently miss the deadline for the application to apply for the IBCLC exam? Is there anything I can do to help you prepare for the next deadline? Tell me in the comments section below!

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    • Marie Biancuzzo

      Oh yes, yes, Kim, and thank you for asking! That is a frequent misunderstanding. Yes, yes you must have ALL of your requirements completed before you APPLY for the exam. You sit for the exam about 5 months later. I harp on that a lot, but I sure didn’t say so here! Before you go too much farther, check out this checklist I’ve prepared, and also, sign up for my free webinar, Steps To Becoming an IBCLC. I offer it live so that people can ask questions, because so many people get confused with the requirements. I hate to see people get blind sided. Thanks again for your comment!

  1. Kim

    So I’m thinking about taking your in person course in November 2019, but no dates are posted for 2020 test yet. Will that course be done in time to register for April 2020 test?

    • Marie Biancuzzo

      Fabulous choice! There is no substitute for an in-person course. The whole experience is so enriching. Oh, I could go on and on…but you asked about registration. Yes, late last week, our project manager was just finishing the details. But I can tell you, with certainty, that the live course in Baltimore (at the airport) will be the week of October 14, and the one in Dallas is the week of November 4. The one in Orlando FL is the week of of March 16. At the moment, I am away from the office, but I am fairly certain of the dates. We should have registration open very, very soon. Here are what some others said about the course. It’s a 4-day live hitch, followed by our highly acclaimed Picture Perfect seminar on the fifth day, which nearly everyone signs up for (because there are so many photos on the IBLCE Exam.) I’m glad you’re thinking ahead. Please call the office 703-787-9894 if we can help you.

    • Marie Biancuzzo

      Oh, sorry, I was moving too fast there.I didn’t answer your question. YES, you’ll need to complete the 90 hour course, your clinical hours, and (perhaps) your healthcare science courses. Please read the post on checklist for being ready. I don’t know if the IBLCE has posted it yet, but typically, their application deadline is November 15 (for the April exam) and if you complete the course Dallas, you’ll be set, with a few days to spare! Thanks for the question.

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