Response Class v. Behavior Repertoire 

Response class and behavior repertoire are two terms that may appear on your board certified applied behavior analysis (BCBA) qualification exam. They are simple yet often overlooked terms. 

Response Class

Response class refers to all the behaviors that serve the same function. This is regardless of whether they are perceived to be “good” or “bad.” 

For example if you want to get someone’s attention you can: Wave at them, say excuse me, throw something at them, raise your hand, tap them on the shoulder, kick them in the shin. All of these behaviors have the function of getting someone’s attention so they are all part of the same response class.

Behavior Repertoire 

Behavior repertoire refers to all the behaviors a person can do. The possibilities are endless: Throw a ball, make dinner, ride a bike, raise your hand, scratch your nose, pet a dog. Anything a person can do. Most often this term is used to refer to something a person cannot do. For example, reading is not yet in John’s behavior repertoire simply means John has not yet learned to read. 

This article is useful for registered behavior technicians (RBT) or students who are studying to become board certified behavior analysts (BCBAs). Understanding (Applied Behavior Analysis) ABA terms is critical for both being an effective ABA therapist and passing your BCBA exam


In an effort to help you study for your BCBA exam more effectively, this post is written in a “study note” form rather than as a long form blog post. 

They are my personal study notes I am sharing with you as a gift. I am spending my time studying so they are not edited. I am grateful for your understanding in overlooking the grammar! Happy Studying! 



Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2007). Applied Behavior Analysis (3rd Edition). Hoboken, NJ: Pearson Education.

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