If you are interested in becoming a licensed counselor, you will need to pass the National Counselor Exam (NCE), a standardized test that assesses your knowledge, skills, and abilities in the field of counseling. The NCE is a requirement for counselor licensure in many states, and it is also one of the options for obtaining the National Certified Counselor (NCC) credential from the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). In this blog post, we will explain what the NCE prep course is, why it is important, how to register for it, what to expect on the exam day, and how to study effectively for it.
What is the NCE?
The NCE is a 200-item multiple-choice exam that covers six domains of counseling practice:
- Professional Practice and Ethics
- Intake, Assessment, and Diagnosis
- Areas of Clinical Focus
- Treatment Planning
- Counseling Skills and Interventions
- Core Counseling Attributes
The exam is designed to measure your understanding of the core concepts and principles of counseling, as well as your ability to apply them in various scenarios and situations. The exam is based on the current reality of practice and research in the counseling profession, and it undergoes regular review and development to ensure its validity and relevance.
The NCE is administered by the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE), a subsidiary of NBCC. You can take the exam at a Pearson VUE testing center or at your home or office using OnVUE online proctoring. You have two hours to complete the exam, plus 30 minutes of administration time. The exam fee is $275, plus an application fee of $100.
Why Should You Take the NCE?
There are several reasons why you should take the NCE, such as:
– To become a licensed counselor in your state. Many states require you to pass the NCE as part of their licensure process. Check with your state board of counseling for specific requirements and regulations.
– To earn the NCC credential from NBCC. The NCC is a voluntary certification that demonstrates your commitment to excellence and professionalism in counseling. It also provides you with access to benefits such as continuing education opportunities, networking events, advocacy resources, liability insurance discounts, and more.
– To enhance your credibility and marketability as a counselor. Passing the NCE shows that you have met high standards of knowledge and competence in counseling. It also signals to employers, clients, and colleagues that you are qualified and capable of providing effective counseling services.
– To advance your career and earning potential as a counselor. Passing the NCE can open up new opportunities for career growth and development. It can also increase your salary potential, as certified counselors tend to earn more than non-certified counselors.
How to Register for the NCE?
There are two ways to register for the NCE:
- As part of the NCC application process. If you want to earn the NCC credential from NBCC, you can apply online through their website. You will need to meet certain eligibility criteria, such as having a master’s degree in counseling or a related field, completing supervised work experience, adhering to ethical standards, etc. Once your application is approved, you will receive an email with instructions on how to schedule your exam appointment.
- As part of the state licensure process. If you want to become a licensed counselor in your state, you can apply directly through CCE’s website. You will need to meet certain eligibility criteria, such as having a master’s degree in counseling or a related field, completing supervised work experience, adhering to ethical standards, etc. You will also need to submit verification of your state board’s approval to take the exam. Once your application is approved, you will receive an email with instructions on how to schedule your exam appointment.
You can register for the exam up to four months before your desired test date. You can choose between taking the exam at a Pearson VUE testing center or at your home or office using OnVUE online proctoring. You can reschedule or cancel your exam appointment up to 24 hours before your scheduled time without penalty.
What to Expect on the Exam Day?
On the day of your exam, you should arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled time if you are taking the exam at a Pearson VUE testing center or 15 minutes before if you are taking it online using OnVUE proctoring. You should bring a valid government-issued photo ID with your name and signature that matches your registration information. You should also bring your confirmation email with your registration number.
You will be asked to sign in and follow security procedures before entering the testing room or starting the online session. You will be provided with an erasable note board and a marker or an online whiteboard to use during the exam. You are not allowed to bring any personal items, such as phones, watches, calculators, books, notes, etc., into the testing room or use them during the online session. You are also not allowed to eat, drink, smoke, or take breaks during the exam.
You will have two hours to complete the exam, plus 30 minutes of administration time. The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions, of which 160 are scored and 40 are pretest questions that do not count toward your score. The questions are presented in random order and cover the six domains of counseling practice. You will be able to review and change your answers before submitting your exam.
You will receive your unofficial score report immediately after completing the exam. You will also receive your official score report by mail within four weeks of taking the exam. You need to score at least 70 out of 160 to pass the exam. If you pass the exam, you will receive your NCC certificate or your state licensure certificate by mail within six weeks of taking the exam. If you do not pass the exam, you will receive information on how to retake it.
How to Study for the NCE?
Studying for the NCE requires a lot of preparation and practice, but it is not impossible. Here are some tips to help you study effectively and ace the exam:
- Review the exam content outline and familiarize yourself with the topics and subtopics covered by the exam. You can download the full exam content outline from CCE’s website.
- Assess your current level of knowledge and identify your strengths and weaknesses. You can take a practice test or use a self-assessment tool to gauge your readiness for the exam.
- Create a study plan that suits your learning style, schedule, and goals. You can use online or offline resources, such as books, courses, flashcards, podcasts, webinars, etc., to study for the exam.
Some popular resources are:
- The Encyclopedia of Counseling: A comprehensive book that covers all the essential topics for the NCE with clear explanations and examples.
- The Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) Study Guide: A helpful guide that provides an overview of the CPCE, which is similar to the NCE in content and format, with tips, strategies, and practice questions.
- The NCE Practice Exam Bundle: A bundle of three full-length practice exams that simulate the real NCE with detailed explanations and rationales for each question.
- Practice as much as possible with mock exams, quizzes, questions banks, etc., to test your knowledge and improve your speed and accuracy. You can find many practice resources online or from CCE’s website.
- Review your results and feedback from practice tests and identify areas where you need to improve or focus more. You can also join online forums or study groups to exchange ideas, insights, and experiences with other candidates.
- Relax and rest before the exam day. Make sure you have everything you need for the exam, such as your ID, confirmation email, calculator, etc. Arrive early at the testing center or set up your online proctoring environment properly. Follow the instructions carefully and manage your time wisely during the exam.
NCE Course on Dooey
If you are looking for a comprehensive and affordable NCE course to help you ace the exam, you might want to check out dooey.org. Dooey is an online learning platform that offers a complete NCE prep course that covers all the key areas of the exam with engaging and interactive resources. Here are some of the features and benefits of the NCE course on dooey.org:
- You get access to over 1,200 practice questions, 80 lessons, 35+ videos, 530 flashcards, and a study guide.
- You can study at your own pace and convenience, with unlimited access to the course materials for one year.
- You can track your progress and performance with detailed reports and analytics.
- You can get personalized feedback and support from expert instructors and staff.
- You can join a vibrant learning community of fellow learners and exchange ideas, insights, and experiences.
The NCE is a challenging but rewarding exam that can help you become a licensed counselor and earn the NCC credential. To pass the NCE, you need to register for it, prepare for it, and take it with confidence. Studying for the NCE can be a daunting task, but with proper planning and practice, you can achieve your goal. If you are ready to take your counseling career to new heights, start preparing for the NCE today!