Key point 2 – Active Learning

Key #2: Active Learning 

The National Counselor Examination (NCE) is a pivotal milestone for counseling professionals seeking acknowledgment for their expertise in the field. Despite the exam covering a broad spectrum of topics, there are key success factors that can aid candidates in passing the exam and reaching their certification objectives. Active learning stands as one of the most vital of these keys.

Active learning involves adopting a hands-on approach to your studies, interacting closely with the material, and leveraging various resources to bolster your grasp of key principles. Adhering to the strategies discussed below can optimize your study time and enhance your likelihood of passing the NCE.

Collaborate with a Study Companion

One of the most productive ways to immerse in active learning is to collaborate with another individual who is also preparing for the exam. This could be a friend, a coworker, or even an acquaintance you meet online. The collaborative study allows you to formulate a study plan and keep each other responsible for maintaining progress. The ideal study companion would be someone whose strengths balance your weaknesses and vice versa. One practical approach is to alternate preparing and “teaching” the material to your study companion, which can deepen your understanding and consolidate your knowledge of key principles.

Participate in an Online Study Group

If a study partner is not accessible, you can participate in an online study group dedicated to the NCE. These groups can be located on platforms like LinkedIn and offer a way to connect with other exam candidates and share resources and insights. You can pose questions, discuss study strategies, and receive feedback from others who are also preparing for the exam.

Leverage a Range of Study Resources

Another crucial component of active learning is to utilize a range of study resources to reinforce your understanding of key principles. This might encompass preparation materials such as books or online courses specifically designed for the NCE. Utilizing various preparation resources ensures you gain a comprehensive perspective of the exam content.

In addition to traditional study materials, consider using active study techniques. Instead of passively reading through study materials, actively engage with the content. This could encompass strategies such as paraphrasing the material in your own words, creating flashcards, or using mnemonic devices to help you remember key principles.


Self-study also proves effective for active learning. It offers you the most flexibility in choosing focus areas. However, it’s crucial to formulate a study plan to keep yourself focused and accountable. Having a study partner to share questions and ideas can also be beneficial in this approach.

Take Practice Tests

Practice tests serve as an excellent tool to assess your knowledge and pinpoint areas requiring more study. Several online resources offer practice tests, including those provided by Ensure you review your answers and understand the rationale behind both correct and incorrect responses. This can aid you in identifying your strengths and weaknesses and adjusting your study plan accordingly.

Enroll in Formal Preparation Courses

Lastly, formal preparation courses offered by educational institutions, local network affiliations, and independent exam preparers can offer a structured approach to active learning. These courses are tailored for the NCE and can provide valuable insights and guidance regarding what to anticipate on the exam day.

Focus on Your Weaknesses

While it might seem appealing to focus on areas where you already feel confident, it’s crucial to identify and address your weaknesses. Ensure you allocate sufficient study time to these areas and leverage a range of resources to reinforce your understanding.

In conclusion, active learning is vital when preparing for the NCE. By engaging deeply with the material, using diverse resources, and focusing on areas where you require the most help, you can enhance your likelihood of passing the exam and achieving your certification objectives.