Entrance Exams

NCE (National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification)

A standardized test termed the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) is given in the US to evaluate the knowledge and abilities of people aspiring to become certified professional counselors. The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), a nonprofit that is heavily involved in the regulation and licensing of counseling professions, is responsible for conducting this exam.

Here are things you should know about NCE (National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification)



  • Ensuring that those entering the counseling profession possess a basic level of competence and knowledge is the main goal of the NCE.
    Its purpose is to evaluate an applicant’s understanding of several facets of counseling theory, practice, and ethics.


  • Typically, candidates must have finished a master’s or doctoral degree in counseling or a comparable subject in order to be eligible to take the NCE.
  • States may have different eligibility requirements, consequently candidates should confirm the precise requirements with their state licensing board.


  • Human growth and development, social and cultural diversity, helping relationships, group work, assessment and testing, research and program evaluation, and professional ethics are just a few of the themes that are covered in the NCE on topics pertaining to the counseling profession.
  • It assesses comprehension of counseling theories as well as how well these theories are used in practical counseling settings.


  • There are 200 multiple-choice questions in the computer-based National Certificate of Education (NCE).
  • Usually, Pearson VUE testing centers around the US administer it.


  • The NCE is graded from 0 to 100, with the state licensing board deciding what constitutes a passing score. Different states may have different requirements for passing.
    The candidates do not receive a numerical score; instead, the scores are reported as pass or fail.


  • A state license to operate as a professional counselor is frequently contingent upon passing the NCE.
  • The NCE is required in several states for people pursuing certification and licensure.

Study Resources:

  • Candidates frequently use a variety of study methods, such as self-study, review courses, and study guides, to be ready for the NCE.
  • Candidates can get official exam preparation materials and tools from the NBCC.

Continuing Education:

  • Professional counselors frequently need to participate in continuing education and professional development after receiving their licenses in order to keep their qualifications.

Exam Date

For the purpose of national certification, NBCC currently administers the National Counselor Examination (NCE) and the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) twice a year, in April and October. The NCE is either administered through Pearson VUE test centers or on participating college campuses. All NCMHCE exams are administered through Pearson VUE. All exams administered through Pearson VUE are available during a month-long window and exams administered on campus are given on the established national exam date.

Strategies for Preparation

Understanding the Format of the Test

Gaining a thorough understanding of the format and format of the test is the first step towards preparing for the NCE. There are 200 multiple-choice questions on the NCE, and you have three hours and forty-five minutes to do it. Out of the 200 questions on the exam, 40 are not scored and are only being field-tested for future tests. As a result, 160 is the highest possible NCE score on the test.

Understanding Studying Behaviors

Just knowing how to study is the final thing a candidate needs to know. By now, you probably have a good understanding of what works and what doesn’t for you in terms of academic progress. Just in case you forgot

Understanding Test Prep Options

You can now concentrate your studies on these 13 topics. Fortunately for you, you don’t necessarily need to handle this by yourself. You can think about taking use of a number of test-prep programs and tools to help you with your study. Making use of at least some of these resources is advised by the NBCC.

Understanding the Test Content

Finding out what will be on the examination is the next stage in preparing for the NCE exam. Thirteen domains, or subjects, will comprise the 200 questions on the NCE. The Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) has identified eight of these topics as critical knowledge areas. NCE (National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification)

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Related Article


For those wanting to become licensed and certified professional counselors in the US, the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) is an essential evaluation. It verifies that they conform to a minimum standard of competence and moral behavior by testing their knowledge and abilities in a variety of counseling-related areas. The NCE is a crucial step in the process of becoming a professional counselor because passing it is usually required in order to receive state licensure. In order to preserve their credentials after being licensed, candidates must continue their professional growth and frequently use study materials. Sustaining the caliber and standards of the counseling profession depends heavily on the NCE.

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