About the National Counseling Exam (NCE)

National Counselor Examination

The National Counselor Examination (NCE) is a 200 question multiple choice exam. The NCE is a requirement for counseling licensure in many states, including Connecticut. The NCE measures a candidate's knowledge and understanding of theory and skill-based tenants of counseling necessary to successful, safe and ethical practice. The exam’s development is based upon a national job analysis of more than 16,000 credentialed counselors identifying empirically validated work behaviors determined to be most relevant for competent counseling practice.

UConn has structured the content of the courses, and the plan of study to prepare you to pass the NCE. The following eight CACREP content domains are the basis for the questions:

  • Human growth and development
  • Social and cultural diversity
  • Counseling and helping relationships
  • Group counseling and group work
  • Career counseling
  • Assessment and testing
  • Research and program evaluation
  • Professional counseling orientation and ethical practice

Upon successful passing the NCE, candidates become a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC), counselors are considered board certified and able to offer the highest level and standards of practice because they have met strict education, supervision, and ethical requirements. The NCC certification allows individuals to have access to low-cost liability insurance, the ability to advocate a national level for systemic change in counseling practice and profession and much more. Please see the following website for more information about the benefits of the NCC certification:

Links to more information on the NCE

Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam (CPCE)

The Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) is an evaluation tool that assesses students’ competence of foundational, counseling-related knowledge. The CPCE is designed to assess students who have completed graduate-level courses; courses that are grounded primarily in a counseling curriculum. Because of the depth and breadth of the tool to evaluate an individual’s academic training, the CPCE parallels the nationally recognized standards published by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

The CPCE is widely used to assess counseling curriculum strengths and opportunities for improvement. CPCE scores are reported based on the core areas of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) to help students study and prepare for the National Counselor Examination (NCE).

The CPCE covers the eight Council for the Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) common-core areas as defined by their Standards for Preparation: 

  • Assessment and Testing 
  • Career Development 
  • Counseling and Helping Relationships 
  • Group Counseling and Group Work 
  • Human Growth and Development 
  • Professional Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice 
  • Research and Program Evaluation 
  • Social and Cultural Diversity 

Links to more information on the CPCE

Study Resources for the NCE & CPCE

Please review the websites below and consider the resources they suggest as you being your preparation for the CPCE & NCE: