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Proven NCE 3-step Practice Formula

After our 100.000+ users' success stories, we developed a 3-step strategy to provide you with the most precise and in-depth learning path while minimizing your prep time.

NCE Diagnostic Test

First, take this short test and get your detailed report showing your strong and weak areas. Save your time by concentrating on what is in demand.


With quick, bite-sized learning techniques and a detailed study guide for each NCE section, you can really strengthen your weakness (on step 1) and boost your scores.

NCE Full Test

The last step for your preparation is taking our full NCE practice tests and see how far you've come since the beginning. Repeat the 3-step formula until you satisfy with your results!
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What You Get

All-in-one platform

A complete NCE Prep Platform, including a diagnostic test, detailed study guides for all topics, practice questions with step-by-step explanations, and various full simulator tests.

Questions nearly identical to those in the real test

All questions are categorized into the specific sections as on the real NCE: Same format & same difficulty!

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Easily & quickly grasp all the knowledge with our unique learning technique. And you can learn anytime, anywhere on any devices, even with a few free minutes.

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NCE Test Comprehensive Guide [2024 Updated]

The NCE was initially utilized in 1983 as a component of the NCC application process, and it is still being regularly reviewed and improved to guarantee that it accurately reflects the state of practice and research in the counseling field today. Let us help you find out all the information about this test.

What is the NCE?

The National Counselor Examination (NCE), which consists of 200 questions and uses a multiple-choice format, is designed to examine candidates' knowledge, abilities, and skills in areas that have been determined to be essential for the effective delivery of counseling services. The NCE is required for licensure as a counselor in a number of states. It is also one of the two tests you can take to become a National Certified Counselor (NCC). It may also be accepted by military health systems to become a recognized provider.

What is on the NCE?

You must be aware of the material to study in order to be ready for the national counselor examination. The NCE assesses theoretical and practical knowledge in eight areas that the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) has identified as being particularly important.

  • Professional Practice and Ethics (accounts for 12%)
  • Intake, Assessment, and Diagnosis (accounts for 12%)
  • Areas of Clinical Focus (accounts for 29%)
  • Treatment Planning (accounts for 9%)
  • Counseling Skills and Interventions (accounts for 30%)
  • Core Counseling Attributes (accounts for 8%)

Only 160 of these 200 questions will be assessed, but they will all count toward your total score. Forty test questions are now being assessed for possible use in future examinations; however, their grades will not be included in the overall test grade. The questions on the exam are selected at random from the NCE item pool; nevertheless, the several exam formats will each have a unique set of questions.

The exam, which is administered on paper, must be completed by the candidates within three hours and forty-five minutes.

NCE Exam Costs

The NCE costs $275.

Application Process and Fee Payment

Before you may sit for the NCE exam, you must first apply. The NBCC's website is the best place to do this. In order to apply, you must fill out the application form, provide proof of your education, and verify your job experience. The NBCC will assess your candidacy and let you know whether you're eligible to take the test after you've submitted your application.

The $275 application fee must be paid immediately after submitting your application. VISA, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted on the NBCC's website. Wait at least a month after paying the fee for a response. The cost is non-refundable and non-transferable, so be aware of that.

Re-Registration Fees

Changing the date of a test might be difficult, but what if you need to do so? In order to postpone your test, you must tell the NBCC as soon as possible. Rearranging your NCE more than 30 days in advance of the original exam date saves you from paying an additional charge. Within 1 month after your original registration, however, you must pay a $150 re-registration charge.

Costs of Test Preparation

It's possible that you've already begun planning your NCE preparations, in addition to paying for it. Keep in mind that if you decide to use expensive study materials to prepare for the test, you may incur additional expenses beyond the test price.

The majority of experts suggest that applicants use at least one test prep or study help tool. They're not, though. What works best for you depends on how you study and how much money you have to work with. On its website, the NCE provides a selection of items that they believe are worthy of your consideration.

NCE Registration and Application

A student must first apply before they may sign up for the NCE. Making a ProCounselor account on the NBCC website is the first step in this procedure. The NBCC will often utilize this portal to get in touch with you.

You will need this account to submit your NCE application as well. You will need to fill out personal information and provide or upload supporting paperwork to show that you have complied with the certification criteria. This entails graduate-level study in nine different subject areas, a professional recommendation from an authority figure, and sometimes even supervision and practice time. The NBCC wants to make sure that you meet the requirements for education and experience in order to be certified.

Next, in order to submit the application, you must pay the application cost. The majority of credit cards, including VISA, MasterCard, and American Express, may be used to pay for this. This charge is not transferable or refundable.

You will then get a link from the NBCC to sign up for an exam via Pearson VUE, the company that manages the testing facilities. You have to be aware of the examination times and Pearson VUE locations. Typically, testing takes place in April or October.

Our NCE Application features

Free Practice Questions: 500+ FREE NCE practice questions with detailed explanations are available for all of the required skills. All you need to pass your recruitment test is available here.

NCE Practice Tests Based On Real Tests: Same number of questions, same time limits, same structure. The exam simulators let you familiarize yourself with the test format and get totally ready for the real one.

No Sign-Up Or Login Required: All of your progress is saved without an account, even if you close your browser. But login can sync your data between web and mobile applications.

Gamification: The learning process will be divided into small milestones. Let’s make your studying exciting as if you were in some interesting games.

Personal Study Plan: Just enter your NCE test date, and a study plan will be set up for you. A clear schedule will surely exceed your expectation and get you the best preparation for the reading shot.

3 Interesting Test Modes: 3 different test modes with increased difficulty levels let you experience the NCE practice test in various ways.

Dark Mode: Experience a dark theme that is more friendly to your eyes, and get a whole new and marvelous experience.

No Internet Required: Study on the go conveniently without any Internet connection. 

NCE Test Bank:  3 features: Weak/ Medium/ Strong questions help you clearly determine which area you should pay more attention to.

Accommodations Available for the NCE

There are 200 multiple-choice questions on the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE), but only 160 are scored. Most candidates have 3 hours and 45 minutes to finish the test.

But what happens if a candidate has a handicap or other specific circumstances that prevent them from taking this test? What accommodations may be made for them? The National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) does, in fact, provide exam accommodations such as more time, scribes, and assistive technology so long as they are requested in advance and approved.

Who is Eligible?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates that the National Board for Citizens with Disabilities (NBCC) must make good on its pledge to assist disabled candidates in any manner it can. The following are some of the reasons listed by the NBCC as to why accommodations are required:

  • Disabilities related to a candidate's physical or sensory experience that make it difficult for them to complete the NCE under regular testing settings
  • People who have been informed that they suffer from emotional difficulties or learning deficiencies
  • Candidates who speak English as a second or another language in addition to their native tongue 
  • Candidates who are unable to sit the examination on a Saturday due to religious obligations

How Do I Request Test Accommodations?

Applicants who believe they need unique testing arrangements are required to make the appropriate requests when they register for the program. According to the requirements outlined by the NBCC, these requests have to be submitted at least 45 days before the test. After enrolling, potential candidates need to submit all the required documentation, which must be printed on official letterhead and signed by the appropriate person/authority. 

Additionally, remember that you may postpone your test date for any reason, whether this is to get the accommodation papers in on time or to allow yourself more time to study. There is no penalty for rescheduling your test more than 30 days before your scheduled exam date if you inform the NBCC. In order to postpone your test within 30 days of the original date, you will have to pay a $150 reregistration fee.

NCE Scoring

200 multiple-choice questions make up the NCE. While you have 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete them all, not all of them will get a grade. The NCE includes 40 ungraded questions that will be used to try out a new exam. Your score will not be affected by those questions, thus the most you may get on the NCE is 160.

If you obtain a score of 160 on the NCE, it signifies that you answered every single multiple-choice question with the right response. Therefore, if your score isn't flawless, don't be disheartened since it seldom ever occurs. You only need to get the exam's cutoff score. What is the cutoff score then? Unfortunately, there isn't just one number employed.

A panel of experts who take into account the test's complexity and length determine the minimum score required to pass for each variant. This scoring approach, sometimes referred to as the modified Angoff technique, aims to guarantee that each test receives an equitable score.

After you take exams, you should have your results in about eight weeks. Using the same account you used to register, you may access them. You will need to complete a separate form seeking score confirmation if you succeeded and have to send these scores to your state's licensing authority. You may anticipate the procedure to take approximately 4 weeks after your purchase for this service clears.

Retaking the NCE

The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) is in charge of the administration of the National Counselor Examination (NCE), which evaluates candidates based on their knowledge and ability to provide counseling services in a way that is both appropriate and safe. Therefore, taking this test is essential for you if you want to work in the counseling field.

However, what are the consequences if you are not successful in the test? It's quite OK; the NBCC does not necessarily expect that the first attempt will be successful for everyone. 

Test Attempts

According to a basic rule established by the NBCC, applicants have the opportunity to repeat the National Counselor Examination up to two times with each application.

The Procedure for Re-Registration

Along with your score, the NBCC also gives you guidance on how to re-register for the exam if your previous testing session was unsuccessful. Simply sign in to your account on the NBCC website, go to the page titled "My Open Applications," and then click the "Re Register" option. After that, you can sign up for the subsequent exam that is being provided. When you do this, you will be asked to pay a re-registration fee each time.

Remember you don’t need to sign up for the subsequent exam right away. It's possible that you need some space and time to think about your options, or just take it easy for a while. You can retake the examination at any point within the validity term of your first application, which is 2 years. However, the test is only administered twice a year, in April and October.

You won't get away from having to take the exam more than once. If you don't pass that exam as well, you will have one more chance to be automatically reregistered if you meet the requirements.

If you need to take the examination more than three times, you will be required to resubmit the application. To do this, you will need to provide all of the proof required to demonstrate that you meet the requirements for your education and work experience. Before you are permitted to register for an extra test date, you are required to make a complete payment of the application cost, which is $275.

Preparing for the NCE

It might be intimidating to take the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE). After all, one of the qualifications to become a National Certified Counselor is passing an exam. The NCE need not be so scary, however, if you are well prepared. Let's go through each stage of test preparation, from signing up until test day.

Months Ahead: Studying

The greatest thing to do now that you've registered is to study. Speak to others who have already passed the test, get acquainted with the syllabus and requirements, and attempt sample or practice questions. Purchasing tools or courses for exam preparation may also be a smart move. These are often expensive, but they may also be quite beneficial.

Study the approach that suits you the most throughout this period. Maintaining good physical and mental health is important, so relax while you're studying. These are also useful for the test.

The Preceding Weeks

There are one to two weeks till the test date. You should get a letter from the NBCC admitting you to the exam around 10 days before the examination. This will include information on where to travel and what to pack. If you don't get this letter, get in touch with the NBCC right once to find out when your exam is scheduled.

During this period, keep studying, but don't go overboard. Although studying all night may weary your body and mind and increase your risk of disease, this exam is crucial. Take some time to visit the exam facility if you need to de-stress before the test day. In addition to helping you feel less intimidated, seeing the testing location beforehand will give you an idea of how long it will take to get there and guarantee that you won't get lost trying to locate it on the day of the exam.

The Big Day

Ensure you have a hearty meal and drink enough water on the test day. Ensure you have all you'll need before heading to the exam. Here is a little list to think about:

  • 2 possible pieces of identification are required, one of which must have a picture. These must be signed with the same name as the registration form. As long as they are current, a driver's license, state ID, military ID, or passport qualify as acceptable forms of identification. Employee IDs and student IDs are not acceptable forms of identification since they are seen as transient.
  • Bring the letter of acceptance for the test you got ten days ago. You need to have your NBCC ID number in order to take the test, which is included in this.
  • Writing implements will be provided by the testing center. These don't need to be supplied by you.

Make an effort to be at the testing site a bit early. While not required, doing so helps ease tension and guarantees that you won't be running late due to unanticipated traffic. Candidates will not be permitted to enter the testing site or take the exam if they arrive more than 15 minutes after the time specified on their acceptance letter.

Above is all the related information about the NCE exam and certification, which can be beneficial for you during the process of preparing for this test. Though it is a challenging exam, we believe all your effort will deserve a high outcome.