Candidate Handbook For State Credentialing

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Candidate Handbookfor State Credentialingfor the National Counselor Examination(NCE)3 Terrace WayGreensboro, NC 27403-3660Tel: 336-482-2856 Fax: * www.cce-global.orgThe Center for Credentialing & Education, Inc. (CCE) values diversity.There are no barriers to credentialing on the basis of gender, race, creed, age, sexual orientation, or national origin.Revised 04-2018, Published Online 04-2018

TABLE OF CONTENTSTAKING THE EXAMINATION.8–10About NBCCIdentificationIndependent Testing AgencySecurityNondiscrimination PolicyExamination Restrictions MisconductEligibility RequirementsCopyrighted Examination QuestionsExamination AdministrationExamination ProcessHolidaysRegistration Form ExpirationPass/Fail Score DeterminationExamination ReregistrationScores Canceled by NBCC, CCE, orPearson VUEFees and Refund PolicyIf You Pass the ExaminationIf You Do Not Pass the ExaminationTesting Center LocationsAppealing Examination Results FailingSpecial Arrangements for Candidates withDisabilitiesto Report for an ExaminationConfidentialityExamination Appointment Changes MissedScore VerificationAppointments and CancellationsInclement Weather, Power Failure,or EmergencyNCE Sample Examination QuestionsSample Questions Answer KeyPreparing for the ExaminationFOR MORE INFORMATIONAll questions and requests for information about state licensure requirements should be directed to the statecredentialing board to which you are applying. Refer to insert for state-specific information.All questions and requests for information about theNBCC examination program should be directed to:All questions and requests for information aboutexamination scheduling should be directed to:Center for Credentialing & EducationPearson VUE3 Terrace WayGreensboro, NC 274035601 Green Valley Dr.Bloomington, MN 55437Voice: 336-482-2856Fax: 336-482-2852Website: www.cce-global.orgVoice: 866-904-4432 Website:www.pearsonvue.comCopyright (C) 2015. National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. (NBCC). All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in anyform or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy or recording, or any information and retrieval system, without permission in writing from NBCC.2

INTRODUCTIONELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTSThis handbook provides information about theexamination and registration process for the NationalCounselor Examination (NCE). It outlines the design andcontent of the examination and guides candidatesthrough the examination process, from registrationthrough test taking. For your convenience, thishandbook can be downloaded from check with your state board for specificinformation about licensure application procedures andany additional requirements. If you have previouslyachieved a passing score on an NBCC examination,contact your state board to determine if you are examexempt. You may be required to apply to your stateboard prior to sitting for the NCE. Candidates may notschedule an examination with Pearson VUE until theyhave registered with CCE.ABOUT NBCCEXAMINATION ADMINISTRATIONThe National Board for Certified Counselors(NBCC) is internationally recognized as a leadingprovider of counselor credentialing examinations. All 50states, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbiaadminister NBCC examinations as part of their counselorcredentialing requirements. Based on its reputation forexcellence in the examination field, NBCC has providedconsultation services for examination and credentialdevelopment to many other organizations in the UnitedStates and abroad, including NBCC’s affiliate the Centerfor Credentialing & Education (CCE). NBCC hascontracted with CCE to oversee the examinationprocess.The examination is delivered by computer at more than900 Pearson VUE testing centers located throughoutthe United States. Generally, there are no applicationdeadlines and a candidate may submit a registrationform and fee at any time. Testing is normally during thefirst two full weeks of each month. The examination isadministered by appointment only on dates authorizedby CCE, Monday through Saturday beginning at 8 amwith the last appointment at 5:30 pm. Please contactPearson VUE for particular locations and details.Candidates are allowed three hours and 45 minutes totake the exam. Available dates will be indicated whenscheduling your examination. Candidates are scheduledon a first-come, first-served basis.INDEPENDENT TESTING AGENCYCCE has contracted with Pearson VUE to assist in theadministration and scoring of the NCE. Pearson VUE isheadquartered in suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota, withregional offices in Australia, China, Dubai, India, Japan,the United Kingdom, and the United States.HOLIDAYSExaminations are not offered on the following holidays:New Year’s DayMemorial DayIndependence Day (July 4)Labor DayThanksgiving Day and the following FridayChristmas Eve (Limited hours)Christmas DayNONDISCRIMINATION POLICYNBCC, CCE, and Pearson VUE do not discriminateagainst candidates on the basis of gender, race, creed,age, sexual orientation, or national origin.3

REGISTERING FOR AN EXAMINATIONSCHEDULING AN EXAMINATIONExaminees have the option to register online or via apaper registration form. Online registration is thepreferred method, as it requires a shorter processingtime.After you have completed the registration process andare approved to schedule your examination, you willreceive an email from Pearson VUE with your candidateID number. There are two ways to schedule anappointment for the examination:To begin the online registration process, go to and choose the“ProCounselor” tab. Candidates cannot schedule anexamination appointment with Pearson VUE untilCCE has processed their registration. Pearson willthen send email notification to registered candidateswith examination scheduling procedures.1.To request a paper registration form instead, Be aware that a paperregistration will require an extended processing time.Online scheduling is the preferred method. Touse this service: Retrieve your candidate ID number fromthe email. Go to andselect “Create Account.” Follow the simple, step-by-stepinstructions to select your examinationprogram and register for an examination.OrREGISTRATION EXPIRATION2.A candidate who fails to test within six months afterregistering with CCE forfeits the registration and all feespaid to take the examination.EXAMINATION REREGISTRATIONTelephone: Call Pearson VUE at 866-904-4432to schedule an examination appointment. Thistoll-free number is answered from 7 am to 7 pm.Central time Monday through Friday. You mayexperience extended hold times.When scheduling an examination, be prepared toconfirm a location and a preferred date and time fortesting, and to provide your client candidate ID number.Pearson VUE uses this number only for identification inmaintaining your record. When you contact PearsonVUE to schedule an examination appointment, you willbe notified of the time to report to the testing center.Please make a note of it, because you will not receiveadditional communications confirming your scheduledappointment.If you are unsuccessful in your examination attempt, youmay reregister at any time by following the sameregistration process; however, you will not be permittedto test until you have completed a three-month waitingperiod. The actual retest date will depend on themonthly testing schedule and site availability. A separatefee is required each time you register for the exam.FEES AND REFUND POLICYCandidates must submit the appropriate fee to register.Online payment must be made by credit card (VISA,MasterCard, or American Express). Paper registrationforms must include a cashier’s check or money orderpayable to NBCC. Personal checks are not accepted.Examination fees are not refundable or transferable andexpire if the registration process is not completed withinone year.TESTING CENTER LOCATIONSPearson VUE testing centers have been selected toprovide accessibility to most candidates in all states andmajor metropolitan areas. A current listing of PearsonVUE testing centers, including addresses and drivingdirections, is available at Pearson VUE’s website( Specific address informationwill also be provided when a candidate schedules anexamination appointment.4

MISSED APPOINTMENTS AND CANCELLATIONSSPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR CANDIDATES WITHDISABILITIESA candidate forfeits the examination registration and allfees paid to take the examination when he or she:CCE and Pearson VUE comply with the Americans withDisabilities Act and strive to ensure that no individualwith a disability is deprived of the opportunity to take anexamination solely by reason of that disability. Withsupporting documentation, CCE and Pearson VUE willprovide reasonable accommodations for candidateswith permanent or temporary disabilities or for whomEnglish is a second language. Please note thataccommodations must be pre-approved by your stateboard and/or CCE. Visit forstate-specific information on special accommodations. Intends to reschedule an examination but failsto contact Pearson VUE at least 24 hoursbefore the examination appointment. Arrives more than 15 minutes late for anexamination. Fails to report for an examination appointmentfor any reason.A separate registration and examination fee arerequired to reregister for the examination.Candidates testing with approved specialaccommodations must schedule their examination viaPearson VUE’s toll-free number (800-466-0450) andinform Pearson VUE of the need for specialaccommodations. Please note, in order for anaccommodation to be approved, the candidate mustsubmit supporting documentation Supportingdocumentation must be submitted on letterhead; datedwithin five years of the request; include the candidate’sfull name, date of birth, diagnosis, and recommendedaccommodation(s); and be signed by a licensed,qualified professional.INCLEMENT WEATHER, POWER FAILURE, OREMERGENCYCandidates should call in emergencies that occur theday of testing and qualification for a retest will beconsidered on a case-by-base basis.In the event of inclement weather or unforeseenemergencies on the day of an examination, PearsonVUE will determine whether circumstances warrant thecancellation and subsequent rescheduling of anexamination. The examination will usually berescheduled if the testing center personnel are unableto open the facility. If power to a testing center istemporarily interrupted during an administration, yourexamination will restart where you left off and you maycontinue the examination. You may appeal a poweroutage only if you are not returned to where you left offprior to the power outage.Candidates should not schedule the exam withoutconfirmation of the approved special accommodations.Candidates who schedule their examination date priorto confirmation of the approved specialaccommodations will forfeit the scheduled exam andthe exam date will be rescheduled.EXAMINATION APPOINTMENT CHANGESEvery attempt is made to administer the examination asscheduled; however, should an examination becanceled at a testing center, all scheduled candidateswill receive notification by email or telephone regardingrescheduling or reregistration procedures.You may reschedule an examination appointment for a 50 fee by calling Pearson VUE at 866- 904-4432. Youcannot reschedule less than 24 hours prior to yourappointment.5

EXAMINATION CONTENTResearch and Program Evaluation—Studies thatThe National Counselor Examination (NCE) is a 200question, multiple-choice, non-sectioned examinationrepresenting each of the original eight CACREP(Council for Accreditation of Counseling and RelatedEducational Programs) content areas, with questioncontent also emerging from the five work behaviorsdetermined by NBCC’s national job analysis. Thus, thecontent validity of the NCE is anchored in the fiveempirically derived work behaviors most relevant tocompetent counseling practice and the eight CACREPcurriculum educational standards.Professional Orientation and Ethical Practice—Studies that provide an understanding of all aspects ofprofessional functioning, including history, roles,organizational structures, ethics, standards, andcredentialing.provide an understanding of types of researchmethods, basic statistics, and ethical and legalconsiderations in research.The following is an outline of the five work behaviordomains derived from a job analysis of professionalcounselors. The descriptions of the work behaviors areintended to be broad examples and are not exhaustive.A different form (version) of the NCE is compiled foreach administration of the examination. Each form’squestions, which are drawn from the item pool for theNCE, have undergone extensive review and fieldtesting.Fundamental Counseling Issues—Theory andapplication of counseling clients with conditions thatmay be a focus of clinical attention, and clients withvarious disorders including but not limited toneurocognitive, personality, anxiety, and depressivedisorders.Although each form of the NCE contains differentquestions, the content areas and the respectivenumbers of questions representing those areas areconsistent. Within the set of 200 questions on eachform of the NCE, 160 of the questions are counted forthe purpose of determining whether you surpass theminimum criterion (i.e., “passing”) score for that form.Thus, the maximum possible score a respondent canachieve is 160. The remaining 40 items are unscoredfield-test items. Field-test items are included on theexam to gather item statistics to evaluate theirperformance for use on future exams.Counseling Process—Assessing a client’s course ofdevelopment or one’s appropriateness for working witha specific client. Conducting diagnostic interviews,distance counseling, and school/community outreach.Diagnostic and Assessment Services—Assessingclients’ educational preparation and potential for harmto self and others. Conducting biopsychosocialinterviews, initial assessments, and custodyevaluations.The following is an outline of the eight CACREPdomains on which the examination questions arebased:Professional Practice—Advocating for client needsand the profession of counseling. Applying careercounseling interventions, current counseling, andmulticultural counseling models.Human Growth and Development—Studies thatprovide an understanding of the nature and needs ofindividuals at all developmental levels.Professional Development, Supervisionand Consultation—Communicating with credentialingboards and consulting with the justice system, peers orother professionals, prescribers of medications, andprofessional organizations.Social and Cultural Diversity—Studies that providean understanding of issues and trends in a multiculturaland diverse society.The National Board for Certified Counselors(NBCC) has developed a preparation guide for the NCEthat includes general information about the exam, apractice test, tips and strategies for test-taking, andadditional references. This is the only guide thatincludes actual retired test items. This guide can bepurchased for 34.95 at Relationships—Studies that provide anunderstanding of counseling and consultationprocesses.Group Work—Studies that provide an understandingof group development, dynamics, counseling theories,group counseling methods and skills, and other groupwork approaches.6

NCE SAMPLE EXAMINATION QUESTIONS4.The following are sample questions in the same styleand with similar content as will be on your examination.Use the sample questions to verify your understandingof the topics on the examination. Answers are providedfor the sample questions.1.2.3.Counselors know that groups are formed fordifferent purposes. For example, in somegroups the primary goal is to yield somespecified outcome, or “product,” while in othersthe primary goal is to focus on the“process” of interaction within the group. Whichof the following types of groups is moreproduct- than sisC.AdlerianD.Client-centered5.Person A and Person B both took the sametest. Person A got a score of 100, while PersonB got a score of 75. In order for a counselor todetermine whether the difference between theirscores was because of “chance,” the counselorwould need to know which of the followingcharacteristics of the test?A.MeanB.Standard deviationC.Standard error of measurementD.Standard error of the mean6.A counselor conducted a study intended toevaluate the effectiveness of ongoing groupcareer counseling on the vocational maturity ofhigh school sophomores. The study began inSeptember and continued until June. This studyis particularly susceptible to which of thefollowing threats to the validity of anexperiment?7.A counselor designs a study in which twoexperimental groups and one control groupcomplete pre- and post-experiment measures ofself-concept. The subjects were not randomlyassigned to the groups because of schedulingproblems. Which of the following techniques isMOST appropriate for analyzing the resultantdata?A.Analysis of covarianceB.Correlated t-testsC.Analysis of varianceD.Wilcox on matched-pairs signed-ranks testYou have been providing career counseling to aclient who is seeking employment. Concurrentwith the counseling, and with your knowledge, theclient has made application for employment withseveral employers. A potential employer calls youand asks for your opinion as to your client’ssuitability for the employer’s job opening. Underwhich of the following conditions are you free (i.e.,not in violation of professional ethics) to providethe information requested?A.When it is clear that the client will not getthe job unless the information is givenB.When you are certain that the informationyou would provide would assure that theclient would get the jobC.When in your best judgment you believe theinformation would enhance the client’schances for getting the jobD.None of the aboveWhat is the expected counseling outcome ofapplied person-centered counseling with a client?A.Rational thoughtsB.Self-awarenessC.Personal responsibilityD.Self-actualizationB. MaturationWhat counseling theory would a counselor use toprompt a client to envision how the future will bedifferent if a particular problem no longer exists?C. Reactive effects of experimentationA. Existential therapyD. Multiple treatment interferenceB. Solution-focused brief therapyA. RegressionC. BibliotherapyD. Dialectal behavioral therapy7

8.9.A client asks a counselor if abortion is morallyacceptable. Which of the following would be anethical response?A.“I am pro-life, but respect others whodisagree. Do you?”B.“I am pro-choice and support clients whomake tough choices.”C.“I believe morals and our behaviors should beguided by our religion.”D.“My opinion about this topic seems importantto you. Can you tell me more?”PREPARING FOR THE EXAMINATIONDeveloping an effective study plan is essential forsuccessfully passing the NCE. A good study strategyincludes preparation. To prepare, first determine what youneed to learn by reviewing the content areas for the NCE(CACREP areas and work behavior areas).Choose your study materials and select a quiet,comfortable place that allows you to focus. Before youbegin, check to make sure you have everything you need.Try to avoid interruptions.Developing a study plan will allow you to learn the mostas you study. Include setting goals in your study plan.Review what you have studied as often as possible.During a group counseling session a client says,“I realized I am not the only one struggling withrelationship problems after listening to others in thegroup talk about their experiences.” The groupmember’s comment is best defined as whichgroup factor identified by Yalom?A.CatharsisB.Imparting informationC

Candidate Handbook for State Credentialing for the National Counselor Examination (NCE) The Center for Credentialing & Education, Inc. (CCE) values diversity. There are no barriers to credentialing on the basis of gender, race, creed, age, sexual orientation, or

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