NCMHCE National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination

As counseling evolves and changes, we are also changing the way we assess the clinical skills of counselors. The National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) is transitioning to a new format. The new format for the NCMHCE will emphasize the long-term, ongoing therapeutic process of the counseling relationship. View a format comparison and sample case study.

Standard setting is a vital component in the examination development process. We are providing the opportunity for individuals registering for the NCMHCE to be a part of the standard-setting cohort. Choosing this option allows you to make a positive impact on the future of counseling. Participation in this cohort is completely voluntary.

Watch: The New Format of the NCMHCE

For Those Taking the NCMHCE for
State Licensure Without an Accompanying Certification Application:

Sept. 23 to Nov. 1

Option to register for the  Nov. 28–Dec. 15 administration of the second standard-setting cohort.  You will receive a $50 discount if you select this option.*

*Note that this option is only available to the first 300 candidates.
Online administration only You will receive your pass/fail and numerical results the first week of February 2023.
The state board will receive your official score report on or before Feb. 15, 2023.
Administered by Surpass and Examity.

Nov. 7, 2022

Only the new format will be available.

You can choose online administration or in a test center.

The state board will receive your official score report before the 15th of the following month.

Administered by Pearson VUE.

For Those Taking the NCMHCE as
Part of Their Application for National Certification:

Fall 2022 Certification Cycle

Only the new format will be available.

You can choose online administration or in a test center.

You can request an official score report to be sent to your state licensure board by visiting the store in the Credentialing Gateway.

Administered by Pearson VUE.

Please note that these dates are for the administration of the examination and should be taken into consideration when scheduling your examination appointment. Any examinations scheduled after the dates indicated above will be the new format.

Ready to Register?

Click Here

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the standard-setting cohort examination different than the new format?

No. Both examinations are the same. The only difference is in the administration of the examination. The standard-setting cohort must take the examination online, while other candidates can choose online or test center administration.

It is also important to note that candidates who take part in the standard-setting cohort will receive their numerical and pass/fail score 4 weeks after the administration of their examination.

Why should I opt into the standard-setting cohort?

As a thank you for taking part in the standard-setting cohort, you will receive a $50 discount on the examination fee. Additionally, choosing this option allows you to make a positive impact on the future of counseling.

How long will the current form be available?

For those taking the NCMHCE as part of their application for national certification, the current format will be administered during the spring 2022 certification cycle. Candidates taking the NCMHCE for the fall 2022 certification cycle and beyond will be taking the new format.

For those taking the NCMHCE through the state licensure registration process and outside of an application for national certification, the current format will be available until Nov. 7, 2022.

Please note that these dates are for the administration of the examination and should be taken into consideration when scheduling your examination appointment. For example, if you register for the examination on Sept. 2, 2022, but sit for the examination on Dec. 5, 2022, you will be taking the new format.

What is the structure of the new format?

The new format of the NCMHCE includes 11 case studies. Each case study will have a set of 13 multiple-choice questions, broken into three sections.

Total case studies: 11
Scored case studies: 10 (1 is used for field testing)
Items in each case study: 13
Scored items in each case study: 10 (3 are used for field testing)
Total items in a test form of the format: 143
Scored items (max/total score): 100
Unscored/field tested items: 43

Can I participate in the standard-setting cohort on my second attempt at the NCMHCE?

No. You may only choose to participate in the standard-setting cohort on your first attempt at the examination.

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