Pass NCE | National Counselor Examination
NCE exam tests readiness for providing counseling services, including Diagnostics & Assessment, Practice, Supervision, Consultation etc.
Tips For The NCE You Need
The NCE, or National Counselor Examination, is a general exam used as criteria to determine if a professional is eligible to become a National Certified Counselor (NCC). The test is used by the NBCC to assess the counseling skills of professionals such as psychologists who wish to receive the certification offered by the NBCC. The skills, knowledge, and abilities tested in the exam are considered important for provided effective counseling services and are generic in nature, with the NCE test not gearing toward any particular specialty counseling area. Many states use the NCE exam to certify professionals for state credentials as well.
The NCE is cognitive and includes information that should be known to all counselors, regardless of exact area of specialization or work environment. While each administration of the test is different, with questions being chosen randomly from a pool of thousands, it always covers eight specific areas in content and is based on five specific work behaviors. Content tested includes:
- Social and Cultural Foundations
- Career and Lifestyle Development
- Group Work
- Research and Program Evaluation
- Professional Orientation and Ethics
- Human Growth and Development
- Helping Relationships
These are broad topics with which all counselors should be familiar. In any counseling session, it is essential to work toward the growth and development of the patient, and part of this is understanding the social and cultural foundation from which that patient derives. In all applications, maintaining a professional attitude and set of ethics is essential to success, and the ability to appraise a situation and help an individual begin a development plan for his or her own career and lifestyle based on this appraisal is important to correcting any problems in the individual's life. Being able to work in a group environment, as well as to assist in building and reaffirming relationships is an important aspect of counseling in any fashion.
The five work behaviors upon which the NCE is based are the fundamentals of counseling, group counseling, programmatic and clinical intervention, assessment and career counseling, and professional practice issues. These are general areas in which a counselor will find work, often specializing in a specific environment within each work behavior. NCE education can help an aspiring candidate to better evaluate each of these content categories and work behaviors to better comprehend the impact of each within the testing model.
The format of the exam is quite simple. A four-hour time span is allotted for completion of the test, usually beginning at 9:00a.m. on a Saturday. The test consists of 200 multiple choice questions, each of which has only a single correct answer. Answers are marked on a separate sheet from the NCE testing book. Each time the test is administered, a different exam is compiled from the pool of available questions to assure that no one takes the same test twice in the event of failure on the first attempt.
The test is scored on only 160 of the test questions. The other 40, which are interspersed into the exam, are field test questions that do not affect your score and are being evaluated for their appropriateness for future usage as scored questions. The maximum possible score on the NCE is 160. There is no curve that is dependent upon the candidates taking the test at the same time, so all results are final. Results are received within eight weeks of the exam date, and the report received will contain several bits of information. First, the individual will find his or her number of correct responses for each of the thirteen domains, followed by the total score, which is a sum of the correct responses. For comparison, the group mean and standard deviation for each domain and the total exam are shown. Finally, the minimum score for the test in question is given. If the candidate's score is higher than the required minimum, he or she has passed.
Prior to applying to a testing center, many individuals attempt an NCE pretest, often administered at NCE exam workshops where information regarding the test itself (format, content, and knowledge required) are discussed, reviewed, and tested for each individual's comprehension. Because the test is extremely important in receiving a certification for licensed practice within many states, NCE study guidance is a recommended course of action to take, assuring that other professionals who have had previous experience with the test can help to coach aspiring test takers on tips and tricks for test taking. While it is prohibited to share actual testing information, NCE test prep is allowed and recommended through the use of study materials that are similar in format and content without copying information directly from a test. As in many other states, NCE prep classes in NC are offered all the time through various sources, including current counselors who wish to add to their ranks and increase the number of employees in a particular firm.
Again, the NCE exam does not provide credentials for a specific area of counseling; however, it does judge general knowledge and ability in broad areas of reasoning and people skills required to be a counselor in many different areas. Other tests must be completed and degrees obtained for specialization (for example, diet counseling or rehabilitation counseling may be a specialty that a certified NCE counselor wishes to enter, and that individual must check the specific requirements to specialize in the field of choice).
The use of study tools and attendance of workshops can really make a difference in knowledge of the exam content and understanding of the concepts to be assessed in the exam. These methods of preparation for the NCE are invaluable and can only lead to quicker and easier success for a candidate.
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