4 Tips on Studying for the National Counseling Exam

A Woman Sitting in Front of a Laptop with a Cup of Coffee and Taking Notes

The National Counselor Examination (NCE) is one of two test options available to behavioral health clinicians for the National Certified Counselor (NCC) license. It’s recognized by most states and contains 200 multiple-choice questions that test your knowledge, critical thinking, and overall skills.

In today’s blog, we’ll share national counseling exam prep for all post-grads gearing up for the big test.

1. Give Yourself Plenty of Prep Time

You might be one of those people who can’t get things done unless they’re under the pump. However, no matter how good you might be at last-minute cramming, you cannot control unforeseen disruptions in your exam prep.

Give yourself at least three months for prep and leave enough time in each day for interruptions like:

  • Internet problems
  • Family emergencies
  • House chores
  • Study breaks
  • Big events
  • Sick breaks

2. Divide Your Focus Between Content Areas

When it comes to multiple-choice questions, there’s only one right answer, which makes this certification test more difficult than others. However, with NCE exams, you have a slight advantage in that content areas aren’t divided equally.

For instance, the ‘Helping Relationships’ area contains more questions than the ‘Social and Cultural Foundations’ area. Thus, you can focus more on one core area than the other and follow the same drill for all the remaining six areas.

A Woman Sitting at a Desk and Scribbling Something on a Notebook3. Study Nice and Early

Reserve daylight hours for studying and evening hours for revising. Since you’re more well-rested and alert during the day, you’re more likely to absorb new information. If you’re still struggling to retain information, you can try some brain-based techniques like:

  • Changing your learning technique.
  • Peer-to-peer learning
  • Relational learning
  • Applying theory in practice.
  • Putting learned information to the test.
  • Avoiding multitasking.
  • Taking breaks and naps when tired.

4. Cut Down Your Study Material

The number of study guides, notes, textbooks, and practice exams you collect before starting exam prep is a big reason why you’re unable to start preparing for the exam in the first place. Oftentimes, counselors collect so much material they’re too overwhelmed and frustrated to begin.

Try to reduce the number of study materials to one or two guides per core area, and you’ll have a much easier time studying for your NCE exam. You can also take our ASAM assessment training classes to give a method to the prep madness that so many counselors face during this time.

Start Attending Our NCE Test Prep Boot Camp Today

Join the four-day NCE practice exams boot camp at E Care Behavioral Health Institute to polish your counseling knowledge and skills before exam day. Attend the webinars for mental health professionals, ace that test, and become one of the many licensed counselors qualified to practice anywhere in the United States.

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