Beginning in the Fall 2023 session, students who are enrolled in the Professional Counseling degree program must successfully pass the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) practice exam. The main purpose for this change is to give students the opportunity to take a practice exam while enrolled in the program to increase the likelihood of successfully passing the state exam on their initial attempt. The Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) is designed to measure a student’s level of mastery of the requisite knowledge and skills identified by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling for the preparation of professional counselors. The Counseling Portfolio currently submitted to the faculty in CSL6839 Pre-Practicum course will be replaced by the CPCE practice exam.
Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) Information
The CPCE is a national examination established and regulated by the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE). The practice exam will assess a student’s knowledge of counseling to ensure minimum competence before advancing to the Clinical Practicum Program. Taking this practice exam will give students the opportunity to become familiar with the format of the test questions and will provide an indication of their readiness for the actual exam.
Students may register and take the exam after completing a minimum of 30 hours with a 3.0 grade point average and good standing in their program. The exam covers eight common core areas that are all highly relevant to the field of professional counseling. There are 20 questions in each section. The courses indicated below must be completed prior to being eligible to take the CPCE.
The minimum passing score on the exam will be set by the Counseling Faculty and Administration of Amberton University. Currently, the passing score for the CPCE is 66% or 89 out of 136 questions. Students taking the CPCE will receive a raw score report after they have completed the exam via the CPCE-OnVue format. The raw score report will be uploaded to their Pearson Vue account within 24-48 hours after taking the practice exam. Students must send a copy of the results to the University’s Campus Coordinator, Dr. Ken Johnson, at KJohnson@Amberton.edu.
Students may take the exam as often as necessary to achieve a passing score. It is imperative that students sign up for the exam during the sign-up period. The cost of the exam is $150.00. This fee is not set by, or paid to, Amberton University. Failure to do so could result in students NOT being able to sit for the exam during their desired timeframe. Note: It takes approximately 45 days for students to get registered to take the CPCE. Students should be aware that the sign-up dates for this exam will be strictly enforced. Students will submit the CPCE Request Form to the University in order to sign up for the exam. Unless otherwise noted, the deadline to sign-up for the exam will be:
Students will take the exams online from their personal computers. The CPCE exam is taken via the Pearson On-Vue (Web Administration): Administered remotely to the examinee. The exam dates, times, and proctors are selected by Pearson Vue. Students who need special accommodations must take the exam at a testing site monitored by Pearson. Students must register for the CPCE practice exam 45 days prior to testing.
The CPCE practice exam is 240 minutes in length; 15 minutes to complete the NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) and the Exam Tutorial, and 225 minutes for the exam seat time. The CPCE practice exam contains 160 multiple-choice questions, though only 136 of the questions will count toward your final score. You will be given 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete the exam.
Professional Counseling Degree Requirement:
Courses Required to be Completed for CPCE Eligibility
CPCE Preparation and Study Materials
Students should begin to prepare for the CPCE exam by participating in classes and reviewing class notes. Students are also encouraged to use a study guide for the CPCE/NCE practice exam. It is recommended that students begin reviewing their course materials and preparing for the exam at least two to three months before they plan to take the exam.
Preparation material (study guides) will be available in various places, e.g., CSL course material, Counseling Handbooks, Moodle site, etc. Students are responsible for securing their own study guides for the exams. There is no official study guide for the CPCE practice exam. Following are some recommendations for study guides for the CPCE practice exam: