The National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) is administered and maintained by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), an internationally-recognized provider of national counselor certification for those wishing to become a Licensed Professional Counselor.
The Marital and Family Therapy (MFT) exam is administered by the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards for those wishing to become licensed as a Marriage and Family therapist.
Procrastination is the enemy of exam preparation. It is recommended that you start studying way before the last minute. Cramming your learning into a short period of time can be overwhelming and ineffective. Start studying as soon as possible to give you ample time to review the material. Some prefer to study a few hours daily, while others prefer to study longer over the weekend or at night. Find a study routine that works best for you and stick to it.
Creating a study plan is crucial to efficient exam preparation. It helps to structure your time, set priorities, and allocate enough time to each subject or content area. First, determine your exam date and work backwards, setting aside ample time for each subject. Next, assess your strengths and weaknesses in each subject and prioritize accordingly. Also, consider factors such as class schedules, extracurricular activities, and personal obligations when creating your study plan. Finally, be realistic about how much time you can commit to studying each day and adjust your plan accordingly. A well-structured study plan can reduce stress and increase confidence on exam day.
Studying without planning rarely works out well. So, you should make a well-planned timetable before starting to study. Work out how much time is required for each subject. It will surely help you to divide time for each and every topic.
Start collecting enough material to study a few months before the exam. Keep your study material organized.
Doing practice exams will help you to understand the format of the questions that come in the exams.
A good schedule is one that which focuses on all the subjects, but at the same time, a student should focus more on the weak subjects or weak areas.
Most of the students revise (or cram) late into the night before the day of the exam. But it is not the right way! You should sleep well the night before the exam so that you retain the things you learned. You all must know that it is only proper sleep that turns your short-term memory into long-term memory. Sleeping for at least 7-8 hours daily is beneficial for the health as well as the proper functioning of the mind.
Reading the chapter and highlighting important points is good but writing it down on a notebook or somewhere else helps you at the time of exams. This method helps you retain more information for a longer period of time.
Never pick the chapters or the portion which you haven’t studied earlier because if you try to learn those untouched lessons, you may forget the things which you have learned thoroughly. First, try to prepare the whole syllabus for your exams at the beginning of the session but if you are left with very little time to study then try to avoid the things that you haven’t gone through previously.
Nearly 90% of the students cram before their tests or exams. This is the wrong way to retain things in your mind. With a very short time and a lot of material to study, the brain doesn’t absorb the crammed things. The very best way to stop cramming is to start studying for your exam early.
Organize Study Groups with Friends
Get together with friends for a study session. You may have questions that they have the answers to and vice versa. As long as you make sure you stay focused on the topic for an agreed amount of time, this can be one of the most effective ways to challenge yourself.
While you may think it’s best to study for as many hours as possible, this can actually be counterproductive. Everyone’s different, so develop a study routine that works for you. If you study better in the morning, start early before taking a break at lunchtime, or if you’re more productive at nighttime, take a larger break earlier on so you’re ready to settle down for the evening. Try not to feel guilty about being out enjoying the sunshine instead of hunching over your study guide(s). Remember, Vitamin D is important for a healthy brain.
If you are taking the exam via computer, make sure your computer is in good working condition and that your internet connection is up and running. If you are traveling to the exam site. Make sure you get everything ready well in advance of the exam – don’t leave it to the day before to suddenly realize you don’t know the way, or what you’re supposed to bring. Check all the rules and requirements and plan your route and journey time. If possible, do a test run of the trip. If not, write down clear directions.
Visual aids can be really helpful when revising. At the start of a topic, challenge yourself to write down everything you already know about a topic – and then highlight where the gaps lie. Closer to the exam, condense your revision notes into one-page diagrams. Getting your ideas down in this brief format can then help you to quickly recall everything you need to know during the exam.
Stick to a Study Schedule
If you’re having trouble studying regularly, creating a study schedule can be a huge help. Doing something regularly helps your mind get used to it. If you set aside a time to regularly study and stick to it, it’ll eventually become a habit that’s (usually) easy to stick to. Getting into a fixed habit of studying will help you improve your concentration and mental stamina over time. And, just like any other training, your ability to study will improve with time and effort. Start Studying Early and Study for Shorter Periods. Some people can cram for several hours the night before the test and still get a good grade. However, this is rarer than you may hope. Most people need to see information several times, over a period of time, for them to really commit it to memory. This means that, instead of doing a single long study session, break your studying into smaller sessions over a longer period of time. Five one-hour study sessions over a week will be less stressful and more effective than a single five-hour cram session. It may take a bit of time for you to learn how long and how often you need to study for a class, but once you do, you’ll be able to remember the information you need and reduce some of the stress that comes from schoolwork, tests, and studying.
When you’re studying, especially if it’s for a subject you don’t enjoy, it can be extremely tempting to take “quick breaks” from your work. There are untold distractions all around us that try to lure our concentration away from the task at hand. However, giving in to temptation can be an awful time suck. A quick glance at your phone can easily turn into an hour of wasting time on the internet, and that won’t help you get the score you’re looking for. In order to avoid distractions, remove distractions completely from your study space.
Active learning techniques, such as summarizing, note-taking, and teaching others, are more effective than passive learning techniques like re-reading and highlighting (unless this method works for you). You are more likely to remember and understand the material by actively engaging with it. Consider using flashcards or mind maps to help you remember key concepts. Teaching others is also an effective way to reinforce your learning, as it forces you to explain concepts in a way others can understand.
Understanding your learning style can help you tailor your studying to suit your needs and preferences. Visual learners benefit from diagrams or videos, while auditory learners prefer to listen to lectures or audio recordings. Kinesthetic learners might benefit from hands-on activities such as role-playing.
Effective exam preparation is critical for successful testing. It requires intentional and consistent effort. This is by no means a definitive list of preparation and study tips. However, following the tips and techniques outlined above can improve your study habits, enhance your memory retention, manage your time better, and reduce stress during the exam period. Remember, there is no one-size fits all approach to exam preparation. It is wise to experiment with different study techniques and learning styles until you find what works best for you. With determination, discipline, and the right mindset, you can confidently approach any exam and achieve desired results. Good luck!
There are no official Study Guides for the CPCE OR AMFTRB PRACTICE EXAMS. Any study materials developed for the NCE, CPCE, AMFTRB, or MFT will be beneficial.
by Howard Rosenthal (Author)
by Leland Chant (Author)