The National Counselor Examination (NCE) assesses cognitive knowledge, skills, and abilities that are considered essential for a professional counselor in order to provide quality counseling services. A passing score on the exam is also one of the core criteria utilized by the National Board of Certified Counselors to identify professionals who are qualified to become National Certified Counselors (NCCs). In addition, many states also use the NCE for state credentialing.
Because the exam is general in nature, it tests for proficiencies that all counselors-regardless of their area of expertise-should know. Content areas include: appraisal, career and lifestyle development, group work, helping relationships, human growth and development, professional orientation and ethics, research and program evaluation, and social and cultural foundations. In addition, the NCE is based on the following work behaviors: assessment and career counseling, fundamentals of counseling, group counseling, professional practice issues, and programmatic and clinical intervention.
Earning the right to call yourself a National Certified Counselor is a way to let clients, employers, and the public at large know that you demonstrated knowledge mastery and have met the national standards as set by the national counseling profession. Further, it shows you may have exceeded state licensure requirements and have obtained the credential that is administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors. The NBCC is responsible for administering every state examination in all 50 states.