NCMHCE Content Update Effective Early 2022

NCMHCE Content Update Effective Early 2022

Updates from a Coach’s Perspective


As an NCMHCE exam coach with AATBS, a number of clinicians that I have worked with over the years tend to run into various difficulties adjusting to the format of this particular exam. It has been task to help paint a clear picture of how to pass this exam through a combination of test taking strategies and consolidation of studied information.  Information regarding exam updates is something we at AATBS take pride in keeping you apprised of, and in the near future the NCMHCE will be undergo some changes.

According to the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) and the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE), these changes will go into effect in early 2022.  As a coach and an exam candidate/clinician we will only need to be concerned with a few of the changes that may affect our study and exam prep strategies.  Those changes, and how we will tackle them, I will discuss in the next few paragraphs.

First and foremost, the NBCC uses this test to determine whether you possess the necessary skills to perform as an entry level Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC), also known as an entry-level clinical mental health counselor.    You would demonstrate the “ability to identify, analyze, diagnose and develop treatment plans of clinical concerns” by passing this exam.  In addition, you will be scored on six content domains:

  1. Professional Practice and Ethics
  2. Intake, Assessment, and Diagnosis
  3. Areas of Clinical Focus
  4. Treatment Planning
  5. Counseling Skills and Interventions
  6. Core Counseling Attributes

The Main points we want to cover are the changes to the exam format; this will be the section with the greatest impact on how we prepare for the new NCMHCE. 

  • As in the previous incarnation of the exam, you will be addressing case studies. There will now be 12 to 14 of these as opposed to the original 10.
  • You will have 225 minutes to complete the exam.
  • Each case study will have 10 multiple choice questions.

Now, here comes the good news.  There will be 4 answer choices for each question but there will only be ONE CORRECT ANSWER as opposed to the possible “select as many” option in the original NCMHCE. 

The “select as many” option was something that gave candidates the most trouble as it was not intuitive to how a multiple-choice exam was formatted during most of our educational careers.  Now that we will have a more clear-cut way of selecting answers, our ability to strategize will be a bit cleaner, and we can focus more on consolidation of knowledge, point accumulation strategies, and ways to mitigate test-taking anxiety during our coaching sessions. 

AATBS is committed to helping your pass your exam and address all your needs for support during your prep period.  We are looking forward to supporting you through this transition, and we welcome the opportunity to continue our services to you.