What is the NCMHCE?
What is the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE)
As said by the NBCC: "The simulated cases on the NCMCHE are designed to sample a broad area of competencies, not merely the recall of isolated facts. Therefore, the problems assess clinical problem-solving ability, including identifying, analyzing, diagnosing, and treating clinical issues."
NCMHCE exam format consists of ten clinical simulations on the NCMHCE. Each section of each simulation problem has been classified according to the examination content outline. Each content area is further divided into two sections: Information Gathering and Decision-Making. CasePRO is a critical component for any candidate’s preparation because this program closely simulates the computerized scoring procedures of the actual exam.
What is the format of the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE)?
- There are ten clinical simulations on the NCMHCE.
- Each section of each simulation problem has been classified according to the examination content outline. Each content area is further divided into two sections: Information Gathering (IG) and Decision-Making (DM).
- IG sections assess the candidate's ability to gather appropriate clinical data required to evaluate a situation or to make a decision. DM sections assess the candidate's ability to solve clinical problems by utilizing data in rendering judgments and decisions.
- Each option on the NCMHCE is assigned a weight ranging from +3 to -3 based on the level of appropriateness for effective client care.
- A total score is calculated for each of the IG sections and DM sections on the examination. A candidate must obtain a total score equal to or greater than the passing total score for both the IG and DM sections in order to pass the exam.
You can get a feel for clinical vignettes with our NCMHCE Sample Exam. You can register for free.
What are the content domains on the exam?
The simulated cases on the NCMCHE are designed to sample a broad area of competencies, not merely the recall of isolated facts. Therefore, the problems assess clinical problem-solving ability, including identifying, analyzing, diagnosing, and treating clinical issues.
The examination consists of ten clinical mental health counseling cases. Each case is divided into approximately five to eight sections classified as either information gathering or decision-making. The AATBS NCMHCE written volumes provides a comprehensive review of each of these content areas.
The areas covered by the exam include:
Evaluation & Assessment (including but not limited to):
- Identify precipitating problems or symptoms
- Conduct mental status exam
- Conduct comprehensive biopsychosocial assessment histories
- Identify individual and relationship functioning
Diagnosis & Treatment Planning:
- Integrate client assessment and observational data with clinical judgment to formulate a differential diagnosis
- Develop a treatment plan in collaboration with the client
- Coordinate treatment plan with other service providers
- Monitor client progress toward goal attainment
- Determine if services meet client needs
- Discuss ethical and legal issues
- Understand scope of practice parameters
How will the exam be administered?
In some states, a paper version of the NCMHCE is administered while in other states, a computer version is administered. Contact the state board in your jurisdiction to determine the format of the exam and the dates it is available.
How do I contact my state board?
Click on this link for contact information for various state boards: NBCC Directory
How much time do I have to complete the exam?
Candidates are given 3 hours and 15 minutes to complete the exam.
When should I begin to review the practice simulations in the study materials?
You should review the practice simulations throughout the study process, from the beginning stages until just before the actual exam. The practice simulations will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, refine your understanding of the topics, and enhance your test-taking skills. We strongly encourage participants to study all of the questions in the practice simulations multiple times because they are the most exam-specific information in the study materials.
How important is note-taking during my preparation?
Note-taking (e.g., flashcards, summary tables, etc.) can be a very important part of your study process. Because there is so much information to retain during your studies, you will need some strategy for synthesizing and organizing all the information.
How do I develop my test-taking skills?
The best way to develop your test-taking skills is to review as many practice questions as possible in our study materials. We provide a detailed explanation following each question which will help you to learn from your mistakes. In addition, we provide specific test-taking strategies for analyzing the most difficult questions such as translating the wording into simpler language, eliminating poor choices, identifying trick questions, and so on.
What resources are available to help me pass the exam?
AATBS has been successfully preparing candidates for licensure for over 40 years. We have many tools to assist you in your preparation. They include:
- Three written content chapters plus two additional sections
- Online practice simulations with rationales for each question
- Live workshops: Exam Preparation; Exam Strategies and Content Review
- Content summary Audio Streams
- Online Flash Cards
- Color-coded Flashcards
- DSM-5 Fast-Flip Reference Cards
- One-on-One Coaching with an Exam Expert
- Theories of Psychotherapy Chart
You can learn more about your study options by downloading a starter kit.
Why should I attend a workshop?
The most important reason to attend our workshop is simply because it will increase your test taking performance and ability to pass the NCMCHE. Our instructors have many years of experience in teaching candidates to pass the exam.
Why is AATBS better than the competitors?
AATBS’s success rate on the NCMCHE is due to the quality and variety of study resources that our staff of experts—researchers, writers, instructors, and consultants—have created to assist you in your preparation. This cannot be matched by any of our competitors, which means we can tailor an individualized study program to meet your particular needs.
I still have questions. What should I do?
Please contact us at (800) 472-1931 with any questions. A customer service representative or educational consultant will be available to help you.
Get help determining your timeline and speak with an educational coordinator. You can make an appointment online and schedule a meeting on your time.