At the top of this page, you will discover a button that grants complete access to the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) practice exam. Right beneath it, you have the chance to delve into a detailed practice test. These assessments play a vital role in showcasing your abilities, identifying improvement opportunities, and honing your study approach.

To enhance your preparation, especially in areas needing extra focus, we have developed targeted quizzes. These quizzes are meticulously structured to focus on specific segments of the NCMHCE exam, providing a focused and effective way to prepare.

National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) Domain Exams

The National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) is a comprehensive examination for mental health professionals seeking licensure and certification in clinical mental health counseling. It assesses knowledge, skills, and abilities considered essential for effective practice. The exam is structured around several core domains, each representing a critical aspect of clinical mental health counseling. 

Here is a general breakdown of these domains:

Domain 1: Professional Practice and Ethics

  • Exam Percentage: 15%
  • Focus: This domain covers the legal, ethical, and professional issues in counseling. It includes knowledge of ethical codes, legal standards, and professional practices that ensure the protection and respect of client rights and well-being.

Welcome to your MAT Domain 1: Language and Vocabulary

Domain 2: Intake, Assessment, and Diagnosis

  • Exam Percentage: 25%
  • Focus: Focuses on the skills and knowledge required to effectively conduct client intake, assessment, and diagnostic processes. This includes understanding how to gather client histories, use assessment tools, and make accurate mental health diagnoses based on current diagnostic criteria.

Welcome to your MAT Domain 2: Humanities

Domain 3: Treatment Planning

  • Exam Percentage: 15%
  • Focus: Involves creating strategic plans for treatment based on comprehensive assessments and diagnoses. This domain requires knowledge of various treatment modalities, evidence-based practices, and the ability to tailor plans to the specific needs of clients.

Welcome to your MAT Domain 3: Social Sciences

Domain 4: Counseling Skills and Interventions

  • Exam Percentage: 30%
  • Focus: This domain assesses the counselor’s ability to apply counseling techniques and interventions effectively. It includes skills in communication, relationship building, application of therapeutic techniques, and adaptation of interventions to meet the unique needs of clients.

Welcome to your MAT Domain 4: Natural Sciences

Domain 5: Core Counseling Attributes

  • Exam Percentage: 15%
  • Focus: Encompasses the personal and professional qualities that are fundamental to effective counseling, such as empathy, self-awareness, sensitivity to diversity, and the ability to form therapeutic alliances.

Welcome to your MAT Domain 5: Mathematics

Domain% of ExamOverview
Professional Practice and Ethics15%Covers legal, ethical, and professional issues in counseling.
Intake, Assessment, and Diagnosis25%Focuses on client intake, assessment, and diagnostic processes.
Treatment Planning15%Involves creating strategic treatment plans based on assessments.
Counseling Skills and Interventions30%Assesses ability to apply counseling techniques effectively.
Core Counseling Attributes15%Encompasses essential personal and professional qualities.

Exam Format and Additional Considerations

  • The NCMHCE typically involves a series of clinical simulations that test candidates on their decision-making skills and knowledge application across these domains. Candidates are presented with case scenarios and must select appropriate assessments, diagnoses, and treatment plans.
  • The number of questions and the specific percentages allocated to each domain can vary. It’s crucial to refer to the latest examination handbook or official resources for the most accurate and current information.
  • Preparation for the NCMHCE also involves understanding the format of the exam, familiarizing oneself with the types of questions asked, and engaging in comprehensive study and review of all domains.

National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) Exam Breakdown

The National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) is a certification exam that assesses the knowledge and skills of prospective clinical mental health counselors. Administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), it is one of the key requirements for obtaining licensure or certification as a mental health counselor in many states across the United States. The NCMHCE aims to evaluate a candidate’s ability to understand clinical issues, treatment planning, and the application of counseling techniques to complex scenarios, thereby ensuring high standards of practice in the field of mental health counseling.

Breakdown of the NCMHCE

Format and Structure:

  • The NCMHCE consists of a series of simulated clinical scenarios designed to assess counseling skills and decision-making capabilities.
  • Each scenario includes a case study followed by multiple-choice questions that test different aspects of counseling practice, such as assessment, diagnosis, treatment planning, and ethics.
  • The exam focuses on real-world applications and practical knowledge rather than theoretical aspects.

Content Areas:

The content areas covered by the NCMHCE include, but are not limited to:

  • Assessment and Diagnosis: Techniques and tools for client assessment; understanding of psychiatric diagnosis.
  • Counseling and Psychotherapy: Therapeutic techniques and strategies; client-counselor relationship; group, individual, and family counseling.
  • Administration, Consultation, and Supervision: Program development and management; consultation practices; supervision of counseling practices.
  • Professional Practice and Ethics: Ethical and legal standards in counseling; professional practice issues.

Eligibility and Registration:

  • Eligibility requirements vary by state but generally include a master’s degree in counseling or a related field, along with postgraduate supervised clinical experience.
  • Candidates must register for the exam through the NBCC website or the designated state licensure board.

Preparation Resources:

  • NBCC Official Website: Offers comprehensive information about the NCMHCE, including registration details, exam dates, and preparation materials.
  • Study Guides and Practice Tests: Various publishers and educational platforms offer study guides, practice exams, and review courses specifically designed for the NCMHCE.
  • Professional Organizations: Organizations such as the American Counseling Association (ACA) and the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) provide resources, workshops, and webinars for exam preparation.

It’s important to check with your state’s licensing board for specific eligibility criteria and recommended resources. Each state may have its own set of requirements and recommended study materials for the NCMHCE.

How to Become NCMHCE Certified

To become certified through the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE), you’ll need to follow several steps, which are broadly outlined below:

  • Educational Requirements: Candidates must have a graduate-level degree or higher from a counseling program. This program should be accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) or administered by an institutionally accredited college or university. The program must include courses in specific areas such as Human Growth and Development, Social and Cultural Foundations in Counseling, Helping Relationships in Counseling, and several others, totaling eight or nine requirement areas depending on the source​​​​.
  • Examination Registration: Before you can schedule your exam date, you must first complete the exam registration and payment through the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). Upon approval, you’ll receive scheduling instructions from NBCC​​.
  • Scheduling Your Exam: With authorization and scheduling approval from NBCC, you’ll then be responsible for making an appointment to take the exam within the specified testing window. This is done through Pearson VUE, and space at testing locations is on a first-come, first-served basis​​.
  • Exam Format and Content: The NCMHCE consists of 10 clinical simulations designed to sample broad areas of competencies. The standard time for completing the NCMHCE is three hours, not including additional time for agreements and tutorials​​.
  • Study and Preparation: Study guides and resources are available to help you prepare for the NCMHCE. It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the exam’s content outline, which covers various domains such as Professional Practice and Ethics, Intake, Assessment, and Diagnosis, Treatment Planning, Counseling Skills and Interventions, and Core Counseling Attributes​​​​.
  • Special Accommodations: If you need special accommodations for the exam, forms are available for download from NBCC and Pearson VUE. This is important for those who might require adjustments due to disabilities or other reasons​​​​.
  • Exam Policies and Procedures: Familiarize yourself with the identification policy, examination policies, and procedures, including the cancellation and rescheduling policy. Proper identification is required on the day of the exam, and there are specific rules for canceling or rescheduling your appointment​​.

By following these guidelines and utilizing the resources available, you’ll be well on your way to becoming NCMHCE certified.

Our Experience Teaching NCMHCE Candidates To Pass The Exam

At Career Employer, the development of our National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) practice tests has been a remarkable endeavor, marked by significant achievements and challenges. Inspired by the diverse range of topics the exam encompasses, our aim has been to cater to the unique needs of our learners.

Our strategy has been carefully crafted to ensure that every student is well-equipped to excel in the exam. Our dedication to providing a comprehensive educational experience is evident in the broad scope and depth of our practice materials, highlighting our commitment to our students’ success.

Teaching for the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) presents a unique set of challenges and rewards for a lecturer. From this perspective, the goal is not only to cover the breadth of knowledge required by the examination but also to foster the clinical reasoning and decision-making skills that are essential for successful practice as a clinical mental health counselor. 

Here are key aspects from a lecturer’s standpoint, including resource links to support these efforts:

Understanding the NCMHCE Structure and Content

First, it’s essential to understand the structure and content of the NCMHCE. This exam is distinct from other licensure exams in mental health fields due to its emphasis on simulation rather than traditional question formats. This requires a teaching approach that goes beyond rote memorization, focusing on application, analysis, and synthesis of knowledge.

Developing Critical Thinking and Clinical Skills

Lecturers must emphasize the development of critical thinking and clinical decision-making skills. This involves creating scenarios that mimic the exam’s case study approach, allowing students to practice these skills in a controlled environment.

Utilizing a Variety of Teaching Methods

To accommodate diverse learning styles and ensure a deep understanding of the material, employing a mix of lectures, discussion groups, case studies, and multimedia resources is beneficial.

Encouraging Continuous Practice and Feedback

Continuous practice with feedback is crucial for mastering the skills and knowledge required for the NCMHCE. Regular mock exams and case study analyses can help students identify areas for improvement and build confidence.

Supporting Emotional and Mental Resilience

The intensity of preparing for the NCMHCE can be stressful for students. Lecturers play a crucial role in providing support, encouraging self-care, and promoting a healthy study-life balance.

At Career Employer, we take immense pride in our team of experts, each of whom brings an impressive array of knowledge and extensive experience to our mission of preparing candidates for the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) exam. Our NCMHCE certification practice tests are the culmination of the hard work and dedication of this talented team, which has successfully guided over a thousand mental health professionals to achieve their NCMHCE certification.

With every member of our team boasting at least a decade of specialized experience in the mental health counseling field, we guarantee that our practice materials are not just meticulously crafted but also exceptionally effective in preparing candidates for success in their certification efforts. Our unwavering commitment to excellence ensures that individuals who utilize our resources are thoroughly prepared to meet and exceed their certification objectives.

Effective Study Strategies and Methods

To effectively prepare for the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE), a combination of focused study strategies, practice with exam-like questions, and understanding the test’s format and subjective biases is essential. Here’s a summary of effective study strategies and methods gleaned from various resources:

  • Dynamic Test Prep emphasizes the importance of understanding the unique format of the NCMHCE, which includes clinical case simulations. Their tips include familiarizing yourself with the structure and types of questions you’ll face, such as identifying diagnostic criteria and choosing appropriate interventions. They advocate for a comprehensive approach that includes reviewing key concepts in mental health counseling, practicing with simulation exams, and developing a consistent study schedule to build confidence and competence.
  • Clinical Exam Workshop offers a detailed study program specifically designed for the NCMHCE. This program includes in-depth videos explaining the exam’s structure, subjective biases, and content areas. Additionally, they provide over 200 pages of study documents aligned with the NCMHCE content outline and over 12 hours of online practice simulations, including full-length mock exams. This comprehensive approach is aimed at helping candidates “Think Like the Test,” a strategy that is critical for success due to the exam’s subjective nature. They also highlight the importance of self-paced, at-home preparation to ensure readiness without the need for special equipment or incurring travel expenses​​.
  • NCMHCE Training focuses on enhancing test-taking skills through in-person, online, and on-site training sessions. Their approach is centered around practical strategies like “READ, COUNT, PRIORITIZE, SELECT” to help manage anxiety, improve focus, and make informed decisions during the exam. Testimonials from past participants underscore the effectiveness of their strategies in significantly improving scores across different sections of the exam. The training emphasizes a hands-on approach for small groups, offering personalized attention and support​​.

Incorporating these strategies into your preparation for the NCMHCE can significantly increase your chances of passing. It’s crucial to start your preparation early, allowing ample time to familiarize yourself with the exam format, practice extensively with simulated questions, and refine your test-taking strategies. Additionally, consider joining online forums or study groups where you can share insights and gain support from peers who are also preparing for the exam.


Exam OverviewAssesses knowledge, skills, and abilities for effective counseling services; required for licensure and certification in many states.
EligibilityGraduate-level degree from a CACREP-accredited program or institutionally accredited college/university.
Content & Structure11 case studies; 100 scored multiple-choice questions evaluating theoretical and skill-based knowledge application.
Domains CoveredProfessional Practice and Ethics, Intake, Assessment, and Diagnosis, Treatment Planning, Counseling Skills and Interventions, Core Counseling Attributes.
Registration & FeesDetails vary by state and chosen certification pathway (NCC or CCMHC); consult NBCC for specific information.

The National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) is an essential requirement for those seeking licensure and certification in the field of mental health counseling in many states. It assesses the knowledge, skills, and abilities critical for providing effective counseling services. The NCMHCE is offered as one of the examination options for obtaining the National Certified Counselor (NCC) certification and fulfills the examination requirement for the Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC) specialty certification.

  • Primary Source (NBCC Official Website): The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) website provides general information about the NCMHCE, including its purpose and administration options. However, specific fee details are not directly available on the website. The NBCC site mentions that the exam is required for licensure in many states and for the National Certified Counselor (NCC) certification and the Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC) specialty certification.
  • Candidate Handbook for State Licensure: A review of the candidate handbook for state licensure reveals the examination’s structure, including eligibility requirements, registration process, scheduling, and accommodations for candidates with disabilities. Although this document offers a comprehensive overview of the exam process and policies, it does not provide specific fee amounts.
  • State Board Directory on NBCC: The State Board Directory on the NBCC website is designed to help users find contact information, available licenses, and required examinations for each state. This directory could potentially offer access to state-specific fee information, but direct costs related to the NCMHCE, including application, study materials, training, and post-exam fees, are not listed on the site itself.

For detailed and specific fee information, including all costs from application to post-exam stages, it’s necessary to consult the state licensure boards directly or specific sections of the NBCC website dedicated to licensure and certification processes. Each state’s board may have its own fee structure for the examination, licensure application, and other related costs. Additionally, costs for study materials, training programs, and any post-exam certification fees can vary widely depending on the providers and the specific requirements of each candidate. 

Reliable Study Materials and Resources

To prepare for the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) certification exam, several online resources are available that can significantly aid your study efforts. These resources offer a mix of practice exams, study guides, live instructions, and self-study packages tailored to the NCMHCE’s unique format and content. Here are some of the best online resources to consider:

  • This platform is dedicated to helping candidates pass the NCMHCE with a variety of tools, including unlimited full-length practice exams, audio and video content for review, and hundreds of narratives to prepare for the exam format change. The site provides a comprehensive suite of study materials, quizzes, case studies, and more. Users have shared positive outcomes from utilizing the practice scenarios and simulations available on the site, highlighting its effectiveness in exam preparation​​.
  • Mometrix Test Preparation: Mometrix offers a free NCMHCE practice test updated for 2024, along with a detailed overview video. The site provides essential information on exam registration, scheduling, rescheduling procedures, and what to expect on test day. It emphasizes the importance of understanding the testing process, from registering and scheduling to taking the exam at one of the 250+ testing centers across the United States​​.
  • Dr. Arthur’s Study Programs for the NCMHCE and NCE include comprehensive study materials covering all necessary topics for exam success. The program provides valuable resources such as study guides and online simulations, with feedback from users indicating a high level of satisfaction and effectiveness in helping them pass their licensure exams​​.
  • Pocket Prep: Offering a mobile and flexible study solution, Pocket Prep’s NCMHCE Exam Prep features 650 study questions and a high average app store rating. The app identifies your weak spots and offers detailed explanations for each question. It also provides insights into core counseling attributes, counseling skills and interventions, intake, assessment and diagnosis, professional practice and ethics, and treatment planning​​.
  • AATBS (Association for Advanced Training in the Behavioral Sciences): AATBS offers both live instruction and self-study packages for the NCMHCE, allowing you to choose the study method that best fits your learning style and schedule. The live instruction package is a popular option that includes studying with an instructor in a live online classroom setting, while the self-study package offers flexibility with online practice questions and study tools​​.

Each of these resources offers unique advantages, whether you prefer a structured program with live instruction, the flexibility of self-paced study, or the convenience of mobile apps. Combining resources from these platforms can provide a comprehensive and tailored study plan to maximize your preparation for the NCMHCE.

Tips for Exam Day

To excel on the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) exam day, a strategic approach to preparation and an understanding of what to do on the day itself are crucial. Here are some compiled tips based on various sources that can guide you toward success:

  1. Confidence and Familiarity with the Exam Format: Understanding the exam’s structure is key. The NCMHCE is designed to assess your clinical decision-making skills through a series of simulations. Familiarize yourself with the types of questions and the format to reduce anxiety and increase your confidence​​.
  2. Practice with Simulations: Engage in numerous practice simulations offered by websites such as, which provides hundreds of narratives and full-length exams. These simulations are crucial for understanding how to approach the exam questions and manage your time effectively​​.
  3. Utilize Various Study Resources: Beyond traditional study guides, exploring audio and video resources can enhance your learning. Platforms like YouTube offer free instructional content that can aid in understanding complex topics​​.
  4. Strategic Answering: Employ math and common sense when choosing answers. In the real exam, you won’t know which answers you got wrong, so it’s important to select answers thoughtfully and avoid over-answering​​.
  5. Scheduled Breaks During the Exam: The NCMHCE is lengthy, so take advantage of the allotted time to take breaks. This helps in maintaining focus and avoiding burnout during the exam​​.
  6. Study Packages and Coaching: Consider self-study packages for a paced learning process or coaching for more targeted help, especially if you’ve faced challenges with the exam before. Live online workshops can also offer the benefits of structured learning with the flexibility of remote access​​.
  7. Preparation and Test-Taking Strategies: Engage with comprehensive courses that offer e-guides, flashcards, and full practice tests. Some courses also provide bonus guides on dealing with test anxiety and developing effective study habits​​.
  8. Group Study and Baseline Assessments: Organizing study groups with peers can offer additional support and motivation. Before diving deep into preparation, assess your baseline readiness to have a clear starting point​​.
  9. Consistent Study Routine: Dedicate a consistent amount of time each day (two to three hours, five days a week) to study for about three months. This approach has been shown to yield satisfaction with performance on test day​​.
  10. Readiness and Diagnostic Differentiation: Regularly assess your readiness and improve your ability to differentiate between disorders with similar diagnostic criteria. This is crucial for narrowing down diagnoses during the exam​​.

These tips combine practical exam-day advice with preparation strategies to optimize your performance on the NCMHCE. Remember, a well-rounded approach that includes understanding the exam format, practicing with simulations, utilizing diverse study materials, and maintaining a consistent study schedule will significantly enhance your chances of success.

Post-Exam: Next Steps

After taking the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE), it’s essential to focus on next steps and strategies for moving forward, whether you’re awaiting results or planning for the future. Here are some post-exam strategies and considerations based on advice from various online resources:

  1. Reflect on the Exam Experience: Spend some time reflecting on your exam experience. Consider what parts of the exam you found challenging and why. This reflection can be beneficial if you need to retake the exam or for furthering your professional development.
  2. Continue Professional Development: The field of mental health counseling is always evolving. Stay engaged with continuous learning opportunities, whether through workshops, additional courses, or reading up on the latest research and counseling techniques.
  3. Network with Peers and Professionals: Joining forums or groups dedicated to mental health counseling can provide support and advice from those who have taken the NCMHCE. Networking can also open up opportunities for career advancement and mentorship.
  4. Prepare for Licensure Requirements: If you’ve passed the exam, begin preparing for any remaining licensure requirements in your state, such as completing supervised hours or applying for licensure. Each state has different requirements, so it’s important to be familiar with the specifics for your location.
  5. Explore Career Opportunities: Start looking into potential job opportunities or ways to advance in your current position. The NCMHCE is a significant step towards becoming a licensed clinical mental health counselor, so consider how this achievement aligns with your career goals.
  6. Self-Care and Stress Management: Remember the importance of self-care, especially after the stress of preparing for and taking the NCMHCE. Taking time for yourself can help you recharge and maintain the emotional resilience needed for your work in mental health counseling.

For specific tips and advice related to the NCMHCE, resources such as Dynamic Test Prep offer a wealth of information, including effective preparation strategies and insights into the exam itself. They highlight the importance of a comprehensive understanding of clinical counseling questions, ethics, and the development of a consistent study routine among other strategies for exam success​​​​​​.

Remember, the journey doesn’t end with the exam. It’s about continuously growing as a professional and leveraging your knowledge and skills to make a positive impact in the field of mental health counseling.


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