NCE Practice Exam

Answer Some Sample Questions with Our NCE Practice Exam
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All NCE Practice Exams

Take a NCE practice exam below. We offer 4 different exams. Each exam includes detailed answer explanations at the end. Make sure to review those to help learn key concepts.

National Counselor Exam Content Outline

The National Counselor Exam will test your knowledge and understanding to ensure you are able to safely practice as an entry-level counselor.

Fast Facts

  • Number of Questions: 200
  • Time Limit: 3 Hours and 45 Minutes
  • Question Types: Multiple-Choice

The NCE exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions. Of those 200 questions, 160 will be scored and 40 will be unscored. Candidates will be given 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete the exam.

There are 6 domains tested on the NCE exam:

DomainPercent of ItemsNumber of Scored Items
Professional Practice and Ethics12%19
Intake, Assessment, and Diagnosis12%19
Areas of Clinical Focus29%47
Treatment Planning9%14
Counseling Skills and Interventions30%48
Core Counseling Attributes8%13


NCE Scoring

Only 160 of the 200 total questions are scored. The other 40 questions are being tested to see if they should be used in future examinations and do not count towards the final score.

The NCE is scored out of 160. The NBCC determines the minimum passing score using the Angoff method, but a passing score is usually between 98 and 105, fluctuating slightly with each test administration.

Scores take eight weeks to get back. You will be notified via email when your official pass / fail status is available.

The pass rate for first-time test-takers was 83.4% in 2022 (source).

NCE Eligibility, Registration, and Fees

To register for the National Counselor Exam, you must apply for your certification. Your eligibility to apply for the certification varies by state, you can check those requirements here.

Once you are verify you meet the requirements to test, you can register online. Here is the link to do so.

After you register online and are approved, you will receive an authorization to test email from Pearson VUE. This is when you can officially schedule your test date and location.

You can expect to pay $275 when taking the NCE.

Benefits of Using a NCE Practice Test

Prepare for the NCE with practice exams can be very beneficial. Some of the main benefits include:

  • Familiarity with the Exam: Using practice questions will expose you to the type of questions you may see on the exam. This will help you become more comfortable when taking the actual exam.
  • Find Problem Areas: After taking a practice exam, make sure to pay attention to where you struggled. This will help you narrow down your studies and study more efficiently (saving time).
  • Answer Explanations to Learn: You can use the answer explanations to help you learn important concepts. This is a great way to learn and different from traditional methods, which can become boring and repetitive.

Frequently Asked Questions

You should bring your exam admission letter, acceptable form of photo identification, #2 pencils.

Yes. You must have a passing score on the NCE or the NCMHCE to become a school counselor.

Three years. Once you pass the exam, you have three years to fulfill the rest of the requirements.

The NCE is administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC).

The score varies each year, but it is typically around 98 and 105 (out of 160).

NCE stands for National Counselor Examination.

Gianni Evangelisti
Gianni has been working in the test prep industry for 6+ years. Gianni has created test prep materials across multiple different exam categories.