Topic 2: Taking the LMHC Licensure Exam! {by 1/30}

We will be completing two practice simulation questions of the NCMHCE this week (the exam used for licensure in MA and other states).  We briefly touched upon the content of the simulations in our previous class (we will cover the content in significantly more detail this week).  Simply share any questions, concerns, anxieties, or thoughts of optimism that you have about taking the exam.  Your original post should be posted no later than 1/30.  It is okay if your post is relatively “short.” Replies are not required for this blog – I will do my best to address each of your responses in class.

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Alyce Almeida
    Jan 24, 2020 @ 18:36:06

    Well I’m definitely anxious to take the exam because I always struggle with doubting myself and my knowledge. However, being able to take the simulation is some what relieving in the sense that we’ll have an idea on how the test be and what to expect. Plus it helps give us some practice, and will help with preparing in the future which makes me a little bit optimistic. My question is more logistical in the sense of where am I taking these exams? I know for the GRE I had to drive quite a while away so I’m curious on where I take the exams exactly. Another concern is how much money I have to prepare to spend.. better start saving!


  2. Amanda Russo-Folco
    Jan 25, 2020 @ 11:40:29

    In regard to taking the NCMHCE exam, I was wondering when you recommend taking this exam. I was not sure if it was smarter to take the exam after the two years of gaining experience, or if I should take it a few months after graduation. I am really anxious about taking this exam and passing it because I am not good at test-taking at all and I’m not too sure what to expect. I know we touched base about the preparation for the exam last class but I was wondering where a good starting point was to start preparing for the test and when you recommend me starting to prepare for it. Even though I am really anxious about this exam, I am also excited at the same time because this is the next step of being a licensed mental health counselor. I am really glad though that we get to see a few simulations in class to help give us an idea of what they are like on the exam!


  3. Sarah Mombourquette
    Jan 25, 2020 @ 17:39:33

    A question that I have about the exam is about the subjectivity involved in the grading process. My mind keeps going back to taking the CANS exam and how subjective the exam was. I remember having so much anxiety because I felt so many answers could be interpreted in many ways. I think I am concerned about “overthinking” the questions in the NCMHCE because I feel like in so many scenarios related to clients you could find ways to argue that an option is correct or incorrect. So ultimately my question is whether or not we should be looking at answering these questions as objectively as possible or if we should be trying to answer the questions based on whatever we feel COULD be explained in a subjective response? I discussed this briefly in my previous post, but I am definitely also very concerned about the money we have to pay to take the exam, especially if I were to fail and have to take the exam again. Similarly I feel stressed about having to purchase the study materials for the exam.


  4. Liisa Biltcliffe
    Jan 26, 2020 @ 11:32:19

    I’m really nervous about taking the licensing exam because I tend to get text anxiety and so I’m worried about freezing up and forgetting everything I know. I have questions, but I don’t know if they can be answered out here because I’m moving back to California and taking the licensing exam there. When I was doing the job search, I saw that there is an APCC and an LPCC and was wondering if there is a distinct difference and if so, what is it (is there a different exam for both…which one do I take if there is)? I feel as if I should email or call someone out there for answers at this point. I think I am most anxious about missing something in the process of transferring over to Cali. Also, maybe this is a stupid question, but are there ethics-related questions on the NCMHCE exam? I know that CA has a separate Law and Ethics exam.


  5. Dee
    Jan 26, 2020 @ 15:28:00

    I am anxious to take the exam because from what we have covered it seems that there is variation in scoring and that the answers may be subjective. What makes me extra nervous is my understanding of what you told us; that certain responses, if you select the incorrect response, can be neutral or unhelpful. This seems like extra punishment for an incorrect answer that can lead to further incorrect answers and impact the rest of the section. Did I understand this correctly? And if so, how do you prevent a snowball effect and how can you determine which answers are more correct than others?


  6. Becca Green
    Jan 26, 2020 @ 19:06:15

    I understand the purpose of licensure exams and how there wouldn’t be another way to make sure that people who are in the field are knowledgable and capable of supporting others. At the same time it is also incredibly frustrating and scary! I worry about my anxiety while taking the exam, especially knowing how subjective the answers could be. I had to get CANS certified for internship and that was stressful enough for me. These exams don’t actually test your ability to be a good counselor, just how to answer questions in the way the state wants you to answer them. Which is how most, if not all, standardized tests are.


  7. Mikala Korbey
    Jan 28, 2020 @ 08:54:51

    After discussing how the questions work in class, I am honestly more worried about taking this exam. The idea that you choose an answer and you will be given more information that may help or be irrelevant is so nerve-wracking to me. I also hate that you have absolutely no idea if you are choosing the right answers or not along the way. Like having no idea if I am on the right track or not is daunting to me. At the moment, I feel no optimism in regards to this exam, only worry and anxiety. Thankfully, there are a lot of study materials available, albeit at a high cost, but I truthfully think some of them are worth the investment.
    I originally planned to take the exam at the end of this summer, but now I am not sure based on what we talked about in class. When is the best time to take it? I am afraid if I wait too long I will forget everything.


  8. Nicole Plona
    Jan 28, 2020 @ 12:56:59

    I’m honestly not too nervous about taking the exam in class. My thought is this will give me exposure to the types of questions we will be shown during the real exam. It gives us a chance to really practice without any scary consequences. What I mean by that is, if I fail during class it’s not that big of a deal because I didn’t have to pay for it and it will show me what I should study or focus on more. I would definitely be more concerned if it effected my actual licensing exam score. I would want to know when would be the best time to take the exam after graduating. Should I do it right away? Or wait a year to have more experience? Or maybe even wait until I fully complete the 2 years experience time? I wouldn’t want to wait the entire time and then forget something I learned during school.


  9. Jayson
    Jan 28, 2020 @ 17:39:22

    One of things that I am nervous about the NCMHCE exam is that it will focus on selecting specific assessments and developing treatment plans specifically for the client’s problem. I am nervous for this because from what I learned from my internship experience is that Assumption does not teach us everything. Once we graduate, there is a whole wide world to learn more information about specific diagnoses, assessments, and treatment planning. At my internship I have struggle with figuring out which assessments and what interventions to choose when working with individuals who have PTSD or substance use disorder. At Assumption, we rarely touch upon PTSD or substance use and so I am nervous about simply being unprepared about answering any other case that does not involve anxiety or depression.


  10. Rachel DiLima
    Jan 29, 2020 @ 11:27:12

    If I’m honest, I’m not nervous about taking the exam in class. That’s not because I think that I’m going to do AMAZING (or even average) on it, but rather because I know its not for a grade but instead as a learning experience. I will undoubtedly feel some frustration during the exam because I honestly have no idea what will be on it. I don’t have to take it until more than a year from now. I’m not saying that I won’t put in my best effort — the scar of seeing a failing grade on this test is motivation enough to not take it too lightly — but I am saying that its not something I’m going to let ruin my day. I am very grateful for this class, actually, because of assignments and tasks like this. This will only help me become more informed about licensing and the preparation I will need to put into it.


  11. Shannon O'Brien
    Jan 30, 2020 @ 06:55:45

    The licensing exam makes me so nervous. I am nervous about practicing in class as well as taking it for real in a few years. I tend to anticipate that I won’t do or preform well when large exams or presentations come up, despite always studying or preparing. Finding the best resources to study with is one of my main concerns. Luckily, we that we did address somewhat last class! I am also concerned on when to take the exam. As we talked about last class, do we take it soon after we graduate, or wait the 2 years? I am just not sure what would be best for me personally. Finally, the format of the exam concerns me – the gaining new information based on how you answered the previous question [art. That’s adds a whole different kind of pressure in my eyes. I will be excited to practice so I can hopefully decrease some of this anxiety!!


  12. marissasweeney
    Jan 30, 2020 @ 12:59:55

    Well, when I think about taking the exam, I definitely feel anxious and nervous. I have a tendency to second guess myself and doubt myself, especially when it comes to tests. IN all honesty, I’m afraid that I will freeze up or second-guess my answers and fail the exam, so it will be important for me to work on my confidence and study so I’m fully prepared. I think the simulation will be beneficial to help prepare for the exam and know what to expect. However, my question is when is the best time to take the exam or when do you recommend taking the exam? Also, what is the best way to study or prepare for the exam? What do most people find to be helpful in preparing for the exam?


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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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