Topic 2: Taking the LMHC Licensure Exam! {by 1/28}

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 1/28.  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.

34 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Melissa Pope
    Jan 23, 2021 @ 07:51:43

    Starting with an optimistic viewpoint; I personally think that Assumption have prepared me well to take the exam when the time comes. I am assured that with appropriate studying and field experience that I will pass. I also like the exam structure- to base proficiency judgements/scoring on case studies than to have a individual memorize facts and information-that they may or may not utilize in the future.
    My major concern as of right now, is if I plan to begin my career within a school setting, getting enough experience in the field to utilize the skills that I have learned in school so that I do not get rusty. I also have the added concern now, of how I can get LMHC supervision if I do secure a job within a school setting. But all in all…I will get through, as will everyone else in the program- so one step at a time.

    Reply

    • Zacharie Duvarney
      Jan 24, 2021 @ 12:17:44

      Melissa,

      I also feel confident in the program’s curriculum as it relates to taking the licensure exam. However, I would be interested to know what items on the exam will be foreign to us. For example, will the exam ask us about modalities outside the realm of CBT?

      Regarding your supervision, perhaps it would be beneficial to work outside of a school setting until you receive licensure? You can always work at an outpatient facility providing counseling to children.

      Reply

  2. Jess Costello
    Jan 23, 2021 @ 19:19:24

    Similar to what Melissa said above, I am also generally optimistic about the licensing exam (although this could change as it gets closer!). I like that it’s scored on a range through applying knowledge with case studies that could have more than one correct answer and more closely mimic clinical practice, instead of simply asking us to memorize facts. I think the more experience I get in the field, the more prepared I would feel for the exam.

    My main concern is how to prepare for the exam when (hopefully) working full time and I’m no longer in school and a little rusty on test-taking skills. However, I am confident that I will be able to apply my education and clinical experiences to lead to success on the exam.

    Reply

    • Zacharie Duvarney
      Jan 24, 2021 @ 12:20:38

      Jess,

      You and I share similar sentiments regarding the structure of the exam. I have always found open-response type formats easier and more beneficial than multiple-choice examinations that are filled with arbitrary facts. Also, I hope the exam focuses primarily on clinical skills rather than the memorization of facts that have little utility in providing therapy to people. We shall see how it goes in class I suppose.

      Reply

  3. Zacharie Duvarney
    Jan 24, 2021 @ 12:25:05

    Regarding the licensure exam, I am feeling mostly optimistic. At this point in my professional development, I feel as though I have adequate knowledge in basic practice guidelines, professional ethics, and practical skills. Considering that we as Assumption students are trained in evidence-based practice, I feel confident in this respect as well.

    Concerning anxieties I have surrounding the exam, I suppose I am mainly worried about how many questions will relate to MA state guidelines on the provision of psychotherapy. I assume that the exam will cover this topic to some extent, meaning I will likely have to familiarize myself with this knowledge. I have some experience in taking MA state licensure exams (I went to a vocational high-school for plumbing, where I completed similar tests), and I know that MA tends to be very strict when it comes to pass-fail thresholds for licensing exams.

    Reply

    • Bianca Thomas
      Jan 26, 2021 @ 13:56:10

      Zach, I agree that Assumption does a good job of preparing us for this exam because of the fact that it really studies evidence based practice.

      I also feel some concern over the state guidelines and how many questions will be regarding that. I want to get licensed in California as well, since I plan to have a home there as well and would like to be able to take on clients from there, so I am a little worried about having to take the exam twice and remember state guidelines for 2 states.

      Reply

      • Paul Avolese
        Jan 28, 2021 @ 10:16:35

        Hey Bianca,

        I can imagine looking to get licensed in two states right away would be anxiety-provoking. We may have discussed this in class, but I am wondering about the need to sit in on multiple exams if you have been practicing for a long enough period of time. I can understand if separate exams are required for specific states, but do the same exams need to be completed for different states? Either way, from what I understand Massachusetts and California both have some of the most vigorous training and expectations for counseling, so it sounds like you’ll be prepared to practice almost anywhere else!

        Reply

  4. Katrina Piangerelli
    Jan 24, 2021 @ 14:15:29

    I am excited and anxious about the licensure exam. I feel more confident in my ability as a therapist since starting my internship and I think that the licensure exam is just another step in the right direction. I am excited to actually become an LMHC and I have known that I would need to take the licensure exam before I entered this field. Even though I have known about the exam and feel confident as a therapist I still feel some anxiety towards the exam itself. I think this is mostly due to the typical exam anxiety most of us experience when taking a bigger exam that determines our next steps in the field. Overall, I feel pretty confident that I will do well on the exam after attending Assumption for my masters and having a really good internship that has helped me gain experience. I may not feel the same way when I actually begin preparing and have a test date set, but right now I am not that worried about it.

    Reply

    • Bianca Thomas
      Jan 26, 2021 @ 13:57:42

      Katrina, I am right there with you with the feeling of eagerness and readiness to actually be in the field and practicing what we’ve learned. I also am someone who experiences pretty high test anxiety, so you aren’t alone in that!

      Reply

  5. Kelsey Finnegan
    Jan 24, 2021 @ 14:40:12

    I feel relatively optimistic about taking the licensure exam. I believe I will be taking the NCE as that is the exam that is required in the two states I am looking for jobs in. I believe my education from Assumption places me in a position to do well on this exam, even though it is designed to focus on the CACREP content areas. I think I will take it relatively soon after graduation since it seems to be more focused on memorization of content rather than clinical judgment.

    Reply

    • Kara Rene
      Jan 27, 2021 @ 18:09:14

      Kelsey,

      It sounds like you have a good plan for taking the NCE early! I am not sure what test is required for the Marriage and Family Therapist License, but it sounds like it must be similar to the NCE because several of the MFT’s I have worked with recommended taking the exam early!

      Reply

  6. Paola Gutierrez
    Jan 25, 2021 @ 15:05:16

    Although I wouldn’t say that I’m feeling confident about the licensure exam, I don’t feel extremely anxious, either. I think I am going to take the NCE soon after graduating while course content is still fresh, as the NCE is required in TX. I am a little anxious about the setup of the NCMHCE, especially the part where wrong answers will lead to incorrect information for the next section (thereby setting you up for more negative points). I hope that after this week’s class, I will have a better idea of what to expect on the exam and hopefully, feel a little less concerned.

    Reply

  7. Bianca Thomas
    Jan 26, 2021 @ 13:52:31

    I am definitely nervous about taking the licensure exam. After reading the practice questions I recognized some nervousness over the questions. I am pretty confident in my actual ability to work with clients and help people, but as for the licensure test I am definitely nervous and worried at the moment. I do know, however, that as long as I study for it I will be okay, so I don’t want to worry myself until I actually have studied for it.

    Reply

    • Ashley Foster
      Jan 27, 2021 @ 23:19:00

      Hi Bianca, I can absolutely relate to taking what we learned and putting them into practice being a strength rather than on paper. I think being worried is honestly a good thing, it keep us prepared and some times over prepared. I agree, don’t worry your self out, but like you said in your post, take the time to study and I’m sure we’ll be fine!

      Reply

  8. Anthony Mastrocola
    Jan 26, 2021 @ 16:21:51

    I find myself not worrying much about the licensing exams. I trust the Clinical Counseling program in preparing myself for licensure in the state of MA. I am excited to continue the discussions and practice of the licensing exams to develop a familiarity and expectations of the content. I likely do not experience much anxiety regarding the exams because I do not give much thought to the topic. Much of my attention is spent focusing on my internship, coursework, oral exam, and professional development/job searching. I am sure as I focus more on licensing exams that my anxiety will increase. I am particularly excited to begin the simulation questions to better my expectations. Aside from simulations, I trust in what I have been taught in this program and from my internship.

    Reply

    • Kara Rene
      Jan 27, 2021 @ 18:07:28

      Anthony,

      I totally agree with you about not feeling too anxious yet because I simply am not devoting much attention to licensure exams at this point in my career- there are currently more pressing issues like internship, graduating, and finding a job at hand! I agree with you that I trust our program will have prepared us well!

      Reply

    • Paul Avolese
      Jan 28, 2021 @ 10:07:40

      Hey Anthony,

      It sounds like we are on a similar page; I believe I am prepared for the exam and am also focused on everything else necessary for my professional development at the moment. The practice questions will ideally give us a better gauge of areas we need to improve.

      Reply

  9. Kara Rene
    Jan 27, 2021 @ 18:05:58

    I think that my main concern as I think about the licensure exam is simply not knowing what to expect, so I’m grateful that we will be doing some practice questions to gain some exposure! I think my other main concern is simply motivating myself to study in a proactive manner rather than “cramming”. But, overall, I feel optimistic about the exam, as I feel our program as well as our post-graduate work experiences will have prepared us well! I would be more nervous, I think, if I were taking the NCE since that one is more academically based, so I would be worried about forgetting too much as I practice!

    Reply

    • Ashley Foster
      Jan 27, 2021 @ 23:15:26

      Hi Kara (First off, congrats on passing your oral exam with distinction!!!!). Second, I can totally relate to the anxiety surrounding the unknown of what to expect. I even write about this in my post and agree at least now doing a simulation, we’ll at least have an idea. I agree that our program has prepared us for success and we’ll be fine!

      Reply

    • Anthony Mastrocola
      Jan 28, 2021 @ 07:56:35

      Hi Kara,

      I completely agree that it can be hard to find the time to study for these exams when there are other pressing issues at this point in the semester. It can definitely be hard to think much about the exam when expectations are limited. Luckily we will be practicing in class.

      Reply

  10. Ashley Foster
    Jan 27, 2021 @ 19:33:44

    I see the licensure exam in the same light as graduating and completing my oral exams; exciting but anxiety provoking. I’ve mentions before, I am not good at taking exams in general, but I know I’m solid in practice. I think that with case vignettes, I will be fine and probably exceed the standard, on the other hand, I think I’m going to struggle on the multiple choice side. I’m interested to see how I do on the stimulators and I believe I will feel probably better after I have a grasp on what to expect.

    My one thought of optimism; if we can balance being in grad school, internship, and going into the field during a global pandemic… I think we got this!

    Reply

    • Anthony Mastrocola
      Jan 28, 2021 @ 08:05:51

      Hi Ashley,

      I love your comparison between the feeling of taking the licensure exam, oral exam, and graduating. All of these factors are most definitely anxiety provoking and exciting at the same time. I’m in the same boat as you with tests not being my strength, but with enough practice I’m sure we’ll all do well.

      Reply

    • Olivia L Corfey
      Jan 28, 2021 @ 12:50:15

      Ashley,

      I appreciate your thought of optimism!! I completely agree! We have survived this far, we got this!

      Reply

    • Mariah Fraser
      Jan 28, 2021 @ 16:28:34

      Hi Ashley,

      I have very similar feelings of excitement and anxiety related to both the oral exam and the licensure exam. One thing at a time! I also would say that I’m not a great test taker, which in itself is unsettling. Definitely having this course that provides practice questions will give us a better sense of what to expect. I also like your little piece of optimism at the end – after completing grad school in the middle of the pandemic should give us all a little boost in confidence and all a little peace of mind!

      Reply

  11. Paul Avolese
    Jan 28, 2021 @ 10:02:49

    As of right now, I do not have much anxiety about the licensure exam. I believe graduate school has provided me with a good foundation of knowledge and that I will get more experience with the “grey areas” of the field through internship and employment. Similar to what other people have said, my main anxieties are in relation to familiarity with Massachusetts’ laws and expectations for responses on the exam. I have experience completing other certifications and licensures, but this one feels more significant as a long-term career change.

    Reply

    • Melissa Pope
      Jan 29, 2021 @ 10:19:12

      I like you outlook. Dont sweat it too much, and honesty if you are organized and motivated to read up on the laws and criteria to take for the exam you will do fine. I feel like you have these qualities, and stressing out too much about it will only hurt you in the long run.

      Reply

  12. Monique Guillory
    Jan 28, 2021 @ 12:40:47

    The idea of taking the licensure exam is definitely a mixed bag of feelings. I am a bit nervous to perform under pressure, but then again I can see how fulfilling 3500+ clinical hours will definitely help ease those anxieties as I continue to gain more clinical experience in the field. I’m definitely going to buy the prep material online that we discussed in our last class, and hopefully land a job that will help broaden my clinical knowledge, and provide great supervision. I think it is extremely helpful to be able to have an idea of what the exam involves, as well as the format. Begining the journey towards licensure by passing the oral exam, and gaining clinical knowledge in the coming years will help tremendously.

    Reply

    • Olivia L Corfey
      Jan 28, 2021 @ 12:46:28

      Monique,

      I most definitely agree that the idea of taking the licensure exam is a mixed bag of feelings! However, the thought of having 3500+ clinical hours, along with buying prep materials will be extraordinarily helpful when it comes to actually taking the exam!

      Reply

    • Mariah Fraser
      Jan 28, 2021 @ 16:28:55

      Hi Monique,

      I can relate to the mixed feelings related to the exam. I agree that between the studying materials, this course, and clinical experience, we should all be more than prepared! I also really appreciate knowing the material we’ll be tested on and the format of the exam; that definitely helps ease my anxiety!

      Reply

  13. Olivia L Corfey
    Jan 28, 2021 @ 12:43:37

    I would say I am a little anxious in regard to taking the licensure exam. The setup of the exam is a little daunting, particularly the part where selecting some answers may lead to negative points. However, I am hoping with the education I have gained, along with the experience from my internship, two years of field work and substantial dedication to studying, anxiety will slightly decrease.

    Reply

  14. Mariah Fraser
    Jan 28, 2021 @ 16:29:20

    I’m definitely anxious when I think about the licensure exam, particularly because I’m not a great test taker; especially for exams that last a few hours. I think I’ll be okay after having taken this course, as well as using prep materials for studying. My current focus is on passing the oral exam, but once the licensure exam gets closer, I’m sure I’ll be more concerned about it. I try not think about the exam unless I can be productive in my thinking (e.g. planning, studying) instead of thinking catastrophically.

    Reply

  15. Taylor O'Rourke
    Jan 28, 2021 @ 18:47:27

    My biggest concern about the CT licensing exam is choosing which one to take. We have the option of taking the multiple choice or the case study one. Though I feel the multiple choice option would be theoretically easier, these types of exams have not always been slimy strong suit so I am not sure if it would be the best option for me. However, I am still quite optimistic about this option because it would be more content based and is objective which is what I prefer typically. I am interested to work through the case simulations tonight in class to get a better idea of what it entails so I can make a more informed decision when the time comes to select which exam I will take.

    Reply

  16. Taylor O'Rourke
    Jan 28, 2021 @ 18:47:28

    My biggest concern about the CT licensing exam is choosing which one to take. We have the option of taking the multiple choice or the case study one. Though I feel the multiple choice option would be theoretically easier, these types of exams have not always been slimy strong suit so I am not sure if it would be the best option for me. However, I am still quite optimistic about this option because it would be more content based and is objective which is what I prefer typically. I am interested to work through the case simulations tonight in class to get a better idea of what it entails so I can make a more informed decision when the time comes to select which exam I will take.

    Reply

  17. Melissa Pope
    Jan 29, 2021 @ 10:23:58

    Taylor,

    I too do not historically have a good record with multiple choice exams. I personally feel that the more experience I get, the more comfortable I will feel for the exam (case study) and they are more objective and based on reality. From my point of view this would be easier to prepare for, and gives you a good break from school life before you take it. A nice breather of fresh air may do you some good to reset your mind, instead of cramming for material that is going to stress you out, and you may not use in the future.

    Reply

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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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