It’s that time of year! Many people are preparing for the NCE and other counseling exams as they graduate programs or continue their licenses. Navigating the tunnels and hoops just to sit for some of these exams should automatically give people the right to a license, but unfortunately just sitting down to take the test is only half the battle. The real work comes when we click those multiple choice questions for hours on end to test our knowledge of theories, experts and practice. Here are some tips I’ve picked up on as I have studied for the licensure exam:
1. Read your materials from the board over and over and over. Every time I read the packet I learned something new; a new form I needed to sign, a new test I had to take online or another step I had to tackle before I could register.
2. Utilize your peers. Ask people around you who have recently been through this process. Ask your supervisors, bosses, professors and classmates ahead of you. They will be your best resource!
3. Check out Rosenthal’s materials (CD’s, textbooks, etc.) as well as other resources (like Dr. Arthur’s study guide if you have the funds).
4. Utilize technology. There are plenty of apps you can find out there for your device. Just search for “NCE study” in your app store and a few different ones will pop up. I’ve been using Rosenthal’s and it’s been very helpful. Also, there are a ton of social media study groups you can join. I’ve received the best tips, resources and community from the group, "Counseling Examination Study Groups NCE and NCMHCE FB/LI.”
5. Buy yourself coffee. Studying is HARD WORK. Opening your books are half the battle… the other half is staying focused. I’m also 8 months pregnant and baby brain is a real thing, so studying is even tougher than normal. But thank goodness for tiny bits of caffeine to keep us all going.
What other things did you find to be helpful as you prepared for your exams? Share in the comments below!
Kristina Walsh is a counselor-in-training at Methodist Theological School in Ohio, completing her internship this year in Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient Care in Harding Hospital at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.