CPCE consists of 200 questions, of which, 160 count toward your score. You will be allotted 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete the exam.

Special testing arrangements are available for individuals with conditions covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act and those for whom English is a second language. Those who are requesting such accommodations must register for their exam over the phone, once they receive confirmation that their accommodations have been approved.

Some of these accommodations include extended testing time, a separate testing room, and the paper/pencil version of the test.

Online CPCE Prep Course

If you want to be fully prepared, Mometrix offers an online CPCE Prep Course. The course is designed to provide you with any and every resource you might want while studying. The CPCE Course includes:

  • Review Lessons Covering Every Topic
  • 1,250+ CPCE Practice Questions
  • More than 500 Digital Flashcards
  • Over 30 Instructional Videos
  • Money-back Guarantee
  • Free Mobile Access
  • and More!

The CPCE Prep Course is designed to help any learner get everything they need to prepare for their CPCE exam. Click below to check it out!

What are the domains covered on exam?

  • Assessment and Testing
  • Career Development
  • Counseling and Helping Relationships
  • Group Counseling and Group Work
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Professional Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice
  • Research and Program Evaluation
  • Social and Cultural Diversity

Assessment and Testing questions will address comprehending assessment and evaluation as it relates to individuals and groups.

Career Development questions will address the aspects that go into the life-long process of managing one’s life and work.

Counseling and Helping Relationships will address the features of counseling itself, and discussion processes.

Group Counseling and Group Work will address various approaches, such as theories, methods, and skills, as well as development and dynamics of groups.

Human Growth and Development will address the natural make-up and essentials of individuals with regard to development.

Professional Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice will address the concepts of history, roles, the structures of organizations, ethics, standards, and credentialing.

Research and Program Evaluation will address the concepts of research methods, statistics, and ethics and legalities.

Social and Cultural Diversity will address the various characteristics associated with a diverse society.

How do I register for the exam?

If registering to take the exam through your school, contact your school for its registration process.

Otherwise, once you have been approved by your school to take the exam, you can register to take the exam at a testing center by registering online or via a paper form. Online registration can be paid with VISA, MasterCard, or American Express, while paper registration forms should be accompanied by a cashier’s check or money order. Personal checks are not allowed.

Within seven business days, you will receive your Authorization to Test document.

What is the cost of the exam?

If taking the exam on a college or university campus, the cost is $75. When taking the exam at an official testing center, you will pay $150.

What are the testing locations?

Many colleges and universities offer this exam onsite, via internet-based testing. The other option is for examinees to take the exam at a testing center, using computer-based testing. There are various testing centers throughout the U.S. at which the exam can be taken.

What should I do the day of the exam?

Each college/university has its requirements for testing day, but when it comes to taking the exam at a testing center, it is standardized.

Report to the testing site 15-30 minutes early. This will give you ample time to check-in and get settled in. if you get to the testing center 15 minutes late, you will not be allowed to take the exam. Also, you will not be refunded any fees that you have paid.  It will be up to you to re-register and pay the fee again for another chance to take the exam.

Bring two valid forms of identification with you. Neither can be photocopies. The first form of ID should include your name, signature, and photo. At a minimum, your other form of ID should have your name and signature. Failure to bring the proper ID will prevent you from taking the exam.

Personal items are not allowed in the testing area. Some of these items are a cell phone, calculator, books, study papers, ruler, hats, and food/drink.

Can I take a break during the exam?

At the testing center, you are allowed to take a break if necessary, but the exam clock will not be stopped while you are on break. This means the amount of time available for actual test-taking will be reduced.

What happens after I take the exam?

Immediately following the exam at the testing center, you will receive an evaluation form, asking you to rate your exam experience.

Before leaving, you will be given your unofficial score report that informs you if you have passed or failed the exam.

If you pass the exam, your official score report will be sent to your state licensure board. This typically occurs within 30 days of the testing cycle ending. If you do not pass the exam, you are generally allowed to take it one time every three months, but you must confirm this with the CPCE coordinator at your school.

What is the minimum passing score of this exam?

Since there are several versions of this exam, the passing score may vary slightly. The unofficial score report you receive at the testing center will indicate whether you have passed or failed the exam.

How Can I Prepare for the CPCE Test?

That’s a great question.  We’ve broken down the answer into three parts.

  1. Do yourself a favor and study.  Do not walk in unprepared. We have recommended prep materials below, but that only helps if you actually try.  Plus, studying is actually proven to be the best antidote to test anxiety.
  2. Take care of yourself.  Make sure you’re eating well, exercising, and sleeping.  All of these things are scientifically linked to brain performance.  If you take care of your body, you’ll be helping your grades.
  3. Get a study guide, set of flashcards, or sign up for an online course.  Some people study better a certain way. Find your study strengths and make the most of them.  We’ve tried to make it easy for you by tracking down the best study guide, flashcard set, and online course for your exam. Below you’ll see links to all three!

Study Guide

Online Course



Last Updated: April 17, 2024