NCE Test Accommodations


Accommodations Available for the NCE

The National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) consists of 200 multiple-choice questions, 160 of which are actually scored. Candidates generally have 3 hours and 45 minutes to take the exam.

But what happens if a candidate has extenuating circumstances or a disability that would make these testing conditions prohibitive? The National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) does offer accommodations - such as additional testing time, assistive technology and scribes - as long as they have been approved in advance.

Who Qualifies?

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities ACT (ADA), the NBCC has guaranteed that it will provide accommodations to candidates with disabilities. The NBCC outlines a few criteria that demonstrate the need for accommodations:

  • Candidates with physical or sensory disabilities that would impair their ability to effectively take the NCE under normal testing conditions
  • Candidates who have been diagnosed with learning disabilities or emotional conditions
  • Candidates who learned English as a second or non-native language
  • Candidates who cannot take the test on a Saturday due to religious observance

How Do I Request Test Accommodations?

Candidates who believe they qualify for testing accommodations will need to request them during the registration process. The NBCC requires that such requests be submitted at least 45 days before a candidate's intended exam date. Following registration, candidates must also submit all required documentation on official letterhead that is signed by the appropriate authority or professional. The NBCC makes accommodations coordinators available to walk applicants through this process.

It's also worth remembering that you can choose to postpone your examination date for any reason, whether this is simply to get the accommodation paperwork submitted in time or to have more time to prepare. As long as you contact the NBCC and reschedule your exam more than 30 days before your original exam date, you won't be penalized. If you want to reschedule within 30 days of the original exam date, you can still postpone, but you will have to pay a $150 reregistration fee.

Can I File an Appeal?

If your accommodation request is approved, the NBCC will work with you to set up the appropriate accommodations.

There is also a process in place to appeal your score if you feel that the accommodations you qualified for were not provided or if some other irregularities negated your accommodations.

If you were approved for accommodations, and the testing center failed to meet those accommodations, fill out an incident report while at the testing center. Do not leave before submitting this report, and make it as detailed as possible. You should expect to hear back from the NBCC within 60 days.

Additional Resources

As you prepare for the National Counselor Examination, please consider these additional resources from You'll find an NCE Exam: Study Guide & Practice course that includes lessons aligned with exam content as well as flashcards and practice tests to help improve your recall of key concepts.

There's also information on the NCE Scholarship, designed to help cover the costs of preparing for and taking the exam.

What is the NCE Exam?

The National Counselor Examination is a 200-question test given to prospective counselors for the purpose of earning National Certified Counselor recognition or state licensure.

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