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Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE)

Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) is a standardized exit exam designed to review the material of the counseling core concepts. All School and Clinical Mental Health students must pass the CPCE in order to graduate. The exam is intended to review the main core counseling concepts (CPCE). The exam is a computer-based exam that can be taken at the TAMUC Testing Center (CPCE-APB) or a Pearson approved site (CPCE-CBT).

You are eligible to take the exam after you complete COUN 551 and COUN 595.

For assistance instruction of how to register through Pearson VUE and with Testing Center, contact Dr. Ajitha Kumaran ( (if your legal name is different than the name you are known by the department, please include, also).

CPCE-APB (TAMUC Testing Center)

Spring 2024 Exam Date: Saturday, February 24, 2024

Summer 2024 Exam Date: Saturday, June 29, 2024

One academic year (the Fall, Spring, Summer semesters) is all that can be posted at any time since we must coordinate the administration dates with the Testing Center. Once those dates are determined, they will be posted.

TAMUC Testing Center Fees:

The cost is in two portions and both must be paid before you may take the exam:

*One payment is for the CPCE exam—$75

*One payment is for the use of the Testing Center services—$60

We will provide you with both links for payments that must be made for you to be considered registered for the exam. Do not call the Testing Center first since we must be aware of each student who intends to take the exam. If you do not contact us first, important information may be missing for you to be successfully registered.

CPCE-CBT (Pearson Approved Site)

You can take the CPCE-CBT at any time in the semester. There is no set date. You need to make sure you take the semester 2 months before graduation so we can receive the results in time.

Person-Approved Site Testing Fees:

*One payment is for the CPCE exam—$150


NOTE: Please contact the Department of Counseling if you plan to contact the office of Student Disability Resources and Services (SDRS) for test-taking, contact SDRS at 903-886-5835 to discuss services available. Keep in mind that the office of Student Disability Resources and Services is open 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday - Friday.


The following FAQ further clarifies the procedures:

QUESTION: How many questions are on the Masters Comprehensive Examination?
ANSWER: There are 160 multiple-choice questions on the core section (CPCE).

QUESTION: Is the test on the computer or is it paper and pencil?
ANSWER: The CPCE is a computer-based exam.

QUESTION: How do I sign up to take the Masters Comprehensive Examination?
ANSWER: After reviewing the links, if you would like to register for the exam, please email Dr. Ajitha Kumaran ( with the following information ASAP

  • Your Name and CWID #
  • Specify whether you are registering for CPCE, NCE, or both exams.
  • Indicate the semester in which you intend to take the exam.
  • State your preferred exam location: Commerce site, Pearson Dallas site, or Pearson home (virtual).

QUESTION: When do I know my results?
ANSWER: Outcomes are sent to the department mid-month of the following month after the exam is taken. This is information is given by CCE.

QUESTION: What do I do with the raw score?
ANSWER:  Email your raw score with the test date and CWID# to

QUESTION: What constitutes a passing score?
ANSWER: The passing score of the core section (CPCE) is calculated after each administration. A student will need to obtain a score that is equal to or greater than a z score of -1.25(1.25 standard deviation units below the national mean score).

QUESTION: If I should not pass the first time, how many times may I retake the exam?
ANSWER: If a student fails in their first attempt, they may re-test during the next scheduled administration of the CPCE or the student may be approved to take the exam at another Pearson's site. Should a student fail in their second attempt, their program may be terminated. Under extenuating circumstances, a third attempt may be granted but only upon the recommendation of the Departmental Examination Appeals Committee (DEAC) or head of the department and approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research. For the third attempt, an oral exam is offered as a choice.

QUESTION: Is there a preparation guide or book available?
ANSWER: The Department does not have a preparation guide and does not endorse any particular guide. Students are encouraged to match their course syllabi objectives to the CACREP objectives and then to their course notes and textbooks. The TAMUC library has some available resources you can use (see below).

    • Then click on "database" under the search bar
    • In search databases area type "Mometrix eLibrary"
    • On the Study Guide page click on "Counseling & Social Work"
    • Access CPCE / NCE practice questions and study guide from the list

QUESTION: What are the eight core CACREP areas and what counseling classes relate to those areas?

ANSWER: The eight core CACREP areas include:


Related Program Classes

Human Growth & Development

COUN 545

Social & Cultural Diversity

COUN-501, 522

Counseling and Helping Relationship

COUN-501, 510, 516, 551, 552

Group Counseling and Group Work

COUN-501, 528

Career Development

COUN-501, 512

Assessment & Testing

COUN-501, 517

Research & Program Evaluation

COUN-501, 595

Professional Counseling Orientation & Ethical Practice

COUN-501, 510, 516, 517, 528, 551, 552

For further information:

Starting June 1st, candidates will still be allotted a 6-month window, but the exam attempts will be reduced to 2 and they will only be allowed to attempt the exam once every 90 days. This update will apply to all three CPCE formats (APB,CBT, & OnVue).

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