Comprehensive Exam
Comprehensive Examination (CPCE)

​The next test date is Friday, March 14, 2014 from 1:00pm-5:00pm. Applications are due by 5:00pm, Friday, February 7, 2014. 

The comprehensive examination is a summative evaluation to the eight core content areas of counseling.  It is an essential benchmark to the preparation and readiness of students to graduate with an advanced degree in Counseling.  Beginning with the Spring 2010 semester, the Counseling program at CMU now requires students to complete the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) published by the Center for Credentialing and Education, a corporate affiliate of the National Board of Certified Counselors.  It is a multiple choice examination to assess student comprehension in the eight content areas as approved by the by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). 

These content areas are:

Human Growth and Development
Social and Cultural Foundations
Helping Relationships
Group Work
Career and Lifestyle Development
Appraisal
Research and Program Evaluation
Professional Orientation and Ethics

The CPCE consists of 160 items with 20 items per content area.  

The CPCE allows students to compare their scores on a national level as well as prepare them for the National Counseling Exam which is required for all Licensed Professional Counselors in Michigan. Students will be eligible to take the comprehensive exam upon completion of the core CED coursework for their particular program (Professional or School Counseling):  CED 503 or 504, 566, 610 or 611, 620, 630, 640, 650, 660, 677, 695 and 765. 

To apply for taking the CPCE:

1. Submit your application to take the exam to the CSE department by the posted deadline.

2. There is a $50.00 testing fee for the exam, payable to the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE) by money order only. Do not submit the fee along with the application. You will bring your money order with you on test day, along with appropriate picture identification.

3. The exam is administered in the Education and Human Services Building on campus, according to the posted schedule and protocol established by the CCE.   

There is not an official study guide for the CPCE. Since the CPCE and the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) are based on the same eight content areas, any study materials developed for the NCE should be useful for the CPCE.  The Counseling department at CMU does not have a preparation guide and does not endorse any particular guide. 

You will be sent written notification from the CSE department indicating whether you passed or failed the exam.

If you have not achieved a passing score, you will be required to apply for and complete the entire exam during the next semester the exam is offered.  You must make an appointment with your advisor before retaking the exam. (Don’t forget to fill out a new application.) 

Failure of the Comprehensive Examination 

Students failing the Comprehensive Examination on their first attempt must develop a written remediation plan before preparing to retake the entire exam in a subsequent semester.  The plan should include an explanation of what factors led to failure of the exam (so that the faculty can better understand the needs of the student), documentation of any learning disorders which might impair the student in this process and delineation of specific accommodations required when appropriate, specific activities the student plans to undertake in order to achieve a passing score (this might include, but is not limited to, studying strategies, retaking/auditing of classes, or any other activities aimed at preparing the student for success in this endeavor), and a time-line of when the student will be carrying out these activities and retaking the exam.  When the plan is completed, the student should arrange to meet with his or her advisor for mutual review of the plan.

Students failing to pass the examination on their second attempt must meet with their advisor to discuss their next step in completing their degree.


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