Comprehensive Exam Information

Overview

All Counseling Program master’s students at Montclair State University are required to pass a comprehensive exit exam (Comps) in order to graduate. The purpose of the exam is to assess the student’s knowledge of counseling to ensure minimum competence in the field. The examination also provides learning outcome data that is used by the program in developing/adapting curriculum.

Students in the Addictions, Clinical Mental Health, and School Counseling Master’s Programs take the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE), which is discussed below. Students in the 48-credit hour Student Affairs/Higher Education Counseling Program also take the CPCE.

Please note: Students in the 36 credit-hour Student Affairs/Higher Education Counseling Program take an alternative exam. For information about that exam, please contact your academic advisor (information also will be added to this site in the near future).

COVID/Pandemic Modifications

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Program has made temporary modifications to the CPCE Comprehensive Exam process. Instead of taking the CPCE at an off-site PearsonVUE Test Center, students will take an Alternate Comprehensive Exam (ACE) via Canvas. This administration will take place on a specific day and time both in the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters. Currently, we anticipate returning to our regular CPCE testing process in the Fall 2021 semester.

Examination Schedule

There are two examination windows during the year: Fall and Spring.

Fall 2020 Scheduling (ACE – Administered via Canvas):

Montclair State Registration Window Testing Date Results Posted to Canvas Earliest Graduation Eligibility
Deadline Has Passed November 7 By the end of the semester January 2021

Spring 2021 Scheduling (ACE – Administered via Canvas):

Montclair State Registration Window Test Date Results Posted to Canvas Earliest Graduation Eligibility
October 15 – January 15 TBD – Tentative date: April 10, 2021 By the end of the semester May 2021*

Fall 2021 Scheduling (CPCE – Taken in person at PearsonVUE Test Centers):

Montclair State Registration Window Testing Window (June – October) Results Posted to Canvas Earliest Graduation Eligibility
April 15 – June 15 June, July, August By September 30 January 2022*
April 15 – June 15 September or October (October 31 deadline) By the end of the month following testing January 2022*

*Even if a student tests during the summer months, results will not be official until the end of the Fall 2021 semester

About the CPCE

The Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) is published by the Center for Credentialing and Education Inc. (CCE), which is an affiliate of the National Board for Certified Counselors Inc. (NBCC). The 160-question multiple-choice exam covers eight content areas; these content areas correspond to students’ core courses:

  • Human Growth and Development (COUN 531),
  • Social and Cultural Foundations (COUN 595; also infused into all courses),
  • Helping Relationships (COUN 577; COUN 588),
  • Group Work (COUN 584),
  • Career and Lifestyle Development (COUN 582),
  • Appraisal (COUN 579),
  • Research and Program Evaluation (EDFD 503; also infused into all courses), and
  • Professional Orientation & Ethics (COUN 552; also infused into all courses)

For more information about the CPCE, visit:
https://www.cce-global.org/AssessmentsAndExaminations/CPCE

Please note: Our program only offers Computer-Based Testing (CBT); the Anywhere Proctored Browser (APB) option noted on the CCE website is NOT available to MSU students.