Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination

ExaminationAll counseling students (except for those in the 30-hour Human Services degree program) must pass a comprehensive examination before their degree will be conferred.  The Liberty University Graduate Department of Counseling is utilizing the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE), published by the Center for Credentialing and Education, Inc. (CCE), which is an affiliate of the National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. (NBCC), for the majority of the examination. 

Graduation Requirements

Students who are enrolled in the 48-hour and 60-hour Licensed Professional Counselor track and Marriage and Family Therapy track must successfully pass the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) and the Integration exam.

Requirements to Register for the Exam

  • The following courses should already be completed: 500, 501, 502, 503, 504, 505, 506, 510, 512, 521, 522, 667
  • 3.0 GPA
  • Good standing in the program

Exam Dates

The comprehensive examination is administered at the end of each COUN 667 Intensive as well as one Saturday per semester.

Spring Term 2015 Exam Dates

  • Jan. 23, 2015 - 1:00 p.m.
  • Jan. 30, 2015 - 1:00 p.m.
  • Feb. 20, 2015 - 1:00 p.m.
  • March 20, 2015 - 1:00 p.m.
  • April 4, 2015 - 8:00 a.m.

Summer Term 2015 Exam Dates

  • May 15, 2015 - 1:00 p.m.
  • May 29, 2015 - 1:00 p.m.
  • June 5, 2015 - 1:00 p.m.
  • June 26, 2015 - 1:00 p.m.
  • July 17, 2015 - 1:00 p.m.
  • July 25, 2015 - 8:00 a.m.

Registration for the Summer 2015 term will begin on February 18, 2015.

Fall Term 2015 Exam Dates

Fall CPCE Testing Dates:

  • Sep. 4, 2015 – 1:00 p.m.
  • Oct. 2, 2015 – 1:00 p.m.
  • Oct. 16, 2015 – 1:00 p.m.
  • Nov. 13, 2015 – 1:00 p.m.
  • Nov. 21, 2015 – 1:00 p.m.

Integration Testing Dates:

  • COUN 671-B02 Aug. 24 – Sep. 18
  • COUN 671-B03 Sep. 18 – Oct. 16
  • COUN 671-B04 Sep. 18 – Oct. 16 (due to B term ending)
  • COUN 671-D02 Oct. 30 – Nov. 27
  • COUN 671-D03 Nov. 7 – Dec. 5

Information about the exam


Time Limit

Students will have four hours to complete the written CPCE portion and 40 minutes to complete the integration exam on Blackboard course COUN 671. 

Test Fee

  • $50 will be charged to your student account once you have been registered to take the exam. (Please note that in Summer 2015 the testing fee will be raised to $55.)

Maximum Number of Attempts

  • Students may take both the CPCE and Integration parts up to three times.
  • After three failed attempts, students will need to transfer into the 30-hour Human Services Counseling degree program to get their degree conferred.

Exam Results

  • Please allow a minimum of 2-4 weeks to receive your exam results via email.
  • Once these exams are processed, a notice will be sent to you immediately notifying you of the results.
  • Effective spring 2015 The passing score for Version 100214 is 71 or higher. (Please note: the passing score for the CPCE changes with every version of the exam.)

Parts of the exam

I. Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE)

Eight core knowledge areas will be covered in the CPCE portion:

  1. Human Growth and Development
  2. Social and Cultural Foundations
  3. Helping Relationships
  4. Group Work
  5. Career and Lifestyle Development
  6. Appraisal
  7. Research and Program Evaluation
  8. Professional Orientation and Ethics

II. Integration

The Integration part is offered through Blackboard at no cost, and must be taken within 2 weeks of the CPCE portion.  This is a closed-book, closed-note exam.

  • Students must email to be registered for the integration portion of the exam.
  • If a student does not complete his or her Integration exam by the deadline, then that student will receive a grade of "NP" (No Pass), and it will be counted as one of his or her three attempts. If a student foresees that he or she cannot complete the exam by the due date, the student must request to be dropped from COUN 671 before the exam due date in order to avoid the aforementioned penalty. A student’s Integration exam due date is 2 weeks from his or her scheduled CPCE testing date.

This portion reviews studies that provide an understanding of the integration of theology and psychology.

Study Tips


  • Encyclopedia of Counseling Third Edition by Howard Rosenthal (Cd versions available)
  • List of study guides for the NCE (which they say contains similar material to the CPCE).
  • Study Guide for the National Counselor Examination and CPCE [Spiral-Bound] by Andrew A. Helwig
  • Academic Review provides preparation materials for the NCE. The CPCE is drawn from the same type of questions. A study guide and an electronic program with exam mode and study mode is available.
  • Mastering the National Counselor Examination (NCE) and the counselor preparation comprehensive examination (CPCE) by Bradley T. Erford
  • CPCE Secrets Study guide
  • App for Apple devices
  • NCE practice exam kit (electronic and print)
  • Vital Review questions for NCE and CPCE 15th Edition by Howard Rosenthal
  • Flash Cards for CPCE
  • Daily Email of question for CPCE and study materials

II. Integration

  • McMinn, M. R. (1996).  Psychology, theology, and spirituality in Christian counseling.  Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.  ISBN: 0-8423-5252-X
  • Entwistle, D. N. (2010).  Integrative approaches to psychology and Christianity (2nd ed.).  Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers.  978-1-55635-944-6.
  • Integration Study Guide

Preparing for the Exam

  • The best way to prepare for the exam is to develop a study schedule that allows for adequate studying time in each of the different areas of knowledge.
  • Divide your study time so that you spend equal time preparing for each area.
  • Study consistently.
  • It is recommended that students consider the timing for taking the CPCE. Often students in  their internship semester, who are also taking a few additional classes, tend to feel overwhelmed if a study schedule is not established and followed.
  • Do something relaxing and get a good night’s rest the night before the examination.

Off-Site Testing

  • If traveling to Lynchburg to take this exam is too great of an inconvenience, one has the option to take the CPCE exam at an accredited school in your state that offers this exam to their students.
  • Students must follow the guidelines provided in the "Instructions for Off-site Testing" document below.
  • An offsite testing student is still required to register for the appropriate courses associated with the Counseling Comprehensive Exam: COUN 670 (CPCE) and COUN 671 (Integration Portion).
  • Students should begin this process at least six months to one year in advance.
  • The CCE provides information for possible alternative testing locations to Liberty University students as a special favor, not as a requirement.  Please be aware that the universities you contact may not be testing during your needed time frame and/or may choose not to allow you to test with their students.  Should either of these be the case, you will be required to test at Liberty University.
  • To find out what schools offer CPCE in your state, please do the following:
  1. Fill out the following form: Liberty University Site Switch form.
  2. Send it to the CCE representative, Laura Hall at or fax it at (336) 217-0222. Please do not send this form back to Liberty. Laura Hall will reply with a list of CCE approved sites in your area where you can take the CPCE.
  3. Once you locate the school that is willing to administer the CPCE to you, please contact the CPCE Coordinator at Liberty University via email (  In order to be registered for the appropriate courses associated with the Comp Exam, you will need to inform the CPCE Administrator of when and where you are taking your CPCE and that your site has been approved by the CCE. If a student has not registered for COUN 670, test results will not count even if the student were to pass the CPCE.