Counseling Masters' Comprehensive Exam - 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 (also, Community Counseling students) must pass the CPCE. The exam is intended to review the main core counseling concepts (CPCE).

CPCE will be a computer-based exam (CBT) for all future dates after fall 2017. There are several significant changes in the new administration of the CPCE, including changes to the deadlines, date of the administration, fees, and location of the exam.


The deadline to turn in your comp request form to our office is two weeks before the exam is scheduled. No late registrations will be accepted! This is a firm deadline since the CPCE must be paid at least 10 non-holiday business days (Mon.-Fri.) before the exam is administered.  

FALL Exam Date: Saturday, September 07, 2019 

SPRING Exam Date: Saturday, February 01, 2020 

SUMMER Exam Date: Saturday, June 20, 2020 

Outcomes are sent to the department mid-month of the following month after the exam is taken. This is information is stated on the  

Date to begin accepting and processing registrations for Spring Comps: Monday, October 21, 2019 



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 (see portal below) 

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.     

Location and time: 

The CPCE is administered on the Commerce campus early each long semester (fall and spring) and early in June for the summer sessions. The exam is scheduled on Saturdays. The exam sign-in will begin at 8:00 a.m. Please arrive early so that you do not arrive too late. Late arrivals will not be permitted to test.  

The location for the administration of the CPCE is: 

Testing Center 
Student Access and Success Center/One-Stop Shop
2200 Campbell St.
Commerce, TX  

This building is B-38 on the campus map. You will need to check at the front desk to be allowed into the Testing Center. 

Campus Map:

Testing Center:


Taking the exam at an alternate testing site is possible  

Student Disability Resources and Services

NOTE: Please contact Marilyn Lewis 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: Is there a cost to the Masters Comprehensive Examination?
ANSWER: Yes, there is a $75.00 fee to purchase the core section (CPCE) and there is a $60 fee for the Testing Center service for the administration of the exam.

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: Since the CPCE must be prepared in advance, students should register and pay the fee (online) with CPCE and Testing Office at least 10 business days prior to the administration of the exam. The Testing Office assists the Counseling program by providing the required equipment, proctoring, and other administrative processes related to the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE). 

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, he or she 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 is 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. A CPCE/CACREP review providing more details is accessed at the link below.

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

Click HERE for the Review Guide for the Master's Comprehensive Examination

For further information: