When test takers reach out to me for guidance on how to prepare for the NCMHCE, it is not uncommon for their inquiry to begin with a description of how a bad experience in a CHOOSE ONLY ONE section of the NCMHCE sent them into a downward spiral of extreme anxiety and ultimate failure on the exam.
Let’s talk about the difference between a SELECT AS MANY and a CHOOSE ONLY ONE section on the NCMHCE.
What is a SELECT AS MANY section?
SELECT AS MANY means that you are being asked a question with a number of correct answer selections. For example, let's say there are 10 answer choices and 7 of them are correct: If you select only 4 of the 7 correct answers – you will be allowed to move onto the next section. If you select only 1 answer, and it is incorrect, you will be able to move onto the next section. If you only select 3 wrong answers, you will be able to move onto the next section. To summarize, in a SELECT AS MANY section, you can literally “select as many” answers you think you correct and then you can move onto the next section in your simulation without really knowing if you made all (or any) of the right answer choices.
What is a CHOOSE ONLY ONE section?
CHOOSE ONLY ONE means that you are being asked a question with only ONE correct answer. If you do not select the correct answer on your first try, you must continue making answer selections until you choose the correct answer and can move onto the next section. See how the pressure of needing to select the ONLY correct answer can immediately trigger test anxiety? What adds to this pressure is the realization that not only do you need to select the ONE CORRECT ANSWER, but if you DO NOT select the ONE correct answer on your first try, you will need to continue making selections until you get the right answer. And, what happens when you make wrong answer selections? You lose points. It’s no wonder that nerves take over when a test taker begins a CHOOSE ONLY ONE section.
How to handle the anxiety associated with a CHOOSE ONLY ONE section of DOOM
1. Remember that you do not have to get every single answer correct in order to pass the NCMHCE – you WILL make incorrect answer selections on test day and you need to be equipped to respond to this stress with a level head that doesn’t compromise your performance.
2. Remember that you do not need to hit every single case out of the ballpark – your final score on the NCMHCE is an overall cumulative score so if you are doing well in the majority of your simulations, you have some wiggle room in the event you are confronted with a case that really stumps you.
3. Anticipate being in a CHOOSE ONLY ONE section on test day and build up your emotional resources by working through these kind of sections when you are practicing using CounselingExam.co