Frequently Asked Questions

Before contacting us with your question, please read the answers to the most common questions below. They are ordered in the sequence you have encounter them.

In brief: AMFTRB only maintains the contents of the national MFT exam and relationships with its partners delivering the exam and scoring.

For registration or payment issues, scores, and requesting copies:

Please review the Handbook for Candidates or contact Professional Testing Corporation (PTC) at 212-356-0660.

For issues with the practice exam or vouchers:

Contact Professional Testing Corporation (PTC) at 212-356-0660

For scheduling, rescheduling, and testing center questions or issues:

Review the Handbook for Candidates or contact Prometric at (800) 741-0934.

For eligibility, approval codes, licensing, or transfer requirements:

Contact your state board or jurisdiction.  

Four organizations to be familiar with

The role of AMFTRB

  1. develops and maintains the contents of the exam
  2. maintains and oversees its partnership with Professional Testing Corporation (PTC) and Prometric
  3. AMFTRB does not:
    • send authorization codes,
    • register exam candidates,
    • schedule testing,
    • send scores,
    • oversee issues with fees or refunds,
    • manage the practice exam or vouchers,
    • license candidates.

    These functions are provided by the state boards or jurisdictions, PTC, and Prometric outlined below.

The role of your State Board or Jurisdiction:

  1. determines your eligibility to take the exam
  2. provides your authorization code to register for the exam
  3. issues your license or equivalent

The role of Professional Testing Corporation (PTC)

  1. manages the registration process, fees, refunds, etc.
  2. provides the scheduling authorization for Prometric
  3. provides scoring and results to you and your state board of jurisdiction
  4. at your request, sends duplicate scores to other boards
  5. manages the practice exam and school vouchers
  6. fields your concerns and issues encountered with the exam contents

Contact PTC at https://ptcny.com/contact or (212) 356-0660

The role of Prometric

  1. facilitates the scheduling and rescheduling process, fees, refunds, etc.
  2. manages the testing facilities and administration of the exam
  3. facilitates the practice exam: its registration, fees, accommodations, and refunds
  4. provides technical support for the test site

Contact Prometic at https://www.prometric.com/AMFTRB

Scores, Scoring, and Copies

When will I receive my scores?

Approximately 20 business days following the close of each testing period scores will be reported to state licensing boards and will be emailed to candidates. AMFTRB does not distribute scores or monitor the status of your scores, you must contact PTC.

It’s been 20 days; why haven’t I received my scores?

If you or your state board or jurisdiction do not receive your scores after 20 business days following the close of the testing period, please contact PTC directly—neither Prometric or AMFTRB distribute scores. AMFTRB does not distribute scores or monitor the status of your scores, you must contact PTC.

What is the passing score?

The passing score on the MFT National Examination is established by a panel of expert judges on an “anchor examination.” A modified Angoff method is the technique used to determine the passing score. Each panel member estimates for each item on the test what percentage of minimally competent therapists would get the item correct. Their responses are examined and analyzed by psychometric experts, and minor adjustments can be made by the Examination Advisory Committee. The anchor examination becomes the standard of knowledge to which all future forms of an examination are compared. Some forms of the examination will contain individual items that may differ in difficulty from items on other forms. To compensate for these variations, test forms are compared using a psychometric process called equating. This equating process accounts for the varying item difficulties and adjusts the passing score up or down accordingly.

As a result, the required standard of knowledge for passing the examination remains consistent from test form to test form. Therefore, there is not a standard or consistent score across exam administrations that represents a passing score. Please understand that if you hear and/or believe that the national exam passing score is 60, 70, or any other number, this does not follow the exam scoring guidelines in the exam candidate Handbook for Candidates.

Who can I talk to about my score?

For the security and reliability of the exam, AMFTRB does not discuss the exam, scores, or outcomes with candidates. If you have failed the exam, please see the discussion below. Further, please consider working with your clinical supervisor and/or academic faculty to address the domain areas in which your score report indicated that you had strengths and weaknesses.

How do I have my scores sent to my state board or jurisdiction?

Your scores are automatically sent to the state board or jurisdiction that approved you to take the exam. If you are requesting copies or a score transfer of your scores to another jurisdiction, see the question below. AMFTRB does not distribute scores or monitor the status of your scores, you must contact PTC.

How can I request an official copy of my scores?

Fill out the online Score Transfer Request form through PTC (the fee was $60/per transfer as of March 1, 2021). You can use this form to obtain a copy of your scores for yourself, a new state board, your school, or your employer. If you have any questions about your score records, forgot when you took the exam, or about the online transfer request form, please contact PTC: https://ptcny.com/about/#contact, or by phone at (212) 356-0660.

Note: if you or your board does not receive the scores in a timely manner, contact PTC at (212) 356-0660. AMFTRB does not distribute scores or monitor the status of your scores, you must contact PTC.

I don’t remember when I took or passed the exam.

Don’t remember when you took the exam? See “How do I find out when I took the national exam?” below.

What if I ordered copies of my scores, but never received them?

If you or your state board or jurisdiction do not receive your scores in a timely manner, please contact PTC directly—AMFTRB does not distribute scores or monitor the status of your scores, you must contact PTC.

How do I change my request for sending score copies?

If you made a mistake in your request, contact Professional Testing Corporation (PTC) at https://ptcny.com/contact or (212) 356-0660 to make the change.

How do I find out when I took the national exam?

It is most likely that you took your exam just prior to becoming licensed which will remind you of the year you took the exam. Contact the state board or jurisdiction in which you were first licensed to ask when they received a copy of your score report. If you failed to keep a copy of your exam score when you received it or have forgotten when (month and year) or what state approved you to take the exam,  contact PTC: https://ptcny.com/about/#contact, or by phone at (212) 356-0660.

Is my passing test score good indefinitely?

In the majority of states, the score has no expiration date. There are a few states that have limited the number of years the exam score is valid and thus accepted. This is really a question for the state board or jurisdiction where you are practicing or plan to practice as an LMFT: https://amftrb.org/#board, so start there. Board contacts: https://amftrb.org/#board

Does AMFTRB release national exam statistics and pass/fail percentages?

AMFTRB provides an annual report to the 53 individual member states, jurisdictions, commonwealths, and territories that act as the legal entities responsible for licensing LMFTs. These entities have the decision-making responsibility for their jurisdiction’s data, and its availability. You are free to contact them directly.

Eligibility and Requirements

How do I get my Approval Code to register for the Exam?

Contact your state jurisdiction to determine your eligibility, and if their requirements are met, they will send you your approval code. You can only use your approval code once, so if you fail the exam, you will have to acquire another approval code from your state jurisdiction before applying for the exam again. AMFTRB does not issue approval codes. More on the process…

How long is my Approval Code good for?

The general AMFTRB guideline is approval codes are valid up to one year from the time of issuance or until the exam is taken (pass or fail). However, if the exam is never taken, the duration of the approval code’s validity will vary by state and jurisdiction, so check with your state board for their policy.

Can I take the exam while I’m still in graduate school?

While your state board or jurisdiction may permit you to take the exam, and subsequently accept your scores, know that the examination is constructed for and normed on a post-graduate degree candidate with required supervised experience hours

Can I take the exam remotely or at home?

No. The national MFT exam is only administered in proctored exam centers by Prometric.

Can I take the test in one state when I intend to practice in another?

The short answer is “yes.” However, you will need an approval code from the state board or jurisdiction where you intend to practice. If you don’t know where you will practice, you can receive an approval code from the local state board, so contact them. If you are in California, which does not accept the AMFTRB exam, you will need to acquire your approval code from any nearby state board, providing you meet that state’s requirements. See California

Can I take the exam outside the United States, its territories, or Canada?

Generally, no. It is possible, under certain conditions, for a person to take the exam outside of the US, but it is usually an accommodation for military personnel and is given on their base. Even so, the candidate must allow significant advance time for planning and scheduling and must still be approved by a US state board. Contact the state board where you are/will be seeking licensure and practicing. 

Can I provide (tele)therapy in another state?

Whether it’s in-person or teletherapy, AMFTRB does not set the requirements for individual states, so contact the state board(s) or jurisdiction(s) where your client(s) now reside to find out their requirements for licensing and policies. Normally you must be licensed in the state where your client is in residence to provide therapy for them. Any temporary orders that a state may currently have in place must be followed and may provide temporary crisis rules that must be followed.

Registering for the Exam

How do I register for the exam?

First of all, please read the Exam Roadmap on our site.

Next, go to the PTC (Professional Testing Corporation) website registration page. If you have any issues with registration, e.g., the form doesn’t seem to work, contact Professional Testing Corporation (PTC) at 212-356-0660.

Please do not submit and pay for more than one application at a time since the application fees are not refundable. If you pass the exam on the first try, any fees paid for an application for a later testing period will not be refunded.

For all scheduling, rescheduling, and testing center questions, review the Handbook for Candidates or contact Prometric at (800) 741-0934.

How do I reschedule my examination time?

You may reschedule your exam time under the following conditions:

  1. There are no stipulations if your request is submitted 30 days or more before the original appointment.
  2. If the request is submitted 5–29 days before the original appointment, candidates may reschedule for a $50 rescheduling fee paid to Prometric.
  3. If less than 5 days before the original appointment, candidates will need to reapply for a future testing period and pay the standard fees.

Different month: If you want to reschedule in a different month, contact Professional Testing Corporation (PTC) at https://ptcny.com/contact or (212) 356-0660. There is a one-time transfer fee of $175.  

Same month: Contact Prometric at (800) 741-0934

For more information, see the transfer policy in the Handbook for Candidates.

PLEASE NOTE: canceling or not showing up for your examination appointment will result in a forfeit of examination fees. So, be sure to choose your examination period carefully before applying for the exam.

When are exam dates for next year posted?

There is no set date, though dates for the next year could be available on the PTC registration form as early as September 1. AMFTRB will post them on the website by October at the latest.

How do I find testing locations near me?

Visit https://www.prometric.com/AMFTRB. Click on Location (there will be up to a 2-minute wait). Select/enter your options and follow the arrows. The resulting locations will be presented on the final page.

What if there are no testing locations, or they are filled up?

You will need to move your test to another period or test site, which may be in a neighboring state if you are located close enough. Please contact PTC at www.ptcny.com/contact, or 212-356-0660.

Can I get a discount on the fees for the exam?

Sorry, but no discounts are available for the national exam. There may be vouchers offered by training programs for the Practice exam.

I am in the military, so how do I register to take the exam?

  1. First, follow the same process to be approved by your state/jurisdiction to take the Examination as would any other candidate, informing them of your current situation.
  2. Once you receive the jurisdiction ID code, register with PTC as all other candidates.
  3.  We suggest you confirm with your branch of the military that you have been approved through their state or jurisdiction to take the exam. You can reference http://www.cool.osd.mil/arm  which shows that the exam is approved.
  4. You can request a reimbursement for the exam fees. 

I registered for the exam—when will I get a reply?

If you have completed your online application for the exam with us and paid for the exam, you will be contacted as soon as eleven weeks.

Eleven weeks prior to the first day of the testing period, you will be emailed a Scheduling Authorization from notices@ptcny.com. Appointment times are first-come, first-serve, so schedule your appointment as soon as you receive your Scheduling Authorization in order to maximize your chance of testing at your preferred location and on your preferred date.

I registered, but can I get a refund if I back out or cancel?

As the Handbook for Candidates states, exam fees are:

  • Non-refundable
  • Non-transferable
  • Includes testing center fees
  • No discounts available

Preparing for the Exam

Is there a Practice Exam?

Yes, and you can read about it here. There are two forms of the practice exam. Each is presented with the regular 2-hour exam and an extended 3-hour format for qualifying ADA candidates. Some of the questions on both forms of the practice exam are the same, so you may choose to take only one or the other depending on your individual situation. There are no refunds if you decide to take both forms.

Can I get a discount on the Practice Exam?

The fee to take the practice exam is $70.00 (subject to change) for each attempt. There are no discounts available for the practice exam. However, your school may offer vouchers and administer the practice exam for you, so check with them first.

Does AMFTRB recommend any study materials?

We cannot recommend any study materials beyond the official Handbook for Candidates, our Exam page, and the Practice Exam. Because would be considered a conflict of interest, AMFTRB has a policy of not recommending any courses, study materials, or methods in preparation for the exam. We offer the practice exam to give examinees a sense of what will be covered on the exam, the look and feel of the exam, and the mechanics of taking it. Contact your state board or jurisdiction for further recommendations.

What is on the exam?

Accommodations

I have a disability; how can I be accommodated?

All centers are fully accessible and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The criteria for requesting Test Accommodations are those outlined in the Americans With Disabilities Act. Requesting Test Accommodations requires submission of appropriate documentation (e.g., physician’s letter). The online application process provides the ability to attach documentation.

You may take the exam in accordance with the provisions outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act Title III Regulations, Subpart C, Section 36.309 “Examinations and courses”, and if you meet the AMFTRB requirements for an ADA exception. When you apply to take the exam with PTC,  complete the Request for Test Accommodations Form available from www.ptcny.com and upload both sides of that Form to your application. You will be contacted by PTC regarding your requested test accommodations. Note: The lead time for ADA accommodations is 8 weeks instead of the usual 4 weeks for non-ADA applications. Please see the  Handbook for Candidates for other details.

I’m not a native English speaker, can I have more time for the exam?

A special arrangement for English Language Learners (ELL) can be obtained only from your state licensing board and not all states will allow this arrangement as it is not an ADA (American with Disabilities Act) sanctioned accommodation. Candidates wishing to learn more about this arrangement should contact their state licensing board directly. Read more here

What is the criteria that are required to apply for test accommodations?

The criteria for requesting Test Accommodations are those outlined in the Americans With Disabilities Act. Requesting Test Accommodations requires submission of appropriate documentation (e.g., physician’s letter). The online application process provides the ability to attach documentation.

Taking the Exam

Can I bring any references with me during the exam?

No materials or electronic devices are allowed. Please see the Rules for the Exam. You will be required to sign the Security Agreement, stating that you understand and will comply with this stipulation.

Are there allowances for bad weather?

In general, when Prometric must close test sites due to adverse weather, their policy is to notify affected candidates of the closing and to reschedule them at no additional cost. Be assured that every effort will be made to enable you to take the exam that you have prepared for.

What if there were problems at the test center that impacted my ability to take the exam?

Per the Handbook for Candidates, any candidate who feels that the examination effort was negatively impacted by the test center conditions should notify the proctor immediately. The situation, or any comments about the exam environment, should also be reported to PTC at www.ptcny.com/contact, or 212-356-0660, within three days of the exam date.

  1. What can I do if there is a glare on the computer screen?
    Try tilting the computer monitor or adjusting the chair. If that does not resolve the problem, please inform the proctor.
  2. What can I do if I experience a delay in starting my test?
    If there is a delay, please alert the proctor immediately. Once the delay is resolved you can resume or start your exam; you will get all of your time (i.e., the delay will not reduce the amount of time you have to take the exam).
  3. What can I do if the computer malfunctions while I am taking the examination?
    If there is a computer malfunction during your exam, please let the proctor know immediately. Once the malfunction is resolved you can resume or start your exam; you will get all of your time (i.e., the delay will not reduce the amount of time you have to take the exam). The candidate should be able to resume where they left off. If the malfunction cannot be resolved, leave and contact PTC so they can assist you. Generally, responses are saved, but if the candidate must leave the center due to a technical issue that cannot be resolved, the candidate will need to reschedule the exam and start the exam from the beginning the next time.

What if I believe there were errors in the contents of the exam itself?

If you feel there were errors in the actual content of the exam, this should also be reported to PTC at www.ptcny.com/contact, or 212-356-0660, within three days of the exam date.

What is taking the Exam like?

  1. What are the testing centers like?
    Testing centers are built to standard specifications and vary primarily on the basis of size. Private modular workstations provide ample workspace, comfortable seating, and proper lighting. Proctors monitor the testing process through an observation window and from within the testing room. Parabolic mirrors mounted on the walls assist proctors in observing the testing process. All testing sessions are videotaped, and audio monitored. During your testing session, people taking examinations other than the Marital and Family Therapy Examination may be working in the testing room.
  2. Is computer knowledge necessary?
    Computer knowledge is not required to take a computerized examination.
    Before the examination begins, a simple introductory lesson (tutorial) is presented that explains the process of selecting answers and moving from question to question. The time candidates spend on the practice lesson does not count against the time allotted for the examination. Most candidates take approximately 5 to 10 minutes to complete the tutorial and may repeat it if desired. Candidates may select their answers using either the keyboard or the mouse. Candidates are strongly encouraged to use the tutorial presented just prior to taking the examination.
  3. While taking the examination, can I move back and forth between test questions?
    Yes. While taking the computerized examinations, candidates can skip forward or backward through the examination, and review questions at any point during their testing session.
  4. Can I mark items for later review?
    Yes. The testing software contains a feature that allows candidates to “mark” questions that they might wish to review later if time permits. Any question can be marked, regardless of whether it has been left blank or answered. Questions can be reviewed whether or not they have been marked. It is not necessary to unmark a question in order for it to be scored at the end of the examination.
  5. Can I use scratch paper when taking the examination?
    Yes, candidates are given 2 pieces of paper and a pencil to use during their exam; and then they must return both items before they leave the test center.
  6. Can I use earplugs when taking the examination?
    Yes. Candidates are allowed to use earplugs that are supplied by the testing center, or they may bring their own. Earplugs are not automatically distributed to candidates. Candidates must ask Prometric staff for them. Contact Prometric at (800) 741-0934. However, because Prometric does not guarantee the availability of earplugs, candidates who believe that they will need earplugs are strongly advised to bring their own. The candidate should let PTC know if they want to bring their own earplugs so that the proctor can be alerted.
  7. Can I make comments concerning the test administration?
    Candidates can leave brief, specific comments at the end of the exam. Candidates may email their comments to PTC or call them at 212-356-0660.

Can I take the exam on paper instead of a computer?

You may take the paper exam in accordance with the provisions outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act Title III Regulations, Subpart C, Section 36.309 “Examinations and courses”, and meet the AMFTRB requirements for an ADA exception: https://amftrb.org/mft-exam/faqs/#disabilities. When you apply to take the exam with PTC (http://www.ptcny.com/PTC/contact.asp), fill out the request for an ADA accommodation http://ptcny.com/candidate-corner/request-test-accommodations/. You will be contacted by PTC to arrange for your specific need. Note: the lead time for ADA accommodations is 8 weeks instead of the usual 4 weeks for non-ADA applications. Please see the Handbook for Candidates for other details.

Failing the Exam

I failed the exam; what are my options?

  • If you failed, you may apply to have your exam hand-scored. See “below”I failed by only a few points . . . below”
  • You may apply to take the exam again. See “Taking the Exam Multiple Times” below.
  • You can only use your approval code once, so if you fail the exam you will have to acquire another approval code from your state jurisdiction before applying for the exam again.
  • See pages 15–27 of the Handbook for Candidates
  • Learn more about the exam and what is covered on the exam, so you are familiar with its content. Note that AMFTRB does not recommend study materials
  • Take the practice exam.
  • Read about the testing centers and conditions.
  • Talk with your supervisor.
  • Talk to your state board or jurisdiction.
  • If there was a technology failure, or another environmental issue outside your control, that might have impeded your ability to complete the exam and was reported to the proctor at the time of the exam, then contact PTC, Prometric, or AMFTRB.
  • AMFTRB offers the MFT National Examination as a standardized examination for use by its member state boards and jurisdictions. Each member board makes an independent determination whether or not the examination meets its individual needs and licensing requirements. There is no vehicle by which an applicant can challenge the validity of the exam, its questions, or its scoring.

I failed by only a few points, can I have my Exam hand-scored?

Candidates who fail the examination may request a hand scoring of their data file. Hand scoring is a manual check of the data file by the testing service to determine if there have been any errors in scoring. Although the probability of such an error is extremely remote and PTC automatically reviews all data, this service is available.

To request hand scoring, please contact PTC:

Requests must be received by PTC no later than 90 days after the date of the examination. Candidates who fail the examination will not be permitted to see the examination questions. For test security reasons no candidate is allowed to review the examination or any of its items directly. The cost for manual exam scoring is $25 per hand-score request.

How do I take the exam again?

First of all, your eligibility to retake the exam for any reason is not a question for AMFTRB, but for your state board or jurisdiction. AMFTRB does not determine your eligibility to take the exam or issue approval codes—that is the role of your state board. Your approval code to register for the exam is only valid for one time, so each registration requires a new approval code, each issued by your state board or jurisdiction. That said, consider the following:

Four things you must do:
If you have failed the exam and wish to retest, please read page 15 of the Handbook for Candidates. In summary: a.) talk to your state board or jurisdiction, b.) you will need to reapply to take the exam, c.) you will need to contact your board for a new or renewed eligibility code, d.) you will have to pay the full exam fee.

1. How often can I take the examination?
This may vary by state. However, a candidate may take the examination no more than three times in any 12-month period.

2. If I apply for the examination, but do not take it, will I receive a refund of my examination fee?
No. (Handbook for Candidates, REFUNDS/TRANSFERS)

3. In the event of failure, do I need to wait a specified period of time before I can test again?
Although there is not a specified waiting period and because of the registration timeline, the next available testing period would be in three months. For example, a candidate takes the exam in January and does not pass. Because it would be too late to register for the February or March testing period, the candidate would register for the April or later test period.

Can I review my answers or compare them to the correct answers?

To protect the integrity of the examinations, AMFTRB does not provide answers to the individual questions contained in either the actual or practice examinations.

Are there any considerations for those who took the exam in Florida or New York?

Florida and New York use a SCALED SCORE. If you want your raw score, that is, the number of items you scored correctly of the 180 items, you can submit a Score Transfer Service & Duplicate Score Report Request at http://www.ptcny.com/exam-sponsors/amftrb or amftrb.org. There is a fee for each request.

California

How do I test in California, or transfer my scores to or from California?

I don’t see California on the PTC form. What’s the deal? Here are all the details concerning California’s unique situation.

I am licensed in California, but can I provide therapy in other states?

See the question about practicing in other states.

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