Frequently Asked Questions
Are there exam sites open in my state during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Candidates who have applied for the exam should periodically check their application on PTC, and the Prometric website, for notices. Candidates are also encouraged to check their state websites, weekly, for any updates or temporary orders.
Are there online alternatives to an in-person exam during the pandemic?
At this time there are no online test-taking options for the National MFT Examination; the examination must be taken in-person.
Can I provide teletherapy in another state?
AMFTRB does not set the requirements for individual states, so contact the state board or jurisdiction where your client now resides to find out their requirements for licensing and policies for teletherapy. Normally you must be licensed in all states where you are providing services, so you must notify any state boards or jurisdiction where you intend to practice. Any temporary orders which a state may currently have in place must be followed but may provide temporary crisis rules which must be followed.
Visit our State Requirements page if you have questions about how to transfer your licensure to a new state.
Is there a practice exam?
Yes, and you can read about it here. There are two versions of the exam: the regular 2-hour exam and an extended 3-hour ex.m for qualifying ADA candidates. The questions are identical on both, so you only need to take one or the other depending on your individual situation.
Can I bring any references with me during the exam?
No materials or devices are allowed. Please see the Rules for the Exam.
Does AMFTRB recommend any study materials?
We cannot recommend any study materials beyond the official Handbook for Candidates and Practice Exam.
What is on the exam?
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 facilities giving the Practice exam.
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. More…
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.
I registered but haven’t heard anything.
If you have completed your online application for the exam with us, and paid for the exam, you will be contacted as s
Eleven weeks prior to the first day of the testing period, you will be emailed a Scheduling Authorization from email@example.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.
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.
There were no testing locations or they were filled up.
You will need to move your test to another period. Please contact PTC at www.ptcny.com/contact, or 212-356-0660.
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 usually is 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 be must still be approved by a US state board. Contact the state board where you are/will be practicing.
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 3 days of the exam date.
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 mailed to candidates.
I haven’t received my scores and it’s been 20 days.
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.
I need my scores sent to my state board or jurisdiction.
See the following question below.
How do I test, 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’m licensed in California. Is my license valid in other states?
I don’t see California on the PTC form. What’s the deal? Here are all the details concerning California’s unique situation.
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.
How do I find out when I took the national exam?
If you have forgotten when, or where, or what your score was, 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 is still good, though you’ll need to have done the CEUs. There are maybe a few states that now, or have limited number of years the exam score is useable. 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 I’d start there. Board contacts: https://amftrb.org/#board
- If you failed by only a couple of points, you may apply to have your exam hand-scored. See #4 below under “Taking the Exam Multiple Times.”
- 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 page 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 environment 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 scoring.
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.
4. I have recently taken and failed the National Examination in Marriage and Family Therapy by only a few points. I would like to have my examination hand-scored. How do I go about getting this done and what does it cost?
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:
- Phone: 212-356-0660
- Online: www.ptcny.com/PDF/PTC_Handscore_Request_Form.pdf
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.
1. What is the passing score for the MFT exam?
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 than 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.
2. 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.
3. When will I receive my scores?
Please read the Score Reporting on the Process page.
4. My state board or jurisdiction or I did not receive 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.
1. Can individuals with disabilities be accommodated?
All centers are fully accessible and compliant with the American with Disabilities Act. The criteria for requesting Special Accommodations are those outlined in the Americans With Disabilities Act. Requesting Special Accommodations requires submission of appropriate documentation (e.g., physician’s letter). The online application process provides the ability to attach documentation.
2. I need the criteria that are required to apply for special accommodations in taking the MFT National Exam.
The criteria for requesting Special Accommodations are those outlined in the Americans With Disabilities Act. Requesting Special Accommodations requires submission of appropriate documentation (e.g., physician’s letter). The online application process provides the ability to attach documentation.
3. I have a disability and need special considerations
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, fill out the request for an ADA accommodation. 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.
1. If I need to reschedule my examination once I have selected a date and test site, what must I do?
If you want to reschedule or cancel your exam date within the same week of the month you are scheduled then you may do so if there is room at the test site by contacting Prometric at (800) 741-0934 no later than noon Eastern Standard Time of the second business day prior to your scheduled appointment. If you want to cancel or reschedule your exam date and site to a different month than you have scheduled, then there is a one-time rescheduling possible for $165 by contacting Professional Testing Corporation (PTC) at 212-356-0660.
PLEASE NOTE: canceling your examination appointment will result in a forfeit of examination fees. Be sure to choose your examination period carefully before applying for the exam.
2. We are supposed to have severe weather in my location. Could this impact my test? How and when would I be notified of the cancellation/postponement of my test? What would this mean for me and the money I have paid for the test? Are there allowances for bad weather? When would the test be made up? I am concerned that the severe weather will ruin everything!
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.
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. 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.
8. 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).
9. 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.
10. 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-special-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.
11. Can I make comments concerning the test administration?
Candidates can take a survey at the end of the exam but cannot leave specific comments so PTC asks candidates to email their comments or call 212-356-0660.
Visit our state requirements page for information about testing and licensure related to California.