Frequently Asked Questions
Visit our State Requirements page if you have questions about how to transfer your licensure to a new state.
Is there a practice examination?
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 exam 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.
What is on the exam?
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.
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.
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 is 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 can 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 Exam Handbook 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 PSI at 800-733-9267 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 $160 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 PSI 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 prior to taking the examination.
ONLINE TESTING SOFTWARE TUTORIAL
A Testing Software Tutorial can be viewed online. This online Testing Software Tutorial can give you an idea about the features of the testing software.
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 PSI staff for them. Contact PSI at 800-733-9267. However, because PSI 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 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 can 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 Exam Handbook 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.