Your National Exam Roadmap
Your comprehensive guide for the entire exam process
Introduction to the Exam
To practice as a licensed marital and family therapist (LMFT) most states and jurisdictions* require passing the MFT National Examination, developed and managed by AMFTRB.
If you are currently in a graduate program, or transitioning from another related career and plan to practice as an LMFT it is important that you become familiar with the MFT National Examination, your states or jurisdiction’s policies and requirements, and then the process for applying and completing the exam.
The must-read Handbook for Candidates (the 2019 Handbook for 2019 exam dates, and the 2020 Handbook for 2020 dates) and pages on this website are designed to give you the knowledge, tools, and resources you need to make this experience as efficient and effective as possible. We also encourage you to read the appropriate pages on the AAMFT website.
*Contact your state or jurisdiction for the most current and accurate rules, regulations, and information about licensure and testing, as jurisdictions continually update their board rules.
How to take the MFT National Exam
Important: Preparing for the Exam
Before registering to take the exam, candidates must:
- Be registered with or in contact with the state or jurisdiction where they intend to practice (also from whom you will receive your Approval Code necessary to register for the exam—more below)
- Complete their graduate degree
It is highly recommended that candidates
- Are working on their post-graduation supervised experience hours
- Take and pass the Practice Exam
- Read through the Exam reference—lots of details about taking the exam, what to expect, and what to areas of knowledge it will cover.
- Read through the Handbook for Candidates (the 2019 Handbook for 2019 exam dates, and the 2020 Handbook for 2020 dates)
- Talk with your supervisor about licensing requirements, your jurisdiction’s rules and regulations, and the licensing exams.
Important: before you can even register for the MFT National Examination, you must have been in contact with your jurisdiction and state board and have received an Approval Code, indicating you have met their requirements and are eligible to take exam.
The Handbook for Candidates
The AMFTRB/PTC Exam Handbook is a must-read and should answer most of your questions about the exam process, from your initial application through the scoring and receipt of your results. The Handbook is updated annually, so download either the 2019 Handbook or the 2020 Handbook, depending on which year you will be taking the MFT National Examination.
AMFTRB offers a Practice Examination to help prepare candidates for the MFT National Examination. This is an opportunity to get a feel for the actual exam and your success. The practice exam has 100 questions (compared to the 200 on the national exam) and is based on the 6 practice domains covered in the national exam. Your scores will be displayed at the completion of the exam and may be retrieved later using your sign-in. Learn more about the contents of the actual MFT National Examination here.
Training programs may purchase blocks of practice exams at reduced fees, and administer the tests themselves. Read more about School Vouchers here.
Help with the Practice Exam
- Registration, sign in, or to recover password visit Testrac
- Purchasing and Technical assistance: call 952-953-6292
- Feedback: click conversation-bubble icon on the registration page
How to Register for the Exam
(See the diagram at the bottom of this page)
- Candidates must first contact their jurisdiction and state board where they intend to become licensed, even if it is different from the state where they are currently residing or practicing, for applications and eligibility requirements.
- Before registering, consult the Testing Period chart in the Handbook for Candidates (the 2019 Handbook for 2019 exam dates, and the 2020 Handbook for 2020 dates) for application
- Candidates are required to complete an online application for PTC/AMFTRB. The candidate will receive
an emailnotification of the online link for this application only after the jurisdiction and state board in which the candidate has applied has sent their Approval Code.
- Once the PTC/AMFTRB application is completed and the examination fee has been received, candidates will receive an identification number and information concerning the testing centers. Candidates will be instructed to contact PSI directly to schedule their examination location, date and time.
- See pages 2 and 5 of the Handbook for Candidates (the 2019 Handbook for 2019 exam dates, and the 2020 Handbook for 2020 dates)
- Please contact your jurisdiction and state board directly with any questions concerning application deadlines and additional fees for licensure and application. Your jurisdiction may have additional requirements that may supersede the ones outlined above.
ADA Accommodations and ELL Special Arrangements
After the jurisdiction has approved the applicant to sit for the national exam, the jurisdiction will email an Approval Code and link to the PTC online application system. If you feel you qualify for ADA Accommodations under the Americans With Disabilities Act, please complete the linked form. Read more about accommodations here. If you need considerations as an English Language Learner please download, complete ELL Special Arrangements, and submit to your jurisdiction. Here’s a list of participating states or jurisdictions. Note: ADA and ELL applications must be made 8 weeks ahead of the exam date
Examination Fee for the Examination: $355.00
(Includes computerized examination testing fee) Major Credit Cards are accepted. Please do not send checks, money orders,or cash
Please note that fees are not refundable.
Help with registration
If you have problems with registration or your purchase, call PTC for assistance at 212-356-0660.
Scheduling your Exam
Once the PTC/AMFTRB application is completed and the examination fee has been received, candidates will receive an identification number and information concerning the testing centers. Candidates will be instructed to contact PSI directly to schedule their examination location, date and time. Available dates on page 2 of the Handbook for Candidates (the 2019 Handbook for 2019 exam dates, and the 2020 Handbook for 2020 dates).
Candidates must sit for the examination within the testing period they have been authorized to test in by PTC. Once a candidate has received their scheduling authorization from PTC to take the exam, the candidate should make an appointment online with PSI as soon as they receive their confirmation. Testing will be scheduled at the location and on the date and time of the candidates’ choosing, if available. View available dates here. PSI will try to accommodate candidates’ scheduling preferences as closely as possible. However, it is in the candidate’s best interest to contact PSI as soon as they receive confirmation from PTC to schedule a date and time. Also, see pages 4–5 of the 2019 Handbook for Candidates or the 2020 Handbook for Candidates, depending on when you intend to take the examination.
Choosing a Testing Period
- The MFT National Examination is given during a one-week window every month. Keep the following in mind when choosing your testing period:
- Give yourself enough time to study. A practice test is offered by AMFTRB.
- You may need to have your results in to your state board by a certain date. Be sure that you allow yourself enough time to retest if you fail the first time.
- Emergencies happen, so it is recommend not waiting until the last day of the exam window window to schedule. See below or page 3 of the Handbook for Candidates (the 2019 Handbook for 2019 exam dates, and the 2020 Handbook for 2020 dates) to see how you can change your testing period from one month to another.
Help with scheduling
- If you do not receive a Scheduling Authorization or are having trouble scheduling your appointment call PTC for assistance at 212-356-0660.
- The PTC Candidate ID number on your Scheduling Authorization is only valid for use during the testing period you chose. If you cannot test during your chosen testing period please see below or page 3 of the Handbook for Candidates (the 2019 Handbook for 2019 exam dates, and the 2020 Handbook for 2020 dates) to see how you can change your testing period from one month to another.
Rescheduling your Exam
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 reschedule possible for $165. See pages 2–3 of the Handbook for Candidates (the 2019 Handbook for 2019 exam dates, and the 2020 Handbook for 2020 dates) for more information.
Note: When PSI must close test sites due to adverse weather or power outages, and there is time (the day of the exam may be difficult), 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. All candidates who cannot test because their test appointment was cancelled by PSI or experienced bad weather or a technical issue should contact PTC by phone (833-207-1288) or email and we will respond on the next business day.
Please note: failure to appear for or canceling your scheduled examination appointment will result in a forfeit of examination fees. Be sure to choose your examination period carefully before applying for the exam. More on our FAQ’s and page 3 of the Handbook for Candidates (the 2019 Handbook for 2019 exam dates, and the 2020 Handbook for 2020 dates).
If your state board/jurisdiction has a policy about an MFT candidate taking the exam within a certain amount of time to remain as a state MFT intern or candidate, and you have gone beyond that time frame, only the state board can provide any “eligibility extension”.
Taking the Exam
Agree to Security Agreement
AMFTRB aggressively guards the integrity and security of the MFT National Exam and requires a candidate’s signature. [link to security] Also see pages 22–23 of the Handbook for Candidates (the 2019 Handbook for 2019 exam dates, and the 2020 Handbook for 2020 dates).
Testing Centers and environment
What are the testing centers like and what accommodations do they offer?
What is on the National Exam?
Retaking the E
If you want to retake the exam after having failed it, then you return to the PTC website https://secure.ptcny.com/apply to your application with AMFTRB and follow the instructions to re-apply/update your application and then proceed. (see page 5 of Handbook for Candidates (the 2019 Handbook for 2019 exam dates, and the 2020 Handbook for 2020 dates). If you have taken the exam more than 3 or 4 times in a year, then you may need to check with the state board office that approved you to take the exam to make certain that you are still approved to take the exam.
Scores and Scoring
Approximately 20 business days following the close of each testing period PTC (not AMFTRB or PSI) will report scores to state or jurisdiction licensing boards and will be emailed to candidates (scores are not posted on the PSI site).
- Score Reports are sent via a secure link, not in the body of the email.
- Your Score Report is password protected. Your Candidate ID serves as the password to open your Score Report. Your Candidate ID can be found on your Scheduling Authorization.
- The link to download your Score Report is valid for 30 days from the date you receive the email with the Score Report. Please download your Score Report within 30 days and print or save a copy for your records.
- Your Score Report remains password protected even after you download and save a copy on your computer. Please save your Candidate ID.
- To access your Score Report after 30 days, you will need to contact PTC to request a new link. Requests made more than 6 months from the date of this email are subject to a $25 Duplicate Score Report fee.
- 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 PSI or AMFTRB distribute scores.
How to receive a copy of your scores
If you need to request an additional copy of your scores for yourself, your employer, or a new jurisdiction and state board, fill out the online Score Transfer Request form through PTC.
How to transfer your scores to a new jurisdiction and state board
If you have passed the national exam in one state or jurisdiction, but are moving to another, you may request to have your test results transferred to the new jurisdiction and state board using this formhttps://secure.ptcny.com/mftscoretransfer/eforms/amftrb/.
What are my options if I fail?
- You can opt to have your exam
hand scored(#4) within 90 days of receiving your score.
- You may retake the exam but there are limits to the timing (see above)
- Consider taking the Practice Exam if you have not. Prepare by reading about what you may expect on the exam [link to exam-info].
Help receiving your scores
If you have problems receiving your scores, call PTC for assistance at 212-356-0660 or use the contact form.
Have questions or need help?
- Use our Contact form
- For questions retrieving scores from the Practice Exam contact
- For questions about registration, hand scoring, transferring and copies of scores contact PTC
- Phone: 212-356-0660
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- For scheduling or rescheduling the exam contact PSI: 800-733-9267
Summary of Exam Contacts
Professional Testing Corporation (PTC)
PSI Computer Testing Centers
- Online application process
- General application policy and procedures
- Testing policies and procedures
- Rescheduling to a new testing period
- Request for Special Accommodations
- Request for Hand Score/Score Transfer
- Miscellaneous inquiries
- Schedule test appointment
- Reschedule test appointment (within a testing
- Cancel test appointment
- Directions to test site
- Questions regarding testing sites and
Summary of Links
- ADA Accommodations
- Available exam dates
- California requirements
- ELL Special Arrangements
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Handbook for Candidates (the 2019 Handbook for 2019 exam dates, and the 2020 Handbook for 2020 dates)
- MFT National Exam Reference
- Practice Exam
- Practice exam scoring support—Testrac
- MFT Exam Registration—PTC
- Registration support—PTC
- Scheduling or Rescheduling the exam—PSI
- Score copies, transfers, issues—PTC
- Security Agreement
- State or jurisdiction boards
- Testing Centers