Comprehensive exams

Students enrolled in the school psychology program typically will sit for their examination during their internship year.  Students enrolled in the mental health counseling program will typically sit for their examination upon completion of 30 semester hours of coursework. Noone shall take the comprehensive exam until they have achieved candidacy. All students should confer with their advisors if there is any question about the timing of the comprehensive examination.

Preparing for the examination should begin early and should involve a broad range of preparatory actions so that students may achieve a "professional synthesis" of their varied training experiences. A review of textbooks, lecture notes, and other course materials should serve as one component of the review process. It is important to note that students will be accountable for material covered in those required courses that were waived during the development of the student's Individualized Student Program.

Note: The comprehensive examinations are pass/fail. If a student does not successfully pass the examination, he or she must retake the entire examination during a future administration.

If you have a disabling condition that may interfere with your ability to successfully complete the comprehensive examination, please contact the SUNY Oswego Office of Disability Students Services, 155 Marano Campus Center, 315.312.3358.

The Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE)

The Mental Health Counseling program uses the CPCE for their comprehensive examination. Students must take and pass the CPCE as part of their graduation requirements. 

Content: The CPCE covers the eight common-core areas identified by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP):

  1. Human growth and development
  2. Social and cultural foundations
  3. Helping relationships
  4. Group work
  5. Career and lifestyle development
  6. Appraisal
  7. Research and program evaluation
  8. Professional orientation and ethics

Preparation: There is no official study guide for the CPCE. Since the CPCE and the National Counselor Examination (NCE) are based on the same eight knowledge areas, any study materials developed for the NCE should be useful for the CPCE. Study guides for the NCE exam can be found in the Browsing Section of Penfield Library, in the library at Jefferson Community College, or may be ordered online at the following web site:

A practice exam for the NCE exam can be found at The NCE exam is very similar to the CPCE and this is a very useful resource.

An excellent book to help you prepare for the exam is "Encyclopedia of Counseling: Master Review and Tutorial for the National Counselor Examination and State Sounseling Exams" by Howard Rosenthal. One copy is in our browsing collection and can circulate for two weeks and the other copy is in our reference collection of Penfield Library.

Cost: $150.

To register: There is a new process for registering for the CPCE as of 12/21/2023

You must be in your second year of study and have recieved Candidacy.

See the following documentation. There are instructions for those who need accomodations and instructions for those who do not. 

Step 1: Creating a Credentialing Account

Step 2: CPCE Registration Process (No Accomodations)


Step 2: CPCE Registration Process (Need Accomodations)

After you register, a Department Representative needs to appove you to take the test. You do not need to do anything for that to happen

The School Psychology Praxis Exam

Students in the School Psychology Program are required to take The Praxis Exam for School Psychologists, which is administered by ETS. The Praxis Exam is also required in order for program graduates to become Nationally Certified in School Psychology (NCSP).

Students may obtain a copy of The Praxis Series: Guidance, Administration and School Services and The Praxis Series Registration Bulletin by calling (609) 771-7395. They may also get further information about the Praxis series on the Internet at

Content: As stated in The Praxis Series, "The test assumes that candidates have had some form of supervised practicum or internship experience." Consequently, the optimal time to take the exam may be during internship. The test is made up of 120 multiple-choice questions that cover the following areas:

1. Diagnosis and Fact Finding

2. Prevention and Intervention

3. Applied Psychological Foundations

4. Applied Educational Foundations

5. Ethical and Legal Considerations

Preparation: The Praxis Series: Guidance Administration, and School Services provides a full description of the test along with sample test items.

Cost: See Praxis web site for current test fee.

Time Allotment: Students are allowed two hours to complete the Praxis examination.

To Register: The Praxis exam is administered six times per year. The closest ETS test center is at Onondaga Community College. Students must have their scores reported to the Chair, CPS Department, SUNY Oswego, Oswego, NY 13126. Students should follow the directions in The Praxis Series Registration Bulletin.