Alumni, Community and Student Engagement Initiatives

Licensing Exam Hell

I recently spoke with a friend who’d just taken the MFT licensing exam. Having taken it already I gave her my study materials and my insights into the domain areas and the way that the questions were worded (that I could remember) in her preparation for the exam. After countless hours of preparation, trepidation and angst, she took the exam and was devastated to find that she felt completely ill prepared. She’d known someone who had failed it by one point and was petrified of having the same fate. Worse, she felt that she likely could have put in one quarter of the preparation time and done just as well (that remains to be seen). After finishing the exam she was an emotional wreck, angry, defeated, and despondent at the prospect of waiting the 45 torturous business days before getting the results. When I spoke with her a few days later she had largely recovered but felt strongly that the exam was in no way a reflection of her abilities as a clinician and that under no circumstances would she take it again if she didn’t pass. Having been in the very same place less than a year earlier I completely understood where she was coming from, I too had been an emotional wreck after taking the exam; so I said to her what I’ve said to each of my friends who have left that exam devastated and believing that they had failed. The exam is not designed to test our knowledge, it is designed to test our application of that knowledge in real life situations. The licensing exam experience is a parallel process, it leaves us unsure, confused and questioning whether or not we did the right thing; emotions we often experience when working with clients. I also told her that everyone that I know passed the exam despite having a similar experience. Of course she won’t rest until she learns her fate, but my education at Fairfield prepared me well for the exam, after that your guess is as good as mine.

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