On Saturday I took by far the most important test I’ve ever taken: The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Exam. Obviously- a spoiler alert to the story: I passed!
The last six weeks I’ve been consumed with studying for this test. I went to work, exercised, and studied until I started my “shut down” before bed. Weekends were completely consumed with studying. Basically, I studied a lot.
I didn’t get the confirmation that I could sign up for this test until last Monday (it took three months from the time I started to send in paperwork until the time everything was approved), and I signed up for Saturday at 1:30. I ended up spending Friday night at my friend’s house (a friend from grad school who had recently passed the test), and that was so good for my anxiety. It was relaxing and fun, and I slept better than I had in the entire previous week. I got up, did half an hour of relaxing pilates moves, ate a huge breakfast (bowl of oatmeal, 3 eggs, and four sausages- go protein!), and hung out for awhile before my hour drive to the testing site.
I ended up getting there a full hour, and paced around for a bit before eating a protein bar (I had tried to eat lunch and just couldn’t get much down. I was too nervous). Then it was go time! You have 4 hours to take the test, plus additional time for a practice simulation and survey at the end. There are 10 clinical simulations, with lots of questions for each simulation. I had no real idea of how long it would take, but I guessed I could be done in about 2 hours. I ended up flying through the first few simulations in 7 minutes each, so i would take about 1 minute in between to deep breathe. I had used the counselingexams.com website to practice, and those simulations were much harder than the actual test! The test flew by!
Once I hit the 10th simulation, I got a little nervous. This was it, I couldn’t turn back, and if I didn’t pass, it was $200 down the drain! I hit submit and then stumbled towards the front of the testing office. Luckily they print your results immediately. The woman grabbed my sheet, looked down, and handed it to me without any reaction. I immediately thought I might have failed, since she had been very friendly before the test. I looked down and saw this:
Pass! YAY!!!! I was so relieved. I did a little dance and started to laugh and cry all at once. This is five and a half years in the making (yes- it takes a long time to become a licensed counselor), and I’m so glad to be done with this part of the journey. From here the scores get sent to the state, and they process it and send out my license! YAY. So then I’ll be a licensed mental health counselor and a licensed clinical addictions counselor (i’ve had that license since 2011).
I bought a few little treats for myself after the test, but am planning on getting frozen yogurt with a friend tonight and maybe a massage at the end of the week.
For now I’m relieved, excited, and in need of a break!