NCC AP Examination FAQs

NCC AP provides testing for national credentialing and on behalf of many state licensing/certification boards. Below are answers to many of the frequently asked questions we receive regarding testing. If you still have questions, please contact Yao Kouassi, our Program Manager, at

How do I register to take an examination?

Examination registration is done online through our testing partner, Kryterion. If you are testing for your state license, your state board will give you the information for registering after you have been approved for testing. The list of state licensing/certification boards can be found here. You have to be approved through your state board before you can register for testing. Your state will give you a code which will allow you to register. If you register without being approved through your state board you will not be allowed to take the test and your fee will not be refunded.

If you are testing for an NCC AP national credential, your application will need to be approved by the NCC AP first. Click here for applications. Once NCC AP approves your application, you will receive an email with the code and link to register for that credential’s examination.

On what dates is testing available?

Testing is available on demand. You are able to sign up for the date and time that is most convenient for you, depending on the testing center’s availability. You will be able to see availability at testing centers in your area online when you register for your examination.

Where can I take an NCC AP examination?

NCC AP examinations are offered through our testing partner, Kryterion, at any of their testing locations. You can see a full list of testing locations here.

How much does it cost to take an examination?

The base cost of our examinations is $150. However, some states charge an additional administrative fee as part of testing, so the price of the examination may vary depending on the kind and level of the license or certification for which you are applying and the state in which you are applying

I am testing for [x] license/certification with my state. Which examination should I take?

The level of examination is determined by your state board. You should confirm with your board that you are registering for the correct examination.

I can’t make it to my testing appointment. Can I reschedule?

Yes, you can reschedule via the testing website at any time before your examination. If you attempt to reschedule within 72 hours of your test appointment, you will need to pay a $90 reseating fee. This fee is charged by the testing center itself, and NCC AP is unable to waive it.

Can I cancel my examination?

Yes, you can cancel your examination up to 72 hours before the testing appointment. In general, you can receive a refund of the testing fee. However, some state boards may have a different policy regarding refunds. Please check with your state board for its specific refund policy.

If you miss your appointment time, you will still be charged the full fee and you cannot apply for a refund.

I failed my examination. How do I retake it?

If you failed an examination required by your state board, you will need to contact your state board to register again for the examination. If you failed an examination for a NCC AP national credential, you will need to contact the NCC AP to re-register for the examination. The cost for re-testing is the same.

How many times can I re-take the examination?

You can take an examination up to three times in a calendar year. If you do fail the examination three times, NCC AP requires that you wait until the next year to try again. During that time, you should study again and look for new resources to help you with the examination, such as the Basics of Addiction Counseling Study Guides.

I have a special testing need. Can NCC AP meet my special accommodations?

NCC AP is happy to accommodate any special needs you may have for taking your certification examination. Please download [this form] and return it to us via mail, e-mail or fax. You must also include a physician’s note or other documentation explaining why you need special accommodations. The form must be received 35 calendar days before the requested testing date. A representative from NCC AP will contact you to register you for the exam. You cannot register online for a special accommodations examination.

Will my scores be sent to my state board?

Yes, NCC AP will send an official score notice to the board that you indicated when you signed up online to take the test. We send the reports by e-mail every two weeks.

Will I receive a score report?

Yes, you will receive an e-mail with your unofficial scores when you finish the examination. If necessary, you may request an official score report by emailing There is no charge for requesting the score report within two months of your testing date.

Is there a study guide available for my examination?

There is no study guide specifically designed for NCC AP examinations. However, NAADAC offers many resources to help you prepare for your exam. The NAADAC Basics of Addiction Counseling Modules have aided many addiction professionals in attaining their state and national credentials and are availble in NAADAC bookstore here. The manuals are available as an independent study course, as well. The independent study course contains the same manuals, but they come with CE credit, which is why they are more expensive.

For MAC test takers, the NAADAC Desk Reference Integrating Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders is also helpful as a study course and can be found on the NAADAC bookstore. Like the books mentioned above, the manual is available on its own or as part of an independent study course.

NAADAC's webinar, “Strategies for Successful Test Taking”, produced in partnership with Orion Healthcare Technology, is designed for any individual who expects to take a certification or licensure in the future and would like some assistance preparing for it.  Topics will include: the expectations of certification/licensure testing, the mechanics of multiple-choice questioning and research regarding successful examination completion and options available for test preparation, including formal education and manualized study. Like all NAADAC webinars, “Strategies for Successful Test Taking” is free for everyone to view. NAADAC members can also get CE credit for free, while non-members can pay $20 for the CE Certificate.

Is there a practice test available?

Yes, NCC AP provides an online practice test. If you have already registered for your exam, you can purchase the practice test through the testing website and have immediate access. If not, please go to to create an account on the testing website and purchase the practice test for $35.

The examination includes 70 questions that have previously been used on NCAC I, NCAC II, or MAC examinations. The practice test can give you a good sense of the types of questions you will see, and what the examinations will look like. When you submit the practice test, you will see test results of "pass" or "fail" immediately. However, the results will not show you which questions you got wrong. The practice test is designed to give you an overview of the type of questions and the way they are worded, and NCC AP believes that focusing on the few questions you got wrong is counterproductive.

Do the examinations use the DSM IV or DSM 5?

We have updated our examination questions. Currently, the examination questions reflect the DSM V.

Can I take my exam from my own computer? What about online proctoring?

NCC AP offers test takers the opportunity to test using Online Proctoring. You will take the exam on a computer in your own home or office while being proctored over your webcam by an online proctor in a different location.  Your system needs to meet all of the technology requirements, and you would need access to a quiet, empty testing space. You can find more information and the instructions for registering here.