What We Know About The AMFTRB National Exam

The Association of Marital & Family Therapy Regulatory Board’s (AMFTRB) examination in Marital and Family Therapy is provided to assist state boards of examiners in evaluating the knowledge of applicants for licensure or certification.

There is a wide diversity of educational backgrounds among the applicants who seek licensure or certification in Marriage and Family Therapy. The AMFTRB offers— for use by its member boards —a standardized examination in order to determine if these applicants have attained the minimal level of knowledge considered essential for entry-level professional practice, and in order to provide a common element in the evaluation of candidates from one state to another. The AMFTRB National Licensing Exam is offered 12 times each each year across a week long testing window each month. Exams are administered at Prometric Testing Centers across the country. You can take your exam in any Prometric Testing Center, even if you are applying for licensure in a different state. AMFTRB provides what they call a “Road Map” to licensure and testing which you can find at the following link: https://amftrb.org/your-exam-roadmap/#practice

In January, 2020, the AMFTRB reduced the number of questions on the actual AMFTRB National MFT Licensing exam to 180 questions, down from the original 200 questions. Candidates still have 4 hours to complete the exam. FSI has added a new 180 question exam as part of the eStudy Program’s Practice Exam course to reflect and prepare you for this change.

All AMFTRB testing was suspended in March, 2020 as the COVID-19 Pandemic began to take hold in the US and the country was directed to stay home in most states. As of May 16, 2020, AMFTRB has begun testing again at Prometric Testing Centers (PTC) in states that are beginning to open up again. Follow this link to see if your state is allowing Prometric to begin testing for your exam: https://www.prometric.com/site-openings

Please keep in mind that all FSI faculty are ourselves MFT practitioners, MFT Program Directors and Approved Supervisors of AAMFT. Many of our faculty teach in and/or are directors of AAMFT accredited training programs. Many of our associated colleagues were original authors of exam questions. FSI materials are used as Foundation and Advanced Theories texts in many COAMFTE accredited MFT Masters Programs across the country and work closing in adapting our Comprehensive Exams to the particulars of a graduate MFT program.

We know and care about the MFT field. Specifically, there are four main things we do to ensure that we know the licensure exam well:

1. FSI keeps up with AMFTRB, the exam authors and PES the exam administrator:

FSI founders stay in touch with all changes at the Association of Marital & Family Therapy Regulatory Boards. FSI knows how to interpret the vague information given out by AMFTRB and focus you in ways to pass this exam the first time.To do this we attend the public sessions of their meetings and study their publications and are always tuned into the cutting edge of the field of MFT. This combined with all FSI faculty being AAMFT Approved Supervisors and MFT trainers for well over 37 years, allows you to receive the benefit of our expertise applied specifically to your studying in the right way to pass the exam the first time. From our research we learn such things as the current weighting of Knowledge & Practice Domains most likely to appear on the next cycle of exams, the percentage of new questions available in the database, national and state-by-state pass rates, and long term trends such as the current move towards a more practice-based emphasis.  While the current 2015 exam has just been revised to cover the DSM-5 and Crisis management while adding 18 more Knowledge Domains (to the existing 56), the FSI 2015, 6th Edition Study Guide and eStudy Program has been updated to incorporate all these changes.  Remember though, the test is always evolving and being tweaked and you can trust that Family Solutions will address any major changes and give you access to them through our eStudy Program.  Remember that the test never looks the same from one cycle to the next.  A model or emphasis heavily found on a particular exam will not necessarily be found in the next cycle’s exam! Whenever the test changes, FSI is on top of it. Our current study materials are always completely up-to-date with the AMFTRB National MFT Exam! In the event of a change, we revise our materials immediately to reflect such changes. If you have previously bought the Study Guide through the Home Study Program, email us and we may be able to offer you a discount and give you online access to the latest edition of the Study Guide through our eStudy Program.

2. FSI does original research with FSI exam candidates:

FSI has an on-going program of surveying those who use our Study Materials to make sure that our materials continue to be the best available to those preparing the the National MFT Exam. While FSI will never ask about the specifics of the AMFTRB’s copyrighted exam questions from those of you that have previously taken the exam, we do survey those who purchase our study materials around the real-world match of FSI Study Materials and whether our materials helped to best prepare an exam candidate for their actual testing experience.

3. FSI follows legislative developments across all states as they relate to MFT licensure:

We follow legislative requirements of all US states that regulate MFT’s including California which has a very different exam. When Hawaii passed it’s MFT licensing law in August, 1998, FSI “floated” the idea of an intensive Workshop in Honolulu on short notice, to meet the law’s requirement that all currently practicing MFT’s pass the exam by November of that year (3 months notice!). Hawaii’s MFT’s responded with overwhelming appreciation for our ability to “be there” for them. A Workshop was assembled quickly, and became one of FSI’s best attended and most successful.FSI was tuned in to the passing of licensure in Pennsylvania in 2000. Together with the Penn Council for Relationships, a workshop series was assembled and exam preparation materials made available to PA MFT’s. The first two Workshops in PA were held in October and December, 2000.When Ohio came on board with licensing and we are prepared to help all of you from Ohio get licensed with both our Louisville, KY workshop and study materials to take the guess work out of your studying.In recent years, New York joined the ranks of the 48 states using the exam, and FSI will offer workshops both in NYC as well as in Rochester to meet your preparation needs as the exam is now offered in New York State.Workshops are available in many regions across the US.  Be in touch if you would like us to come to you, or access our Virtual Workshop Series at any time via the internet.A word about California: The California exam is currently a family counseling exam, though the old California designation of MFCC was changed in 2003 to MFT. As of 2016, a Law and Ethics Exam in now required prior to being able to sit for the Clinical Exam.  The AMFTRB “national” standard exam is a truly family systems therapy exam. FSI does not try and work with other disciplines or in California where this exam is not used. We do not recommend our materials for use as a stand alone preparation for the California exam, but rather as adjunctive and strongly do not recommend the use of any California based materials for the AMFTRB national standard exam.

4. FSI follows theoretical developments in mainstream MFT associations and publications:

FSI faculty attend regional and national MFT conferences, keeping an eye out for new ways of teaching and understanding exam content. For example, in recent years we noticed the growth of interest in David Schnarch’s “Passionate Marriage” – Bowenian approach to sex therapy, and correctly anticipated his work appearing increasingly on the exam as his predecessor sex therapists Masters & Johnson, Helen Singer Kaplan and Joseph LoPiccolo’s materials began to appear less. We prepared our Workshop faculty and students correctly.FSI faculty noticed the appearance of EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy) and immediately attended discussions of this new model so that it could be correctly translated into our Workshop protocol.By staying abreast of cutting edge thinking within our field, AAMFT trends related to CORE Competencies and agenda put forth by AMFTRB regarding regulation and the role this board has identified for itself, FSI is constantly tailoring our materials to put you in the best possible position to be prepared.  As recently as the fall of 2009, FSI faculty learned about trends relating to the increased weight of DSM-IV questions,  HIPAA,  and MFT outcome research. And in 2015, the AMFTRB exam increased the number of Knowledge domains from 56 to 74, also adding the DSM-5 and Crisis Management to the exam. FSI has a good idea of how these trends will be effecting the upcoming exams in 2016 and beyond. FSI does the legwork and research, you pass the test, the first time!