While the intent of both exams are designed to produce the same results, and that is to ensure public safety within the practice of therapy, there are some nuanced differences between the two MFT Clinical exams themselves.
- Test Items: The CA MFT Clinical exam consisted of 170 test questions, with 20 of them no being counted towards scoring. Those unscored 20 are put on the exam as experimental questions to be considered as part of the scored items in future exams. On the National AMFTRB Clinical Exam there are 200 test questions, all of which are scored.
- Content: The difference is slight, but the CA MFT Clinical focuses on testing your knowledge around treatment planning, clinical evaluation, treatment, crisis management, law and ethics, and treatment. The National AMFTRB Exam content focuses more on practice of systemic therapy (assessing, hypothesizing, and diagnosing), designing and conducting treatment (including the evaluation of the process and termination), managing crisis, and maintaining ethical, legal and professional standards.
- Testing Windows: In California, the BBS offers the MFT Clinical Exam on an ongoing basis of five (5) times per week, while the the National MFT Exam is only offered one week per month, and you must sign up the first of the month during the month prior to you intended exam date.