Taking and passing the Official National Licensure Registration Certification Assessment Professional Competency Exam (or ONLRCAPCE for short) is generally considered to be one of the most substantial milestones that you’ll encounter over the course of your career. The ONLRCAPCE is an in-depth, rigorous examination that evaluates your professional ability to take tests and signifies to the public that you are, in fact, quite capable of not only taking tests, but also of passing them. And while successful completion of the ONLRCAPCE is not likely to be highly valued by your current employer, it will allow you to put some fancy letters next to your name in the hopes of getting a boost in pay when you start looking for your next job.
Continue reading to learn more about the exam’s arbitrary content, mind-numbing format, and exorbitant sign-up fees.
The ONLRCAPCE focuses on the expertise deemed necessary to operate as a responsible professional in the field as determined by a board of over-opinionated but under-performing individuals deeply entrenched in the industry’s outmoded professional association. It does this by ensuring that you demonstrate the required skill set necessary to adequately study to this specific exam, rather than testing your actual professional knowledge, skill set, and problem-solving abilities. In this sense, the ONLRCAPCE is essentially just the next iteration of every other standardized test that tests your test-taking skills that you have ever taken since early childhood.
The ONLRCAPCE tests your professional competencies with a slew of multiple-choice questions that are, at best, only tangentially related to your actual performance or knowledge in a professional capacity. It is broken down into five distinct categories as follows:
Word Game (20%)
This category features the exam’s most poorly worded and convoluted questions; questions in this category simply test your ability to understand the question being asked. If you manage to figure out what the question is actually asking, the answer is usually something extremely self-evident.
Pick the One That’s the Least Preposterous (35%)
While the questions in this category are usually held to be the most relevant of the entire exam, they still manage to test nothing of much value to anyone. They basically function like miniature logic puzzles that utilize professional lingo and esoteric meanings of words/terms that deviate from the actual standard English language definitions. They test your ability to eliminate the most preposterous of the multiple-choice answer options.
Choose All of the Above (15%)
These are the questions that are so obvious that even someone who has never even taken an introductory course in your field would still answer “all of the above” with full confidence and be correct.
Why Am I Even Taking This? (20%)
This is the category that makes you wonder if you accidentally signed up for the wrong exam because why is there a question about preventing forest fires when you’re neither preparing to be licensed as a firefighter nor a forester for fuck’s sake.
For Future Tests (10%)
These are the questions that are secretly embedded throughout the exam that look just like all the other questions but that may or may not be used in future exams. They won’t count for or against your score but you had better answer them anyway, since you don’t know which ones they are. Try to think of them as a fun bonus—sort of like when a guinea pig gets to eat some extra hay that’s been shoved through one of the openings in its metal cage.
Format and Length
The ONLRCAPCE consists of multiple parts and must be taken over the course of multiple days. This is beneficial for two reasons: to increase the misery index of those taking it, and to generate more revenue from the additional exam sign-up fees.
Note: The ONLRCAPCE must be taken on an authorized computer at an approved testing center that will conduct a full-body strip search before allowing you to enter the premises.
Important update: Instead of the strip search, you will now be required to pat yourself down, do the hokey pokey, and turn yourself around while a test center member watches you from behind a plexiglass pane to avoid potential contact.
Expect to spend thousands of dollars on proving your professional test-taking abilities. If you’re lucky, your employer might eventually reimburse you for it. Or might not.
Scoring and Reporting
ONLRCAPCE results are scored on a non-sensical scale that no one understands and are officially released anywhere from six weeks to six months after the date that you have taken the exam, even though the exam was conducted on a computer that automatically calculated your results before you even left the testing center.
Preparing for the ONLRCAPCE
Adequate preparation for the ONLRCAPCE requires dedication, perseverance, and a methodical study plan. This is because those are the qualities that you will need to fully absorb and digest the various overpriced test-prep materials that have popped up as part of the cottage industry generated by the broader test-giving industry.
Also, you might as well just pray and hope for the best.