Certification Examination Preparation and Testing

This page provides housing counselors with information about the HUD Housing Counselor Certification Exam, including what they need to know for preparation for both online and test center exams.

Updates:

  • Change in Camera Requirements for HUD Housing Counselor Online Certification Exam:
    • As of August 6, 2020 HUD no longer requires candidates to use an external camera for the online certification exam. HUD will accept any camera for the online certification exam. This change is due to the increased demand for online testing and the slow reopening of testing centers closed by COVID-19. This change will be reevaluated in the future based on security, demand, and availability.
  • Change in Keystroke Authentication Requirements for HUD Housing Counselor Online Certification Exam:
    • As of November 2, 2020 HUD no longer requires Keystroke Authentication.

Exam Checklist for HUD Housing Counselor Certification

Exam Checklist


Training and Testing Requirements Websites

Information about the exam and testing can be found on HUDHousingCounselors.com. Specifically, visit the following web pages for information:

  • HUDHousingCounselors.com - Taking the Exam: Online vs Test Centers: provides information on taking the exam at test centers vs. online and an overview of the requirements for each.
  • HUDHousingCounselors.com Certification Exam: provides information on transferring results to FHA Connection, receipt of payment, compliance, eligibility, retesting, access, exam appointment details, user accounts, registration, and scoring.
  • HUDHousingCounselors.com Proctoring/Kryterion: provides information on exam appointments, changes, online registration, system and webcam requirements, proctoring, and reasonable accommodations.
  • Technical Assistance Support:
    • Call 800-448-7149 if you need additional technical support. Hours of operation are 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Eastern Time Monday–Friday except Federal holidays. Individuals with hearing or speech impairments may access this number via TTY by calling the Federal Information Relay Service at 800-877-8339.
    • You can also submit your question or Feedback online at HUDHousingCounselors.com Support. Responses to issues will be sent to your email address on file. 

Online Proctored Testing Overview

A recent article from The Bridge “Five Steps to Success: Taking the HUD Housing Counselor Certification Exam Online” provides a detailed overview of each step of the online certification process.

Five Steps to Success

HUDHousingCounselors.com also has a page “Tips for a Successful Online Exam” with additional guidance to prepare for the exam.

Tips for a Successful Online Exam

Scheduling:

  • Before scheduling your exam, test your equipment compatibility, which includes checking for webcam, microphone, and internet speed. Review the following resources:
  • Test Takers for the HUD Housing Counselor certification exam will be required to present a government-issued photo ID. View Primary Photo ID Examples
    • All identification must be current and match exactly with your name as specified in your test-taker profile on HUDHousingCounselors.com.

Preparation & Launch:

  • Log into your HUDHousingCounselors.com account and download Sentinel Secure from the Exam Status Center, create your Biometrics Profile, and test your equipment at least one day before your exam.
    • Some candidates may require assistance from their IT Department to install Sentinel Secure and troubleshoot any network or equipment issues.
  • Once you are signed in, select the “Access Your Online Exam” link on the User Profile Dashboard. Follow the instructions to proceed to the “Exam Status Center” on Webassessor.
    • Note: logging in to your HUDHousingCounselors.com account will automatically log you into Webassessor when you proceed to the “Exam Status Center.” If at any time you are asked to log into Webassessor you must clear your browser’s cache and log back into HUDHousingCounselors.com to access the exam.
  • Exams should be launched at least 10 minutes before the appointment time but may be launched up to 20 minutes after.

Communicating with the Proctor:

  • The proctor will communicate with you through a chat feature on the computer. Be prepared for possible interruptions by proctor requests during the exam.
  • Prepare to work with the proctor to ensure the testing environment and camera placement comply.
  • Make sure the camera view includes your eyes, hands, keyboard, and mouse.
  • If you wear glasses, the proctor will ask you to remove them and present them for inspection through the camera.
  • Contact Kryterion Support immediately if you experience technical issues with your exam.
  • Contact HUDHousingCounselors.com/Support if you experience issues with your HUDHousingCounselors.com user account.

Post-Exam:

  • Each Test Taker’s results will be delivered immediately on screen after submission as well as via the email address used to register. Instructions for the next steps in the certification application process are also included in the email.

View more information about online exam instructions.

Test Center Exams Overview

Scheduling:

  • You must register for your exam through your HUDHousingCounselors.com user account.
  • You will receive an email confirming your scheduled testing date, time, and Kryterion Testing Center location along with a Test Taker Authorization Code.
  • Test Takers for the HUD Housing Counselor certification exam are required to present two forms of identification. One must be a government-issued photo ID. View Primary and Secondary ID Examples.
  • Do not bring personal items with you to the testing center. Personal items (e.g., bags, purses, keys, wallets, hats, briefcases, books, cell phones, calculators, portable electronic devices) must be placed in a cabinet, locker, or compartment prior to entering the testing areas.

Preparation:

  • Print your Assessment Confirmation Email and bring it with you to your exam.
  • Practice using the functionality of the exam Calculator provided onscreen during the exam.
  • Arrive up to 15 minutes early for your exam.
  • If you wear glasses, test center proctors will request you remove them so they may be examined. Proctors will require you to turn out your pockets.
  • Request assistance from test center staff immediately if you encounter any technical issues during the exam.
    • NOTE: Under no circumstance is the proctor to make physical contact with you.
  • If at any point you are asked to do something for security purposes beyond what is listed above, please ask the test center to contact Kryterion to verify the necessity.

Post-Exam:

  • Each Test Taker’s results will be delivered immediately on screen after submission as well as via the email address used to register. Instructions for the next steps in the certification application process are also included in the email. Results will not be printed by the Testing Center.

View more information about in-person testing center exam instructions.


Frequently Asked Questions on the HUD Certification Exam

  1. 1How will the examination be administered?
     
  2. 2What are the equipment requirements for the online housing counselor certification exam?
     
  3. 3What is the format of the examination?
     
  4. 4Where can an individual who wants to take the certification examination find a list of available proctoring centers?
     
  5. 5Can paper and pen be used during the certification examination?

View all FAQs on the HUD Housing Counselor Certification Exam.

Looking for practice exams, study groups, and training?

Take the practice exams and trainings on HUDHousingCounselors.com.

View upcoming study groups for the Office of Housing Counseling's Certification Examination.

View upcoming trainings and webinars related to Housing Counselor Certification in the Housing Counseling Training Digest.