Exam FAQs



What are the qualifications for taking the CATC exam?

If you have earned your certificate of completion from a CAADE approved college program (or have met the requirements for one of the Tiers or equivalent), then you are eligible to take this exam. 

Do I need to complete all of my internship hours before I can take the CATC exam? 

No. You may take the exam as soon as you have met the educational requirements.

How can I prepare for the exam?

CAADE offers various Exam Prep workshops to help our members prepare for the exam.  To find upcoming workshops, click here.

The CATC exam is based off the https://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content//SMA12-4171/SMA12-4171.pdf as required by the state of California.  For additional study materials, CAADE offers the Intervention, Treatment, and Recovery: A Practical Guide to the TAP 21 Addiction Counseling Competencies  which provides a detailed review of the TAP 21 counseling competencies, including practice exercises and worksheets along with links to additional resources.

CATC Exam Candidate Handbook 2014 (click link to download pdf file)

Use these links to access Breining Institute's free online CATC Exam Tutorial on Youtube:
Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4 – Part 5 – Part 6

Order the CAADE Text/workbook from Kendallhunt.com/phelps and get a hard copy or an etext for a terrific savings. Our text is a workbook covering all of the addiction counselor competencies outlined in the TAP 21.

I am ready to take the CATC exam, what do I do?

Complete and submit the Exam Eligibility Form, be sure to include proof of completion of a CAADE college program.

Fill out and mail the CATC Exam application

  • CAADE members do not send fees with application.
  • Non-members pay $100 non-refundable processing fee payable to CAADE.  

Please allow 7-10 days for review.  Once your application is approved, the CAADE office will contact you with final instructions for calling PSI to set up your exam date and to pay the $135 exam fee (as of January 1, 2014).  

Is CAADE ADA Compliant?

Yes, CAADE complies with the American with Disabilities Act. A CATC special accommodation form is provided in the CAADE website to be available to all candidates. Individuals with disabilities and/or religious obligations that require modifications in test administration may request specific procedure changes, in writing, to the ACCBC Certification Board via the CATC Special Accommodations form on the CAADE website. With the written request, the candidate must provide official documentation of the accommodation requested. Submitted documentation must follow ADA guidelines in that psychological or psychiatric evaluations must have been conducted within the last three years. All medical/physical conditions require documentation of the treating physician’s examination conducted within the previous three months. The Special Accommodation request is reviewed by the ACCBC Chair for approval. Candidates may contact the ACCBC Certification Board to inquire about other necessary documentation or specific instructions. Contact information for the CAADE/ACCBC office can be found on our website.

What’s the next step after I pass the exam?

You will receive a CATC-Intern certificate approximately two (2) to three (3) weeks after you pass the exam.

What if I don't pass the exam?

--If a candidate fails the written exam, the applicant may reapply after 30 days has passed, he/she may reapply to take the examination again. The candidate will not be registered for the examination prior to the 30 days--

--The applicant will be charged the examination fee for each exam taken

--All certified professionals or candidates have the right to review their own certification records, except as noted by law. Certification complaints may or may not be released to the certificant in order to provide a safe mechanism for consumer protection. All request for file copies require a written request and a hold harmless statement be signed. Additionally, all documents remain the property of the Board and will not be released or shown to any other party unless required by statute, law, policy or regulation. Copy files/document fees may apply