Certification Exam

Important Message: COVID-19 Impact on Test Centers

Certification Exam - Transfer Results to FHA Connection

If you have passed the exam, your next step is to authorize the transfer of your passing test results to FHA Connection. To do this, sign in to your account on HUDHousingCounselors.com and select “Exam Center” from the top navigation. Then, select “Transfer Results to FHA Connection.” If you are already signed in, you can directly access the Transfer Results page. You will receive an email confirmation that contains your Counselor Exam ID, which you will need to complete the HUD Certified Housing Counselor Application.

For additional steps to certification visit the HUD Exchange website and view the HUD Certified Housing Counselor Application Process

A counselor will not be officially placed in the certified counselor database until the Agency FHA Connection Application Coordinator successfully validates counselor employment in the FHA Connection system. After you submit your application in FHA Connection, you should alert your Agency FHA Connection Coordinator to validate your employment.

Find instructions for printing your certificate here. Certificates are available to print after the candidate's employment is verified in FHA Connection.

Certification Exam - Test Center Cancellations Due to Emergencies

In the event of extreme weather or other hazardous or emergency conditions which occur or can reasonably be foreseen in advance of the appointed testing time, Kryterion will make every reasonable attempt to notify candidates of necessary changes to the testing appointment. In the event of extreme weather or other hazardous or emergency condition which occurs immediately before or during the test, the proctor will determine appropriate action. In the case of fire or similar extreme emergency, the testing site will be evacuated, and candidates will be rescheduled. 

Certification Exam - Receipt of Payment

The confirmation email you received when you registered for the Certification Exam included the amount you paid for the exam and serves as a purchase receipt.

You may also generate a receipt by logging into HUDHousingCounselors.com, visiting the Exam Status Center via the Exam Pre-launch page and clicking "Receipts" in the blue header. The receipt will not stipulate payment type.

Certification Exam - Compliance, Eligibility & Retakes

Certification Requirement

Housing counseling required under or provided in connection with HUD programs must be provided only by certified housing counselors who work for organizations approved to participate in HUD’s Housing Counseling Program. In order to be certified, an individual must both pass a standardized written examination covering six major topic areas, and work for an agency approved to participate in HUD’s housing counseling program.

Timing

The original compliance date was August 1, 2020, which is 36 months after the date the certification examination became available. See Housing Counseling: New Certification Requirements Final Rule on the HUD Exchange for more information. On August 5, 2020, HUD published an Interim Final Rule on the Federal Register website to announce a delay in the deadline for housing counselors to become HUD certified. The new final compliance date is August 1, 2021.

Eligibility

In order to be certified, an individual must both pass a standardized written examination covering six major topic areas and work for an agency approved to participate in HUD’s housing counseling program. In other words, you can take the certification exam without being employed at a HUD-approved agency; however, to become certified you must pass the exam and work for a HUD-approved agency.  

For steps to certification visit the HUD Exchange website and view the HUD Certified Housing Counselor Application Process.

Retakes

There is no limit on retakes for the Certification Exam. However, each retake must be purchased at the stated exam fee. You can take the Certification Exam as many times as necessary to achieve a passing score. If you receive a notice about maximum attempts, please call 800-448-7149.

Certification Exam - Access

To access the online certification exam, to download Sentinel Secure, and to create your Biometrics Profile, you must be signed into your account on HUDHousingCounselors.com.

Once you are signed in, select Access Your Online Exam in the Countdown to Your Exam section of your User Profile Dashboard. Read the instructions on the Exam Pre-launch page then select the Proceed to Exam Status Center button at the bottom of the page to access the Webassessor Exam Status Center. From the Webassessor Exam Status Center, select MY ASSESSMENTS to view your exam details, download Sentinel Secure, create your biometrcis profile, or launch the exam. 

HUD test takers are never required to log into Webassessor separately. Exam related activity occurs through your HUDHousingCounselors.com account. Links to the Kryterion website are provided for informational purposes only. 

Certification Exam - Appointment Details

Your test date details are included in your Assessment Purchase Confirmation email. Your test date details are also located in the Countdown to Your Exam! section of your User Profile Dashboard. You must be logged in to access your user profile. To change your test date, please log in to HUDHousingCounselors.com and visit the Exam Registration page.

 

User Account - Training & Exam Status

Your User Profile provides access to account information, including:

  • Access to update your name, state, email, or password.
  • Knowledge Assessment results.
  • Online Training Status, including modules in progress or completed. 
  • Exam Registration Status, access to registration and exam details.
  • Access to launch the online exam.
  • Certification Exam Status, including completion results.

To access your User Profile, you must be signed into your account on HUDHousingCounselors.com. Once you are signed in, select “Profile” at the top of the page. If you are already signed in, you can access your User Profile directly.

Certification Exam - Change Online/Onsite Registration

Exam registration, cancellations, and changes are handled through your account on HUDHousingCounselors.com.

To change your exam delivery type, sign in and select Change Your Test Date in the Countdown to your Exam section of your User Profile Dashboard. Follow the steps under Reschedule an Exam to cancel your scheduled exam (the exam purchase will be refunded to the credit card used), then follow the steps to register for a new exam.

Be sure to review the No Shows and Cancellations Policy prior to making changes. 

Spanish Materials - Training & Exam

HUDHousingCounselors.com provides access to training and exam materials in Spanish. Sign into your account and take the following steps to access each component.

  • Training - Select “Training Center” at the top of the page. Then, select "en español" to find the Study Guide in Spanish.
  • Practice Exam - Select “Training Center” at the top of the page. Then, select “Take Practice Exam” to take the practice exam or learn more.
  • Certification Exam - Select Begin Exam Registration in the "Countdown to Your Exam!" section of your User Profile Dashboard.

Certification Exam - System & Webcam Requirements

For online proctored exams, computer systems must meet the criteria outlined on the Kryterion Online Proctoring Support page. Before scheduling your exam, we encourage you to visit this page to test equipment compatibility, which includes checks for webcam, microphone, and internet speed. Individuals planning to take the certification examination online can prepare by taking the following steps:

  1. Review the webcam requirements. NOTE: Beginning August 6, 2020, HUD will accept any camera for the online exam. An external camera will no longer be required until further notice.
  2. Visit Online Testing Requirements to check equipment compatibility for webcam, microphone, and internet speed
  3. Test browser functionality of the exam Calculator provided onscreen during the exam

HUDHousingCounselors.com cannot provide a webcam. You will not need a webcam if you choose to take the Certification Exam at a test center.

Note: A separate Webassessor log-in is not required for any step in this process. Candidates are automatically logged into Kryterion's Webassessor site with their HUDHousingCounselors.com account when they proceed to the Exam Status Center. Candidates should proceed to the Exam Status Center from the Exam Pre-launch page to complete the preparation steps and launch the exam. The Exam Pre-launch page can be can be accessed in your User Profile via Access Your Online Exam

Certification Exam - Feedback & Scoring

Upon completion of the certification exam, each candidate receives an immediate PASS or FAIL notification, as applicable. Candidates who pass receive an email outlining next steps. Those who fail receive an email report with information as described in the practice exam feedback explanation. Passing scores are not provided to test takers, but those who do not pass can access their scaled score on the User Profile page of their HUDHousingCounselors.com account.

Note: The minimum passing score is 500. Test takers do not receive information on topic area weighting with their exam scores. For most information, please visit the HUD FAQ on scaled scoring.

Proctoring - Kryterion Testing Instructions & Rules

During the exam, test takers must abide by industry-standard testing rules. Certain actions and items are prohibited during testing. Read the following instructions and rules to ensure a successful exam experience.

Advice for a Successful Test Center Exam

  • Print your Assessment Confirmation Email and bring it with you to your exam
  • Verify both Primary Photo ID and Secondary ID are valid (not expired) and will be valid on test date
  • Arrive up to 15 minutes early for your exam
  • Be prepared for test center staff to secure all of your personal items in a locker during your exam
  • Be prepared to remove your glasses briefly for examination by test center staff
  • Request assistance from test center staff immediately if you encounter any technical issues during the exam

Advice for a Successful Online Exam

  • 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.
  • Exams should be launched at least 10 minutes before the appointment time, but may be launched up to 20 minutes after.
  • Upon launching, you will be queued up for the next available proctor and alerted when a proctor becomes available.
  • 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 before beginning the exam to ensure the testing environment and camera placement are in compliance.
  • Use a camera stand to allow for quick adjustments to camera placement. Make sure the camera view includes your eyes, hands, keyboard, and mouse. (Beginning August 6, 2020 an external webcam is no longer required. HUD will accept any camera).
  • If you wear glasses, the proctor will ask you to remove them and present them for inspection through the camera.
  • Make sure the testing room is well lit, quiet, and free from distraction.
  • Ensure your testing surface is clutter-free and contains only one computer, one monitor, one keyboard, and one mouse (online proctored exams).

Additional Guidance About the Exam:

  • Do not read the exam aloud.
  • Do not interact with another individual during your test session.
  • Do not leave your workstation or take a break for any reason. If you leave the workstation during the exam, Kryterion is obligated to inform your test sponsor and may suspend your exam.
  • Candidates are not allowed access to or use of books, paper, reference material, or writing utensils during the exam. (Candidates will have access to an online calculator during the exam).
  • Electronic devices, including telephones, cameras, signaling devices, pagers, alarms, and recording/playback devices of any kind are not permitted.
  • Remove all items from your neck and wrist. Watches, bracelets, and necklaces are not permitted during testing.
  • No questions concerning the content of the exam may be asked during the examination period. Listen carefully to the directions and carefully read the directions shown on the computer monitor.
  • No examination materials, documents, or memoranda of any type may leave the testing room.

Proctoring - Online Exam Support or Questions

NOTE: Kryterion Telephone Support Line will be unavailable 7/15/2020 - 8/15/2020.

Please use the chat feature or submit a webform question at Online Proctoring Support during this time.

If you experience issues with exam set up, launch, or during your exam, contact Kryterion

  • Live Chat: Go to Online Proctoring Support, then select “Click Here to Chat" near the bottom of the screen
  • Telephone: 1-877-313-2008 (U.S.) or +001-602-659-4679 (International)
  • Webform: Go to Online Proctoring Support, then enter a question in the field under "How can we help?"

Hours of Operation: Sunday 8 a.m. Eastern time through Thursday Midnight; Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. until Midnight.

Certification Exam - No Shows & Cancellations Policy

To cancel or reschedule your exam, sign in to HUDHousingCounselors.com and select Change Your Test Date in the Countdown to your Exam! section of your User Profile Dashboard

Follow the steps to reschedule or cancel your scheduled exam (cancelled exams will be refunded to the credit card used), then follow the steps to schedule a new exam.

ONLINE EXAMS - Candidates are free to reschedule or cancel an online test session up tp 24 hours before the scheduled testing time. Rescheduling an exam within 24 hours will result in no refund for the original exam date and a $50 fee to schedule a new one. Candidates who do not reschedule at the time of cancellation or miss their testing time will not be issued a refund and must purchase a new exam for $60.

EXAMS AT A TEST CENTER - Candidates are free to reschedule or cancel an exam at a test center up to 72 hours before the scheduled testing time. Rescheduling an exam within 72 hours will result in no refund for the original exam date and an $85 fee to schedule a new one. Candidates who do not reschedule at the time of cancellation or miss their testing time will not be issued a refund and must purchase a new exam for $100.

Candidates may submit a request for a reschedule fee waiver or refund due to a documented personal emergency in the Questions or Feedback section of HUDHousingCounselors.com/Support. Each request is reviewed on a case by case basis, and fee waivers are not guaranteed.

Please see the CANCELLATIONS DUE TO EXTREME WEATHER OR LOCAL EMERGENCIES policy.

Proctoring - Kryterion Testing Center Locations

Individuals planning to take the certification examination at a proctoring center can utilize the tool to Locate a Kryterion Testing Center. Candidates can view appointment availability and schedule the exam via the Registration Process. Test centers cannot schedule your exam.

The exam will be available both in person and online throughout the US and in US Territories where there are proctoring centers, including Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands. The exam will be available online only in the Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa, as there are no proctoring centers in these areas. 

For any additional questions relating to Kryterion Testing Centers, please contact Kryterion Testing Center Support:

Hours of Operation: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern time, Monday–Friday

NOTE: Kryterion Voice Support Unavailable 7/15/2020 - 8/15/2020. 

Please submit a webform question at Kryterion Testing Center Support during this time.

Certification Exam - Reasonable Accommodations

If you need special assistance provided under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you must submit a request for reasonable accommodations prior to scheduling or paying for your certification exam.

The following information is required to approve reasonable accommodations. Please use our Contact Form to provide specific information including:

  • Your Name
  • Kryterion Test Center Location
  • Preferred Dates/Times (Provide at least three.)
  • Reason for Accommodation
  • Documentation for Accommodation (Possible examples listed below.)
    • Recommendations of qualified professionals
    • Proof of past testing accommodations
    • Observations by educators
    • Results of psycho-educational or other professional evaluations
    • An applicant’s history of diagnosis
    • An applicant’s statement of his or her history regarding testing accommodations.
  • Type of Accommodation Needed (Please select accommodations needed. If necessary, describe any specific items in greater detail.) 
    • Food or water
    • Medical equipment
    • Multiple breaks
    • Private room
    • Reader
    • Reader and recorder
    • Screen magnification software (ZoomText)
    • Screen reader software (ZoomText with Speech)
    • Screen reader software (JAWS)
    • Attendance of service animal
    • Sign language interpreter

The process to review cases, approve requests, and coordinate required services may take up to 45 days from the date of receipt of a completed request. Please note that Support may not be able to coordinate some Reasonable Accommodations in time to meet the August 1, 2020 compliance deadline. 

Certification Exam - Cost

The fee charged each time an individual takes the certification examination is based on the cost of administering the examination. As announced in the Federal Register Notice dated May 31, 2017, an online proctored exam costs $60 and an in-person proctored exam costs $100. Any changes in pricing will be published in advance in the Federal Register.