Exams required for licensure in Illinois:

LPC (license) - NCE (National Counselor Exam)

LCPC (license) - This license requires two exams. The  NCE - National Counselor Exam and the
       NCMHCE -National Clinical Mental Health
       Counselor Exam. 

If you have already taken the NCE to become a LPC you do not need to retake it. You do not need to become a LPC to become a LCPC. You can wait until you have the prerequisite experience and then apply and take both exam the NCE and the NCMHCE exams.

If you are a CRC there are exceptions to the testing and degree requirements.

NBCC Testing Dates

If you do not pass the exam?
From NCE Candidate Handbook
Candidates may take the examination once
every three months. The candidate must
reregister by submitting a new NBCC Examination Registration Form with the appropriate fee.