Practice School Counselor Exam Test
Each of the questions or incomplete statements below is followed by five
suggested answers or completions. Select the one that is best in each case
and then fill in the corresponding lettered space on the answer sheet with a
heavy, dark mark so that you cannot see the letter.
Which of the following most clearly distinguishes empathy responses
from interpretation responses?
(A) Interpretation goes beyond the client’s statement, offering new
views, whereas empathy reflects what the client is already
(B) Interpretation is directive, whereas empathy is not.
(C) Interpretation works ahead of the client, whereas empathy does
(D) Interpretation responses are less likely to be accepted by the
client than empathy responses.
(E) Interpretation and evocative empathy are indistinguishable.
Which statement most clearly demonstrates a reflection of feeling?
(A) “I’m feeling angry as I listen to you talk about this.”
(B) “I wonder if you’ve ever felt this way before.”
(C) “You felt sad that she decided not to go with you; is that what
(D) “What did that make you feel like doing?”
(E) “I know exactly how you feel; that happened to me last year.”
Mary’s mother meets with the school counselor at Mary’s middle
school. Mary’s mother immediately says, “I’m very concerned about
the girls that Mary is spending so much time with. They are just not a
good influence on her. I want you to make sure she doesn’t spend
time with them here at school.” Which of the following would be the
most effective initial response for the counselor to make?
(A) “I’m pretty sure that those other girls won’t make Mary do
anything you wouldn’t want her to do.”
(B) “I can tell that you’re very concerned about Mary. What else
can you tell me about the problem as you see it?”
(C) “Does May know you are here talking to me about this?”
(D) “If you’ll tell me their names, I’ll do what I can to help Mary
decide not to spend so much time with them.”
(E) “I wonder what you are afraid might happen because of Mary’s
friendships with these girls.”
All of the following are types of behavior therapy interventions
Which of the following is the best example of an immediacy
(A) “What would you most want to say to your folks, if they were
(B) “What would you do about how she was acting, if you had
(C) “Why did you feel that way just at that moment?”
(D) “What are you feeling right now, as you’re telling me what
happened last night?”
(E) “What else could you have said to your dad that would tell him
how you feel?”
All of the following are core roles for school counselors EXCEPT
According to Martin, which of the following counselor responses
helps clients to see discrepant or mixed aspects of what they have
Which of the following is NOT an appropriate use of questioning in
the counseling interview?
Beginning the interview
Requesting elaboration about a topic or issue
Bringing out specifics about the client’s world
Gathering information for assessment
Indirectly telling a client the counselor’s own opinion
“Don’t you think that it might be time to try something different when
he starts yelling and screaming?”
What is the problem with the counselor’s statement above?
Culturally inappropriate question
Failing to address the client by name
Which of the following is NOT a significant advantage of conducting
psychoeducational and counseling groups in schools?
(A) Groups are natural environments for most students.
(B) Groups provide opportunities for students to talk to and hear
from others with similar experience.
(C) Groups allow more students to benefit from the time and effort
of the school counselor.
(D) Groups allow student participation without requiring that they
(E) Groups allow students to discuss experiences with peers while
keeping the information from parents.
Which of the following is most important when working with
adolescents in a small-group counseling format?
Establishing trust between the members and the facilitator
Setting firm boundaries on the use of inappropriate language
Creating rules as a group that everyone can agree to
Being able to relate to the members on their own terms
Keeping members from getting into emotional conflicts
According to Holland’s career typology model, what term describes
students who do not yet have a clear sense of what career type
they are and report enjoying activities of all kinds?
Which of the following career choices would young males who are
entering middle school most likely choose?
(A) Action-oriented careers such as fire fighting or construction
(B) The same career as their father’s
(C) Careers depicted in children’s television and movies
(D) Careers that are stereotypically masculine
(E) There is no generalizable tendency among boys of middle
Which of the following is most accurate about the variability among
(A) Different cultural groups have little within-group variability.
(B) There is more between-group variability than within-group
variability across cultures.
(C) It is too difficult to measure cultural differences to conduct
(D) Members of the same cultural group may be more different
from each other than from members of other cultural groups.
(E) There are no consistent findings about variability among
Which of the following is the correct order of the stages in which
racial identity is developed as one cultural/ethnic group moves from
relative self-determination to coexistence with a more dominant one?
Encounter, internalization, immersion, emersion
Pre-encounter, encounter, immersion, internalization
Immersion, encounter, internalization, assimilation
Encounter, conflict, assimilation, internalization
Contact, immersion, assimilation, internalization
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires the
school counselor to be involved in which of the following activities?
(A) Participating in Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) meetings
(B) Conducting formal testing of students with disabilities
(C) Recommending students with disabilities for special education
(D) Educating parents about how to manage the challenges of
having a child with a disability
(E) Helping regular classroom teachers cope with the stresses than
can arise with inclusion of students with disabilities in the class
Which of the following is NOT included in the national Multicultural
Counseling Competency Standards, adopted by the Association for
Multicultural Counseling and Development?
Awareness of one’s own cultural values and biases
Personal experience with different cultures
Awareness of client’s worldview
Culturally appropriate intervention strategies
Awareness of different cultures
Mr. Ling administers a new math achievement test to all students in
several math classes in his high school. Six weeks later, he
readministers the same achievement test in order to evaluate its
reliability. He finds that the reliability coefficient between the two
administrations of the test, r, is -.88.
Which statement is most accurate about this result?
(A) The test demonstrates adequate test-retest reliability.
(B) The test demonstrates adequate internal-consistency reliability.
(C) The test is not reliable.
(D) Approximately 88 percent of the variance in scores is
(E) There was a computation error, because reliability coefficients
cannot be negative.
The school counselor informs Luis’ parents that his achievement test
scores place him at the 83rd percentile for students in the district.
Which of the following statements is most accurate about Luis’
(A) Luis answered 83 percent of the test questions correctly.
(B) Eighty-three percent of the students in the district scored lower
than Luis did.
(C) Luis’ score was lower than that of 83 percent of the students in
(D) Luis’ score was below average for the district.
(E) No conclusion can be reached about Luis’ performance based
on the information provided.
A school counselor would like to select a standardized achievement
test to help teachers in a school determine the extent to which their
students’performance indicates their learning outcomes in relation to
specific learning goals and objectives. Which type of test would be
Mr. Lincoln is a counselor in an urban middle school in which African
American and Hispanic students account for more than 60 percent of
the student body. When considering which of several career
development instruments to use in helping his students plan for high
school and beyond, which of the following test features would be
(A) The range of content covered on the test
(B) The ethnic distribution of the norm groups on which the
interpretations are based
(C) The mean score of the test
(D) The socioeconomic levels represented by the careers to which
the test compares student responses
(E) The content validity of the test questions in terms of the school
Questions 22 & 23 are based on the following scenario:
A middle school counselor is selecting a standardized test to be used in
making curriculum decisions for the social science curriculum at a school.
The teacher is comparing the ABC Social Sciences Test with the XYZ
Social Studies Achievement Test.
The ABC test manual reports an internal consistency coefficient, r,
of .37, while the XYZ manual reports an internal consistency
coefficient, r, of .82. Which test should the counselor select and why?
(A) The ABC test, because its social sciences content is more
applicable to the school’s curriculum than that of the XYZ test
(B) The ABC test, because the lower internal consistency
coefficient indicates that it is more stable than the XYZ test
(C) The XYZ test, because its internal consistency coefficient of .82
is substantially higher than that of the ABC test
(D) The ABC test, because for the purposes described, internal
consistency is irrelevant
(E) The information provided is not adequate for making a
For the purpose of evaluating his school’s curriculum, the counselor
should be most concerned with which type of validity?
Shiva, a fourth grader, has just moved into the district, and his parents
are concerned that he will not make friends because the school year is
well underway. Which of the following actions by the counselor
would be most appropriate?
(A) Having Shiva come in for some brief sessions with the
counselor to talk about how to make new friends
(B) Inviting Shiva to join a group that has been meeting weekly in
which the students talk about their families
(C) Asking some of the other students in Shiva’s grade to eat lunch
and play with him during recess
(D) Reassuring Shiva’s parents that he will adjust easily and that
they should not worry
(E) Having Shiva’s teacher observe his interactions during the
school day and report to the counselor so that the counselor can
recommend specific strategies to help Shiva get more involved with
the other students in the class
A high school counselor is interested in enhancing services that
facilitate the school-to-work transition process for students. All of the
following would be recommended components of these service
enhancements EXCEPT helping students
evaluate employer recruitment information.
learn how to complete job applications.
learn to write effective resumes.
prepare for employment selection tests.
adjust during their first two weeks of work.
26. Wai’s teacher, Ms. Johannsen, consults with the school counselor
about some concerns she is having about Wai’s behavior in her fifth-grade
classroom. As she does so, Ms. Johannsen also begins talking about how
she is struggling to balance the demands of her teaching job with her family
and social life. She then begins disclosing that she and her husband are
having some problems as well. What would be the most appropriate way for
the school counselor to respond to these concerns?
(A) Offer to do several brief counseling sessions with Ms.
Johannsen after regular school hours
(B) Offer to se Ms. Johannsen for private counseling after school
hours in the school counselor’s home
(C) Acknowledge her concerns, and then provide Ms. Johannsen
with a referral list of several possible mental health providers in the
(D) Suggest that Ms. Johannsen and her husband seek marital
(E) Listen and response empathically to Ms. Johannsen’s concerns
Annie is a seventh grade student in Ms. Garcia’s homeroom class.
For the past few days, Ms. Garcia has noticed that Annie has not been
as engaged with her classmates as usual and seems withdrawn. Ms.
Garcia asks the school counselor for help with Annie. Which of the
following should be the school counselor’s first step?
(A) Ask Ms. Garcia to begin keeping an observational log about
Annie’s behavior in class to help the counselor get an objective
assessment of her behavior.
(B) Contact Annie’s parents to ask how things are going at home.
(C) Ask Ms. Garcia to ask Annie to come see the counselor the next
(D) Explain to Ms. Garcia some other ways to engage Annie in
(E) Reassure Ms. Garcia that Annie’s behavior is typical at her age
and will be only temporary.
Jolene, an eighth grader in Ms. Collins’ class, has been late to school a
number of times in the past two months. Ms. Collins reports that
Jolene will say only that she is late because she has to help with things
at home.Ms. Collins does not feel comfortable calling Jolene’s parents
and asks the counselor, Mr. Hamilton, for help. What would be the
best first step for Mr.Hamilton in this situation?
(A) Set up an individual appointment with Jolene to talk about how
things are going at school and at home.
(B) Model ways that Ms. Collins might talk with Jolene’s parents
about what is happening at home that makes her late.
(C) Call Jolene’s parents and ask them to share whatever they can
about Jolene’s lateness.
(D) Send a letter home with Jolene emphasizing the importance of
getting to school on time and that detention will be used if she
continued to be late.
(E) Ask Ms. Collins to set up a parent-teacher conference that Mr.
Hamilton will also attend.
While talking around the playground area during her lunchtime, the
school counselor notices that Ms. Allen, the eighth-grade language
arts teacher, is talking very emphatically to a male student whose
clothes appear quite dirty and old. Ms. Allen then grabs the boy by
the arm and begins pulling him toward the school building, and the
boy starts crying. Which of the following actions should the school
(A) Catch up to them, tell Ms. Allen to stop pulling the student, and
ask to see them both in her office.
(B) Go to the principal’s office to report what she has seen.
(C) Wait until she sees Ms. Allen in the teacher’s lounge, then
initiate a discussion with her about the teacher’s concerns.
(D) Call Ms. Allen and ask to meet with her as soon as possible to
try to offer her assistance in helping the student.
(E) Ignore the entire incident and trust that Ms. Allen’s behavior
will have a positive outcome.
The mother of a seventh-grade student, Louisa, calls the school
counselor, very upset about how some of the other students have been
treating Louisa. They have called her names, left her out of group
activities, and have even been spreading false rumors about her
family’s ethnicity. Which of the following actions should the school
Schedule an individual session with Louisa in order to help her
deal with this maltreatment.
(B) Assure Louisa’s mother that she will address this situation,
observe for herself the behavior of these students toward Louisa, and
then have the students who are mistreating Louisa meet the school
counselor in a group to discuss their behavior.
(C) Invite Louisa’s mother to join the school counselor and Louisa
in a session to talk about what is happening and how Louisa can best
deal with the situation.
(D) Arrange for all seventh-grade classes to attend mandatory
assemblies during which racism and racist behaviors are discussed
and penalties for students who behave in racist ways are announced.
(E) Get the names of the students who are mistreating Louisa and
have them report to the assistant principal for disciplinary action.
Mr. Jenkins, a counselor in private practice, contacts the school
counselor, Mr. Abrams, about a student Mr. Jenkins is seeing, a ninthgrader named Lenny. He would like to discuss Lenny’s treatment
with respect to any changes in his behavior at school. What should
Mr. Abrams do next?
(A) He should set up a time to meet with Mr. Jenkins to discuss
Lenny’s school behavior.
(B) He should ask for written informed consent from Lenny and/or
his parents to discuss anything about Lenny with Mr. Jenkins.
(C) He should offer his insights into Lenny’s problem areas in order
to facilitate Mr. Jenkins’ work with Lenny.
(D) He should contact Lenny’s parents, let them know that Mr.
Abrams is calling about Lenny, and ask them how he should proceed.
(E) He should offer to begin a behavioral observation record about
Lenny and visit Lenny’s classroom frequently to observe his behavior
and report back to Mr. Jenkins.
Which of the following would be the most effective strategy for
developing mutual reciprocal partnerships with community agencies?
(A) Visit each agency in the surrounding area, meet with its staff,
and ask them how they might work collaboratively
(B) Create an e-mail list of each agency and its contact person, and
then forward relevant information to the listed agencies on a regular
(C) Establish a School-Community Advisory Council from all area
agencies that might be working with children and youth and hold
regular meetings to create a network partnership
(D) Offer to make more referrals to those agencies that will partner
with the counselor
(E) Send out periodic newsletters to all area agencies, including
news items related to the work the agencies are doing
Which of the following is NOT an essential component of the
planning function in a comprehensive guidance program?
(A) Evaluation of school-wide goals
(B) Assessment of the needs of students, parents, and teachers
(C) Selection of goals and objectives for the program
(D) Keeping individual counseling sessions private
(E) Developing on-call functions based on the needs of student,
parents and teachers
Which of the following best describes the use of classroom guidance
activities in comprehensive guidance programs?
(A) They are an integral part of the school curriculum, with
identified student competencies and learning outcomes.
(B) They may be offered at the request of classroom teachers for
topics they feel unprepared to teach.
(C) They are secondary to the individual and small-group
counseling services that are the main focus of school counseling
(D) They are collaborations between the school counselor and the
classroom teacher, with the teacher delivering the content developed
by the counselor.
(E) They are less effective means of promoting student
development in social/emotional aspects than are other approaches.
35. Which of the following best defines the individual planning
component of comprehensive guidance programs?
(A) Activities that offer special planning procedures for students
(B) Individual conferences with every student in the school to
review each student’s areas of difficulty in learning
(C) Individual, small-group and whole-classroom activities that
help all students develop unique educational and career plans for
(D) Counselor reviews of students’ academic records to develop
recommendations for their next year’s courses and schedule
(E) The use of computerized planners to help students keep track of
their weekly schedules
A middle school counselor would like to develop a new approach to
help students make the decision to avoid drugs and alcohol. Which of
the following approaches would most likely be effective?
(A) Selecting a movie that shows the harmful effects of drugs and
(B) Preparing a lecture and PowerPoint presentation on the risks of
using drugs and alcohol
(C) Identifying the students in the demographic groups most at risk
to abuse drugs and alcohol and having them join a process group
(D) Recruiting some older students from the high school, including
some who have used drugs and alcohol but now do not, to come and
talk with the middle school classes
(E) Conducting a survey among the middle school students and
their parents about their views and use of drugs and alcohol
A high school counselor has learned, through a needs assessment
survey he conducted, that the juniors and seniors in his school, as well
as their parents, wish they had more information available about the
collect financial aid process. Which of the following would be the
most effective response to this feedback?
(A) Develop a brief brochure describing how financial aid usually
works and make it available in his office for students to pick up
(B) Develop a PowerPoint presentation and then hold weekly
meetings to present it to students who are interested
(C) Develop a PowerPoint presentation, place it on the counseling
Web page for the school, and notify all students of its location so that
students and/or parents can access the information at their
(D) Arrange for financial aid staff from a nearby college to come to
the high school for a one-time evening workshop for all interested
students and parents
(E) Send out a notice to all juniors, seniors, and their parents that he
is available by appointment for one-on-one sessions to discuss the
financial aid process
Which of the following is NOT a topic for which a school counselor
should develop and make available informational services for
(A) Community resources
(B) Career opportunities
(C) Educational opportunities
(D) Financial aid opportunities
(E) Educational and background information on teachers at the
Which of the following is NOT one of the processes recommended
for school counselors to use in creating an effective comprehensive
Needs assessments are important to the development of a
comprehensive guidance program because they do which of the
(A) Assure that the counselor will not overestimate the actual needs
of students in the school.
(B) Provide empirical data from which to establish goals and
objectives for the program.
(C) Prevent unnecessary use of time and resources on services that
are not essential.
(D) Keep all school staff aware of the value of the counseling
(E) Provide the counselor with information to justify the counseling
The recommended student-to-counselor ratio for a school is 1
Which of the following is a measure of central tendency that is most
resistant to extreme scores?
0 - 100 students
150 - 250 students
300 - 500 students
600 - 700 students
750 - 1,000 students
A parent wants to tell the school counselor something about his child,
whom the counselor is working with, but does not want the counselor
to tell the child. Which of the following would be the most
appropriate response by the school counselor?
(A) Agree to hear what the parent has to say and not to tell the
(B) Agree to hear what the parent has to say, and decide later
whether to tell the child.
(C) Inform the parent, before hearing anything, that whatever the
parent says will be shared with the child.
(D) Refuse to hear what the parent has to say.
(E) Suggest that the parent ask the child if the parent can sit in on a
session in which they jointly share information.
When the counselor makes a judgment about a client to a third party,
which of the following is NOT a likely outcome if the client finds
(A) The client will no longer trust the counselor.
(B) The client will intentionally misrepresent himself or herself in
counseling to attempt to get a positive judgment.
(C) The counselor will no longer be able to be empathic, since the
request from the third party requires being nonjudgmental.
(D) The client will not feel safe being completely honest and open
with the counselor.
(E) The client will feel the counselor has been an advocate and trust
the counselor more than before.
When parents want a school counselor to disclose what their child has
said during individual counseling, which of the following is the most
appropriate response by the counselor?
(A) Summarize and paraphrase what their child has discussed.
(B) Clarify for them the value and importance of confidentiality and
ask if they are willing to not ask for this information.
(C) Tell them that a counselor cannot break the confidentiality of
work with clients.
(D) Ask them to get their child’s consent to have the counselor talk
to them about the counseling work.
(E) Offer to let them read counseling notes from work with their
Which of the following is NOT a specific responsibility of the school
counselor when using computer technology in work with students,
according to the American School Counselor Association (ASCA)
(A) Ensuring that computer applications are appropriate for the
individual needs of the client
(B) Ensuring that the client understands how to use the application
(C) Ensuring that the computer applications are free from
discriminatory information and values
(D) Ensuring that computer applications are content valid
(E) Ensuring that follow-up counseling assistance is provided to the
47. Which of the following summarizes most accurately the Family
Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), also known as the Buckley
(A) Parents of students, and students older than 18 have the right to
view all official school records related to the student, while access to
these records by others must be limited.
(B) Families of children with disabilities have the right to keep
records concerning their child’s disability completely private.
(C) Parents of students, and students older than 18 must be given
the opportunity to periodically review the students’ official records.
(D) School personnel are required to notify parents immediately
whenever an entry is made in the students official school record.
(E) Parents must be provided with a copy of all new entries in their
child’s school record on an annual basis.
When a counselor is made aware of a possible ethical breach by
another school counselor, the American School Counselor Association
(ASCA) Ethical Standards for School Counselors recommends which
(A) Contact the state department responsible for certification of
school counselors to file a complaint.
(B) Encourage the person who shared the information with the
counselor to submit an ethics complaint against the other counselor.
(C) Contact the national ASCA ethics office for guidance.
(D) Consult confidentially with another professional colleague to
discuss the situation and jointly determine if there was a violation.
(E) Send a letter to the other counselor, advising that the alleged
actions were unethical and asking him or her to cease and desist.
Which of the following is NOT effective in preventing burnout in the
school counselor role?
Stress management techniques
Regular down time every week
Avoiding unnecessary paperwork
Ignoring phone messages
Delegating tasks that are primarily clerical
Counselors wishing to maintain their professional growth, develop
new skills, and prevent burnout would find which of the following
(A) Keeping current in their reading of professional journals on
(B) Consulting with other, more experienced counselors
(C) Attending workshops, seminars, conferences, and other
professional development activities
(D) Buying and reading new books about topics that appear relevant
to the counselors’ work
(E) Requesting a flexible work schedule, allowing unstructured
time for self-improvement activities
Ms. Anderson, the middle school counselor, has become very
concerned about her elderly mother’s health and has had to spend
more and more time attending to her care, often late into the day and
on weekends, as well as having to leave school for appointments. She
notices that she has less energy and concentration as she works with
students in individual sessions and small groups and is behind in her
paperwork. Which of the following would be the most appropriate
action for Ms. Anderson to take?
Inform her colleagues and administrators of her situation and
concerns and seek a temporary reduction in responsibility.
Take an unpaid leave of absence to deal with her mother’s
Try to organize her time and tasks more efficiently.
Hire a caregiver to take care of her mother’s needs.