Study Guide

Field 051: School Counselor
Sample Multiple-Choice Questions

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Objective 001
Understand diversity and equity issues in school counseling.

1. Before attempting multicultural counseling and guidance activities, it is most important for school counselors to be aware of:

  1. practices followed in their schools to honor and celebrate diversity.
  2. sociopolitical issues that are currently affecting the general society.
  3. their own beliefs and values and those of the students being served.
  4. teaching strategies that are effective with students from many backgrounds.
Correct Response: C.

2. As a result of repeated serious behavior infractions, a student with an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) is being considered for a long-term out-of-school suspension. School counselors should be aware that before such a disciplinary action can be implemented, the school is legally required to:

  1. conduct a formal review to determine whether the student's behaviors were related to his or her disability.
  2. present the student with a written explanation of the seriousness of his or her behavior infractions.
  3. impose a series of less severe disciplinary actions to determine whether they will resolve the problem.
  4. refer the student and his or her parents/guardians for mental health counseling from an outside agency.
Correct Response: A.

3. Three students in an elementary school are academically gifted and usually complete their seatwork very quickly. The school counselor has noticed that when these students have finished an assignment, their teachers usually suggest that they either find a book to read or see if any classmates need their help. Under these circumstances, the counselor's best initial response would be to:

  1. initiate a small counseling group for the students to help them learn to be assertive about their own needs.
  2. collaborate with the students' teachers to identify strategies for providing the students with differentiated instruction.
  3. contact the students' parents/guardians to make them aware of the inequity of the situation.
  4. arrange to make a presentation at an upcoming faculty meeting on teachers' obligation to differentiate instruction for all students.
Correct Response: B.

Objective 002
Understand student assessment and evaluation.

4. A high school counselor is analyzing comprehensive data related to student success at his school. Which of the following findings would most strongly suggest that there is an achievement gap at the school?

  1. A high percentage of the students' parents did not attend a four-year college or university.
  2. The dropout rate is higher for students identified as having low socioeconomic status.
  3. All English language learner programs have been incorporated into general education settings.
  4. Participation in advanced placement courses has increased for all student groups.
Correct Response: B.

5. A school counselor is examining the results of a recently administered standardized achievement test. An excerpt of the score report is shown below.

Vocabulary Reading Comprehension Language Skills Work-Study Skills Mathematical Skills
student A 50 43 67 70 99
student B 45 40 55 65 45
student C 32 19 38 24 40
student D 65 76 76 78 74

Which of the following types of test scores is shown in this excerpt?

  1. national percentile ranks
  2. stanines
  3. grade equivalents
  4. age norms
Correct Response: A.

6. A school counselor works in a large elementary school with a diverse population. One of her students, a girl who speaks English but recently moved from India, is being evaluated for special education services. In this context, the school counselor could best advocate for her student by:

  1. personally administering all assessments to ensure that the student's cultural background will be fully taken into consideration by the student's team.
  2. seeking input from the family regarding relevant and essential cultural considerations to share with the student's team.
  3. encouraging the student's team to use only standardized assessment tools and formal observations to eliminate the potential for cultural bias.
  4. providing the student's team with a copy of the school counselor's case notes from her individual sessions with the student.
Correct Response: B.


Objective 003
Understand the development and implementation of a developmental guidance curriculum that promotes students' academic, career, and personal/social development.

7. A school counselor wants to evaluate the effect a series of developmental guidance lessons has had on discipline referrals. Which of the following strategies would be most effective for this purpose?

  1. surveying students' opinions of whether the lessons helped change their behavior
  2. comparing before-and-after results data such as improved school behavior
  3. reviewing process data to determine how well the lessons were delivered
  4. administering multiple-choice pre- and posttests of the key concepts taught
Correct Response: B.

8. After the schoolwide implementation of a developmental guidance unit on bullying prevention, a middle school counseling department is planning to conduct a bullying survey. Feedback will be solicited from all stakeholders, including parents/guardians and community members, and will be required of all students, faculty, and staff. Which of the following would be the department's most efficient strategy for implementing this survey?

  1. making an online survey accessible through a link on the school Web site, with a paper-based version available for those without Internet access
  2. printing a paper-based survey and making copies available for pickup and dropoff at designated sites around the community
  3. creating an online survey for stakeholders to complete using a designated computer workstation at the school before, during, and after school hours
  4. offering stakeholders their choice of options for responding to the survey, including personal interviews with members of the counseling staff
Correct Response: A.

9. Which of the following would be a school counseling department's best strategy for collaborating with staff in planning guidance curriculum?

  1. routinely reminding teachers at faculty meetings that their input into the guidance curriculum is crucial for students' success
  2. asking teachers periodically during the year to complete a form that seeks input on guidance topics relevant to their students
  3. posting a list of upcoming guidance topics in the faculty room and encouraging teachers to write down additional suggestions
  4. asking each teacher at the end of the school year for an informal assessment of the past year's guidance curriculum
Correct Response: B.

Objective 004
Understand vocational, educational, and career development and planning.

10. A high school counselor is designing a unit on goal setting for eleventh-grade students. Which of the following tools or resources would likely be most effective for promoting student engagement during this unit?

  1. a wide variety of books and handouts on goal setting
  2. videos of representatives from various colleges explaining how to set educational goals
  3. an interactive Web-based goal-setting program
  4. an online slide show that walks students through the goal-setting process
Correct Response: C.

11. Which of the following theories is based on the idea that people learn from role models?

  1. Albert Bandura's social cognitive theory
  2. Donald Super's theory of developmental self-concept
  3. John Holland's theory of vocational choice
  4. Frank Parsons's talent matching theory
Correct Response: A.

12. A high school counselor works in a school with a highly diverse student population. The counselor has noticed that a number of students from the same ethnic background have met with her once to discuss educational or career planning but have not returned for scheduled follow-up sessions, even though she has sent them reminders. Under these circumstances, the counselor's most appropriate initial response would be to:

  1. seek out each of the students individually to explain that they should respond when a staff member initiates contact with them.
  2. reflect on whether the approach she has been using is an effective one for this student population.
  3. review the students' schedules and come to get them for individual counseling sessions during their nonacademic periods.
  4. conclude that she provided the students with all the help they needed during the initial meeting.
Correct Response: B.

Objective 005
Understand responsive services including individual and group counseling and referral and crisis intervention.

13. A teacher tells the school counselor that a fifth-grade student often falls asleep in class. The teacher says that when asked about bedtime routines, the student replied that the family has no such routines. Which of the following would be the best action for the counselor to take first in this situation?

  1. suggesting that the teacher vary the classroom routine and activities to help the student remain engaged
  2. writing a letter to the parents/guardians suggesting an earlier bedtime for the student
  3. scheduling a conference that includes the counselor, teacher, and the student's parents/guardians
  4. teaching the student a variety of effective strategies for staying awake in school
Correct Response: C.

14. A high school counselor has been using disaggregation technology to look at a group of students by ethnicity, responsive services received, and school achievement. To best guide planning for students in this group, which of the following steps should the counselor take next?

  1. evaluating the relationship between guidance department goals and the students' school performance
  2. interviewing the students to obtain data (e.g., perception data, process data) about their guidance program experiences
  3. obtaining records of the students' grades and test scores in elementary and middle school or junior high
  4. reviewing the students' data across additional factors (e.g., other interventions, school attendance)
Correct Response: D.

15. The counselors in a school routinely take advantage of the availability of an integrated database, or data warehousing application, when analyzing counseling program effectiveness. The greatest benefit of this type of technology lies in the:

  1. ease with which the accuracy of input information can be verified.
  2. extent of the data sources that can be linked.
  3. ease with which such applications can be learned and mastered.
  4. extent to which decision making can be automated.
Correct Response: B.


Objective 006
Understand school counselor leadership skills in the school setting.

16. Several parents/guardians have expressed concern to the school counselor about a fourth-grade teacher who loudly reprimands students' misbehavior, embarrasses students in front of the class about mistakes in their academic work, and makes sarcastic comments during lessons. Students have reported that some classmates are consistently picked on, and one student confides that she sometimes skips class because she is afraid of the teacher. In this situation, which of the following would be the counselor's best strategy for advocating for students?

  1. calling a parent/guardian meeting to allow these issues to be discussed by the whole group
  2. sharing the complaints with the teacher and suggesting alternative student behavior management strategies
  3. meeting with the class in the teacher's absence to discuss the problem and explore the students' feelings
  4. documenting the reports and consulting with the principal about an intervention
Correct Response: D.

17. When a school counseling team is determining its professional growth activities for the year, its first course of action should be to:

  1. identify the team's collective competencies and needs.
  2. identify the team's overall departmental resources.
  3. assess the administration's goals for the guidance department.
  4. assess the community's goals for the guidance department.
Correct Response: A.

18. A school counselor in training from a local college has been approved to do her internship hours in the school counseling program at a nearby high school. The intern will be supervised by a counselor at the high school. Which of the following questions would be most important for the counselor to ask first when preparing to assume this supervisory role?

  1. What types of duties would the intern prefer to be assigned?
  2. How many hours a week will the intern be working at the school?
  3. What specific training has the intern received at the college so far?
  4. Which of my current responsibilities would I most like to delegate?
Correct Response: C.

Objective 007
Understand professional roles and responsibilities of the school counselor.

19. Data that show proof that student competencies have not merely been mastered but have affected course-taking patterns, graduation rates, attainment of knowledge, and improved attendance or academic achievement are referred to as:

  1. qualitative data.
  2. perception data.
  3. results data.
  4. process data.
Correct Response: C.

20. Which of the following professional growth topics has been identified as a rapidly growing need for professional counselors in the twenty-first century?

  1. stages of moral and ethical development
  2. developmentally appropriate pedagogy
  3. developmental guidance curriculum
  4. racial and ethnic identity development
Correct Response: D.