(4021225) 8 N1260(E)(J14)H NATIONAL CERTIFICATE OFFICE PRACTICE N5 (4021225)

TXeCS Practice Exam

Practice School Counselor Exam

Human Development

1. Michael is a 13 year old whose parents have recently initiated divorce proceedings. Ms. Singh, Michael’s teacher, has referred him for counseling because he seems to be having difficulty dealing with this situation. The counselor should be aware that, compared to young children, adolescents are more likely to react to news of divorce with feelings of:

a. guilt and personal responsibility for the divorce

b. intense anger toward their parents

c. personal helplessness and insecurity

d. deep sadness about the situation

2. According to Erikson’s theory of psychological development, the primary developmental task of middle childhood involves resolving conflicts related to which of the following aspects of identity?

a. autonomy versus doubt

b. initiative versus guilt

c. industry versus inferiority

d. identity versus role confusion


3. A student with multiple physical impairments has just enrolled in the fourth grade. The student uses a wheelchair and receives the services of a full-time aide in the regular classroom. Which of the following responsibilities would most likely be a part of the school counselor’s role with regard to this student?

a. providing the student with ongoing individual counseling related to his or her disability

b. facilitating the modification of extracurricular activities to ensure full participation by the student

c. monitoring the academic appropriateness of the student’s instructional program

d. helping ensure that the student develops and maintains social involvement with his or her peers

4. A school counselor learns that an academically gifted seventh grader is extremely bored in school. In most of her classes, the student finishes in-class assignments in a very short time and then works on homework or reads a book for the rest of the period. The counselor could best meet this student’s needs by:

a. consulting with the student’s teachers to promote instruction that facilitates creative, high-order thinking

b. encouraging the student to investigate whether she can be of help to her classmates after she has completed her own work

c. ensuring that the student’s teachers understand that she needs to be assigned a significantly greater amount of work than her peers

d. helping the student develop a variety of additional strategies for keeping herself busy under such circumstances

5. A middle school counselor would like to be part of a schoolwide effort that encourages more girls to pursue math, science, and other traditionally male-dominated fields. Which of the following would be the best strategy for achieving this goal?

a. strongly advising the highest-achieving girls among the student population to take more course in these areas

b. urging girls to seek any extra help they need to achieve in these fields, including counseling for any anxiety they may feel

c. initiating a program of mentoring and advising to help girls develop confidence in these fields

d. routinely advising girls to enroll in math and science course and to inform the counselor if they find the courses too difficult

6. A school counselor in a multicultural community makes it a personal priority to understand traditional family interactions (e.g., methods of decision making) characteristic of different groups. The greatest benefit of such an effort would be to help the counselor:

a. encourage families in the community to obtain appropriate counseling when needed

b. adapt counseling techniques to be more responsive to individual students’ personal experiences

c, encourage the different groups in the community to appreciate the similarities among them

d. develop an approach to counseling that eclectic rather than based on one theoretical model

Environmental Influences

7. Which of the following could be the most important piece of information for a school counselor to gather during the initial assessment of a fourth grader’s problems with truancy?

a. Are the parents/guardians aware of the truancy?

b. How does the student spend his or her time when truant?

c. Are any of the adults in the student’s family at home during the day?

d. How does the student explain his or her truancy?

8. A school counselor plans to conduct a group guidance session on gangs and gang avoidance with a class of sixth graders. Early in the session, the discussion unexpectedly turns to another issue: how to resolve an ongoing conflict between two groups of students in the class. The counselor decides to focus on the classroom conflict issue as part of the discussion of gangs. Which of the following best explains a key benefit of the counselor’s decision?

a. Students’ self-esteem and sense of worth is likely to be enhanced when they view themselves as being free to determine the direction of their own learning.

b. The counselor’s action allows the class to address content that is more developmentally appropriate for students in this age group.

c. Student learning is likely to be maximized when students have a chance to pursue topics that are perceived as being immediately relevant to their lives

d. The counselor’s action models for students the value of individual flexibility in responding to changing situations and needs.

Program Management

9. On Monday morning, an elementary school counselor finds in her mailbox a self-referral form from a fifth grader. The counselor’s best initial response to this referral would be to:

a. consult with the student’s teacher as soon as possible to get an ideal of what the problem might be

b. speak with the student that same day to acknowledge receipt of the referral and set up a meeting

c. instruct the school secretary to schedule an appointment with the student

d. pull the student out of class immediately to discuss her concerns

Developmental Guidance Program

10. An eleventh grader with a reading disability tells his school counselor that he plans to seek a job after graduation because he knows he couldn’t keep up with the reading in college. The counselor’s best initial response would be to:

a. acknowledge that the student is probably right and help him focus on identifying jobs he is likely to find interesting and satisfying.

b. report the conversation to the student’s special education teacher, stressing the importance of providing the student with additional assistance in reading.

c. point out that everyone had some kind of limitation and that such a limitation need not prevent a person from leading a happy and productive life.

d. advise the student that there are a variety of options open to him, including colleges that provide support to students with learning disabilities

11. A junior high school counselor makes a practice of giving students interest inventories each year. Maintaining such a longitudinal interest inventory would be especially useful for helping counselors to:

a. assess the effectiveness of their programs in terms of helping students find appropriate interests.

b. encourage students to keep their options open by having and maintaining as many interests as possible.

c. provide special services for students who do not seem to be able to articulate what their interests are.

d. guide students to greater self-understanding through reflection on changes in their interests over the years.

Response Services

12. In order to support a student’s success in school, a school counselor is working with the student and the classroom teacher to develop a behavior contract. Such contracts are based primarily on the principle that students can change their behavior when they are able to:

a. accept that school rules apply to themselves as well as to their classmates.

b. independently recognize the behaviors that need to be changed.

c. accept personal responsibility for their behavior by making specific commitments.

d. agree with trusted adults about what constitutes appropriate behavior.

13. When providing counseling to a student, a school counselor is most likely to use a systems approach to:

a. provide information about resources that may be necessary to help the student achieve his or her goals.

b. understand how the student’s behavior patterns are affected by family relationships.

c. organize the counseling sessions to follow a particular sequence of steps.

d. determine how the student’s physical health is affecting the student’s mental health.

14. The counselor in a middle school is aware that several students come from families in which there are frequent verbal and physical arguments between adults in the home . When working with children from these families, the counselor’s primary focus should be on helping the students develop strategies for:

a. applying conflict resolution techniques in such situations.

b. redirecting the attention of the adults in ways that moderate their anger.

c. taking care of their own well-being when such arguments occur.

d. prompting the adult’s reflection on such incidents during periods of calm.


15. Which of the following questions most directly addresses the validity of a test?

a. Are the test results reported in al way that facilitates the comparison of scores across all examinees?

b. Does the test measure the knowledge or characteristics it was intended to measure?

c. Are a variety of different question types and formats included on the test?

d. Would an individual be likely to perform approximately equally on two different test administrations?

16. Which of the following would be the most important point for a counselor to make to a student when discussing the student’s scores on an interest inventory?

a. Interest inventories are designed primarily to eliminate unsuitable career options.

b. Interest inventories are particularly valuable for offering insights into the reasons for an individual’s specific response/

c. Interest inventories are most helpful when a person already has some idea of his or her future plans.

d. Interest inventories are designed to measure an individual’s likes and dislikes rather than to predict success in a particular occupation.

17. A school counselor is a member of a committee that is developing goals for the school. One committee recommendation is to monitor student progress closely in relation to curriculum goals and objectives. Which of the following practices would likely be most effective in implementing this recommendation?

a. ensuring that all assessment results are reported in a standardized form that allows the results to be easily compared.

b. obtaining frequent and varied feedback on student progress.

c. instituting a pass-fail grading system based on anecdotal records rather than on numerical or letter grades.

d. carefully reviewing individual results on standardized tests in light of curriculum requirements.

18. Ramon is a second grader who receives a grade equivalent score of 4.5 on a mathematics achievement test. Which of the following is the best interpretation of Ramon’s test result?

a. Ramon knows mathematics about as well as a typical fourth grader at the end of the fifth month of school.

b. Ramon’s performance on the test is about the same as that expected of an average fourth grader midway through the school year.

c. Ramon’s current mathematics instruction should focus on content typically taught to fourth graders during the fifth month of school.

d. Ramon has mastered about half the mathematics content typically included in the fourth-grade curriculum.

School-Home Relationships

19. The mother of 15-year-old Kyle is speaking with Kyle’s school counselor on the phone. Kyle has been having behavior problems in school, and his mother says that he is becoming increasingly difficult to handle at home as well. The mother says that Kyle’s father is very strict, and that she sometimes feels the need to ease up on punishments when the father is not there. Which of the following would be the most important point for the school counselor to stress to Kyle’s mother?

a. The parents must decide which of them has the primary responsibility for setting and enforcing behavior rules, and that person must always be the one to make such decisions.

b. If one parent is being excessively strict, it is critical that the other parent provide some relief, just as the mother is currently doing.

c. The family should meet with the counselor to draw up a behavior contract for Kyle, and the terms must then be consistently enforced at home and at school.

d. If Kyle’s problems are to be addressed successfully, the family must work together to establish reasonable expectations and agreed-upon responses.

20. A number of middle school parents have told the school counselor that they feel helpless when their children resist the limits set for them (e.g. having a curfew, doing homework before watching television). When asked how they handle such resistance, many say they simply give in because they cannot bear the constant family friction. Of the following, the counselor’s best initial response would be to:

a. express willingness to speak with individual students at school about their behavior at home.

b. offer a workshop focusing on reasons and strategies for being a disciplining as well as a nurturing parent.

c. express willingness to serve as a mediator to any family unable to resolve this issue.

d. offer a workshop focusing on the types of personal insecurities that make parents avoid conflict with their children.

21. A teacher and school counselor are meeting with a student and his parents to discuss strategies that will help the student keep up with homework assignments. Which of the following would be the best method for assessing the effectiveness of the strategies decided on in this meeting?

a. The parents commit to calling the teacher every two weeks to check on their child’s progress.

b. The group works out a monitoring system to be implemented by the student and reinforced by the parents

c. The teacher calls the parents weekly to provide a quick update on their child’s behaviors.

d. The counselor calls the parents in three months if the situation has not improved.

Consultation and Collaboration with School Personnel

22. A principal has asked the school counselor to assume some administrative duties that are not directly related to the guidance program. In such a situation, the counselor best response would be to :

a. take advantage of the opportunity to develop closer professional ties with the school administration.

b. take on the duties provisionally, monitoring whether or not the arrangement affects the guidance program in any significant way.

c. present a carefully reasoned case, documented with data, to explain why the counselor’s full attention is required by the guidance program

d. propose taking in some alternative duties that have greater relevance to the counselor’s professional qualifications.

23. A school counselor recently began weekly sessions with a student at the recommendation of her teacher and with the consent of her parents. The counselor is surprised to learn from the student that she has been seeing a psychiatrist for an anxiety disorder. In this situation, the counselor’s first step should be to:

a. encourage the student to view both counseling professionals as partners working to help her feel better

b. terminate the weekly sessions at school because the student’s work with the psychiatrist had been started first

c. ask the parents’ permission to contact the psychiatrist and continue counseling in school only if the parents and psychiatrist agree

d. advise the student’s parents that their child should choose only one counseling professional to see to avoid conflict.

Ethical, Legal and Professional Standards

24. Am elementary school counselor is concerned about Jamie, a third-grade student who receives special education services. Janine’s Individual Educational Plan (IEP) specifies pull-outs from her regular classroom, and the counselor feels that Janine is becoming isolated from her classmates. In this situation, it is the counselor’s responsibility to:

a. determine the date of Janine’s next Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) meeting and plan to raise the concern at that time.

b. arrange for Janine to join a friendship group conducted by the counselor.

c. request a meeting of Janine’s ARD team to consider whether her IEP needs modification.

d. suggest ways for Janine’s classroom teacher to address Janine’s needs in the context of the classroom.

25. Seven-year-old Kurt’s parents are separated. His father has primary custody, while his mother has visitation rights. Which of the following best describes the mother’s rights in regard to Kurt’s school records?

a. The mother has full right of access to Kurt’s school records unless specifically barred by court order

b. The mother may have access to Kurt’s records only if the father agrees in writing.

c. The mother may have access to Kurt’s school records only in the event of an emergency posing imminent danger to Kurt.

d. The mother, as noncustodial parent, does not have the right of access to Kurt’s school records

26. Professional standards of conduct require school counselors to adhere to which of the following ethical guidelines when counseling students?

a. Refrain from encouraging a student to accept values, decisions, or beliefs that represent only the counselor’s personal views.

b. Share with a student’s parents or guardians thoughts or concerns expressed during counseling that conflict with the family’s basic values or belief system

c. Avoid discussions with students that appear likely to lead them to questions widely accepted community values or beliefs.

d. Take all reasonable steps to encourage student’s acceptance of the values and belief systems of their parents or guardians.

27. At the request of the principal, a middles school counselor is establishing a social skills counseling group to resolve an ongoing dispute between two groups of seventh-grade students. Which of the following is the first step the counselor should take in establishing this group?

a. Advise the students’ parents or guardians that their children have been assigned to this group at the request of the principal.

b. Inform the students that as a result of their continuing conflicts, they will be required to participate in this group.

c. Contact each student’s parent of guardian to discuss the purpose of the group and request permission for the student to attend.

d. Ask each student to sign a release form indicating an understanding for the group’s purpose and a willingness to participate.

Environmental Influences

Use the information below to answer the next four questions.

Counselors in the guidance department of a high school have become aware of some significant changes in the student population over the last few years. Fewer students are arriving at school ready to learn. Many seem to lack respect for authority and have not developed important values (e.g. that it is wrong to cheat). Some have few rules set for them at home or are not required by their parents to attend school every day. Others face difficulties ranging from absent parents to caring for younger siblings.

28. Given factors in the home such as those described, school counselors must recognize that they can best serve individual students by:

a. responding with greater leniency to limit-testing behaviors in school.

b. focusing primarily on students’ academic and career goals rather than on social or emotional problems beyond the school’s control.

c. insisting that parents accept more responsibility for monitoring and supporting their children.

d. providing students with skills and knowledge that will help them assume greater responsibility for their own behavior and well-being.

29. Given the circumstances described, the school counselor’s role should be primarily that of a:

a. voice of conscience who impresses upon parents the damage they are causing their children.

b. change agent who engages the entire school community in responding to the needs of a new population of students.

c. facilitator of a new discipline plan to be implemented by all staff throughout the school.

d. therapist who provides ongoing in-depth personal counseling to students who receive little support at home.

30. During a discussion, a counselor asks a group of tenth graders to suggest reasons why a student should not cheat on a test. In terms of Kohlberg’s sequence of moral reasoning, which of the following student suggestions is most advanced?

a. The teacher might catch you and give you and F on the test.

b. You’ll feel guilty afterward because that is not fair.

c. Your friends won’t respect you if they find out you’re a cheater.

d. Teachers are nicer to you if you don’t cheat.

School-Community Relationships

31. Of the following, the counselors’ best strategy for addressing the problems described would be to:

a. start a mentor program in which local citizens provide individualized adult companionship

b. invite members of the local police force to come to individual classrooms t discuss possible consequences of antisocial behavior

c. initiate a series of after school discussions, led by local community members, on issues of concern to adolescents

d. ask local human service agencies to conduct an assembly in which they describe the services available to students and their families

Use the letter below, sent by an elementary school counselor to the parents of all fourth graders, to answer the three questions that follow.

Dear Parents,

I am writing to let you know that your fourth grader will soon begin a new Life Skills unit in our Lifelong Learning curriculum. Over the course of six weeks, we will work on understanding others and getting along with them. Your child will learn strategies for solving interpersonal problems that may arise at school, at home, or in the neighborhood. We will discuss and practice the following steps to take when confronted with a problem.

1. Stop! Take a deep breath! Think before you do or say anything!

2. Describe the problem and tell how you feel about it.

3. Set a positive goal.

4. Brainstorm as many solutions as you can.

5. Think about the consequences of each solution.

6. Try out the solution that you think is best.

As always, please call if you have any questions.


Roger Edison

School Counselor

Human Development

32. Mr. Edison’s approach to the unit is based on the principle that children:

a. are capable of learning to control their own behavior if they are provided with a structure for doing so.

b. need to be taught how to see issues from another person’s viewpoint before they can solve interpersonal problems on their own

c. are most likely to develop positive attitudes toward school if they receive direct instruction in how to build positive relationships.

d. are most likely to develop control of their own behavior if the adults around them coordinate their behavior management approaches.

Consultation and Collaboration with School Personnel

33. The major advantage of the counselor’s maintaining close communication with all faculty members about this unit would be to:

a. reinforce the concept that teachers should use the counselor’s services in the event of conflicts between students

b. create school-wide awareness of a strategy that teachers and students can use in the context of conflict situations.

c. help teachers appreciate the connection between children’s social and affective well-being and their academic performance.

d. remind teachers to take students’ developmental characteristics into account when attempting to address social problems.

School-Home Relationships

34. As a follow-up to his initial letter, Mr. Edison can best involve parents more directly in this program by:

a. sending home periodic letters about what the children are learning and related activities families can do together.

b. asking parents/guardians to fill out a questionnaire on how they have taught their child to solve problems.

c. providing interested parents with the lesson plans for each Life Skills unit.

d. ensuring that in each Life Skills class, students receive a handout to take home to their parents.

Use the information below to answer the four questions that follow.

Developmental Guidance Programs

A counselor in a middle school has started holding a series of discussions about issues of interest to adolescents. The issue currently under discussion is stereotyping. The counselor begins the session by showing the group some pictures from magazines and asking students to describe their reactions to the people shown in the pictures.

35. This method of introducing the topic would be an especially good way to:

a. promote students’ immediate involvement in the issue.

b. help students appreciate the qualities within themselves that make them unique.

c. facilitate stronger relationships among the members of the group.

d. prompt student to express their own individuality without worrying about the reactions of other people.

36. One student comments that a boy shown in one of the pictures is “a real prep.” Other students agree, adding “Yeah, he’s a nerd” and “Conceited; stuck-up.” The counselor’s best initial response for helping students begin to examine their own attitudes in this situation would be to:

a. inform the group that such reactions are examples of stereotyping.

b. ask students to explain how they can tell what the boy is like.

c. ask students to discuss other labels people are given based on their appearances.

d. point out the arbitrariness of such judgments

Consultation and Collaboration with School Personnel

37. The discussion on stereotyping suggests to the counselor that the entire school community needs to develop greater open-mindedness and acceptance of others. The counselor’s best strategy for involving teachers in this effort would be to:

a. remind teachers during faculty meetings of the importance of accepting all students

b. ensure that all teachers are aware that the topic of stereotyping is currently being addressed in the discussion group

c. distribute to staff members professional literature that stresses the importance of an open-minded and accepting school community

d. initiate a dialogue with teachers on how to address the issue through instruction in the content areas.


38. During the discussion, one boy who transferred from an alternative school to this school says, “When I first told people what school I came from, they all thought I must be a criminal or something.” Which of the following would be the counselor’s best strategy for making such transitions easier for individual students?

a. asking a student organization to create and display signs welcoming new students on the first day of school.

b. arranging for the principal to greet all new students who enroll at the school.

c. establishing a support system of students, teachers, administrators, and counseling staff who are available for new students.

d. preparing a handout for new students describing potential\al difficulties and expressing the counselor’s willingness to help.

Human Development

39. A counselor is helping a first grader, Brian, deal with the death of a family member. It is especially important for the school counselor to:

a. provide Brian with the vocabulary needed for labeling and expressing his feelings

b. reassure Brian that he will not always feel as sad as he does now

c. describe the counselor’s personal experiences of losing a loved one

d. accompany Brian to his classroom to explain the situation to his classmates

Environmental Influences

40. A school counselor who is altering faculty to signs of child abuse should include which of the folk indicators?

I. inability to focus on classroom activities

II. reluctance to express one’s thoughts and feelings

III. insensitivity to the reactions of adults

IV. feelings of personal powerlessness

a. I and IV only

b. II and III only

c. I, II, and III only

d. I, II and IV only

Developmental Guidance Program

41. When training students to become peer mediators, it is especially important to help them develop their ability to:

I. describe feelings without blaming

II. help disputants understand one another’s point of view

III. propose solutions to a conflict

IV confront others constructively

a. I and II only

b. II and IV only

c. I, II, and III only

d. I, III, and IV only

Response Services

42. The counselor in an elementary school is aware that several learners come from families in which there are frequent verbal and physical arguments between adults in the home. When working with children from these families, the counselor’s primary focus should be on helping the learners develop strategies for:

a. assuming the role of peacemaker in the family

b. redirecting the attention of the disputants in ways that moderate their anger

c. taking care of their own well-being when such arguments occur

d. prompting the disputant’s reflection on such incidents during periods of calm

43. A school counselor has been working with Jesse, an eleventh grader who becomes so anxious about exams that he usually performs poorly on them. One strategy the counselor uses to help Jesse is teaching him to remind himself before each exam, “This one exam will not determine my entire future.” The counselor’s approach is best described as:

a. cognitive-behavioral

b. psychoanalytic

c. humanistic

d. sociocultural


44. When preparing a presentation for teachers on interpreting the results of a standardized test, a counselor should include which of the following pieces of information?

I. It is inappropriate to use grade equivalent scores to compare students to one another

II. Percentile scores indicate their percentage of correct answers achieved by the student on a test

III Standardized test scores should be treated as only one component of a comprehensive assessment program

IV. Norm-referenced tests are designed to indicate a student’s level of knowledge compared to an established standard of performance

a. I and III only

b. II and III only

c. II and IV only

d. I and IV only

School-Community Relationships

45. Which of the following would be an appropriate response to the public in the event of an incidence of violence in the school?

a. Downplay the seriousness and extent of the incident in order to maintain control of the situation

b. Have in place a communication network to explain the facts and action plan to all interested parties

c. Reveal only the minimum amount of information required to dispel an atmosphere of emotionalism

d. Assure families that all of their questions cam be answered by following local media coverage

Ethical, Legal, and Professional Standards

46. Ricky, an eighth grader, recently died after a long illness. Several of Ricky’s classmates have mentioned to the school counselor their surprise that Nina, Ricky’s best friend has never cried or shown any other overt signs of grief. Which of the following would be the counselor’s best response to these students?

a. Well, actually, Nina has been in to talk to me several times about her sorrow over Ricky’s death.

b. You know, grief is a very personal thing , and people need to be allowed to express it in their own ways and at their own time

c. I think that Nina may not grieve openly until she truly accepts that Ricky is dead

d. Why don’t you talk to Nina about it? I expect she’d appreciate having some sympathetic listeners to talk to during this difficult time.

Developmental Guidance Program

47. A counselor in middle school has started holding a series of discussion about issues of interest to adolescents. The issue currently under discussion is stereotyping. The counselor begins the sessions by showing the group some pictures from magazines and asking learners to describe their reactions to the people shown in the pictures

Which of the following are advantages of the way the counselor has introduced the topic?

I. It promotes learners’ immediate involvement in the issue.

II. It helps learners appreciate the qualities within themselves that make them unique.

III. It reduces the chances of individual group members’ feeling directly threatened by the topic.

IV. It prompts learners to express their own individuality without worrying about the reactions of other people.

a. I and II only

b. III and IV only

c. I and III only

d. II and IV only

School Counseling Answer Key

1. B 24. C

2. C 25. A

3. D 26. A

4. A 27. C

5. C 28. D

6. B 29. B

7. A 30. B

8. C 31. A

9. B 32. A

10. D 33. B

11. D 34. A

12. C 35. A

13. B 36. B

14. C 37. D

15. B 38. C

16. D 39. A

17. B 40. D

18. B 41. A

19. D 42. C

20. B 43. A

21. B 44. A

22. C 45. B

23.C 46. B

47. C


Tags: counselor exam, the counselor, michael, development, counselor, practice, human, school