Study Guide

Sample Questions

Expand All | Collapse All

Competency 0001
Understand human growth and development from early childhood to young adulthood.

1. According to Erik Erikson's theory of human development, which of the following endeavors is the primary psychosocial task for children between the ages of 6 and 12?

  1. establishing a sense of identity
  2. trusting that adults will meet their basic needs
  3. controlling their own behavior
  4. gaining a sense of competence and accomplishment
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Correct Response: D. Erik Erikson viewed psychosocial development as a sequence of stages, each characterized by specific goals, concerns, and accomplishments. According to Erikson, for children between the ages of 6 and 12, the major psychosocial task is to resolve the conflict between industry versus inferiority. Children do this by becoming competent in a variety of tasks through their efforts and persistence.

Competency 0002
Understand the learning process and factors that affect learning.

2. A student's cultural background is likely to have the greatest influence on which of the following aspects of the student's development?

  1. rate of cognitive development
  2. perceptions about self and others
  3. desire for acceptance by peers
  4. ability to learn through observation
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Correct Response: B. Although culture has a pervasive influence on many aspects of personal development and learning, some traits are considered to be largely universal. Of the response options provided, only an individual's perceptions about self and others is generally acknowledged to be shaped in substantial ways by interactions characteristic of the specific culture within which one is raised.

Competency 0003
Understand theories and practices in education and school counseling and the importance of developing and implementing guidance curricula and prevention programming that promotes the mental health and well-being of all students.

3. In a school district's guidance and counseling program, a career guidance initiative is based on the premise that students' career interests are regulated by self-efficacy (the beliefs students have about their ability to be successful), as well as by outcome expectations that are formed by their own experiences and vicarious learning (observing and imitating the behaviors of others). Emphases include having students use purposeful goal setting to establish a rigorous academic foundation and engage in meaningful work-based learning experiences, and assisting students in career and educational planning and decision making. Which of the following theories of learning is best exemplified by this approach?

  1. zone of proximal development
  2. information processing
  3. social cognitive
  4. transformative learning
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Correct Response: C. Albert Bandura's social cognitive theory emphasizes cognitive, vicarious, self-regulatory, self-reflective, and proactive processes that allow individuals to learn, mature, adapt, and change. The approach described in the item aligns with the social cognitive career theory (SCCT), which evolved from social cognitive theory. SCCT explores ways in which students' career and academic interests mature, how career choices are developed, and how these choices are turned into actions through a focus on three central components of the theory: self-efficacy, outcome expectations, and goals.

Competency 0004
Understand the components of comprehensive, standards-based, and outcome-focused school guidance and counseling programs, as well as how to implement, manage, and evaluate school guidance and counseling programs.

4. A school counselor is concerned there may be a disparity in college enrollment rates at the high school based on students' race and ethnicity. To investigate this potential disparity, the counselor should begin by:

  1. using pre- and post-surveys to gather data on students' perceptions of college preparation programs.
  2. surveying families and students of color regarding their views on the value of a college education.
  3. researching interventions that have proven effective in addressing this type of opportunity gap.
  4. collecting and disaggregating relevant student data according to demographic variables.
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Correct Response: D. Disaggregating data involves separating data by variables such as gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and primary language to determine if there are any groups of students who may not be learning or achieving academic and career goals as effectively as others. These data often bring to light issues of equity, opportunity, and access, and help focus guidance and counseling efforts on the needs of specific groups of students. By collecting and disaggregating data relevant to college enrollment rates according to students' race and ethnicity, school counselors can identify potential achievement and access gaps, as well as the students affected by these gaps. Counselors can then design interventions to help lessen and remove barriers that may be hindering the academic success of these students or their ability to access resources needed for college enrollment.

Competency 0005
Understand individual counseling, group work, and classroom guidance, as well as how to implement and assess the effectiveness of guidance and counseling strategies.

5. Which of the following management strategies is likely to be most effective for a school counselor to use when teaching a group guidance lesson on interpersonal relationship skills in an elementary classroom?

  1. conducting a brief survey with students to guide the selection of future topics for the relationship skills unit
  2. beginning the lesson with an interactive discussion of planned activities, students' roles, and expectations for student behavior
  3. establishing individual goals with students and brainstorming ideas for role-playing scenarios involving friendship and social skills
  4. opening the lesson with a discussion of the purposes, advantages, and disadvantages of setting rules for appropriate conduct in group activities
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Correct Response: B. At the beginning of group guidance lessons, it is important for school counselors to preview planned activities, clarify student roles and responsibilities, and communicate standards and expectations for behavior. Students should be informed about the purpose of the lesson and provided with a brief overview of lesson activities and ways in which students will be expected to participate. Behavioral expectations should be based on students' developmental levels and existing classroom rules, and should be clearly communicated to students. To keep students on task, counselors should review lesson goals and behavioral expectations at the beginning of group lessons, involve students in hands-on lesson activities, and enforce agreed-upon ground rules.

Competency 0006
Understand responsive services and crisis counseling and how to plan, implement, manage, and evaluate responsive services and crisis counseling.

6. Five middle school students and a teacher have been injured in a field trip bus accident midway through the school day. As a member of the school's crisis response team, the school counselor should take which of the following steps first?

  1. verifying that any information available about the event is accurate
  2. responding to questions from the local media as the school's spokesperson
  3. suggesting language for teachers to use when discussing the event with students
  4. contacting the parents/guardians of each student at school
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Correct Response: A. In the situation described, all members of the school's crisis response team, including the school counselor, need to be sure that any information they have obtained about the event is verified before it is communicated to others in the school community.

Competency 0007
Understand developmentally appropriate college- and career-readiness guidance and counseling, as well as how to manage and evaluate postsecondary educational guidance and counseling.

7. A high-achieving eleventh-grade student plans to become a marine biologist. Recently, the student has begun to question her plan of attending a four-year residential college because of difficulties with a social anxiety disorder. In which of the following ways could the school counselor best advise the student in relation to achieving her desired career goals?

  1. by encouraging the student to reflect on and explore various postsecondary educational settings
  2. by facilitating a meeting between the student, the student's parent/guardian, and the biology teacher to reevaluate the student's career goals
  3. by recommending that the student consider taking a gap year after graduating from high school
  4. by inviting the student to join a friendship and peer support group to help the student develop stress-reduction strategies
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Correct Response: A. In this situation, a school counselor should advocate for and support the student's postsecondary plans while acknowledging and addressing the student's concerns. To assist this student in her career and educational planning, the counselor could suggest that the student take some time to carefully consider her options for attending college, and perhaps consult with others who can help her make a decision that will lead to successful postsecondary experiences. For example, it may be appropriate for the student to consider taking accredited online college courses; attending a community college; or applying to four-year residential colleges that are close to home, have small student enrollments, provide weekly academic advising, or offer multiple support services.

Competency 0008
Understand the role of the school counselor as a change agent, leader, and advocate and how to communicate and collaborate with stakeholders to promote educational equity and success for all students.

8. Which of the following leadership activities is most professionally appropriate for a school counselor to perform?

  1. carrying out disciplinary actions and assigning discipline consequences
  2. supervising and coordinating cognitive, aptitude, and achievement testing programs
  3. collaborating with school administrators to identify and resolve student issues, needs, and problems
  4. coordinating schoolwide individual education plans, student evaluation teams, and school attendance review boards
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Correct Response: C. According to the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), helping a school administrator identify and resolve student issues, needs, and problems is an appropriate role for a school counselor. Counselors, who ideally should spend most of their time in direct service to students, often assume a leadership role in collecting and analyzing data and information in relation to student issues and needs. After working with administrators to identify student needs and problems, school counselors can focus on addressing them through schoolwide prevention efforts, group guidance strategies, individual student planning, and responsive services.

Competency 0009
Understand strategies for developing and maintaining productive relationships with students and their families, colleagues and other professionals, and community agencies and service providers.

9. Which of the following collaborative roles does a school counselor typically fulfill in regard to the education of a student who has been diagnosed with an emotional disturbance?

  1. providing the student's parents/guardians with information about the school curriculum
  2. reporting to the multidisciplinary team on the student's academic progress
  3. consulting with the student's outside therapist on the student's progress in school
  4. identifying and accessing alternative instructional materials for the student
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Correct Response: C. Students who are diagnosed with an emotional disturbance often receive services from professional therapists outside the school system. For such students, a school counselor would be expected to periodically share with the outside provider information and insight regarding relevant aspects of the student's school performance.

Competency 0010
Understand professional, legal, and ethical requirements and issues in school counseling and how to apply professional, legal, and ethical standards as school counselors.

10. A school counselor overhears another counselor discussing confidential information about a student in the presence of teachers who have no relationship with the student. According to the ethical standards of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), which of the following actions should the school counselor take first?

  1. submitting a formal complaint about the colleague's behavior to the local school board
  2. informing the principal about the colleague's behavior and notifying the colleague of this action
  3. reporting the colleague's behavior to the state school counselor association
  4. approaching the colleague privately to discuss the behavior and seek resolution
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Correct Response: D. Protecting student confidentiality should be a top priority of all school counselors. The ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors specify that in the type of situation described, the counselor's first response should be to "directly approach the colleague whose behavior is in question to discuss the complaint and seek resolution."