Study Guide

Field 040: School Counselor
Sample Multiple-Choice Questions

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

According to Erik Erikson's theory of human development, which of the following 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
Correct Response: D.
This question requires the examinee to demonstrate knowledge of various theories of development from early childhood through young adulthood. 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 own efforts and persistence.

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

A child's cultural background is likely to have the greatest influence on the child's:

  1. rate of cognitive development.
  2. perceptions about self and others.
  3. desire for acceptance by peers.
  4. ability to learn through observation.
Correct Response: B.
This question requires the examinee to demonstrate knowledge of the effects of culture on students' development and learning. Although culture has a pervasive influence on many aspects of development, 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 the development and implementation of a guidance curriculum.

Which of the following tasks could school counselors accomplish most effectively by using a database program?

  1. organizing information about community agencies
  2. creating conference materials for participants
  3. sharing information with peers about the school counseling program
  4. researching the treatment for eating disorders in adolescents
Correct Response: A.
This question requires the examinee to demonstrate knowledge of ways technology can be used to organize the comprehensive school counseling program. A database is a collection of records stored in a computer system. Data such as name, address, and services provided can each be stored in a separate field in the record for a community agency. This allows the information in the database to be sorted and selected according to various criteria. This would enhance a school counselor's ability to make appropriate referrals to community programs.

Competency 0004
Understand methods for individual planning to help students establish goals and develop future plans.

A school counselor could best use the sociogram shown above to assess which of the following elements of fifth-grade students' social development?

  1. moral reasoning
  2. peer acceptance
  3. self-regulation
  4. perspective taking
Correct Response: B.
This question requires the examinee to demonstrate knowledge of methods for assessing individual students' social development. Sociograms illustrate interactions and relationship preferences within a group of people. For example, this sociogram shows that Tom has only one connection, which is unreciprocated, while Emily enjoys mutual relationships with three of her peers.

Competency 0005
Understand methods for providing responsive services to meet students' needs.

Five middle school students and a teacher have been injured in a bus accident midway through the school day. As a member of the school's crisis response team, which of the following steps should the school counselor take 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. arranging for phone calls to be made to the parents/guardians of each student at school
Correct Response: A.
This question requires the examinee to demonstrate knowledge of crisis interventions for students, families, schools, and communities facing emergency situations. 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 0006
Understand principles of leadership to support the educational system.

Which of the following activities would be the most professionally appropriate for a school counselor to perform?

  1. supervising study halls when a teacher is absent or otherwise unavailable
  2. reviewing and signing excuses for students who are absent or tardy
  3. collaborating with teachers to present lessons on study skills
  4. administering achievement or aptitude tests to individual students
Correct Response: C.
This question requires the examinee to distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate counseling and non-counseling-related activities. A key component of the job of a school counselor is to partner with classroom teachers to develop and implement guidance lessons. Study skills are a typical focus for such lessons.

Competency 0007
Understand applications of testing and assessment.

When the results of a standardized assessment are reported as percentiles, the scores will indicate the:

  1. relative performance of an individual within the population being tested.
  2. percentage of correct answers given by an individual who took the test.
  3. grade equivalence of the score attained by an individual taking the test.
  4. level of achievement required for an individual to pass the test.
Correct Response: A.
This question requires the examinee to apply knowledge of the different types of scores that various assessments can yield. For scores that are reported as percentiles, each student's raw score is compared with the raw scores of students in the norming sample. A particular student's percentile rank indicates the percentage of students in the norming sample that scored at or below the student's raw score. In this way, percentiles provide information about an individual's relative performance on the test.

Competency 0008
Understand strategies for developing effective relationships with students, their families, professionals, and the community.

Which of the following is a typical role of a school counselor in regard to a student who has been diagnosed with a social or emotional disability?

  1. providing the student's parents or 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 alternative instructional materials for the student
Correct Response: C.
This question requires the examinee to demonstrate knowledge of the school counselor's role as liaison between the school and other service providers. Students who are diagnosed with social or emotional disabilities often receive services from professional therapists outside the school system. For such students, it would be common for the couselor to periodically share with the outside provider information and insight regarding relevant aspects of the student's school performance.

Competency 0009
Understand roles, responsibilities, and professional standards of school counselors.

A school counselor overhears another counselor openly 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), the school counselor's first response should be to:

  1. submit a formal report on the colleague's behavior to the local school board.
  2. inform the school administration about the colleague's problematic behavior.
  3. report the colleague's behavior to the state school counselor association.
  4. approach the colleague privately to discuss the inappropriate behavior.
Correct Response: D.
This question requires the examinee to analyze applications of the ethical principles of the school counseling profession in accordance with the ASCA Ethical Standards of School Counselors. Protecting student confidentiality should be a top priority of all school counselors. The ASCA standards 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."