Counseling Readiness Exam

Students entering the Master of Arts in Counseling program are expected to bring a foundational knowledge of psychology. Proficiency in this foundational knowledge will be confirmed through a "Readiness Exam," required of all incoming counseling students. If deficiencies are indicated, remedial work will be required. Counseling students may satisfy these deficiencies in one of the following two ways: Complete appropriate undergraduate course(s) at an approved institution or complete a self-guided instructional program provided through the Department of Counseling Studies of Western Seminary.


The Readiness Exam must be taken at least once before an admission interview will be scheduled. It is recommended that you take the exam as early as possible in the event that you would need to complete any remedial work. The student may not begin the second year of counseling studies without satisfying proficiency requirements.

Exam Content

The Readiness Exam consists of 115 multiple-choice questions. The exam is self-administered via an online classroom and instructions given from the Counseling Department Administrative Assistant. The exam covers five areas:

• Personality and Counseling Theory

• Research and Evaluation

• Human Growth and Development

• Abnormal Psychology

• Historical Foundations & Considerations.


Each sub-section of the exam will be scored separately. A 50% score on each section will be necessary for a passing score. Scores of 49% or less on a particular sub-section will indicate a need for remedial work in that subject matter. For example, if a student receives scores of 50% or better on all subsections except Human Development, where he or she receives a 40%, that student would then complete the remedial work in Human Development only, not all 5 sub-sections. However, students may take the exams as many times as necessary to earn a passing score.

The following checklist will guide you through the readiness exam process:

 Complete all five sections of the exam.

 If you do not pass one or more sections, follow the "Remedial Work" instructions below.

Remedial Work Instructions

 Check out the necessary remedial items, on reserve in the library (See materials list below)

 After completing the remedial work re-take the subsection(s) on the computer.

 After successfully completing all sections of the exam contact the Counseling Administrative Assistant to notify department of completion

Suggested Study Materials

Kring, Ann M., Davison, Gerald C., Neale, John M, and Johnson, Shari (2007). Abnormal Psychology (10th ed.). New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Gerrig, Richard J., Zimbardo, Philip G., (2009). Psychology and Life (19th ed.). New York. New York: Harper Collins.


Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">Shanita Gills for more information.