Admissions MA in Counseling California BW

Counseling Readiness Exam

Students entering the M.A. Counseling (MAC) 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. MAC 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 Marital and Family Therapy of Western Seminary.


The Readiness Exam (and any subsequent remedial work) must be completed before the end of the first semester. It is recommended that you take the exam as early as possible in the event that you would need to complete any remedial work.

Exam Content

The Readiness Exam consists of 80 multiple-choice questions. The exam covers eight areas:

  1. Personality and Counseling Theory
  2. Abnormal Psychology
  3. Historical Foundations & Considerations
  4. Research and Statistics
  5. Social Psychology
  6. Human Growth and Development
  7. Neuropsychology
  8. Therapeutic Approaches


Each sub-section of the exam will be scored separately. A 70% score on each section will be necessary for a passing score. Scores of 69% 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 70% or better on all subsections except Human Development, where he or she receives a 68%, that student would then complete the remedial work in Human Development only, not all 8 sub-sections.

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

  • Contact the MAC Program Assistant to arrange an exam. 
  • Complete all eight sections of the exam.
  • After completing each section, write your scores and return them to the Program Assistant.
  • If you do not pass one or more sections, follow the “Remedial Work” instructions.

Remedial Work Instructions

  • Submit a request to the Program Assistant for the necessary remedial items. 
  • After completing the remedial work, re-take the subsection(s).
  • Write your passing score and bring the score sheet to the MAC Program Assistant.

Suggested Study Materials

Contact the MAC Program Assistant This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for access to study materials.