Taking the ASWB Exam Again

Retaking the ASWB exam may feel a bit intimidating, but it is possible to improve your performance and score.  Don’t be discouraged if you didn’t get the score that you wanted; focus your energy on figuring out what you struggled with and work on mastering these areas.  Everyone is unique and takes tests differently. It may be helpful for you to think about how your personal test taking habits can help or hinder you from passing the ASWB exam. The following tips may help you determine what strategies you may need to employ to pass the social work licensing exam.

Set aside enough time to adequately prepare for the exam

It is not uncommon for ASWB test takers to underestimate the time that they will need to spend studying and preparing for the exam. Many of the individuals taking the ASWB test are working full time and may not feel that they have much extra time to devote to studying. They may not be able to commit to blocking off a few hours each day to study for the exam. It is important to know how much time you will be able to spend preparing for the test and adjust your plan accordingly. Most people find that they need at least one month of solid study time to sufficiently prepare for the exam. You may need even more time if you can’t commit to studying every day for a substantial amount of time. It’s much better to give yourself the time you need to study and be able to take the exam with confidence than to jump in and take it without ample preparation.

Make sure you are reviewing the right material

It won’t help you very much to spend time studying material that won’t be on the actual ASWB exam. The first step in determining what you need to study is to find out what topic areas will be included on the exam. The ASWB provides this information on its website. Go to www.aswb.org to find an outline of these topics.

It is also important to get a good study guide to help you prepare for the ASWB test. Comprehensive study guides like The Complete Guide to Social Work contain the information that you need to study along with practice test questions that can help you build your test taking skills while refreshing your knowledge about the topic.  You can also use the feedback that was provided to you after taking the test to find out what areas you may need to focus on. Concentrate on practicing the types of questions that gave you trouble in the past. This may be the key to mastering the exam in the future.

Set a timer

If you ran out of time during the test, it may be helpful to time yourself when you are practicing for the exam. In order to finish the exam within the allotted timeframe, you can spend up to 1.5 minutes on each question. Obviously some questions are going to take you longer than others, but keeping the 1.5 minute average rule in mind can help you keep your pace when you are struggling with tough questions.

Maybe you ran out of time because you got distracted. Most people will agree that 4 hours is a long time to sit still while doing anything much less taking a test.  Just like extended exercising builds up your physical endurance, timed studying can help train your body and your mind to stay focused for longer periods of time. Although you may not be able to spend the full 4 hours studying every day, be sure to do as many full length practice sessions as possible in order to increase the endurance of your focus.

Whatever you do, don’t panic

Having to retake the exam may make you feel a little anxious. This is a completely normal response. It can be scary to retry things that you’ve struggled with in the past. However, your past experiences can also work to your advantage. First of all, you’ve already taken the test! You already know what to expect. This is a wonderful advantage to have because it can help you to feel more comfortable with the test questions and the test setting. Another thing to remember is that you have the opportunity to be better prepared this time around. You now know what areas you need to work on and how much time it will take you to properly study for the exam. Have confidence that you have the tools, resources, and knowledge that you need to go into the exam well prepared and ready to succeed.

 

 

 

Combating Post Election Anxiety

By Roxy Simons for SocialWorkGuide

Combating Post Election Anxiety

Post-election anxiety is completely normal. When the winning candidate doesn’t reflect your personal values or acts in ways you never expected, you may feel hopeless about the state of our country. The 2016 election caused significant stress to both Democrats and Republicans, but you don’t have to succumb to your anxiety. You can combat post election anxiety by taking action, connecting with loved ones, practicing empathy, and seeking help.

Recognizing the Symptoms

Before you can actually tackle post election anxiety, you need to recognize the symptoms. According to Dr. Diane Roberts Stoler’s Psychology Today article, some signs of post election stress include “sleepless nights, chronic anxiety, fluctuating depression, anger, frustration, and fear.” This election also brought bullying, fear of deportation, and protesting. Admitting to experiencing these symptoms may seem daunting, but realizing your feelings is the most important step to treat them.

Take Action

When the world seems void of humanity, the best way to keep the faith is to practice compassion in your community. You can make a big difference with small actions. Get involved by starting a petition, donating your time and money, or writing to your representatives. Most importantly, get out and vote, not just every four years, but during local elections. Have a voice in who represents you. Physically taking action may help alleviate some concerns you have regarding our current political climate.

Stay Connected

Although being informed is important, excessive exposure to conflict and frustrating opinions can be overwhelming. Give yourself a break from social media, news outlets, and television. Unplug from the world, if only for a few hours. Surround yourself with friends and family. Talk to your loved ones about the state of our nation. Engage in healthy debate, but if you feel a discussion is going to turn into conflict, walk away. Being educated about differing political views keeps you well rounded, but unnecessary arguments and stress will only worsen your political anxiety.

Practice Empathy

Just as you have reasons for your beliefs and political views, so do those in the opposing party. Whether you are a Democrat or Republican, your opinions have been shaped by personal experience, immediate surroundings, and exposure to politics. Instead of demonizing members of a different political party, find out why they hold their beliefs. Like you, they are members of society who want the best for their families. We are all citizens of the same great country. We should be working together, not tearing each other apart. Listen, research, and empathize.

Seek Help

Post election anxiety isn’t the only stressor in our lives. Work, school, and life in general can stretch the most organized person too thin. Whether you’re having post election anxiety or you’re fighting daily stress in general, seek methods of combating these stressors. Manage your stress levels through exercise, yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, massage, medication, or seeking help from a mental health professional. Whatever you do to manage stress, make sure you’re dealing with your emotions in a safe and healthy manner.

New Year, New Habits

By, Roxy Simons for SocialWorkGuide

 

There is never a wrong time to reinvent yourself, but New Year’s always feels like the perfect occasion for a fresh start. 2016 was a challenging year for many, but that’s no reason to start the new year on the wrong foot. Now is the time to start practicing healthier habits to ensure 2017 is your best year yet.

Write It Down

Life can often feel hectic, as if there aren’t enough hours in a day to accomplish everything necessary to make it to tomorrow. This feeling is even more amplified if you’re a student balancing class, homework, a job, and extracurricular activities. Keep your days organized by investing in a calendar or planner. Set realistic goals for each day, each week, and each month and, most importantly, write them down. A 2014 study showed that you are 42 percent more likely to accomplish a goal if you write it down. So whether you want to eat healthier, learn a new skill, or just finish all your homework on time, document your goal by putting pencil to paper. Writing down each day’s tasks will help you feel less overwhelmed by all the goals you need to accomplish by the end of the semester.

Unplug

Social media plays an important role in our lives. We use it to stay informed on current events, keep in touch with family and friends, and block out responsibilities for a moment to enjoy a silly picture or funny video. However, an APA survey revealed that 38 percent of adults say political and cultural discussion on social media causes them stress. If your social media accounts are taking a toll on your mental health, step away from these platforms for a few weeks. Find other activities to fill your time: learn a new language, engage in challenging physical activities like rock climbing or kickboxing, or have dinner with a long lost friend.

Put Your Health First

Before you can accomplish anything, you must first take care of yourself, both physically and mentally. Start the new year with a new food plan. Cut out those excess fats and sugars and replace them with fresh fruits and vegetables. Eating well starts with smart grocery shopping, so don’t be tempted by the candy or chip aisle. Make a list of the healthy foods you want to buy and stick to it. The less junk you have in your home, the less you will consume.

Along with healthy eating, finding time to work out can be a challenge. If you’re unable to schedule a full 30 minutes of heart-rate-raising exercise three times a week, cheat your way into an exercise routine. Walk or bike to class, take the stairs more often, and sneak in a couple of push-ups  between appointments. Manage your stress levels through exercise, yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, massage, therapy, medication, or any other safe, healthy strategy that feels right to you. If you don’t take care of your physical and mental health, none of your other goals will be possible.

Giving Back

By Roxy Simons for SWG

Without the time, money, and food donated to social services such as soup kitchens and homeless shelters, many underprivileged Americans would not have access to facilities that improve their quality of life; facilities that we often take for granted. We rely on social workers to connect us with the proper resources, but those resources rely on the generosity of the community in order to assist those in need. Whether you choose to give a monetary gift, a direct donation, or volunteer your time, make a point to give back to your community this holiday season.

If you’ve never donated to a charity before, start the process by doing your research. Compile a list of charities to which you would consider donating money, then contact those organizations directly to learn more about their mission. Be sure that you know the purpose your donation will serve and whether this is an organization with which you personally connect. What has this organization done to better your community? Is the organization registered by federal, state, or local authorities? How will your donation impact this organization? Speaking to someone over the phone or face to face will help you better connect with the charity and understand the importance of your donation.

By making a charitable monetary donation, you have the opportunity to provide a plethora of resources to those who need it most. If you’ve considered making a donation this year, but haven’t yet done so, now is the time. By donating before the end of the year, you’ll ensure that your donation is tax deductible for your 2016 tax returns. You can only deduct if you itemize on your taxes. Visit charitynavigator.org and use the giving calculator to see how much of a tax break you will receive by donating to certain organizations. Charity Navigator features hundreds of tax deductible charities waiting for your generous donation.

Donating money is not the only way to give back this holiday season. Many organizations rely on direct donations, like toys, groceries, toiletries, or clothes.  Before throwing away unwanted items in your house, consider donating them to Goodwill or a local homeless shelter. With a direct donation, you know exactly how your gift will improve someone’s life.

If you are not currently in a financial situation to donate money or personal items, consider donating your time by volunteering. Students are often required to volunteer in order to graduate, but an academic requirement is not the only reason to volunteer. Although the holiday season can be busy and stressful, making time to volunteer will not only help others, but hopefully improve your quality of life. Volunteering allows you to give back to your community, meet new people, learn new skills, and reduce stress. Oftentimes, underprivileged citizens don’t have the luxury of living close to their loved ones or even connecting with a friendly face. By donating your time, you have the opportunity to immediately and personally change people’s lives. Visit the National Association of Social Workers website to find the most suitable volunteering experience for you.

 

Managing Holiday Stress

Please take the time to read this important article by Canisius College regarding the management of holiday stress.

Stress Less this Holiday Season

While many associate the holidays with Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and its theme of gaining and sharing the holiday spirit, E. Christine Moll, PhD, says the opening lines from A Tale of Two Cities may have even more relevance: It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. It was the season of light; it was the season of darkness… It was the spring of hope; it was the winter of despair.

Moll, chair and professor of counseling and human services at Canisius College and a mental health counselor, says that for many the holidays are a time of stress, loneliness, anxiety, and dysfunction. “Suicide rates rise 10% during the season,” says Moll. She notes that the following are three areas that can trigger holiday stress or depression:

  • Relationships.“Relationships can cause turmoil, conflict or stress at any time. But tensions are often heightened during the holidays. Family misunderstandings and conflict can intensify—especially if you’re all thrust together for several days. Conflicts are bound to arise with so many needs and interests to accommodate. On the other hand, if you’re facing the holidays without a loved one, you may find yourself especially lonely or sad.”
  • Finances.“Like your relationships, your financial situation can cause stress at any time of the year. Overspending during the holidays on gifts, travel, food and entertainment can increase stress as you try to make ends meet while ensuring that everyone on your gift list is happy.”
  • Physical demands.“The strain of shopping, attending social gatherings and preparing holiday meals can wipe you out. Feeling exhausted increases your stress, creating a vicious cycle. Exercise and sleep—good antidotes for stress and fatigue—may take a back seat to chores and errands. High demands, stress, lack of exercise, and overindulgence in food and drink—these are all ingredients for holiday illness.”

So what does one do when it’s the season to be jolly yet you’re feeling anything but?

“When stress is at its peak, it’s hard to stop and regroup,” says Moll. “Take steps to help prevent normal holiday depression from progressing into chronic depression.” Moll suggests the following tips:

Acknowledge your feelings. “If a loved one has recently died or you aren’t near your loved ones, realize that it’s normal to feel sadness or grief. It’s OK now and then to take time just to cry or express your feelings. You can’t force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season.”

Seek support. “If you feel isolated or down, seek out family members and friends, or community, religious or social services. They can offer support and companionship. Consider volunteering at a community or religious function. Getting involved and helping others can lift your spirits and broaden your social circle. Also, enlist support for organizing holiday gatherings, as well as meal preparation and cleanup. You don’t have to go it alone. Don’t be a martyr.”

Be realistic. “As families change and grow, traditions often change as well. Hold on to those you can and want to. But understand in some cases that may no longer be possible. Perhaps your entire extended family can’t gather together at your house. Instead, find new ways to celebrate together from afar, such as sharing pictures, emails or videotapes.”

Set differences aside. “Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don’t live up to all your expectations. Set aside grievances until a more appropriate time for discussion. With stress and activity levels high, the holidays might not be conducive to making quality time for relationships. And be understanding if others get upset or distressed when something goes awry. Chances are they’re feeling the effects of holiday stress too.”

Stick to a budget. “Before you go shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend on gifts and other items. Then be sure to stick to your budget. If you don’t, you could feel anxious and tense for months afterward as you struggle to pay the bills. Don’t try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts. Donate to a charity in someone’s name, give homemade gifts or start a family gift exchange.”

Plan ahead. “Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends, and other activities. Plan your menus and then make one big food-shopping trip. That will help prevent a last-minute scramble to buy forgotten ingredients—and you’ll have time to make another pie, if the first one’s a flop. Allow extra time for travel so that delays won’t worsen your stress.”

Learn to say no. “Believe it or not, people will understand if you can’t do certain projects or activities. If you say yes only to what you really want to do, you’ll avoid feeling resentful and overwhelmed. If it’s really not possible to say no when your boss asks you to work overtime, try to remove something else from your agenda to make up for the lost time.”

Don’t abandon healthy habits. “Don’t let the holidays become a dietary free-for-all. Some indulgence is OK but overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt. Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don’t go overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks. Continue to get plenty of sleep and schedule time for physical activity.”

Take a breather. “Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Steal away to a quiet place, even if it’s the bathroom, for a few moments of solitude. Take a walk at night and stargaze. Listen to soothing music. Find something that clears your mind, slows your breathing and restores your calm.”

Rethink resolutions. “Resolutions can set you up for failure if they’re unrealistic. Don’t resolve to change your whole life to make up for past excess. Instead, try to return to basic, healthy lifestyle routines. Set smaller, more specific goals with a reasonable time frame. Choose only those resolutions that help you feel valuable and provide more than only fleeting moments of happiness.”

Forget about perfection. “Holiday TV specials are filled with happy endings. But in real life, people don’t usually resolve problems within an hour or two. Something always comes up. You may get stuck late at the office and miss your daughter’s school play, your sister may dredge up an old argument, you may forget to put nuts in the cake, and your mother may criticize how you and your partner are raising the kids—all in the same day. Expect and accept imperfections.”

Seek professional help if you need it. “Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face routine chores. If these feelings last for several weeks, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. You may have depression.”

Moll says that one key to minimizing holiday stress and depression is the knowledge that the holidays can trigger stress and depression. “Accept that things aren’t always going to go as planned,” says Moll. “Then take active steps to manage stress and depression. You may actually enjoy the holidays this year more than you thought you could. Just remember, for the holidays and beyond, practice safe stress!”

— Source: Canisius College

Internships and Volunteer Opportunities

By, Roxy Simons for SocialWorkGuide

 

Although working towards a degree in social work can be time consuming, making time for internships and volunteering is essential. Social work is a career that requires more than just an understanding of theories and principals; hands-on experience is an essential aspect of thriving in this field. After acquiring your degree, a resume filled with meaningful professional experiences will distinguish your application from your peers’.

More than likely, most of the internships for which you apply will be unpaid, but don’t let this dissuade you. At least one internship is often required in order to graduate with a degree in social work. An additional volunteer experience on your resume will prove your dedication to social work to your prospective employers. These experiences also allow you to grow your network. A larger network not only grants you access to future career opportunities, it also helps you acquire a list of trusted mentors – other than professors – who you can later use as references on job applications.

It’s important to distinguish between volunteering and interning. An internship is designed to provide actual educational and work experience within your respective field. Volunteer work can include any number of tasks, but is only done for humanitarian reasons and personal growth. Both experiences will prepare you for your later career while boosting your resume. The National Association of Social Workers website is a useful resource for finding the most suitable volunteering experience for you.

Be proactive in your search for an internship. Don’t solely rely on submitting online applications without any further follow up. Actively network with alumni and professors. Attend career festivals with your resume and a stack of business cards in hand, ready to distribute. Take the time to call, email, or visit organizations that interest you. Employers will rarely turn away free help, especially if you are looking for school credit. Visit your school’s advisor or career services center for advice.

If, after trying all these tactics, you are unable to find an internship in the social work field, be sure to obtain any work while you are a student, so that you have a number of professional references outside of your professors. A position in any field will also show employers that you are mature, responsible, and have a good work ethic.

Be sure to broaden your horizons as much as you can while you’re still a student. Many social workers change the specific field in which they work multiple times throughout their career. For example, if you’re completing an internship in military and veteran affairs, perhaps find a gerontological volunteer opportunity. If you’re adamant on working with elementary school-aged children, volunteer at a government agency. The wider your range of experience, the more likely you are to successfully find a job after graduation.

 

 

 

Helpful Multiple Choice Tips for the ASWB Licensing Exam

By, Roxy Simons for SocialWorkGuide

Standardized multiple choice exams can either be skill-based, knowledge-based, or a combination of both.  For example, the LSAT, which is the law school entrance exam, is skill-based; you don’t have to have any specific knowledge of any topic in particular. Instead, students are tested on logical reasoning, analytic thinking, and reading comprehension skills. The social work licensing exam is knowledge-based, meaning, in order to pass the exam, students must have a solid understanding of social work content – such as the principles, theories, and diagnosis criteria – and be prepared to answer questions related to social work theory and practice. Lastly, there are exams which test both skills and knowledge, such as the MCAT – the entrance exam for medical school, which expects students to answer questions on their knowledge of science as well as verbal reasoning skills.

One aspect that all of these exams have in common is the necessity of multiple choice skills. An excellent resource for improving multiple choice skills is the Strategic Guide to the ASWB Exam: Mastering Multiple Choice, which is a workshop-style book that guides students through a series of questions with valid tips and strategies for answering the questions on the ASWB exam. It also includes a full-length practice exam.

Below are some helpful hints for the ASWB standardized multiple choice test:

  • Diligently review vocabulary, important theories, principals, and diagnosis criteria
  • Prepare by taking The Interactive Practice Exam, a close simulation to the real exam with 170 questions and a four hour timer, though students can take as much time as needed. The practice exam also contains answers and detailed explanations for each question. http://www.socialworkguide.com/interactive-practice-exam/
  • Study The Complete Guide to Social Work, a comprehensive study guide that contains content summaries of all the information that students need to pass the exam. The organization of this study guide is consistent with the outlines provided by ASWB.

http://www.socialworkguide.com/the-complete-guide-to-social-work/

  • Utilize the process of elimination when applicable in order to guide yourself to the correct answer.
  • Follow your gut. Once you’ve chosen an answer, don’t change it.
  • Read the entire question first and then figure out the answer yourself before viewing your choices.

Although the ASWB Licensing Exam is knowledge-based, we believe that in order to be successful, students require both skills and practice in addition to knowledge. For more helpful tips and study materials for the Social Work Licensing Exam, go to www. SocialWorkGuide.com

 

 

 

 

Expectation vs. Reality: Common Misconceptions Surrounding Social Workers

 

Social workers are often falsely perceived as heartless bad guys or troublesome meddlers due to the entertainment industry, society’s perceptions, or simply the uninformed spreading incorrect information. Because of popular representation, it’s easy to believe myths regarding the profession that simply aren’t true, whether as a working social worker or as a client. Before you pursue a career in social work or deny your need for a social worker, make sure that you know the difference between fact and fiction.

Expectation: Becoming a social worker only requires good intentions and kindness.

Reality: Pursuing a career as a social worker requires a degree in social work, often at the Masters level. Depending on the type of social work you choose to practice, you may also require licensure. In addition, necessary skill include, but are not limited to effective communication, problem solving abilities, empathy, dependability, and the ability to interpret your clients’ behavior and body language.

 

Expectation: If you are a social worker, you most likely work in welfare or for the government.

Reality: There are many options of specialties within the social work field, including military and veterans affairs, gerontological, medical and health, etc.

 

Expectation: All social workers do is take children away from their families

Reality: A social worker is not a bad guy who finds joy in separating families. Social workers are dedicated to improving their clients’ lives, not ruining them. For social workers who do chose to specialize in child welfare, the safety and wellbeing of the child is of the utmost importance. When a child is removed from a home, reunification is usually the goal.

 

Expectation: The only people who need social workers are those that have made bad decisions and are in trouble.

Reality: Most people, at some point in their lives, will require the assistance of a social worker. The most prevalent role a social worker plays is connecting people to necessary resources. For example, families with special needs children or elderly parents can rely on social workers to connect them to resources that will help them take better care of their loved ones. We rely on social workers to explain unfamiliar situations to us and help us find the resources, like a nursing home or in-home services and equipment, to better our quality of life. There is no shame whatsoever in relying on the assistance of a social worker.

 

Expectation: Social workers have no time for a personal life. They work 24/7 and are miserable.

Reality: Social work is a demanding and often emotionally exhausting job, but it is also extremely rewarding. This career allows you the opportunity to personally make a positive difference in the lives of your clients. And although there will be many instances of long days, social workers generally work an average 40 hour week.

 

 

 

What Score do I need to pass the ASWB Exam?

By, SocialWorkGuide

We are often asked whether different states require different scores on the ASWB licensing exam in order to pass and whether it is easier to pass the exam in one state over another.  The answer is a bit involved, but the short answer is ‘no.’

The number of questions that you are required to answer correctly to pass a particular version of an exam is the same for every state. According to ASWB, you will need to answer 93-106 questions (depending on the version of the exam) correct. There are 150 exam items on the exam, however 20 of those 150 questions are pre-test items and are not graded.  These pre-test items are being tested to see whether they should be used on future exams.  These items are not marked as pre-test items, so be sure to answer all questions to the best of your ability.  Some people think that questions that are poorly written or have typos are the pre-test question.  I would NOT rely on that statement. Treat every question as though it were a graded exam question.

A state may list their passing score as a 70 or 75 – this number in many ways is irrelevant. It is just the number that the state uses to describe the pass point.  In other words, if a test requires 105 questions correct to pass, one state may call 105 correct questions a “70” and another state may call that a “75.” This number does not correlate with the percentage of questions that you got correct.  We generally tell exam takers that you want to shoot for 78% or better.

If you pass an exam in one state, you have passed the exam for another state regardless of what numerical value a state designates as “passing.” When an individual requests that his/her ASWB exam scores be transferred to another state, the score is reported simply as “pass” or “fail”; there are no numerical values reported.

You may have heard that exams scores are “scaled.” That is in fact true, but what does that mean?  There are multiple versions of each level of the exam, so different exam takers of the same level can receive a different set of questions.  To account for the differences in levels of difficulty across various versions of the exam, the computer calculates your raw score which is the actual number of items that were answered correctly. A certain factor is then applied, adjusting your raw score up or down. This serves to balance scores across the various versions of the exams making scoring more equitable and ensuring that the overall ability that needs to be demonstrated by an exam taker remains the same from one test form to another. In other words, no one receives an advantage or disadvantage because of the form of test administered.  This also explains why an exact number of questions required to be answered to pass the ASWB exam can be identified.

For more information about the exam or for study materials for the ASWB Social Work licensing exam, go to www.SocialWorkGuide.com.

 

Top 5 Complaints About Social Work Licensing

Not to be a “Negative Nelly,” but there are a few (5 to be exact) complaints that we consistently hear about the social work licensing exam.  We are here to tell you that you are not alone.

Complaint #5 – It is so expensive.

Social work licensing can be expensive, but it is an investment in your future. The actual exam costs $230 for the Bachelors and Masters levels and $260 for the Clinical and Advanced Generalist levels. And, before you can register for the exam you have to register with your state social work board, the fee of which varies state-to-state, but tends to be about $100, including the application fee, criminal background check, fingerprinting, and transcript requests.  Other costs to consider are study preparation materials and workshops. Although not everyone attends a workshop, most people purchase social work exam study materials from companies like SocialWorkGuide.com. And, once you are licensed, there are costs associated with license renewal and continuing legal education that are often covered (at least in part) by your employer.

Complaint #4 – there were so many things on the exam that I didn’t know or study

Social Work is a broad field – there are many areas and topics that fall under the field of social work.  The exam is written to cover topics across the many types of social workers. It would not be reasonable for you to expect to know every single topic tested on the exam.  And, the test writers don’t expect you to know all of it, which is why it doesn’t require you to get 100% of the questions correct in order to pass. The Complete Guide to Social Work offered by SocialWorkGuide.com contains a comprehensive review of topics generally tested on the exam and other useful study preparation information.

Complaint #3 – I have been a social worker for 20 years and my new state won’t grandfather me

Each state varies with respect to who they will allow to be grandfathered in due to changes in licensing requirements. If you are one of the unlucky ones who is not eligible for grandfathering, try to keep a positive outlook on the process and feel assured that the reason for licensing is in large part to ensure a certain minimum competency while maintaining a high level of integrity for the profession. If you are planning a move, however, it is best to check with your state board early on so you aren’t blind-sighted when you move.

Complaint #2 – I wasn’t given partial credit

It’s true.  The ASWB exam is a 4-item multiple choice exam, meaning your answers are either correct or incorrect. There is no partial credit and there is no way to justify your answer.  We can debate the pros and cons of multiple choice exams, but at the end of the day, they are here to stay…for better or for worse. Brushing up on your test taking strategy is equally as important as studying the content.  You can understand a topic as well as the next person, but if you don’t choose the answer that the test writer is looking for, you will get it wrong and will not be given credit. For multiple choice strategy tips, consider purchasing The Strategic Guide to the ASWB Exam:  Mastering Multiple Choice on www.SocialWorkGuide.com.

Complaint #1 – They were trying to trick me

The top complaint that we receive is that the questions are tricky. On some level, this is true.  The questions and answers can be challenging, but rest assured that the test writers are not intending to trick you. Writing an exam question that is effective and an objective measure of knowledge is much more difficult than you think and takes a lot of experience.  SocialWorkGuide.com has been writing practice social work exam questions for over 15 years and we will be the first to tell you that a lot of thought and input goes into every question.  Often, when it appears that the writers are trying to trick you, sit back and re-read the question – this time, do not try to overanalyze what they are asking.  This is not a time to flaunt your detailed knowledge on a topic. Take each question at face value, use the process of elimination and apply your best judgement.