Taking the ASWB Exam as an Experienced Social Worker

The social work licensing exams are written for social workers with different levels of experience.  For the Bachelors and Masters exams, no experience is assumed. For the Clinical and Advanced Generalist exams, there is an expectation that you have 2 years of experience.  This is important to recognize when you are studying and taking the exam because you don’t want to overthink and overanalyze the question coming up with an answer that a much more experienced social worker would give.  We often tell students that the test writers are looking for “text book answers.” This can often be challenging for the more-experienced social worker.  That being said, if you have been practicing for many years and are just now taking the ASWB exam, you should know that you’re not alone. There are many practicing social workers who are taking the exam later in their career for many different reasons. Some experienced social workers take the exam due to changes in state laws and requirements, a move to a new state, or simply waiting until they feel confident that it is the right time to take the test. Whatever the reason, it is possible to successfully take the ASWB exam as an experienced social worker.

Experience in the field offers lessons that you can’t fully get in the classroom. This can work to your advantage as an experienced social worker taking the ASWB exam. Both the Advanced Generalist and Clinical levels of the exam are designed to test the knowledge of social workers with two years of field experience. Having already worked in the field, you may be more prepared to answer some of the tougher questions as you may be more familiar with the material. The scenarios on the test may remind you of situations that you have actually experienced in the field.

It is important to keep in mind, however, that your experience may also make taking the test a little harder. Although it is beneficial that you may have experienced similar events, you have to remember that an exam scenario is likely never the exact same situation as one that you have experienced. Experienced social workers tend to pull from their experience and that can often lead to assuming or adding information into the question. It can be difficult to step back and read the case vignettes with a clear mind, using only the facts provided to choose an answer. Be sure not to let your experience get in the way of thoroughly reading and answering the questions based on the material.

Being experienced gives you a lot of insight into what it is really like to work in the field, but remember this is still a test. You still have to take the time to study the material and brush up on your test taking skills. You may not have taken a test since you graduated. That is okay; just remember to give yourself a little extra time to prepare. It might be a good idea to take a few practice tests to get you back in the swing of things. Preparation is the key to doing well on the ASWB exam. SocialWorkGuide.com offers a comprehensive study guide with social work content summaries and practice questions along with some test taking tips. Check out www.socialworkguide.com for access to the latest study material for all levels of the ASWB exam.

Good luck!



What Topics Will be on the ASWB Advanced Generalist and Clinical Examinations?

There are many steps that go into the creation and implementation of ASWB exams. The goal is for the questions on the test to be relevant to the profession, thought provoking in nature, and sensitive to the diverse future practitioners who will be taking the exams. The mission of the ASWB is also to provide scenarios that test your knowledge on a variety of issues that social workers face in the field on a daily basis. They derive many of these questions from direct input that they receive from current practitioners working in the field. These social workers report back to the ASWB with situations that they feel are important for future practitioners to know about before going into practice.

Because social work is such a broad field, the test measures a wide range of practice knowledge. You may feel competent in you knowledge of handling certain situations but others may not be as familiar to you. That is why is important for you to consult a good study tool, like The Complete Guide to Social Work, so that you can find out if there are topics that you need to review a little more in depth.

There are 170 questions on each of the ASWB exams (20 of which are ungraded pre-test questions). They are all multiple choice questions with 4 answer options. The questions on the Advanced Generalist Examination measure your knowledge, skills, and abilities as outlined by 5 categories:

Human Development, Diversity, Behavior in the Environment,  Social Work Relationships and Professional Values and Ethics

The questions on the Clinical Examination are also designed to measure you knowledge, skills, and abilities. The 5 categories that will appear on the Clinical Examination are as follows:

Human Development, Diversity, and Behavior in the Environment,  Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment Planning Psychotherapy, Clinical Interventions and Case Management, and Professional Values and Ethics

For more information, visit www.socialworkguide.com

DSM-5 Study Guides for the ASWB Social Work Exam

Hot off the press! Get your DSM-5 updated social work study guide today. As of July 1, 2015, the ASWB exam will cover DSM-5 disorders. All of our study products have been updated and will be ready to ship on or before June 8th.

We are offering an incredible pre-order discount of 40%. Use the promo code “dsm5” to get your discount. This offer is only valid on ‘The Complete Guide to Social Work’ (all levels) from now until June 5th.

If you are planning on taking your exam before July 1st, the DSM-IV-TR is still available.  To order, go to www.SocialWorkGuide.com.


Social Work Guides as a Supplement to Your Courses

The start of school is just around the corner and it is time to get yourself prepared for your classes.  At the beginning of each semester, students find themselves having to purchase books for most of their courses. This is a standard expense social work students have every semester. While you are purchasing the materials that you need for your classes why not go ahead and think about purchasing a useful study guide for the ASWB exam? The exam may seem far off into the future, but it is never too soon to start stocking your library with the material that you will need to prepare for the exam.

Many students already have money saved up to buy their books at the beginning of the semester.  Students who receive financial aid often receive their loan money during this time which helps pay for the books and other supplies needed.  It may be smart idea to go ahead and use some of these resources to purchase a study guide for the ASWB exam as it seems that students’ budgets often get tighter towards the end of the semester.  

You want to make sure that you have the study material that you need so that you are ready to go. Some social work students decide to take the ASWB exam fairly soon after graduation. Having a study guide on hand will be a big help if this becomes your decision. You may even choose to begin the studying process as you are finishing out the semester. Others use the study guides as a supplement or outline to their course materials.  SocialWorkGuide.com offers study materials to fit all of your needs now and for the future.  Check out www.socialworkguide.com for information on comprehensive study guides to Social Work.


Get Ready Now for the Fall Hiring Season

It’s summertime and you know what that means — time for relaxation and vacations with family and friends. It’s also a great time to start preparing for your social work job search.

According to Forbes.com, hiring typically slows down during the summer months and picks up in the fall, making now the perfect time for you to get prepared. Certainly one key step in your preparations is to get your social work license. To get your license, you have to apply to your state’s social work board and pass the ASWB licensing exam.

Here at the Social Work Guide, we have all the tools you need to help you prepare for all levels of the ASWB exam. Revamp your summer reading list to include one of our helpful study guides, and you will be one step closer to getting the job that you deserve!

Congratulations Social Work Graduates!

20% Off Social Work Study GuidesYou did it! You should feel proud for choosing such a rewarding profession and for all of the hard work that you’ve put in over the years. If you’re like many other social work graduates, next you’re probably eager to get started on the road to your social work license.

Taking the exam soon after graduation has its advantages. For one, Social Work information is still fresh on your mind. Likewise, it’s best to act while your test-taking skills are at their peak. Perhaps most importantly, obtaining your license could help you find a job.

In celebration of the graduation of the 2013 class of new and future social workers, we are offering all customers a 20% discount on all of our products, now through May 31, 2013. You don’t have to be a graduate to take advantage of this offer. Our products cover all levels of the ASWB exam – click here to get started and enter MAY2013 at checkout.

Congratulations again and best of luck!

ASWB Plans No DSM-V Changes

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fifth Edition) (DSM-V) is scheduled for publication in May 2013. There are currently no changes planned for the ASWB exam to reflect the new edition.

Although ASWB is reviewing the implications of the DSM-V changes and how they may affect the current exam, ASWB has stated that no changes will be made to the exam before January 2015. Until further information is released, the ASWB exam will continue to test on the DSM-IV-TR.

At such time as exam changes are announced, our study guides will be revised accordingly. For current study materials to help you pass your social work licensing exam, please visit the Social Work Guide site.

Regarding 2013 Updates

We have received a lot of questions about whether there is a new ASWB exam for 2013 and whether our study guides have been updated for 2013.

For the first question, the short answer is no. The ASWB exam for 2013 has not changed. The exam underwent a major change in 2011. At that time, we made significant revisions to our study guides to accommodate the new changes to the exam. The format and content on the exam have not changed since that time.

That being said, Social Work Guide updates our study guides every six to 12 months, based upon new information provided and feedback received, so that we can ensure that our study guides are always up to date.

For more information about our study guides or the exam, consult the Social Work Guide site.

Which Study Guide Do I Need?

We are often asked the question, “Which study guide do I need?”  The study guide that you need depends on the level of the ASWB licensing exam that you are taking.  There are four levels of the exam, Bachelors, Masters, Advanced Generalist and Clinical.  Not all states offer all four levels of the exam. (more…)