Can you pass the ASWB exam reading just the answers, not the questions? Well, maybe not pass, but come close, according to a study cited by Ray Woodcock on his blog, A Social Work Education (see "How to Prepare for the LCSW Exam"):  

I looked at the two sample questions provided in ASWB's Candidate Handbook.  They were absurdly easy.  This brought to mind some research by Albright and Thyer (2010).  Albright and Thyer gave the Clinical practice test (from the $30 Study Guide) to 59 first-year MSW students.  More precisely, they gave the answers only, without the questions.  In other words, the MSW students were looking at something like this:

(A) Work with the foster parents on a behavior modification plan

(B) Suggest that the child's teacher refer him for special education placement

(C) Refer the child for assessment for fetal alcohol syndrome

(D) Work with the child's biological mother toward reunification

and that's all.  There was no question; just the four possible answers to choose from.  These 59 MSW students had to guess what the question was about, or just forget that and try to imagine which answer would be most favored by ASWB.  Logically, these MSW students should have been right about 25% of the time:  they would guess one out of four at random, making them wrong, on average, for three out of every four questions they answered.  Ah, but that's not what happened.  According to Albright and Thyer, these 59 MSW students averaged a score of 52%. 

December 12, 2012
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