From The New Social Worker, " 10 Questions About the ASWB Exams" asked of ASWB's Executive Director.  Here's question number six:

A commonly asked question from social work faculty in Michigan: We think there is an over-representation of test items on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual in the MSW exam. The social workers taking this test are not in clinical positions, nor do they plan to be. Can you discuss this?

The content on the Master's examination is based on the survey of what social workers do on their jobs as described above. The Master's examination must cover the entire scope of practice for social workers entering the profession with the Master's degree. This is quite challenging to do in 150 questions. Although there may be some questions based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association, there are also questions on social work policy, administration, and community organization. I have found that the social workers taking the examination tend to remember the items that they have difficulty answering. Items based on knowledge from the DSM require recall of material, and if the material has not been learned during the person's education, it will be hard to answer the question. However, missing just these few items would not be sufficient to affect the overall score enough to cause a person to fail, unless many more questions were answered incorrectly...


November 20, 2012
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