Jack Given LCSWWe don't always get word when SWTP subscribers take the test and get licensed. When we do, we're always eager to hear about the process--what helped, what didn't. Here, Jack Given, new LCSW, tells his social work exam success story:

I graduated with an MSW from the University of Chicago in 1968 and worked in Social Work for 20 years. Due to a variety of factors, I left the Social Work field in 1988 and went into real estate.

Twenty years later, in 2008, my wife and I began to work as volunteers at a Joni-n-Friends summer camp for Families with People with Special Needs.  I realized a reactivation of interest in Social Work. With an introduction to the Enneagram, a Myers-Briggs predecessor by 1500 years, I also got interested in going back into clinical practice with a new perspective.  BUT, I had to get licensed. 

So, last summer I dusted off cobwebs and began the pre-licensing process. 

Social Work Test Prep was extremely valuable.  Your questions were very similar to the actual test questions.  I especially liked the fact that they questions gave rationales and helped think in the modality of the test.  I also appreciated the fact that there were ready tabs to access the background and support material.  When I was in graduate school, the DSM still had a category "ego dystonic homosexuality"--i.e. it was a treatable classification if the person thought they needed to be treated.  So, the readily accessible background info links to update my knowledge base were very helpful.

The first time I took an untimed test, I scored a 68%.  I knew I wasn't a hopeless case; I was close to what I needed, but close doesn't count.  However, your study rationale and the quick links gave me a fantastic boost.  The next time I took the test (timed and untimed), I scored in the 90s.  I KNEW I COULD DO IT !

I also realized that I could take the 170 questions in 2 - 2 1/2 hours.  That told me that I could approach the actual test with confidence that I could do it in the allotted 4 hours.

I've taken other qualifying exams and this procedure seems to work for me:

The testing site issues a dry erase tablet and marker. You can't write anything on the board until the exam begins, but once it does, you can.  I had mnemonic devices to help me. I used the sentence Farmer Adams Raises Expensive Apples From Indiana, the first letters remind us of the sequence of what to do in an order:  F=Feelings (recognize); A=Assess; R= Refer; E=Educate; A=Advocate: F=Facilitate; I= Intervene.

First, I go through the exam and answer all the questions I can with little or no analysis, conflict or reasoning out the probably answer. I answer half the questions and check the time.  If I've answered 85 questions in 1 hour (more or less), I know I'm on track.  I take a 10 minute break.  Then I answer the rest of the questions.  During this time, if I've answered a question that I was "hesitant" about, or skipped a question, I just marked it.

After going through the 170 questions, I took another break and then came back to the marked questions.  In my case, during the exam, there were approximately 50 questions  that I had marked and 10 of those were unanswered. I was fairly confident that I had a good grasp and easily answered a 120.  If on the questions that I had a grasp of, I got 90% right, that was 108.  A passing score of 75% of 150 would be  112. If on the 50 I had questions about, I got 25% right, that was 12 and then I'd have a possible score of 120 and that works.

As it happened, after I completed the exam, took the survey and pushed the final button, I got the message I wanted: "PASSED."  I was told I needed 104 on this exam and I had scored 118.

Although I used a couple of different exam prep sites, your site was the most efficient and correct (I had one exam site that I had to challenge a number of the question answers and was then told I was right and they changed the answers.  That site did marvels for my confidence and ego from a different perspective).

I would say, without hesitation, that your site was THE most helpful. 

Thanks again for your site!

Jack Given, ACSW  AND LCSW

Congratulations, Jack! Thanks for the post. Great to know the SWTP helped you get licensed!

What was your approach?  Share your exam story by sending it to info@socialworktestprep.com.

January 23, 2013
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