human development to come Part of effective prepping for the social work licensing exam is gauging just how much is necessary to know about a given topic to get through the test. There's so much information that can potentially end up on the exam. Do you need to know any every topic in detail? Probably not. This is especially true for theories of human development and other knowledge areas. Everything you're likely to need to know about Freud or Erikson, for example, can be summed up in not much more than a chart.

Take Freud. You'll usually be able to handle a Freud item on the exam by knowing just the basic vocabulary--id, ego, superego; oral, anal, phallic, etc.; psychoanalysis. For better or worse, depth of knowledge isn't always being tested. For knowledge questions, a little knowledge is usually enough. That's why pages like these can be so useful as you prep for the social work exam.  Here, free of charge, are the basics about Freud and Erikson, and also Skinner, Piaget, and Bronfenbrenner. Need to review any of that material? There it is.

That'll take care of some of the knowledge questions on the exam. But remember, the questions that lend themselves to flash card prep are just a fraction of what's on the exam. The bulk of the test concerns the type of close-call judgments that social workers face in actual practice--vignettes that test your ability to apply social work values and ethics to a variety of situations. Others that dig for bias and cultural insensitivity. To prep for these, practice questions are usually best. And, of course, continuing to do what you do, being a social worker, walking the walk, talking the talk. Soon, you'll be passing the test. Good luck!

March 19, 2014
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