A nice email from Laurie, newly licensed in California:
The Calif LCSW exams were definitely a source of anxiety!!! I studied sometimes with other MSWs, which was helpful because we would talk things through to make sense of them but most of my studying was done solo. The first exam was actually easier to study for because the content seemed more fact driven. I found the second exam, which was based on client scenarios, to be far more difficult to study for. This is the one that relies more on your clinical experience and judgment to really know how to answer the questions. What I focused on when I studied for the second exam was more on clinical issues that I wasn't seeing much in my practice at that point in time. I needed to refresh myself on those.
A trick that worked for me was to think about the cases of specific clients I had worked with when studying about certain diagnoses. This helped because I could relate more to the subtleties of the disorders by connecting them to specific clients. It helped me with treatment planning, assessing, and so on.
I didn't attend any test prep classes, used SWTP materials (and materials from another company just to mix it up a little). I like the way you structured your materials....simple, but effective.
I am so thankful that I was able to pass both exams the first time because I was not thrilled at the idea of sitting through them more than once. It got to a point when I was studying where I felt like I just couldn't study anymore and it was time to just get it done!
--Laurie Orr, LCSW, PPSC
Congratulations, Laurie! Thanks for writing!
Don't worry, if you're not in California, there's only the one ASWB exam. Wherever you are, to get started with SWTP practice exams, sign up! And don't forget to write us to share your social work exam prep story!