last-minute social work exam prepNearing the big day when you take the social work licensing exam? Time to dig in and get hyper-focused. Or is it? There's lots of different thinking about how best to handle the final run-up to a giant test. And this a giant test, any way you slice it. Long (4 hours!). Lots of questions (170!). Lots of content to know (so much!). Real-life consequences (a possible job, raise, or promotion, to name a few!).

There's not a whole lot of agreement about how best to handle the final days and hours before the licensing exam. A few items show up on all the lists of good, pre-exam behaviors. They happen to overlap with the good behaviors that you'll find on any "how to improve your ___________" list. Want to be happier? Have better sex? Improve your self-esteem? Get more sleep. Eat well. Exercise.

There's very little chance you're reading those suggestions and slapping your forehead saying, "Why didn't I think of that?" You've been a person for a while. Plus, you're a social worker. You've likely tracked these very items in clients. Sleeping, eating, moving around--okay, we'll all try. Thanks!

But how to study? Should you cram or should you set studying aside right before exam day? Should you write out hard-to-recall content in a last-ditch effort to jam it into your brain? Read it out loud? Discuss it with others in a study group? Stand on your head and read it backwards? Google around to find articles supporting most of and none of the above.

One guideline to take seriously: your past. How did you get through high school...through undergrad...through your Master's program? You know what worked and what didn't. Are you a successful all-night crammer? Then all-night cram. Are you a tea and flash cards type student? Then get water boiling. No list writer knows anything better than you know your test-taking history. Look back, take advice from yourself, and go pass this exam just like you've passed so many exams before this one.

Meanwhile, if you'd really like a suggestion list to review, here's a long one from "22 Science-Backed Study Tips to Ace a Test."

Enjoy and good luck on the exam!


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August 12, 2016