There’s an enormous amount of information to get a handle on to pass the exam. Happily, it’s divided into sections. Here, we look at the Human Growth and Development section and how to get yourself ready to pass questions in that topic area. Remember, you don’t need to be an expert in any one section. The ASWB exam tests your knowledge, skills, and abilities as a beginning social worker. You may already know more of this material than you think. 

Understand possible content 

Look over the exam outline at The Human Growth and Development section covers material you likely covered in school: Theories of human development across the lifespan; spiritual development; sexual development; the impact of disabilities; self-image; parenting skills; defense mechanisms… The list goes on. 

This section of the exam covers a wide range of topics, including developmental theories, stages of human development, personality development, socialization, and the impact of diversity on human behavior. Familiarize yourself with the exam content to ensure that you are covering all the topics in your preparation.

Use your existing study materials

Still have your MSW textbooks? Maybe your notes as well? Now’s time to review them. This is an information-heavy section of the test. At some point, you probably had much of the information in your head. It’s just a question of getting it re-remembered for the licensing exam. Even if you haven’t been in school for a while, with the social work exam, you’re a student again for a time. Flash cards, study groups…whatever helped you in school will help here. 

Practice with sample questions

Practicing with realistic sample questions will help you gain a better understanding of the type of questions you can expect in the exam in this section and others. You’ll also get an improved sense of how to narrow things down. On the ASWB exam, questions aren’t labeled by section. But you’ll likely recognize which questions come from which sections (more or less). On practice tests (at least the ones here at SWTP), you can review tests content area by content area. Find the areas where you need the most improvement and focus on those first.

Stay motivated

To ensure that you are consistently putting in the effort to prepare for the exam, try to focus on the end goal and remind yourself of why passing the exam is important to you. Take breaks when you need them and celebrate your successes along the way.

You can do this. 

Happy studying and good luck on the exam!

April 13, 2023
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