The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) exam is the last thing that stands between most social workers and their desired social work license. While there are moves to change this requirement, right now, the ASWB exam is recognized and accepted by social work regulatory boards across the United States and Canada. The test aims to assess your understanding of the basic knowledge, skills, and abilities required to practice effective, ethical social work. To help you prepare for and pass the ASWB exam, here are some tips and strategies you can follow.

  1. Understand the ASWB Exam Format and Content The ASWB exam consists of 170 multiple-choice questions, and you will have four hours to complete it. Exam content varies some at each level (Bachelors, Masters, Advanced Generalist, and Clinical). Detailed breakdowns can be found in the content outlines on the ASWB website.

  2. Study the ASWB Candidate Handbook and the NASW Code of Ethics The ASWB Candidate Handbook is an excellent resource that provides detailed information on the exam format, content, and scoring. It also includes a practice test that you can use to assess your knowledge and identify areas you need to focus on. The Code of Ethics is the backbone of exam. Careful reading of the Code of Ethics will prepare you for a wide array of questions on the exam.

  3. Create a Study Plan and Schedule Having a study plan and schedule is essential to preparing to pass the ASWB exam. Schedule a set time each day or each week to study and stick to it. Use a variety of study materials, such as textbooks, online resources, and study guides to make sure you are covering all the content areas.

  4. Practice, Practice, Practice Practice tests like those on are designed to give you an idea of the types of questions you can expect on the actual exam, how to answer them, what it's like for you to sit for such a long test, and a sense of your readiness for the real thing. Studying content alone only gets you part way to being prepared to pass the exam. Taking high quality, full-length practice exams in real time, and reviewing questions afterwards is an important way to ensure you're prepared for the test.

  5. Practice Time Management The ASWB exam has a time limit of four hours, so it's essential to practice time management. On practice tests-and then on the real thing--make sure you pace yourself, and don't spend too much time on one question. If you don't know the answer to a question, mark it and come back to it later.

  6. Stay Calm and Confident It's normal to feel nervous before the ASWB exam, but it's important, if you can, to relax and stay confident. Use the tips you'd share with clients-try to eat well, exercise, sleep, and, when in doubt, focus on your breath. Remember that you have studied and prepared for this exam. It's yours to pass!

Passing the ASWB exam requires careful preparation and a commitment to studying. By following these tips and strategies, you can increase your chances of success and become a licensed social worker. Happy studying and good luck on the exam!

February 14, 2023
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