Should I apply for ASWB exam accommodations? Here's a look at the process to help you make that decision. The ASWB provides accommodations--called nonstandard testing arrangements--for people requiring additional exam time or other adjustments. These are offered to ensure that all candidates have an equal opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and skills and become licensed social workers.

The process for obtaining ASWB exam accommodations/arrangements typically involves the following steps. Find more details, and links to the most current request forms, on the ASWB’s nonstandard testing arrangements page.

  • Documentation. The first step is to provide appropriate documentation of your issue to the ASWB. This documentation should come from a qualified healthcare professional or specialist who can accurately assess your disability and recommend the necessary accommodations.
  • Request Form. Once you have the appropriate documentation, you'll need to complete the nonstandard testing arrangement request form provided on the ASWB page linked above. This form will ask for information about your disability, the recommended accommodations, and any other relevant details.
  • Personal Statement. In addition to expected questions, the ASWB asks for a personal statement addressing your situation and what accommodations you have received in the past and hope to receive.
  • Review and Approval. Once submitted, you’ll have to wait for the ASWB to review your accommodation request. Once the review process is complete, ASWB will notify you of their decision. If approved, they will provide details about the specific accommodations you will receive during the exam.
  • Scheduling. After approval, you can proceed to schedule your accommodated exam. The process for scheduling may vary depending on the jurisdiction and what arrangements have been approved.

Somewhere on the above timeline, don’t forget to study! Practice tests can help you assess whether or not to request a nonstandard arrangement in the first place. And, of course, are invaluable in getting you prepared to pass the exam.

Categories that most often lead to a nonstandard testing arrangement request include:

  • Physical disabilities: Individuals with mobility impairments, chronic pain, or other physical limitations may require special seating arrangements, extended break times, or other accommodations.
  • Visual impairments: Candidates may need enlarged exam materials, screen readers, or assistive technology to access and interact with the exam content effectively.
  • Language issues: Extra test time--up to two hours--and the use of a dictionary can be requested if English is not your first language, interfering with your ability to understand exam content.
  • Learning disabilities: Individuals with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, or processing disorders may require extra time, a separate testing room, or assistive technology to help them process and respond to exam questions.
  • Cognitive or psychological conditions: Candidates with conditions like ADHD, anxiety disorders, or other cognitive or psychological challenges may need extra time, frequent breaks, or a quiet testing environment to manage their symptoms effectively.
  • Medical conditions: People with certain medical conditions that require accommodations, such as frequent restroom breaks or access to medication, may be eligible for specific arrangements during the exam.

Should you submit a request? It doesn’t hurt to ask. If completing the 170-question computer-based exam in a possibly-crowded testing center in one, four-hour sit poses difficulties for you, a nonstandard testing arrangement may be just the thing to help you pass the exam and get licensed.

Either way, happy studying and good luck on the exam!

July 20, 2023