LSW stands for Licensed Social Worker. It most states that offer it, an LSW requires passing the Bachelors level ASWB exam.
What states offer an LSW accreditation?
Among the states that offer LSW or LSW-like accreditation are Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, MIssissippi, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Check your state licensing board--a quick internet search away--to learn about designations in your state.
For many states, Bachelors exam passing gets your an LBSW. In Maryland and Oklahoma, you're an LSWA. In Louisiana, you're an RSW. And it Oregon and RBSW.
In Colorado, LSWs take the Masters level exam. If you're in the Centenial State, try that link for Masters exam details.
It's alphabet soup. But the Bachelors exam you have to take is the same regardless of what state you're in and regardless of what title you get when you pass the exam.
The thing for you to focus on: passing the LSW exam!
What's on the LSW Exam?
The Bachelors exam, like all of the ASWB social work licensing exams, consists of 170 multiple choice questions to be completed over four hours. The ASWB publishes a content outline that gives a rough estimation of what to expect to encounter on the LSW exam. The major categories, and the amount they're each weighted, are here:
HUMAN DEVELOPMENT, DIVERSITY, AND BEHAVIOR IN THE ENVIRONMENT 25%
INTERVENTIONS WITH CLIENTS/CLIENT SYSTEMS 26%
PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS, VALUES, AND ETHICS 20%
As you can see, the categories are fairly evenly balanced. Effective Bachelors exam prep necessarily ranges over a wide array of soical work topics.
What are LSW Exam questions like?
Questions are designed to be answerable by a beginning social worker. They are meant to include simple, straightforward language, avoiding extra verbiage and trickery. For most LSW exam questions, you'll be able to easily narrow down answers to two possible correct answers. After that, it's often difficult to discern which is the better of two decent answers. Practicing with full-length practice tests will help sharpen your skills in that regard and make you more exam-ready.
Try this one out:
A school social worker meets with a parent and child. The child has been refusing to come to school at least one day per week for the past two months. The social worker wants to gather some subjective data about the client's school refusal. Which of the following is an example of subjective data?
A. The client's grades.
B. The child's attendance at school.
C. The client's daily ratings of anxiety.
D. The client's IQ score.
Know the answer? In this case, you can deduce the answer, even if you don't remember the difference between objective and subjective data, by asking yourself, "Which one doesn't belong." Grades, attendance, and IQ are all measurements rendered by others. The only one of these data reported by the client--of the child's subjective inner state--is a daily rating of anxiety.
Rationale: Subjective data--such as a person's feelings--are phenomena that can't be witnessed by others; objective data are those that can be measured by outside observation. The client's grades are objective data, given by other people. The child's attendance can be recorded, and comes under the heading of objective data. The client's IQ score is measurable, and therefore an example of objective data.
The client's self-reporting about anxiety is subjective data, since no outside observer can measure the client's feelings. The answer is C.
Preparing for the LSW Exam
How have you prepared for other big tests in your life? The ACT, the SAT? You studied. And probably you didn't just make flash cards. How could you? There's just too much information that can possibly appear on a big test like those and like this. The best way to go is to take full-length, real-time, 170-question, realistic LSW practice tests like those from SWTP. They really, really help.
"Thank you so much for your tests! The ASWB was structured exactly like the 4 practice tests I took! Because of that I passed my bachelor's exam on the first try!" - Courtney
I purchased the 5-exam, DSM Booster, & Ethics Booster package. I took the practice exams for about 2 weeks one every couple of days at first and 2-3 exams per day closer to the test date. I'm proud to say that I'm a LICENSED social worker thanks to this site! Thank you all so much!" -- Taylor
I passed on the first try! Your test prep was extremely helpful and I refer anyone who wants to prepare for the exam.