Natasha Passed the ASWB Clinical Exam using SWTP.

Natasha Passed the ASWB Clinical Exam using SWTP.

The ASWB Clinical Exam

If you're looking to become a clinical social worker, you have to pass the clinical social work exam. The exam is administered by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) and is carefully designed to assess whether the test-taker has knowledge, skills, and abilities to be an ethical practicing clinical social worker.

Tens of thousands of people take the ASWB Clinical Exam every year. Not everyone passes. Knowing what to expect ahead of time give you a big leg up. Some basics and study suggestions follow.


Preparing for the ASWB Clinical Exam

Nothing helps prepare you to pass the test like realistic, real-time practice. SWTP has five, full-length ASWB practice tests based upon the clinical exam outline, plus two booster exams, one all-DSM and one all-ethics.

SWTP practice exams were created by social workers, for social workers. Our sole mission is to help social workers get licensed. Thousands have passed the clinical exam using Social Work Test Prep.


Exam Basics 

The exam content changes season-to-season, but the basics are always the same.  

Number of Questions
The clinical exam includes 170 questions. That includes 20 unscored tester questions which are being assessed for possible inclusion on future exams. 

Exam Length
You are given four hours (240 minutes) to take the exam. You can take a short break--usually a good idea--but the time will keep running.

Registration Cost
The ASWB clinical exam registration fee is currently $260. Register to take the exam though your state licensing board, who may charge an additional fee. Once you receive approval from the state board, you can register with the ASWB and arrange a testing date.

What to Bring
Arrive at your test center 30 minutes before your testing time to check in and get through security procedures (palm scan and photo). You must present two forms of ID that match the name on your ASWB Authorization to Test form. Personal items, including food and drinks, are not allowed in the testing room. They'll be stored for you.


ASWB Clinical Exam Content

The ASWB Clinical Content Outline covers a wide range of material--more than could ever be included in one 170-question exam. Remember that the exam is meant for beginning social workers. In-depth knowledge of the NASW Code of Ethics is expected more than, say, deep knowledge of the DSM. The clinical exam outline was revised in 2018. Currently, the exam is broken down as follows:

Human Development, Diversity, and Behavior in the Environment
This section of the exam accounts for 24% of question--about 40. This is material you likely encountered in social work school and on the job: HUMAN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT, HUMAN BEHAVIOR IN THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT, and DIVERSITY AND DISCRIMINATION.

Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment Planning
The largest piece of the exam, 30%, covers BIOPSYCHOSOCIAL HISTORY AND COLLATERAL DATA,
ASSESSMENT AND DIAGNOSIS, and TREATMENT PLANNING. You'll find much of the material from this section within the covers of the DSM.

Psychotherapy, Clinical Interventions, and Case Management
This 27% of the exam is perhaps the easiest to get tripped up in. Many questions about THERAPEUTIC RELATIONSHIP, THE INTERVENTION PROCESS, SERVICE DELIVERY AND MANAGEMENT OF CASES, and CONSULTATION AND INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION can be narrowed down to two very good-seeming choices. Getting practiced in how to make the final choice will assist you in answering questions in this section correctly.

Professional Values and Ethics
This section, weighing in at 19% of the test, is primarily drawn from the NASW Code of Ethics. Learning that thin volume--through rereading and practice questions--will ready you to face questions about PROFESSIONAL VALUES AND ETHICAL ISSUES, CONFIDENTIALITY, and PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND USE OF SELF. 


"Couldn't have done it without SWTP!" -- Meghan

"Couldn't have done it without SWTP!" -- Meghan


Social workers pass the clinical social work exam using SWTP all the time. Here are just a handful of notes we've gotten from happy SWTP exam-preppers.


I just want to take a moment to say THANK YOU SWTP!!!!! I PASSED my licensing exam and I am a proud LCSW. I am thoroughly convinced that this would not have happened had I not found your website. -- Phyllis


I passed! I got 119 questions right and I only need 103 to pass. SWTP was accurate to within 6-8 points of my actual score! -- Sipho


I passed! So excited for all of the new opportunities available now that I have my LICSW. I studied primarily by taking all 4 of the practice tests and felt very confident going in for the real thing. Thanks so much! -- Jessica


Passed my LCSW exam! Could not have passed without these practice tests! -- Jodie


Passed the clinical social work exam! Appreciated the immediate response when I had questions! Thx again! -- Millie


Thank you so much for your website and practice exams! I took my clinical exam for the first time on Friday and passed! I had very little time to study and graduated with my Masters degree 14 years ago! Needless to say, it had been a while! SWTP exams were affordable and incredibly helpful. I am recommending your site to co-workers! -- Rochelle

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