We help prepare social workers for the ASWB exams (all states and many countries use these exams) as well as the LCSW exam that is specific to California. For CA specific information, please go to the BBS Website at http://www.bbs.ca.gov/exams/lcsw_exam_plan.shtml. For questions related to the ASWB exams, please read the information below:
Much of the following information was obtained through the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB)
How long should I study?
Study times will vary greatly depending on how long you have been out of school, how well you perform in a testing environment, how well you retain information, etc… We recommend that you focus on preparing for the exam and as you near study completion, you schedule your exam. It typically only takes about two weeks before you are in the testing site. This suggestion assumes that you know which test you are taking, that you have met the requirements and that you have authorization through your state board to sit for the exam, if applicable.
Will your books help me regardless of the state (or country) in which I reside?
Yes, ASWB exams are national (they are also used in Puerto Rico and Canada) and are not state specific. Keep in mind, however, that every jurisdiction chooses the examination levels to be administered, so not every jurisdiction offers every exam. The Clinical level ASWB examination in Illinois, for example, is the same as the Clinical level ASWB examination administered in Arizona. You may also have an additional state exam, as is the case in California, although this is uncommon. You should seek clarification with your state licensing department.
How many questions are on the examination?
There are 170 questions on the ASWB examination, but only 150 count toward your score. The remaining 20 are pretest items, which are questions that are being evaluated for possible inclusion in the examination item pool. In California, the Standard exam contains 200 questions. There is also a vignette exam that contains 5-7 clinical vignettes with 4-7 questions stemming from each vignette.
How much time will I have to take it?
You will have 4 hours to complete the ASWB examination. If you have special needs which fall under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you will be allotted extra time. Talk with ASWB for details on how to arrange for special accommodations. In California, you will have 4 hours to complete the Standard exam and 2 hours to complete the vignette exam.
I am not sure which exam level I should take?
Each state has a different set of laws that govern the licensing examination in that state. Please view the Licensing Exam Levels by Geographic Region guide for more information.
What is the passing score?
The raw passing score – that is, how many questions you need to have answered correctly in order to pass the examination – varies from administration to administration. Your jurisdiction’s scaled score, however, will remain constant. Individual administrations are equated to account for slight variations in the difficulty of individual items.
Is the same test administered all year?
No. There are multiple versions, or forms, of each level of the exams, and within those forms, the order of items is changed frequently. Some items will be the same from one administration to the next, but all items are reordered as part of the new examination.
What are the examination categories?
Currently, there are four examinations offered by ASWB for the Bachelors, Masters, and Clinical Exams. There are five content areas for the Advanced Generalist level. Our materials cover the exam levels for your specific exam.
California test-takers have numerous exam categories. Our book covers all of them.