LMSW Exam Prep

social work exam as stunt Future Licensed Master Social Workers, the web is here to help! Passing the LMSW exam doesn't have to feel like some impossible stunt. Your exam prep doesn't have to wear you out or empty your wallet. First, of course, sign up for SWTP's practice exams. Each question has its own suggested study link to help you deepen your knowledge and ready you for the exam. Elsewhere on the web is advice and guidance by the digital bucketful. Here are just a couple of sites to check out--ten tips, flash cards by the hundreds.

Good luck with your test prep and congratulations in advance on your LMSW!

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Social Work Licensing Boards (and Social Media)

USAHere's a basic recently posted by the ASWB on their Facebook page:  A state-by-state listing of Social Work Regulatory Boards.  Links get you to the starting line where you can figure out local licensing requirements and test details.  You're underway!

Update: Here's SWTP's version of the same list--Social Work State Licensing Boards--newer, better.

(By the way, the links up top will get you to SWTP's Facebook, Twitter, etc.  And, if you're on Pinterest, so is SWTP. There's also a new, SWTP-moderated Social Work Exam Prep Google+ community.  See you there.)  


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Studying for the Social Work Exam

StudyingHere's a blog that used posting as an alternative to making flash cards--exactly the way SWTP got started (also on blogspot, once upon a time).  Studying for the Social Work Exam's plan of attack:

I will create posts that follow the content areas in the ASWB "Content Outlines & KSAs" booklet.  You can find that here: []. The section on human development, diversity and behavior in the environment encompasses 31% of exam content, so that is where I'll start...

The twenty-something posts include details about attachment, childhood development, several diagnoses (schizoaffective d/o, substance abuse disorders...), crisis intervention, suicide assessment and more.

Worth a browse!

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Pass the ASWB Exam Without Reading the Questions?

Can you pass the ASWB exam reading just the answers, not the questions? Well, maybe not pass, but come close, according to a study cited by Ray Woodcock on his blog, A Social Work Education (see "How to Prepare for the LCSW Exam"):  

I looked at the two sample questions provided in ASWB's Candidate Handbook.  They were absurdly easy.  This brought to mind some research by Albright and Thyer (2010).  Albright and Thyer gave the Clinical practice test (from the $30 Study Guide) to 59 first-year MSW students.  More precisely, they gave the answers only, without the questions.  In other words, the MSW students were looking at something like this:

(A) Work with the foster parents on a behavior modification plan

(B) Suggest that the child's teacher refer him for special education placement

(C) Refer the child for assessment for fetal alcohol syndrome

(D) Work with the child's biological mother toward reunification

and that's all.  There was no question; just the four possible answers to choose from.  These 59 MSW students had to guess what the question was about, or just forget that and try to imagine which answer would be most favored by ASWB.  Logically, these MSW students should have been right about 25% of the time:  they would guess one out of four at random, making them wrong, on average, for three out of every four questions they answered.  Ah, but that's not what happened.  According to Albright and Thyer, these 59 MSW students averaged a score of 52%. 

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DSM-V and the Social Work Exam

DSM-5It's official, DSM-5 has been approved.  Big changes are summarized at the link.  What's this mean for the social work licensing exam?  For the moment, not too much.  The ASWB says the test will stay the same till July, 2015.  So, if you're planning on taking an ASWB-administered exam before July, 2015, study the DSM-IV-TR as if nothing's happened.   

Californians have to get ready sooner. The CA-BBS website reports DSM-5 will begin appearing on California's licensing exams in December, 2014. This is true only for LCSW-hopefuls in California.

Note: The California BBS plans an eventual switch--possibly in January, 2016--to a combination of the national ASWB exam and a California-specific Law & Ethics exam. Check back in this space for details.

(UPDATED 4/3/14)

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