Hi, I've been reading your blog while studying for
the LCSW written exam and wanted to first of all say that I
appreciate all the useful information, resources, and reading about
your trials and tribulations.I've been using the AATBS TestMaster
as one way to prepare and was wondering if you remember whether the
AATBS questions were very much like the actual test questions or
not. I'm wondering because I find answering the free questions
available on the other sites you have links to on your blogspot a
lot easier than the AATBS questions. I postponed my original test
date because I scored so much more poorly on the AATBS questions
that I thought if the BBS questions were more like them, I'd be in
trouble. Also, I wanted to ask you about the actual test
day because I've heard that staff are strict at testing centers re:
belongings. So the things that you can't bring in with you like
cell phone, you need to leave in your car but you can keep things
like your wallet and car keys with you? Anything else? I've also
been wondering how I'm going to last 4 hours without any food or
drink. Someone told me there's a water fountain but you mention
eating a Greens bar during a break from the written exam and I'd
like to know how you did that. Are there no lockers for test takers
at the sites? Thanks again for your blog. By sharing your
experience, it's definitely helped me.
Thanks for your email! Very glad the blog is helping. First, re
AATBS. I think their materials over-prepare you--for both exams.
And I agree w/ what I've read elsewhere: The hard AATBS questions
are much harder than any on the actual exam. For standard and
vignette, I went in after scoring in the 70%s on the AATBS practice
tests. Did I just sqeak by or did I ace the tests? No way to know;
they don't tell you. If you've run their questions and other
questions and are generally on the ball about the exam, I'm
guessing you're ready.
Re proctors and food and keys: Yep, they've got their rule book
and they go by it...in a very friendly way (at least in El Monte).
Wear a top without pockets and prepare to empty pant pockets into a
flexi-folder they keep for you till the end of the test. I brought
a plastic grocery bag w/ Greens bar and water and kept it on a
shelf in the proctor room. No objections from anyone on that. I
wouldn't plan on going four hours w/out eating anything. Too long.
Plan instead on regular breaks--one each hour worked for me. For
the second exam (two hours long), I took a water/bar/bathroom break
at one hour, then came back out for a second bite of bar a half
hour later 'cause I felt my attention flagging.
When running AATBS practice in exam mode, I kept the same
schedule, ate roughly the same food--supposedly that helps. Note:
You get only five minutes for a bathroom break and have to give an
electronic thumbprint to get back in to the exam room. For both
exams, my thumbprint didn't match on the first try. They had to
pause my exam so I wouldn't lose time while reprinting. No big
deal, but maybe good to know about ahead of time. Hope that answers
your questions. Good luck!