Thursday, March 28, 2019

Video Test Prep

Some variety in your ASWB exam prep can't hurt. SWTP's growing a collection of question walk-through videos. Each takes a social work licensing exam practice question and takes getting to the correct answer step by step.

Also browse the entire channel. It contains lots of prep-helping material including old time footage from people like Carl Rogers, plus new exam tip videos from various sources.

The more practice, advice, and knowledge you can fit before exam day, the better. Enjoy.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

What are the differences between the LMSW and LCSW exams?

When you're getting licensed, you're not just taking the ASWB exam. You're taking one of several levels of ASWB exam: Bachelors, Masters, Advanced Generalist, and Clinical.

Not all states ask social workers to work their way through all levels. And different states give different designations for passing different exam levels. The most common for the Masters exam is LMSW; for the Clinical exam, it's LCSW.

Regardless of which exam you're preparing for, it's worth asking, how is this exam different from the others. Since there are more people taking the Masters and Clinical exams, for this post, let's answer this question: What's the difference between the LMSW and LCSW exam?

Short answer: really not that much.

Both have 170 questions (with 20 uncounted--they're tester questions which will be used in future editions of the exam, if they pass muster). Both take four hours. Both are comprised primarily of vignette questions including close-call situations that everyday social workers face. Though the Clinical exam comes after the Masters exam in some states, they're both designed to assess for knowledge, skills, and abilities that might be expected in a beginning social worker. 

Digging deeper, let's look at the exam outlines for each and compare.

The Masters exam is broken down this way:
  • HUMAN DEVELOPMENT, DIVERSITY, AND BEHAVIOR IN THE ENVIRONMENT (27%)
  • ASSESSMENT AND INTERVENTION PLANNING (24%)
  • INTERVENTIONS WITH CLIENTS/CLIENT SYSTEMS (24%)
  • PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS, VALUES, AND ETHICS (25%)
The Clinical exam breakdown is this:
  • HUMAN DEVELOPMENT, DIVERSITY, AND BEHAVIOR IN THE ENVIRONMENT (24%)
  • ASSESSMENT, DIAGNOSIS, AND TREATMENT PLANNING (30%)
  • PSYCHOTHERAPY, CLINICAL INTERVENTIONS, AND CASE MANAGEMENT (27%)
  • PROFESSIONAL VALUES AND ETHICS (19%)
What do you notice? The Masters exam has 3% more items from the first category. That's about five questions. The Clinical exam adds "Diagnosis" to the second grouping and adds 6% (ten questions). The third group gets a name tweak and a 3% difference. The last category--the one based primarily on the NASW Code of Ethics--is weighted more heavily on the Masters than on the Clinical.

So, out of 170 questions, the biggest swing you'll see one way or another is 10 questions in any given category. Over the course of four hours, that's a difference that will be pretty hard to detect. The Clinical exam will have more questions about diagnosis, but don't count on being spared diagnostic questions on the Masters exam. One of the areas in the Masters content outline is "the use of the DSM."

So, as you're preparing for the Masters, don't shy away from LCSW materials, and vice versa. The vast majority of content is similar or the same. And the test-taking process is exactly the same--narrowing down from four choices to the three best, the two best, the one best answer.

Once you've done that 170 times and gotten around 70-75% of them right, you've passed. You're licensed. And you don't have to worry about this distinction any more (or at least for a while). Congratulations in advance!



Monday, March 4, 2019

ASWB Exam Quiz: Mixed Bag III

Here's another set of quick quiz questions to help you prep for the ASWB exam. This isn't the format of ASWB exam questions, but all the content comes from the ASWB exam outline. Seek out full-length practice tests to get a sense of both exam content and format. That's really the best way to prepare, but for now...  See how you do.

1. True of false: Social learning theory proposes additional stages beyond the adult ego. In healthy individuals, these stages contribute to creativity, wisdom, and altruism. In people lacking healthy ego development, experiences can lead to psychosis.

2. Erikson stage of psychosocial development for teens: Identity vs. _____________________

3. True of false: The NASW Code of Ethics addresses social workers' use of social media.

4. DSM diagnosis involving distressing somatic symptoms along with abnormal or extreme thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in response to these symptoms.

What do you say?

How'd you do?

Scroll down for answers...………..












1. False. That describes transpersonal theory. Social learning theory is based on Albert Bandura’s idea that learning occurs through observation and imitation. (Details.)

2. Identity vs. Role Confusion, ages 12-18 (full list)

3. True (Standard 1.06f: "Social workers should be aware that posting personal information on professional web sites or other media might cause boundary confusion, inappropriate dual relationships, or harm to clients.")

4. Somatic symptom disorder (SSD)


Sunday, February 24, 2019

Pass the ASWB Exam on IG

Hey, y'all. Just launched an Instagram account for this site. Went with @passtheaswbexam. Follow and we'll follow back. See you there.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Free ASWB Exam Practice Questions

The more practice, the better. Full-length practice best. Free practice, really, really nice.

Here are three questions recently posted on the SWTP blog. See you how you. Reposted by permission:

1. A social worker sees a client who reports a lifetime of "seeing things all the time, shadows." He also reports hearing voices, "probably the NSA," which tell him he's "useless and stupid." The voices leave him feeling "pretty sad and really annoyed." Given the symptoms the client describes, what is the MOST likely of the following DSM diagnoses?
A. Major depression with psychotic features
B. Schizophrenia
C. Schizophreniform disorder
D. Schizoaffective disorder


2.  A 17-year-old client who appears noticeably underweight reports frequently forcing herself to vomit after meals in order to "stay skinny for cheerleading." The MOST likely DSM diagnosis for this client is a type of:
A. Bulimia nervosa
B. Body dysmorphic disorder
C. Rumination disorder
D. Anorexia nervosa



3. A man in his 40s comes to a mental health clinic complaining of gradual memory loss and occasional confusion, such as getting lost on the way to a job he has held for years. The man is a retired boxer who suffered multiple concussions during his career. The MOST likely diagnosis for this client is:

A. Post-traumatic stress disorder

B. Alzheimer's disease

C. Delirium

D. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy


There's more where these came from. Check out the "practice" tag on the blog for additional free questions. Then stick around at SWTP--as they intend--for full-length, 170-question, covering-all-topic-areas ASWB exam practice tests. 
Happy studying!


Thursday, February 14, 2019

ASWB Exam Prep: The Mental Status Examination

Let's see how well you know  your way around the Mental Status Examination (MSE). First, here's what an MSE is:

The Mental Status Exam is analogous to the physical exam: it is a series of observations and examinations at one point in time. Focused questions and observations can reveal "normal" or pathological findings. Although our observations occur in the context of an interview and may therefore be ordered differently for each patient, the report of our findings is ordered and "paints a picture" of a patient's appearance, thinking, emotion and cognition.
 Simple enough. There are some tricky details and vocabulary within the MSE that may show up on the ASWB exam. Taking this quiz should get you all-the-more ready for MSE questions on the social work licensing exam.

1. What characteristic might be described by one of these: Hesitant, expansive, rambling, halting, stuttering, lilting, jerky, forgetful. 

2. What are auditory, visual, and olfactory hallucinations?

3. What is an overvalued idea.

4. Define flight of ideas.

5. What is alexithymia?

Have answers? Are the right ones? Answer key below--scroll down...

Bonus concepts: echopraxia, catalepsy, waxy flexibility and paratonia -- click through for definitions.

Remember, the real ASWB exam doesn't quiz like this. Questions tend to be longer form vignettes. Try practice tests like those from SWTP to prepare for the full-length, 170-question ASWB exam. Generally, the more practice, the readier you'll be.

Good luck!






















Definitions via Wikipedia.

1. Flow of speech.

2. Auditory hallucinations involve hearing (e.g., voices); visual involve seeing (e.g., shadows); olfactory involve smelling (e.g., something burning or rotten).

3. An overvalued idea is an emotionally charged belief that may be held with sufficient conviction to make believer emotionally charged or aggressive but that fails to possess all three characteristics of delusion—most importantly, incongruity with cultural norms.

4. Flight of ideas describes excessive speech at a rapid rate that involves causal association between ideas. Links between ideas may involve usage of puns or rhymes. It is typical of mania, classically seen in bipolar disorder.

5. Alexithymic individuals may be unable to describe their subjective mood state.




Monday, February 4, 2019

ASWB Social Work Exam Prep Video

Seen this? Free ASWB exam tutoring from Rachael Haskell via YouTube. Haven't watched it, but poked around here and there and it looks solid. Can't hurt, if you've got four hours to spare (!).

You never know which exam prep is going to be most valuable when you get to exam day. Some practice question, that podcast, or maybe this video. Time will tell.