Friday, September 27, 2013

ASWB Exam Advice: Keep It Simple

Words of wisdom from a now-licensed social worker:

"Somewhere it said not to study in the 24 hours right before taking the licensing exam. I ignored that. I ignored just about everything that said when not to study, what not to study. When in doubt, I studied. What did I realize after I'd taken the exam? I should've listened.

The exam is not complicated. You're being tested to see if you're ready to be a licensed social worker. That is, can you competently help people in social work situations? Without doing harm...without overstepping your bounds ("scope of practice" questions are pretty much guaranteed). What the people who put together the exam want to make sure is that, once you're licensed, they won't have to deal with you again. You'll do your work, be professional, and stay out of trouble.

So keep it simple. If you're basically competent and know your way around the basics of the DSM and the Code of Ethics, you're more than halfway there. Next is learning how to take the exam. And you know most of that too--you've gotten all the way through graduate school. You've taken lots of tests.

This one is bigger, though. Have you ever taken a four hour exam?  What's the last time you did anything for four hours straight?  170 questions was more at once than I'd ever encountered. That takes some getting ready for. Takes some training. That means practice. So do that some. And then you're ready. You know the content, you know what they're looking for, you know how sit still for four hours, you're ready. 

Is that all? Yes! Really? Really!"

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