2023 ASWB Exam Updates – Bachelors, Masters, and Clinical Exams

2023 ASWB Exam Updates – Bachelors, Masters, and Clinical Exams

Why is ASWB Making Changes?

“We always have to balance security concerns with the comfort of the test-takers. These new measures illustrate ASWB’s commitment to evaluating existing procedures and revising them based on both feedback from test-takers and evidence of their effectiveness.”

Director of Exam Administration, Felicia Dennison (Source)

Key ASWB Exam Updates for 2023

  1. Three-Option Multiple Choice Begins to Phase In
  2. Access to Food Permitted
  3. Cell Phone Bags are Not Required

1. Three-Option Multiple Choice Begins to Phase In

Beginning in January 2023, the ASWB exam will have a mix of three and four-option questions. Over time, the exam will include more three-option questions with a goal of being completely three-option by 2025.

Why is the ASWB doing this?

  • Reduced time pressure: Studies show that exam takers can answer three-option questions faster.
  • Better focus on the social worker’s knowledge.

2. Access to Food is Now Permitted 

Exam takers are allowed to retrieve snacks in the waiting area during their examination.

Note: Snacks will still NOT be allowed in the testing area.

3. Cell Phone Bags are Not Required

Cell phones no longer need to be placed in “tamper-proof” bags during the examination.

However, all electronics (including phones) still do need to be turned OFF and stored in lockers during the exam. You will still NOT have access to your phone or other personal electronics during the exam

What Do These Changes Mean?

While some of these changes may seem small, collectively they should begin to reduce the stress of test day (according to ASWB).

Fewer answer choices mean less reading + rushing. It takes ~5 seconds more to read 4 answers compared to 3 answers.

Access to food makes a 4-hour test more manageable, especially for those without accommodations.

How Should I Change My Studying?

You shouldn’t!

Focus on what is in your control: Learn how to effectively break down questions and review key exam content in the KSAs.

Don’t be worried if you see 3 answers instead of 4! The same breaking down question techniques can be applied regardless of the number of answer options.

Learn more about the 2023 changes to the ASWB exam in our latest social work short:


► Learn more about the Agents of Change course here: https://agentsofchangeprep.com

About the Instructor, Meagan Mitchell: Meagan is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has been providing individualized and group test prep for the ASWB for over five years. From all of this experience helping others pass their exams, she created the Agents of Change course to help you prepare for and pass the ASWB exam!

Find more from Agents of Change here:

► Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/aswbtestprep

► Podcast: https://anchor.fm/agents-of-change-sw

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Disclaimer: This content has been made available for informational and educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical or clinical advice, diagnosis, or treatment