ASWB Myths and Misconceptions

ASWB Myths and Misconceptions

At Agents of Change, we work with thousands of students studying for the Bachelors, Masters, and Clinical level ASWB exams. When we’re first working with students, we often hear about various ASWB myths and misconceptions.

These myths and misconceptions often hurt the chances of passing and are a distraction from the material and the studying strategies that students should be focusing on! Let’s break these myths together in our latest post.

Top Myths and Misconceptions

  1. Myth: “I only need a week or two to study for my exam.” It’s important that you give yourself plenty of time to prepare for your exam so that you can adequately review all materials and build strong studying strategies.  At Agents of Change, we recommend at least 4-6 weeks of preparation with 5-6 days per week of studying during that time.
  2. Myth: Different states have different exams. False! The LMSW and LCSW exams are nationwide exams and are identical across the USA. However, the tests and levels of licensure do have different names in some states. Additionally, the requirements to become a licensed social worker vary by state.
  3. Myth: Question topics vary dramatically across different test versions. It is not possible to get ONLY questions in one particular area. Your studying should be balanced so that you are prepared for all types of questions and topics.
  4. Misconception: Thinking what worked for someone else will work for you. We all have different learning styles and process different topics differently. Just because a strategy worked for a friend, a coworker, or someone on social media, it does not guarantee it will work for you.  Find the strategy, materials, and study techniques that work well for you!
  5. Myth: Buying study materials guarantees a PASS. Purchasing materials in itself is not enough to pass the ASWB exam! You need to use these materials completely and effectively to pass your exam.
  6. Myth: Difficulty varies dramatically across different test versions. On social media, you may see people refer to getting the “difficult” test or the “easy” test. While the number of questions needed to pass will vary slightly across versions of the test, the difficulty does not vary dramatically across exams.
  7. Myth: Acronyms or “short cuts” work for every question: While they can help you remember key test-taking strategies and provide you with a path to breaking down questions, they are not a “one-size-fits-all” path to passing. One word or phrase in a question stem can completely change what the question is looking for. Be careful with acronyms and know their limitations.
  8. Misconception: Trusting everything you read on social media. Social media is full of stories of people who “pulled an all-nighter” and passed the exam without sleeping the night before. Don’t trust everything you read online! Consistent and comprehensive studying is the best approach. Like many parts of life, the more effort you put in, the more value you’ll get out.
  9. Misconception: Not focusing enough on self-care and other areas of your life. Studying for and taking this exam can be a stressful, exhausting, and anxiety-provoking experience. It’s important that you practice strategies to manage your stress and keep your motivation high!
  10. Not understanding the exam format and how to approach breaking down questions.  Knowing the material is one thing, but knowing the structure of the exam and how to approach breaking down questions is another. At Agents of Change, we focus intensely on helping students build strategies for breaking down questions as it’s a critical skill for this exam. Knowing the material is not enough.
  11. Misconception: Not managing time effectively. 4 hours sounds like a long time for an exam, but in that time you need to answer 170 questions.  This leaves you less than 90 seconds per question.  Time management is crucial for your ASWB exam. It is important to pace yourself and make sure you have enough time to complete all of the questions.
  12. Misconception: Not being prepared for the test-taking environment. It is important to practice test-taking strategies and to familiarize yourself with the test-taking environment to reduce anxiety and improve performance on the exam.  When you take your practice exam, try to create an environment that is as similar as possible to what you will see on test day.

Learn more about how you can avoid falling victim to ASWB myths and misconceptions in this video:


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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!

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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


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