Oh, the sweet taste of freedom after graduation! But hold on – before you start kicking back and enjoying the fruits of your hard work, there’s one more hurdle to clear: the ASWB exam.
If you’re hoping to become a licensed Social Worker, passing this exam is an essential step in your journey. So, how do you go about preparing for your ASWB exam after graduation? Don’t sweat it – we’ve got you covered!
In this article, we’ll walk you through all the ins and outs of getting ready to PASS that exam and launch your Social Work career. Let’s get started!
1) Understanding the ASWB Exam
Before diving headfirst into preparation, it’s crucial to understand what you’re up against. The ASWB (Association of Social Work Boards) exam is a standardized test that measures your competency in social work practice. It’s offered at four levels: Bachelor’s, Master’s, Advanced Generalist, and Clinical. In this section, we’ll break down the basics and help you figure out which level is right for you.
- Bachelor’s: Designed for recent graduates with a Bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW)
- Master’s: Aimed at those with a Master’s degree in social work (MSW) without post-degree experience
- Advanced Generalist: For MSW graduates with at least two years of non-clinical, supervised experience
- Clinical: Intended for MSW graduates with at least two years of clinical, supervised experience
Agents of Change has study materials and practice exams to help you with Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Clinical. Start for FREE here: Free Preview of Agents of Change
Each ASWB exam consists of 170 multiple-choice questions, with 150 questions being scored and 20 unscored pretest questions. You’ll be tested on the following Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA) content areas:
- Human Development, Diversity, and Behavior in the Environment
- Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment Planning
- Psychotherapy, Clinical Interventions, and Case Management
- Professional Values and Ethics
- Practice Evaluation and the Utilization of Research
2) Creating a Game Plan
Now that you know what the ASWB exam includes, it’s time to come up with a winning strategy. Preparing for the ASWB exam after graduation can be a daunting task, but by breaking it down into manageable steps, you’ll be on your way to success!
Register for the Exam
First things first – get yourself registered for the exam! Visit the ASWB website, select the appropriate level, and complete the registration process. Keep in mind that each state may have specific requirements, so double-check with your state’s licensing board.
Create a Study Schedule
- Decide on a realistic study schedule that works for you (all Agents of Change packages include study schedules!)
- Set aside dedicated and focused study time each day
- Consider using the Pomodoro Technique to boost productivity by studying in smaller, focused increments
- Don’t forget to schedule breaks and relaxation time
Learn more about how to study for your ASWB exam in our blog post: Essential ASWB Study Strategies
Gather Study Materials
- Sign up for the Free Trial of Agents of Change to see if it’s a fit for your study style!
- Explore reputable online resources, such as the official ASWB Practice Test
- Seek out study groups, forums, or social media groups for support and collaboration (all Agents of Change packages include 2 LIVE study groups per month)
3) Study Tips and Techniques
Now that you’ve got a game plan in place, it’s time to buckle down and hit the books. Here are some tried-and-true study tips and techniques to help you PASS the ASWB exam.
Focus on Your Weaknesses and Strengthen Them
- Identify areas where you struggle and allocate more time to those topics and find additional practice questions on those topics
- Use flashcards, quizzes, or mnemonic devices to aid memorization
- Don’t hesitate to ask for help from peers, professors, or mentors
Practice, Practice, Practice
- Take advantage of online practice tests (especially the ASWB practice exam!) to simulate exam conditions
- Time yourself to improve your pacing and efficiency
- Review your answers and learn from your mistakes
Agents of Change offers 2 full-length practice exams here and ALL of our preparation programs include hundreds of practice questions.
- Keep your study materials in a designated space for easy access
- Use color-coding or labeling systems to quickly find and refer to what you need
- Maintain a progress log to track your improvement and stay motivated
As you begin your studying journey, you’re likely to have some questions. We’ve rounded up some of the most common ones here to help you out.
Q: How much does the ASWB exam cost?
A: The fees for the ASWB exam vary depending on the level. As of 2023, the fees were as follows: Bachelor’s ($230), Master’s ($230), Advanced Generalist ($260), and Clinical ($260). Be sure to check the ASWB website for the most up-to-date information.
Q: How do I know if I’m eligible to take the ASWB exam?
A: Eligibility for the ASWB exam is determined by your state’s licensing board. Consult their website or contact them directly for specific information on eligibility requirements.
Q: How long does it take to prepare for the ASWB exam?
A: The time required for preparation varies depending on your background, experience, and familiarity with the content. Generally, most candidates spend between 2-4 months preparing for the exam. We recommend 4-6 weeks to complete the Agents of Change program, which allows you enough time to review topics that you found challenging a second time.
Q: What is the passing score for the ASWB exam?
A: The passing score can vary based on the difficulty of your specific test and the exam level and is determined by the ASWB. Check the ASWB website for detailed information on passing scores.
Preparing for your ASWB exam after graduation might seem like a huge task, but with the right mindset, strategy, and resources, you’re more than capable of conquering it!
Remember to stay organized, practice regularly, and seek support from your peers and mentors. By following the tips and guidance outlined in this article, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your dream of becoming a licensed social worker.
So, gear up, dive in, and give it your all – you’ve got this (And Agents of Change is here to help)!
► 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