Top 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Taking the ASWB Exam

Top 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Taking the ASWB Exam

Ever experienced that “oh-no!” moment when you realize you’ve made a big mistake during an important exam? We’ve all been there. But wouldn’t it be awesome to sidestep those blunders right from the start?

If you’re gearing up for the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) exam, we’ve got your back! From recognizing those sneaky time-wasters to dodging disastrous study habits, we’re here to guide you through the top 5 common mistakes to avoid when taking the ASWB exam.

Say goodbye to panic and hello to confidence, because we’re about to change your test-taking game for good!

Mistake 1: Ignoring the Exam Structure

Not All Study Material Is Created Equal

Some candidates treat all study material as equal. That’s a big mistake! Understanding the structure of the ASWB exam is crucial. It’s not just about quantity, but quality and relevance of study material too.

Get your hands on the latest version of the ASWB Guide to the Social Work Exams and study what’s specifically relevant for the exam. The Agents of Change program is structured to match the key KSAs (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities) of the ASWB Exam.

What to Do Instead?

  • Understand the exam structure.
  • Prioritize topics based on their importance in the exam guide.
  • Make a study plan that reflects the exam’s structure and weightage. Agents of Change includes a study plan to make studying and staying organized easy!

Mistake 2: Not Taking Practice Exams

Practice Makes Perfect—And Confident!

You’ve heard it before: Practice makes perfect! Skipping practice exams is like diving into deep waters without knowing how to swim. They’re your golden ticket to understanding the exam format, time constraints, and the type of questions that’ll be thrown your way.

What to Do Instead?

  • Take as many practice exams as possible.
  • Review your performance and focus on improving weak areas.
  • Aim for progress, not perfection.

Agents of Change offers 2 full-length practice exams here.

Mistake 3: Poor Time Management

The Clock Is Ticking!

Ever looked at the clock during an exam only to realize you’re running out of time? Yikes! Poor time management can be a major downfall when taking the ASWB exam. It’s essential to pace yourself properly, so you have time to answer all questions and have a few spare minutes for review.

What to Do Instead?

  • Start timing yourself during practice exams.
  • Develop a strategy for how to handle long or complex questions.
  • Keep an eye on the clock without obsessing over it.

Mistake 4: Falling Victim to ASWB Misconceptions

Social Media Can Be a Distraction!

Beware, social media is full of myths and half-truths about the ASWB exam! Proceed with caution before adopting a strategy just because it worked for someone else.

No one knows your learning style better than you do, and you’re the best judge of which study materials and methods suit you the most.

Don’t be fooled, there are no magic “shortcuts” to acing the ASWB exam—it’s a demanding challenge! However, with a well-devised strategy, steadfast commitment, and consistent hard work, you can certainly conquer this challenge.

What to Do Instead?

Mistake 5: Neglecting Self-Care

Your Health Matters!

Pulling an all-nighter before your exam isn’t a brilliant idea. In fact, neglecting self-care can seriously hamper your performance. Good nutrition, regular exercise, and adequate sleep are all vital elements of a successful test-taking strategy.

What to Do Instead?

  • Take regular breaks during study sessions.
  • Manage your test anxiety with our tips
  • Maintain a balanced diet and stay hydrated.
  • Get plenty of sleep, especially the night before your exam.

Learn more here: The 8 Pillars Of Self-Care And How They Can Help Reduce ASWB Exam Stress


Q: How often should I take practice exams when preparing for the ASWB exam?
A: At Agents of Change, we recommend taking at least 2 practice exams several weeks before your exam date so you have time to understand your results and improve. We also recommend timing yourself and treating these practice exams just like you would the real thing! Agents of Change offers 2 full-length practice exams here.

Q: I’m worried about time management. How many minutes should I spend on each question?
A: The exam has 170 questions to be completed in 4 hours. That’s roughly 1.4 minutes per question. It’s important to pace yourself accordingly.

Q: Is it okay to change an answer on the ASWB exam?
A: Yes, but try to avoid doing it frequently. Research shows that your first answer is usually the correct one unless you’ve misunderstood the question or have new information.


Avoiding these top 5 common mistakes when taking the ASWB exam can dramatically boost your chances of success. Remember, the key lies in effective preparation, consistent practice, sensible time management, trusting your knowledge, and taking care of yourself throughout the journey.

With these tips in your pocket, you’ll walk into the exam center with a renewed sense of confidence and readiness to ace that test.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and conquer that ASWB exam like a boss! You’ve got this and Agents of Change is here to help!

Video – Social Work Short – Top 5 ASWB Mistakes


► Learn more about the Agents of Change course here:

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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