Understanding ASWB Exam Results: What Your Score Means

Understanding ASWB Exam Results: What Your Score Means

The ASWB exam, an essential step in becoming a licensed Social Worker, can often result in a mix of emotions. Many candidates find themselves puzzled after taking the exam, trying to understand the meaning of their scores and how they can improve if they did not pass their exams the first time.

This post provides a comprehensive overview of interpreting ASWB exam results, focusing on how the scoring system works and what the scores signify. We will explore the pass/fail criteria and give you insights into techniques to improve your score if you did not pass the first time.

1) The Basics of ASWB Exam Scoring

Understanding the Scoring System

The first step in understanding your ASWB exam results is to know how the exam is scored. There are four categories of the ASWB exam: Bachelor’s, Master’s, Advanced Generalist, and Clinical. Each of these categories has a different number of questions and a different passing score. Here’s what it looks like:

  1. Bachelor’s Exam: 170 questions, 96-105 passing score
  2. Master’s Exam: 170 questions, 98-107 passing score
  3. Advanced Generalist Exam: 170 questions, 98-107 passing score
  4. Clinical Exam: 170 questions, 102-111 passing score

Learn More About ASWB Scoring: The ASWB Exam: Scoring Explained

Deciphering the Scaled Score

Now, you may be thinking, “Wait a minute, my score was way higher than that!” That’s because the ASWB uses a scaled scoring system.

Your raw score (the number of questions you answered correctly) is converted into a scaled score to account for any variations in the difficulty level of different sets of questions.

A Closer Look at Pass/Fail Determination

When understanding your ASWB exam results, it’s important to note that the exam is not graded on a curve. Instead, a criterion-referenced approach is used, meaning you’re not competing against other test-takers, but rather against a pre-established standard of competence.

Simply put, your success doesn’t depend on how others perform!

2) What Your Score Means

So, you’ve got your score. But what does it really mean? Let’s break that down.

If You Pass…

First things first, congratulations! If you’ve passed the ASWB exam, it means you’ve demonstrated a level of competency deemed acceptable. Your next steps include applying for licensure in your state and starting your journey as a licensed Social Worker.

Find Your State Licensure Information

If You Don’t Pass…

It’s not the end of the world, failing the ASWB exam doesn’t define your worth as a Social Worker! It simply means you need a bit more preparation before taking the test again. Use this as an opportunity to identify the areas where you struggled and refine your study methods.

Learn More: What Should You Do If You Fail Your LMSW Or LCSW ASWB Exam?

3) Interpreting Your Score Sheet

Alright, you’ve got your ASWB score sheet in front of you and it might look like a cryptic puzzle. Don’t worry, we’re going to help you crack the code!

Understanding the Different Sections

  1. Test Information: This section will provide basic information about your exam, including the type of exam you took (Bachelor’s, Master’s, Advanced Generalist, or Clinical), the date of the exam, and the version of the exam.
  2. Scaled Score: This is the all-important number that tells you whether you’ve passed or failed. Remember, this is not your raw score (i.e., the number of questions you answered correctly), but a scaled score that adjusts for variations in difficulty level between different exam versions.
  3. Pass/Fail Status: Here, you’ll see whether you’ve passed or not. Remember, the passing score varies depending on the category of the exam you took.

Reading the Content Area Breakdown

In this section, you’ll find a more detailed breakdown of your performance in each content area. This is a great resource to use, especially if you didn’t pass the exam, as it can guide your study efforts by highlighting areas where you need improvement.

The ASWB exams are divided into different content areas that correspond to the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for Social Work licensure. For example, the Clinical exam includes content areas like “Human Development, Diversity, and Behavior in the Environment” and “Professional Values and Ethics.”

Each content area will show a percentage that represents the proportion of questions you answered correctly within that particular area.

Looking for more ASWB content and exam strategies? Agents of Change includes 30+ topics, hundreds of practice questions, and 2 live study groups per month.

4) FAQs

Q: How can you use the score sheet to improve your results on a retake?
A: The best way to utilize this score sheet if you didn’t pass the exam is to identify which content areas you struggled with the most. If certain areas have a low percentage of correct answers, focus more on these areas in your study plan.

Remember, understanding your ASWB exam results is the first step towards improvement.  Agents of Change also offers study materials for all ASWB exams that have helped more than 10,000 Social Workers PASS!

Q: What happens if I fail the ASWB exam?
A: If you don’t pass the ASWB exam, you can retake it after a 90-day waiting period. During this time, focus on reviewing material and enhancing your understanding in areas you found challenging. If you failed by fewer than 10 questions, you can apply for a waiver to take the exam again sooner: 90 Day Waiver For ASWB Exam – How To Apply

Q: How can I better prepare for the ASWB exam next time?
A: Consider using study guides, enrolling in prep. courses, or joining a study group. Also, practice exams can give you a realistic sense of what to expect and help identify areas for improvement. All Agents of Change programs include 2 live study groups per month and hundreds of practice questions.

5) Conclusion

So there you have it! A comprehensive guide to understanding your ASWB exam results. Remember, these scores are not meant to be mysterious, and they definitely aren’t meant to scare you. They’re simply a tool to measure your preparedness for Social Work licensure.

Whether you’ve passed or failed, there’s always a way forward. Keep that chin up, keep learning, and keep striving to make a difference in the world. 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


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