What is the ASWB?

The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) is made up of regulatory boards, colleges, and universities throughout the United States. The ASWB develops five levels of examinations targeted to licensure candidates with various levels of experience and education in the social work field. The ASWB exams certify that a candidate has the required knowledge of common social work practices and regulations.


Those interested in social work positions would take the Associate, Bachelors, or Masters ASWB exams. Those interested in administration or clinical work would take the Advanced Generalist or Clinical ASWB Exams. Some licensing authorities do not recognize all ASWB exams, so candidates should check the licensing authority in their area to make sure they take the appropriate exam.

Exam Format

Each ASWB examination contains 170 multiple-choice questions; 20 of these questions are being pretested for

possible inclusion as scored questions on a future ASWB examination. Your performance on the pretest items will

not affect your score on the examination — only the 150 remaining items will count toward your score. The pretest

and scored items are mixed together on the examination.


You will have 4 hours to complete the examination, which is administered on a Pearson VUE computer. The

testing program allows the test-taker to move freely through the exam, change answers, mark questions for later

attention, skip questions, and review questions.

What Are The Different Types of ASWB Exams?

There are five different ASWB exams:

  1. Associate
  2. Bachelors
  3. Masters
  4. Advanced Generalist
  5. Clinical

Each exam offers 170 multiple-choice questions that test a candidate's understanding of four knowledge domains, and 150 of those questions are used to calculate the score. 20 questions are included as experimental items that are being tested for use in future exams and do not count towards the final score. Candidates have 4 hours to complete each test.

What is on the ASWB Associates exam?

The Associate and Bachelors exams test the same content. The local license authority may accept Associate exam results to issue a license to examinees who do not have a degree in social work. 

What is on the ASWB Bachelors exam?

The Associate and Bachelors exams test the same content. The Bachelors exam is intended for those who have studied social work at an undergraduate level.

What is on the ASWB Master's exam?

The ASWB Masters exam is intended to be taken by those who have completed advanced graduate studies in social work.  The exam tests your practice of master’s social work including the application of specialized knowledge and advanced practice skills. 

What is on the ASWB Advanced Generalist exam?

The ASWB Advanced Generalist exam is intended to be taken by experienced professionals who have studied Social Work and want to demonstrate their advanced knowledge of the field. Typically, licensing authorities require two years of relevant experience before taking this exam.

What is on the ASWB Clinical exam?

The ASWB Clinical exam is for those who want to engage in social work that has a clinical component. The exam emphasizes clinical topics, such as assessment and intervention. Licensing authorities generally require at least 2 or 3 years of relevant experience to take this exam.

What Are The Fees for the ASWB Exam?

Examination registration fees

Associate, Bachelors, or Masters exam: US$230

Advanced Generalist or Clinical exam: US$260

How to Apply To Take The ASWB Exams

  1. Apply for a license with the board in your state or province (Directory of Social Work Boards). Obtain and submit an application for license, pay license application fee, receive approval to register for the exam.

  2. Register and pay for the exam with the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB).  Order exam guide and online practice test, receive authorization to test.

  3. Schedule your testing appointment with Pearson VUE

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