Social Work

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Understanding the ASWB Exam

The ASWB offers five different levels of examination: Associates, Bachelors, Masters, Advanced Generalist, and Clinical. The Associates exam is designed for applicants who do not possess a social work degree. The Bachelors exam is designed for entry-level social workers with a BSW degree. The Masters exam is designed for entry-level social workers with an MSW degree who have less than 2 years of practice experience. The Advanced Generalist and Clinical exams are designed for entry-level social workers with an MSW degree and at least 2 years of post-degree experience. Each state offers one, two, three, four, or all five levels. You should check with your state board to determine which levels are offered in your state and which level is most appropriate for you. Academic Review currently offers two online study programs: The Masters Level Exam Program and the Clinical Level Exam Program.

All levels of the exam consist of 170 multiple-choice questions, but only 150 of those questions contribute to your final score. The remaining 20 questions are pre-test items, assessed for potential inclusion in future exams. Since you won't be aware of which questions are pre-test items, it's important to approach each question as if it counts towards your score. The number of questions required to pass may vary with each exam administration due to slight differences in difficulty. However, the scaled passing score, set at 70 or 75 (depending on your state), remains constant. It's worth noting that the scaled score doesn't directly indicate the exact number of questions needed to pass the exam.

The ASWB identifies four (4) critical Knowledge, Skills and Abilities statements (KSAs) and centers their examination questions around these areas. The KSAs and examination weight for each are the following:

  • Clinical Level Exam
  • Human Development, Diversity and Behavior – 24%
  • Assessment, Diagnosis, And Treatment Planning – 30%
  • Psychotherapy, Clinical Interventions, And Case Management – 27%
  • Professional Values and Ethics – 19%
  • Masters Level Exam
  • Human Development, Diversity and Behavior – 27%
  • Assessment And Intervention Planning – 24%
  • Interventions With Clients/Client Systems – 24%
  • Professional Relationships, Values, And Ethics – 25%

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Additional Study Tools

Printed Study Volumes
Study Volumes

Get a concise and easy-to-understand review of the key exam concepts within each of the exam domains.

Printed Flashcards
Printed Flashcards

A must have set of over 500 Flashcards - the most effective way to study and retain key terms and definitions!

DSM-5 Reference Cards
DSM-5 Reference Cards

The DSM-5 Reference Guide is an easy reference guide to the major changes to the most recent DSM revision.

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