Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tips for Passing

I passed the exam on 4/16/08 on my first try. I have never studied so hard for an exam in my entire life. Luckily, it paid off! Following are the best tips I can offer to help you pass...

[1] Know yourself and how you study best.
I am a procrastinator by nature, and never wrote a college or graduate school paper until two days before it was due, no matter how far in advance I knew about the assignment. I purposefully scheduled my licensure exam to take place one week after I scheduled it. I scheduled the exam on a Friday for the following week. I knew that if I had done it any other way I would not have taken the time to study until the last minute. Be honest with yourself about your study habits. I've been out of school for several years, but remember well typing papers well into the morning.

[2] Use study guides.
I did not take the licensure exam prep class, but I know several people who did, and who were very nice in sharing the workbook that came with the class. This workbook is the veritable bible of the licensure exam. It has everything you need to know for the exam, plus practice tests. I know several people who have found the prep course helpful. Use case study books, the DSM, NASW Code of Ethics, CBT manuals, etc. These are your study guides. The exam will measure your knowledge of this material and your ability to apply it to brief case studies.

[3] Take several practice exams.
This was helpful to me for many reasons. First, it familiarized me with the type and format of questions that could appear on the actual exam. I have severe test anxiety, and knowing what to expect was very helpful.
Another purpose it served was to help me see in which areas I needed to focus more.

[4] Make flash cards.
I have never in my life done this before, but it helped!!! I made the cards while taking the practice exams. Whenever I would get an answer wrong, I would make a flash card out of it. These were a great review the morning of the exam.

[5] Know what to do FIRST/NEXT.
Knowing what to do FIRST or NEXT will make the difference in passing the exam.

[6] Read the question.
Slowly and carefully. Know what the question is asking. Pay attention to the first and last sentences in the case study; often the answer is within those two sentences. Look at the answers carefully. The answer is most likely within the question or case study. Look for similar wording. This could also be the difference in passing the exam.

As you will hear countless people tell you, this exam does not measure how good of a social worker you are. It also does not measure what you might actually do in practice.


SWTP said...

For those still studying, try the practice at Social Work Test Prep (

TalkTherapy said...

I was confident in answering First, Next and Last questions. Did everything that I learned. but still failed the clinical. What next?

Glen Richards said...

I personally need a trainer or coach to help me. I just can't seem to push myself that extra mile without support. I dug up these guys: I read that they have coaches to help you free with their course. Real people on the "other end" is exactly what I need. Wish me luck!

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