Failed the LMSW exam 3-times. I am stuck!

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Negarit in New York, New York

45 months ago

I would say I am a competent social worker. I always receive positive feedback regarding my performance in previous work places. However, I have poor test taking skills and anxiety problems. I spent a lot of time, money and energy preparing for the LMSW exam. I failed three times. I find it very difficult to get an employment in the field without the license. Emotionally, I am frustrated and I have no idea how to help myself. Any suggestions?

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socialwkr in Missouri

45 months ago

Negarit in New York, New York said: I would say I am a competent social worker. I always receive positive feedback regarding my performance in previous work places. However, I have poor test taking skills and anxiety problems. I spent a lot of time, money and energy preparing for the LMSW exam. I failed three times. I find it very difficult to get an employment in the field without the license. Emotionally, I am frustrated and I have no idea how to help myself. Any suggestions?

Hey, sorry to hear about the exam problems! I had anxiety just thinking about taking my LCSW exam. And I also found during the exam, holding my breath and just being anxious over whether I was answering the questions right. I delayed taking my exam until I could delay no more! These exams are very costly and with the new exame increase down right unaffordable for some. The preparation workshops are also very expensive as well.

For me personally since I am a visual learner and analytical, I found for me.......learning how the questions were structured to determine what they were really asking really helped me successfully pass. I have found with these standardized testing, it is really not how great of a social worker we are in "real life", but how we are able to answer the "best" answer. That is the ironic thing for me.....some of those questions are down right "trick questions" in the manner they are written, so it sets us up for doubting what we know. The prep courses I decided not to take. I paid for the full practice exam on ASWB and found that truly helpful........and it made me less anxious, because I knew the way the questions would be "worded" by the company who makes the exam. Did you by chance have the opportunity to pay for the online ASWB full practice exam? It also helped me get a handle on the time frame and how much time I would take to answer each questions.

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socialwkr in Missouri

45 months ago

Part II

I never had to take the LMSW, but I assume the questions were formatted in the same manner as the LCSW exam. Questions that may pose scenerios: What would the social worker do NEXT, what would the social worker do FIRST, those kinds of questions.

I would reach each test question twice, then I would read the answer choices and quickly read the question again. I attempted to analyze what the question was about, whether human development, assessment, ethics, confidentiality, etc. There is usually always two answer choices that look very similiar. Once I isolated what the question was about (if it for example was truly a ethics questions), then I would pick the answer that was closest to an ethical answer choice.

Disclaimer: None of the information I am providing was obtained from the ASWB practice exam or full exam. These are all my own ideas and tips! These questions are made up by me!

Some tips I found helped me: Paying attention in particular to what type of social worker is being used in examples helped me eliminate answer choices (i.e. hospital social work, community social worker, mental health social worker, school social worker, etc.) For example: The hospital social worker received information from the doctor that a child has been abused and wants the social worker to assist. The social worker NEXT should: A. Interview the child about the allegations of abuse. B. Meet with the family to determine whether the child was abused. C. Call the state child abuse hotline and report the abuse to child protective services D. Do an assessment on the child. What helped me is eliminating anything not in the job duties and roles of a particular social worker. I would eliminate A and B, because it is not her role to engage in abuse investigations, it is the role of the state protective agency who has trained staff that does that. I would eliminate D, because it is close to A B and D. continued.....

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socialwkr in Missouri

43 months ago

ASWB says in their study guide, it is the best answer choice not necessarily what is "right/correct". There are usually two good answers that appear logically for each question on the exam.

With that, I would still say for the best answer, since the doctor has already said the child has been abused, then the best answer choice out of all three would be to contact child protective services. If the doctor would have said he thinks something may have occurred to the child, then D. to me would sound like a better choice.

Since these questions are short on the exam, we would not know all the ins and outs, but I still stand by the fact that the way these ASWB exams are written that ASWB is looking for the best answer choice. There are usually two plausible answer choices. Sometimes three answers are similar.

The exam and what our job duties in our employment are not necessarily what the answer choices will be. Since it is a national exam, across the board....most of the social work role questions are going to be general/and generic about what these roles do.

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socialwkr in Missouri

43 months ago

A good website with generic/general job roles of various social work titles:
www.bls.gov/oco/ocos060.htm (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

ASWB has a free handbook, which has a couple of sample questions for each level of exam. www.aswb.org/pdfs/handbook.pdf

This was on a Q & A answer page from ASWB: www.socialwork.state.mn.us/portals/0/ASWB%20Common%20concerns%20about%20the%20ASWB%20social%20work%20licensing%20exam.pdf
"First, remember the limits of each question on the test. Each item on the ASWB examination is targeted to a specific knowledge, skill, or ability. What this means is that an individual test
question is designed to measure a relatively discrete piece of the overall competence picture. The items on the examination contain all the information necessary to answer them correctly—except
the social work knowledge you must employ. In other words, test takers must be extremely careful that they do not “read into” a test question or allow hypothetical situations and “what-if”
scenarios to cloud their ability to arrive at a correct answer."

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EM in Brookeville, Maryland

41 months ago

In the NY area this program has been the great resource I needed to pass the LMSW exam. Check it out!

www.lmswexambootcamp.com/

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Michele in Plainview, New York

41 months ago

Negarit in New York, New York said: I would say I am a competent social worker. I always receive positive feedback regarding my performance in previous work places. However, I have poor test taking skills and anxiety problems. I spent a lot of time, money and energy preparing for the LMSW exam. I failed three times. I find it very difficult to get an employment in the field without the license. Emotionally, I am frustrated and I have no idea how to help myself. Any suggestions?

Hi, I was wondering if you took the exam again. I took the exam in NY in 2011 as well and did pass. I am seriously the worst test taker and have anxiety thinking about taking any standardized exams! I was looking for advice when I was studying, from other recent grads who had taken the exam, but I found so little feedback. I decided to create a website for this reason:

sites.google.com/site/socialworkexamhelp/

I plan to add content and advice regularly...let me know what you think!

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Michele in Plainview, New York

41 months ago

Hi, I'm so glad it helped. When are you planning to take the exam? Is there anything in particular that's a problem? Leave me feedback on the website and I'll try to address the issue or add information on that topic. sites.google.com/site/socialworkexamhelp/feedback/

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oesgirl83 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

40 months ago

Actually, the social worker would assist the doctor in contacting the child protection agency. Doctors are mandated reporters as well and they also have the responsibility of reporting abuse and/or neglect. The social worker can assist the doctor with gathering the information needed to make the report.

Angelize in NYC, New York said: Hello,

I have been assessing alledged Child Abuse for 14 years in my capacity of Emergency Dept. Social worker, therefore, in response to your post:

Your example for the Child Abuse case is not exactly correct.

You are right, when you say "it is the role of the state protective agency who has trained staff that does that." - that is, making a determination whether the allegations are correct.

However, before the social worker picks up the phone to call the Child Abuse Registry (Hotline), the worker must have assessed the child and family for obtaining as much information pertaining to the allegations as well as obtaining the required information regarding: Whom the child resides with and names/ages of all, (among other pertinent info).

NOTE: The focus of the assessment is not for making an actual determination whether the abuse did indeed occur, but to gather information which must be provided to the CPS Hotline.

In sum, the social worker, would NEXT interview the child and family before calling the case into the Hotline - children are generally interviewed seperately as are the parents.

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DeeDee in Uniondale, New York

39 months ago

Negarit in New York, New York said: I would say I am a competent social worker. I always receive positive feedback regarding my performance in previous work places. However, I have poor test taking skills and anxiety problems. I spent a lot of time, money and energy preparing for the LMSW exam. I failed three times. I find it very difficult to get an employment in the field without the license. Emotionally, I am frustrated and I have no idea how to help myself. Any suggestions?

I found an LMSW/LCSW bootcamp in NY and with one session I found it beneficial towards assisting me in preparation for it. Goggle it and good luck to you as I am praying for myself.

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Welcome to the SW elite club in Westport, Massachusetts

38 months ago

I think we should stop taking the test or sue the ASWB because they only collect money for some people this is really bussiness. Now what happenned about empowering and advocating for minorities when the "SW elite club" does not help minorities to enter the field. Too bad they all think that they are doing an excellent clinical work using cheap translators.

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socialwkr in Missouri

38 months ago

Welcome to the SW elite club in Westport, Massachusetts said: Get ready because ASWB club is dicriminating againt minorities not helping them to pas the test. TY

The ASWB exam is not an exam that really could be equated with discrimination. In fact, there is a new social work research study (small one), that gave one of the licensure exams to beginning social work students and a lot of them passed.

I think the ASWB exam is harder for people who have been practicing and not right out of school, because we tend to apply our work/life experience when trying to answer the questions.

That being said, I think that the exam is just what it is....your typical standardized exam. Test takers need to keep in mind that this is a national exam, therefore, you need to remember that when answering questions.

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GEORGE M, LMSW in Queens Village, New York

37 months ago

EM in Brookeville, Maryland said: In the NY area this program has been the great resource I needed to pass the LMSW exam. Check it out!

www.lmswexambootcamp.com/

ITS THE BEST PREP EVER!! TOOK THE WORKSHOP - 115 DOLLARS AND 5 HOURS OF INSTRUCTION = LICENSED !!!

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lori wilson in Rochester, New York

37 months ago

i found the social work dictionary extremely helpful in preparing for the exam. sometimes knowing the correct definition of the words in the questions helps a great deal.

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Dee Dee in Somerset, New Jersey

34 months ago

Troy Elliott in Culpeper, Virginia said: Please keep in mind that sharing any test content (recalling questions, for example) is illegal, and violates the confidentiality agreement you sign when you take the test. ASWB pursues legal and disciplinary action against anyone suspected of posting confidential materials.

That being said, we are glad to help dispel rumors and provide accurate information about the exam. I encourage you to post questions privately to info@aswb.org (email) or post public comments and questions at the ASWB facebook page.

And why dear Troy are you trolling around looking for violators? Are you the LCSW police?

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JRJ in New Milford, New Jersey

34 months ago

Glad I found this forum..I live in NJ. I have yet to pass LMSW exam. I have been debating whether or not to take LMSW EXAM Bootcamp in NY. There is one day ( 5 hour workshop) Its a little far for me. Has anyone heard of it? have any feedback? Did it pay off? It will be my third time taking it. I plan on taking it early March.. I missed it by 6pts the first time, and second time by one. I know I came close to passing it, but have not been motivated to study lately.

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axxatron in Milford, Indiana

34 months ago

JRJ in New Milford, New Jersey said: Glad I found this forum..I live in NJ. I have yet to pass LMSW exam. I have been debating whether or not to take LMSW EXAM Bootcamp in NY. There is one day ( 5 hour workshop) Its a little far for me. Has anyone heard of it? have any feedback? Did it pay off? It will be my third time taking it. I plan on taking it early March.. I missed it by 6pts the first time, and second time by one. I know I came close to passing it, but have not been motivated to study lately.

JRJ, I tried six times unsuccessfully so I know how you feel! I probably spent over $1,000 in materials and various "bootcamps"and this was not counting the registration fees!Needless is to say that I became "an expert" in the matter but still I was unable to pass the test. I even trained other colleagues. One day I asked one of them what she had done to pass the test. She told me that she had purchased the online ASWB examination. So, when I was ready to take it for the 7th! time, I decided that I couldn't learn anymore; I had been in the field for over 15 years and had a reputation as one of the "good ones". I decided to purchase the test and studied from the perspective that because i had taken it so many times I WAS AN EXPERT at it. Literally, this is true; I don't know why it had never occurred to me that I shouldn't be afraid of the test, but face it as someone who was an expert. Nevertheless, with this experience in mind, I still needed to find out "how their (ASWB) brains worked".

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axxatron in Milford, Indiana

34 months ago

axxatron in Milford, Indiana said: JRJ, I tried six times unsuccessfully so I know how you feel! I probably spent over $1,000 in materials and various "bootcamps"and this was not counting the registration fees!Needless is to say that I became "an expert" in the matter but still I was unable to pass the test. I even trained other colleagues. One day I asked one of them what she had done to pass the test. She told me that she had purchased the online ASWB examination. So, when I was ready to take it for the 7th! time, I decided that I couldn't learn anymore; I had been in the field for over 15 years and had a reputation as one of the "good ones". I decided to purchase the test and studied from the perspective that because i had taken it so many times I WAS AN EXPERT at it. Literally, this is true; I don't know why it had never occurred to me that I shouldn't be afraid of the test, but face it as someone who was an expert. Nevertheless, with this experience in mind, I still needed to find out "how their (ASWB) brains worked".

(continued from prior posting)By this time I knew that I was failing the test because I needed to face those questions with THEIR perspective; so, (in spite of how much I hated to give ASWB more money) I decided to give it to the ones who MAKE the test instead of the ones who are GUESSING (like talking directly to client vs talking to the client's husband). I bought the test and studied their minds. I knew exactly how to answer the test, so I took it and PASSED IT with flying colors!
I have been meaning to get my notes out and post my findings. And I feel like I owe it to all of those suffering souls like me.

So, I hang in there.If you feel like you have studied and have practiced long enough, then perhaps what you might need is to "get inside the test-producers' head" and think like them.

Til later, axxatron

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TJ in Oradell, New Jersey

34 months ago

DeeDee in Uniondale, New York said: I found an LMSW/LCSW bootcamp in NY and with one session I found it beneficial towards assisting me in preparation for it. Goggle it and good luck to you as I am praying for myself.

DeeDee, would you mind giving me feedback about this bootcamp?

@axxatron: You are right. The practice exam provided by ASWB really do work, and reading the rationales are useful as well. They guide you and teach you how to answer the questions on the real exams.

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onesocialworker13 in Tenafly, New Jersey

34 months ago

JRJ in New Milford, New Jersey said: Glad I found this forum..I live in NJ. I have yet to pass LMSW exam. I have been debating whether or not to take LMSW EXAM Bootcamp in NY. There is one day ( 5 hour workshop) Its a little far for me. Has anyone heard of it? have any feedback? Did it pay off? It will be my third time taking it. I plan on taking it early March.. I missed it by 6pts the first time, and second time by one. I know I came close to passing it, but have not been motivated to study lately.

HI JRJ .. i too live in new milford NJ and we are sailing in the same boat (yet to pass LMSW). even i was planning to attend boot camp. if you got any info. pls provide me.

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TJ in River Edge, New Jersey

34 months ago

onesocialworker13 in Tenafly, New Jersey said: HI JRJ .. i too live in new milford NJ and we are sailing in the same boat (yet to pass LMSW). even i was planning to attend boot camp. if you got any info. pls provide me.

Hi Onesocialwork13,

I live in Oradell, and new milford NJ is like near me. I don't know why River Edge is showing up with my name. Do you work in the field? Have you taken the exam before? When do you plan on taking it? it will be like my third time taking it. I recently graduated in May 2011. I have set date to take it on March because the earliest I can take it is Feb 20th and latest is March 9th. I guess because my pre-approval expires by March 11th, and I keep looking at the online website and it won't let me choose another day after. I too wanted to take the one day bootcamp. There is one Feb 11rh but its like in LI. The classes are little closer. I have been feeling unmotivated too. Have you tried socialworkexam.com? LEAP?

Tips: Don't overthink the question, always rule out medical reasons first. Read the question out loud( many times). Try to forget all your past experiences because the answers are like what a perfect social work would do. Look at qualifiers. These two acroymns helped me.www.dorleem.com/2011/10/two-acronyms-you-must-know-for-lmsw.html . Also this blog sometimes post sample questions. I will post some more tips if I get any. If you have any TIPS( no matter how small) please share.

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onesocialworker13 in Tenafly, New Jersey

34 months ago

TJ in River Edge, New Jersey said: Hi Onesocialwork13,

I live in Oradell, and new milford NJ is like near me. I don't know why River Edge is showing up with my name. Do you work in the field? Have you taken the exam before? When do you plan on taking it? it will be like my third time taking it. I recently graduated in May 2011. I have set date to take it on March because the earliest I can take it is Feb 20th and latest is March 9th. I guess because my pre-approval expires by March 11th, and I keep looking at the online website and it won't let me choose another day after. I too wanted to take the one day bootcamp. There is one Feb 11rh but its like in LI. The classes are little closer. I have been feeling unmotivated too. Have you tried socialworkexam.com? LEAP?

Tips: Don't overthink the question, always rule out medical reasons first. Read the question out loud( many times). Try to forget all your past experiences because the answers are like what a perfect social work would do. Look at qualifiers. These two acroymns helped me. www.dorleem.com/2011/10/two-acronyms-you-must-know-for-lmsw.html . Also this blog sometimes post sample questions. I will post some more tips if I get any. If you have any TIPS( no matter how small) please share.

Hi TJ,
Glad to got some tips regarding the exam.well i wanted to know more about the boot camp one day seminar coz i m planning to take exam in around 3rd week of Feb. I have taken exam previously and failed by 3 points. I am using AATBS material and if you think than we can meet and exchange the material.

thanks again.

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TJ in River Edge, New Jersey

34 months ago

onesocialworker13 in Tenafly, New Jersey said: Hi TJ,
Glad to got some tips regarding the exam.well i wanted to know more about the boot camp one day seminar coz i m planning to take exam in around 3rd week of Feb. I have taken exam previously and failed by 3 points. I am using AATBS material and if you think than we can meet and exchange the material.

thanks again.

Np, I too came close to passing. I missed it by one point back in November :( In the past I have been using LEAP, and NASW material. Also I used a little of socialworkexam.com.

Well here is there website www.lmswexambootcamp.com/ , and if you have a facebook they have facebook page/profile. If you have any questions, you can contact the social worker in charge of it. This is what I have been doing but I wanted to get feedback from more of people, who took this bootcamp. I have like two friends, who told me the bootcamp is good and the social worker who is running is knows her stuff. However, they were talking about the weekly classes. ( I think). Still, I feel a little interested in checking it out bc at this point I am beginning to feel a little frustrated. One section I struggled most with was direct/indirect.

I am not sure what you mean by your last statement, which you write "if you think then we can meet and exchange material." Its always good to study/dicuss the exam issues with someone else, which I don't have at the moment b/c people live too far from me. I would not mind sharing any tips. BTW here is more tips for you and anyone else:

Just answer the question. If you don't know go with your gut.
Do not "fight" the exam.
Do not just study from the sample questions.
Use the flag button judiciously.
You have plenty of time.( take at least 2 breaks)
Do not need to know theory in depth.
Study content and practice vignettes!!!
Test taking strategies are not just enough.
Don't leave answers blank!
Do as many practice questions as you can

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TJ in River Edge, New Jersey

34 months ago

Continued from above:

Read question as whole. ( Ask yourself what is the question about in your own words? Then read the answers and see if you can eliminate one or two. Then read question again.

We work for the client

STUDY The CODE OF ETHICS( VERY IMPT, and I think this why I did better the second time around.. This and not overthinking the questions)

Stay with the material

Pay attention to sw process, client's right to self determination

Well these are just some more tips that I found when I was looking at few of my old study material. They may or not help you. Wow , I wrote too much...Best of Luck. Honestly, like you and prob everyone else, I just want pass this exam. I don't care by how much. If you find out more about this bootcamp, please share.

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Steve in Greer, South Carolina

34 months ago

JRJ in New Milford, New Jersey said: Glad I found this forum..I live in NJ. I have yet to pass LMSW exam. I have been debating whether or not to take LMSW EXAM Bootcamp in NY. There is one day ( 5 hour workshop) Its a little far for me. Has anyone heard of it? have any feedback? Did it pay off? It will be my third time taking it. I plan on taking it early March.. I missed it by 6pts the first time, and second time by one. I know I came close to passing it, but have not been motivated to study lately.

I was in your same position. I did attend their workshop and got some great information. I was also very discouraged,but realized that I needed to pass to get a job. I had taken the exam 3 times and missed it by 3 points everytime. You can pass this exam. You have the ability. You have gotten discouraged. Before you do anything, you need to get motivated to want to pass this exam. Without the motivation,this would be a waste of your time time and MONEY! I wish you the best and know that there are people out there that have been in your situation. I finally passed the LCSW exam. it feels great to finally pass. Please take care and the best of luck.

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Sugga in Clemson, South Carolina

34 months ago

I was in a similar position, failed the exam once by 5 points. Looking back, I was very anxious and had a problem concentrating on the questions. I was so anxious that I completed the exam in two hours and submitted my exam WITHOUT using the remaining time to go over my answers. What I found to be helpful was The Complete Guide to Social Work (Masters) (Study Guide for the ASWB Masters Exam) and The Social Work Dictionary. My advice would be to relax, study, and think positive. Best of luck---YOU CAN DO IT!

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tony in Houston, Texas

33 months ago

i need to take the lmsw exam, and how can we get study materials, which one is a reliable one. i know there are tons out ther. but which one is better. please help, please let me know which study materials should i use.
thanks.

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terry in Tempe, Arizona

33 months ago

Can anybody tell me where I can find some exercise or sample exam ? I really need that, I heard that there are some sample exams with do not have much difference with the real one. Can anybody sent some useful material to me ? terryxing@live.cn

Thanks very much. Highly appreciated.

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shimmyw in Brooklyn, New York

32 months ago

Negarit in New York, New York said: I would say I am a competent social worker. I always receive positive feedback regarding my performance in previous work places. However, I have poor test taking skills and anxiety problems. I spent a lot of time, money and energy preparing for the LMSW exam. I failed three times. I find it very difficult to get an employment in the field without the license. Emotionally, I am frustrated and I have no idea how to help myself. Any suggestions?

I am curious did you ever end up passing

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Negarit in New York, New York

32 months ago

I am waiting for an anti-anxiety / super focus pill prescription. I have been extremely nervous and frustrated at myself to even dare to register for the test. Is there a courage pill?

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shimmyw in Brooklyn, New York

32 months ago

I failed many times..............but I am not giving up.
what makes you so nervous? what was your score on the test?

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Negarit in New York, New York

32 months ago

My score was 88. I needed 101 to pass.

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shimmyw in Brooklyn, New York

32 months ago

Negarit in New York, New York said: My score was 88. I needed 101 to pass.

what were the questions like? Could you remember any of it?
were most of them "what is the first thing, or next, or best thing? do you remember how the questions were. Did you think you were doing well while taking the test. Did you have enough time.
I know the feeling of failing, I failed many times .
you and I and everyone is at the mercy of the ASWB, you will never know which questions you get wrong , so that you might be making the same mistakes over and over. and I see alot of the questions are critical thinking ones and have little to do with clinical aspects

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llove in Denver, Colorado

32 months ago

@negarit. i am where you are. i have taken it 4 times and just heard there is a time limit inregards to how many times you can take the clinical. Do anyone know if this is true?

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ASWB in Culpeper, Virginia

32 months ago

Just a reminder: everyone who take the exam signs a confidentiality statement regarding sharing exam content. Violations can lead to legal and/or board actions.

It's understandable that test-takers would want a close look at the exam. We suggest reviewing the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA) statements available on our website, www.aswb.org--these are the discrete knowledge components that you can expect to be tested on during the exam. The more you understand about HOW the exam is built and how it works, the less anxiety you'll feel on test day. As always, we're available to answer questions--just post them on our facebook page, and we'll do our best.

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blovencurious in dallas, Tennessee

32 months ago

@ASWB it seem as though you are trying to discourage people from communicating about tips on teh exam. I seriously doubt that anyone can remember what is specifically on the test but can relate them more so to all the practice exams that we bought.

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bg in New York, New York

32 months ago

Negarit in New York, New York said: I am waiting for an anti-anxiety / super focus pill prescription. I have been extremely nervous and frustrated at myself to even dare to register for the test. Is there a courage pill?

Hi, I took exam 3 x years ago. Finally passed in '06. My anxiety kept me from succeeding. In general, I suffer from extreme anxiety and am on several anxiety/depression meds. But for exam specifically, my therapist suggested taking a beta-blocker. These are often taken by people who need to perform in public -- Barbara Streisand often took a beta-blocker before a performance. I believe that taking this med the third x is what allowed me to finally pass exam. I didn't have it the first two times I took the exam. I was still somewhat anxious, but it was more under control, and I was able to better concentrate on questions. This needs to be prescribed by psychiatrist because blood pressure must be monitored.

Other things I did to ensure I'd finally pass that g-d awful exam: I organized my own study group from people I contacted online who were also looking for exam help. And, I used a test prep course called, www.aatbs.com look it up online. wasn't cheap, but worth it. I tried all the other test prep courses & was sorely disappointed. Got my friends to use this test-prep program; they too passed, and were very pleased with it.

Hope all that helps.

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axxatron in Nappanee, Indiana

32 months ago

I don't mean to be a selfish social worker, but it took me 7 times to pass! At the very end, I decided to do what my colleague did: buy the online test that the ASWB "sells"...PLEASE LISTEN, THIS IS THE ONLY WAY YOU WILL GET INTO "THEIR MINDS" and learn how to prepare for the test. I did that and learn what they wanted from me and PASSED! after I had given up...literally. Guys, stop spending tons of money (like I did) buying training materials, and all that stuff that only gives you more knowledge but NOT the strategy that you need to take the test!
I say that I am selfish because I haven't taken the time to sit down and to share with this forum the strategy that I learned from the test...you know, life gets on the way. But please follow my advise. Go into the test, not trying to "learn" because you already know, but trying to learn when you answer "First", "most", etc.

Axa

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nelktl03 in Houston, Texas

32 months ago

can you please tell me where you have bought the asw materials, is it from aatbs.com?

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tony in Houston, Texas

32 months ago

axxatron in Nappanee, Indiana said: I don't mean to be a selfish social worker, but it took me 7 times to pass! At the very end, I decided to do what my colleague did: buy the online test that the ASWB "sells"...PLEASE LISTEN, THIS IS THE ONLY WAY YOU WILL GET INTO "THEIR MINDS" and learn how to prepare for the test. I did that and learn what they wanted from me and PASSED! after I had given up...literally. Guys, stop spending tons of money (like I did) buying training materials, and all that stuff that only gives you more knowledge but NOT the strategy that you need to take the test!
I say that I am selfish because I haven't taken the time to sit down and to share with this forum the strategy that I learned from the test...you know, life gets on the way. But please follow my advise. Go into the test, not trying to "learn" because you already know, but trying to learn when you answer "First", "most", etc.

Axa

where did you bought the asw materials, is it from aatbs.com

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axxatron in Nappanee, Indiana

32 months ago

tony in Houston, Texas said: where did you bought the asw materials, is it from aatbs.com

I went to the ASWB official website and bought the test online. After I took the test and revised the answers, I took note of the rationale they gave for all the "First", "Next", "Most", etc questions and learn to think like them. This is what we all want after we have taken the real test; we want to know what we did wrong so that we can learn from it. Well, it doesn't happen with the real exam, but at least we can learn BEFORE taken the exam. I know it sounds too simple. Believe me, it took me many tries to finally listen to the advise of just studying the strategy and to rely on the knowledge I already had.

Axa

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bg in New York, New York

32 months ago

nelktl03 in Houston, Texas said: can you please tell me where you have bought the asw materials, is it from aatbs.com?

Yes, I bought the study materials from this test-prep program, aatbs.com . I'm not allowed to post a contact telephone number for them here, but you can get their direct phone number and check out what they offer if you go to their site. Lots of info. on their site. One of the advantages of this test-prep program is that you can get help from one of their licensed sw'er over the phone during the time you're using their study materials if you're having lots of difficulty with certain types of questions. Normally I wouldn't advise spending more on study materials when the exam itself is so pricey. But, this study program was so worth the cost. I STILL refer to their study materials at times if I find I need to refresh myself on some area of sw-- and I passed the exam 6 yrs. ago!!

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socialwkr in Missouri

32 months ago

I bought the ASWB full length practice exam from the ASWB website www.aswb.org It provides rationale for your answers, and the computer layout is going to be the same for the real exam which for me was beneficial. For me what I have seen is that the ASWB exams really is more about knowing how to form strategies in answering questions versus real life practice. It is easier for new social workers to pass, than social workers who have actually been practicing in the field. An interesting research study showed some question on the validity of the ASWB exam, as in this research study they gave the ASWB exam to students still in college and they passed. There is a very interesting website regarding whether the ASWB exams are really a true measure and it points out a study where first year MSW students passed the full length ASWB exam. If you google "A test of the validity of the ASWB exam" you will find the article.

I don't think personally that the exam really is about ensuring social workers are "knowledgeable" because most of your test prep is all about test taking strategies and knowing how to answer the first, next and most questions. If it was about real social work knowledge there would not be any tricks involved. This is one reason I don't care for standardized testing. When you have to study to strategize how to answer questions versus being able to use your social work practice skills to answer questions, something is wrong with that.

For those who are discouraged, don't let not passing the ASWB exams make you feel like you are not good social workers. This exam does not measure how great of a social worker we are, but how great of a standardized test taker we are. And of course with the increase of cost, ASWB is taking that to the bank!

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shimmyw in Brooklyn, New York

32 months ago

Axa,
I surpassed failing 7 times and failed much more then that. I already studied the ASWB practice test and actually passed on the practice online test with flying colors. But, I still can't quite score on the real test.............It is a sad affair to keep trying over and over when you know everything except reconditioning my brain to answer the questions like they want me to answer them and not like a professional Social Worker

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blovencurious in dallas, Tennessee

32 months ago

Glad to read that I am not the only "rare case of not able to pass after 3 times". I am going to have an LISW supervisor who also teach the exam to give me private lessons so that she can help me determine what I am doing wrong. I always get 84 to 86 questions correct. The instructor states I know at 80% of the exam which is good, but I need to determine what is the hump i need to get over.

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blovencurious in dallas, Tennessee

32 months ago

Glad to read that I am not the only "rare case of not able to pass after 3 times". I am going to have an LISW supervisor who also teach the exam to give me private lessons so that she can help me determine what I am doing wrong. I always get 84 to 86 questions correct. The instructor states I know at 80% of the exam which is good, but I need to determine what is the hump i need to get over

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lisa in El Paso, Texas

32 months ago

well its a bummer for me its my second time and still cant pass the darn test by five points! to get a passing rate its 98 for bachelors but cant seem to know whats wrong to pass the hump!

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shimmyw in Brooklyn, New York

32 months ago

I didn't know they have the LMSW for Bachelors , I thought it is only for MSW graduates -(Masters). Usually passing scores are 101 up to 107

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axxatron in Nappanee, Indiana

31 months ago

Yes it is. One of the things I like the most is that it helped me understand the reason for the answers that ASWB believed to be the "right ones" I was able to understand their reasoning. Why First and not Next, etc. etc.

Someone posted that they had not passed for the 7th time in spite of having taking the online exam and "passed with flying colors". My question to this person is: When you took the prep. test, did you "dissect it"? or did you answer the questions based on the knowledge that you had. In other words, taken the test is one thing. But what you have to look into is the rationale they give you AFTER you have taken the test. This are your "KEYS" to the answers. Why a question that you answered right was right. READ THE RATIONALE they give you and make notes; find patterns. I found about 5-7 patterns and memorized them. The knowledge we already have; we need to "understand" "get into their heads". Did you know that those professionals that are selected to write questions for the test are TRAINED before?

I hope this helps.

Axa

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socialwkr in Missouri

31 months ago

axxatron in Nappanee, Indiana said: Yes it is. One of the things I like the most is that it helped me understand the reason for the answers that ASWB believed to be the "right ones" I was able to understand their reasoning. Why First and not Next, etc. etc.

Someone posted that they had not passed for the 7th time in spite of having taking the online exam and "passed with flying colors". My question to this person is: When you took the prep. test, did you "dissect it"? or did you answer the questions based on the knowledge that you had. In other words, taken the test is one thing. But what you have to look into is the rationale they give you AFTER you have taken the test. This are your "KEYS" to the answers. Why a question that you answered right was right. READ THE RATIONALE they give you and make notes; find patterns. I found about 5-7 patterns and memorized them. The knowledge we already have; we need to "understand" "get into their heads". Did you know that those professionals that are selected to write questions for the test are TRAINED before?

I hope this helps.

Axa

SO true.......I took the online full length ASWB practice exam and found it helped with as you said "getting into their heads". I think it should be made known to all social workers that these are national standardized exams that do not measure the knowledge of a social worker. It is a standardized exam where we have to learn the mechanics of how questions are formulated, and to understand in intent of the question and the "best" answer. Once we learn that, answering the questions I think is a lot easier. Sadly, we have to learn how to answer the trick questions versus really using our social work practice knowledge which is why I feel the exam has no real purpose. Especially when research has shown social work college students were able to pass the exam. Not about what you know, but about how to take the test.

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