ASWB Masters Exam
The Association of Social Work Boards offers licensing exams at multiple levels. The Masters Exam is required in all US states and territories as well as some providences in Canada. It’s an important step on your way to a career in social work.
Where Can I Register for the ASWB Masters Exam?
You first need to contact the licensing board in your jurisdiction to find out for sure whether or not you need to take the ASWB Masters Exam. If you do, you will next need to provide proof that you are eligible to take the exam.
While the test is the same no matter where you take it, the eligibility requirements differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Once you establish that you meet local eligibility criteria, the board will give you a notice of approval.
You use this notice of approval to schedule your exam at your nearest Pearson VUE testing center. When scheduling the exam, you will have to pay the $230 exam fee. The test is offered continuously so you will be able to make an appointment that is compatible with your schedule.
What Topics Are Included on the Test?
The ASWB Masters Exam includes 170 questions spanning four core aspects of a career in social work. Those four aspects include:
- Human Development, Diversity, and Behavior in the Environment
- Human growth and development
- Concepts of abuse and neglect
- Diversity, social/economic justice, and oppression
- Assessment and Intervention Planning
- Biophysical history and collateral data
- Assessment methods and techniques
- Intervention planning
- Interventions with Clients/Client Systems
- Intervention processes and techniques for use across systems
- Intervention processes and techniques for use with larger systems
- Professional Relationships, Values, and Ethics
- Professional values and ethical issues
- Professional development and use of self
All of the questions are geared toward assessing your capacity to deal with the unique challenges and day-to-day demands of social work.
ASWB Masters Exam Practice Questions
What Should I Bring with Me on Test Day?
All you need to bring is two forms of ID, at least one of which is a current, government-issued photo ID. The test is computer-administered so everything else you need will be provided for you. You cannot bring any personal items into the exam room with you so it’s best to just leave your things in your car.
You will have about four hours to complete all four sections of the test. But you should also plan to arrive about 15-30 minutes early in order to check in so expect to be at the testing center for about four and a half hours altogether.
As mentioned earlier, the test includes 170 questions but only 150 of those questions are scored. The remaining 20 are unscored questions being tested for possible inclusion on future versions of the exam. You won’t know which ones are the unscored questions, however, so you should be ready to do your best on all 170 questions.
What Is the Minimum Score Needed to Pass?
The score is scaled according to the difficulty of the questions that you receive which depends on the version of the exam you are taking. Because of this variability, the minimum number of correct answers you need could be as little as 93 or as much as 107.
Since you have no control over which version of the exam you will receive, it is best to set your target above 107 and create a study plan around that goal. This will increase your chances of achieving the minimum passing score no matter which version of the test you take.
Fortunately, your exam results are valid across all states and territories so you won’t have to take the exam again if you choose to work in a different state.
What Is the Best Way to Prepare for the ASWB Exam?
Since this is a content-driven exam, the bulk of your study time should be spent reviewing all the material that will be covered and then improving your ability to recall that information on command. You should also schedule periodic practice tests to familiarize yourself with the kinds of questions that will be asked and the structure of the exam.
For the review, you need the Mometrix Study Guide. This comprehensive guide contains a detailed yet super focused overview of all the content across each subject of the test. It also provides effective strategies for getting through difficult questions including how to detect context clues, avoid traps or tricky phrasing, and find the answer through a process of elimination.
To further improve your absorption of the material and work on your ability to instantly recall information, pick up the Mometrix Flashcards. All the core concepts from across the different subjects are condensed into easy to understand explanations for quick review.
ASWB Study Guide
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Last updated: 09/18/2018