Social work is a rewarding field because these professionals help people in so many ways. Social workers help improve their client’s lives by guiding them through tough times, supporting them through counseling, helping them find resources, and more. But there’s a hurdle to overcome — you have to become licensed.
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The Association of Social Work Boards has created the Associate Social Work Exam, a test designed to ensure candidates can practice safely and ethically. Please note that each jurisdiction across the country has its own set of licensing rules, so it’s important you understand the laws and regulations in your area.
This is a challenging test that requires preparation. This guide will explain the test and point you towards a study guide to help you pass.
What’s different about the Associate Social Work Exam?
The Association of Social Work Boards developed the Associate Social Work Exam for states and jurisdictions that offer an associate license for those who do not hold a social work degree. The test is one of the determining factors jurisdictions use in making licensing decisions.
Who do I contact if I want to take the test?
Contact your social work regulatory board and ask for an application to take the exam. Once the board approves the application, you can register for the test. Your board can tell you if you’re eligible to take the test, and whether there are application or licensing fees in addition to the test fee.
What’s the test like?
The test contains 170 multiple-choice questions, of which 150 are scored and 20 are not. The 20 unscored questions could be used in a future exam. Candidates have four hours to complete the exam. There’s a brief tutorial before the test that does not count against the total test time. At the test’s completion, candidates will receive their unofficial exam score.
Candidates who fail the exam will receive information about their test performance. You should check with your jurisdiction on test retake rules because they may differ by state. In all cases, candidates must wait at least 90 days before retaking the test and must pay the exam fees again.
How much does it cost to take the Associate Social Work Exam??
The exam costs $230, and the examination fees are not eligible for a refund. Tests can be rescheduled at no additional charge, but there are no refunds under any circumstances.
It’s test day. What should I expect? What should I bring to the test center?
Make sure to arrive at the test center at least 30 minutes before your exam time. You’ll need that time to check in, take the tutorial, a survey, and check out. Any candidate who arrives late will not be allowed to take the exam and will forfeit their exam fees.
You’ll need proper identification at the test center. Bring a valid driver’s license, passport, or other form of government identification. You’ll also need a secondary form of ID, such as a credit card, work or student ID. In all cases, the candidate’s name on the identification must exactly match the name on the test authorization documents.
As is the case in most tests, personal items and electronics are not allowed in the test room. Candidates must seal all of their electronics in a plastic bag. When the exam is over, candidates must have the sealed plastic bag inspected by a test center administrator.
What’s on the Associate Social Work Exam?
The exam tests knowledge in three areas — content areas, competencies and knowledge, skills and abilities statements.
Content areas are the broad areas of knowledge. Competencies and knowledge describe that knowledge and skills important to a social worker’s job within each content area. The knowledge, skills and abilities statements that can be used to measure competency.
A question would then be formatted like this:
Content area: Human development, diversity, and behavior in the environment
Competency: Human behavior in the social environment
Knowledge, skills and abilities statement: The effects of addiction and substance abuse on individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
How do I know if I passed the test?
ASWB will forward your test results to the licensing board in your jurisdiction. The board will contact you after the test. When you receive the results will vary by jurisdiction.
It’s no wonder this rewarding line of work requires a tough test. That’s why you need a first-class study system like the one Mometrix provides. Our study guide helps you through the ins-and-outs of the Associate Social Work Exam, including the questions you’re likely to face, and the pitfalls you’re likely to encounter. Our flashcard system helps you study any place, at any time. It’s portable, so whenever you have a spare minute, you can study for this important exam.
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by Enoch Morrison | Last Updated: January 8, 2019