ASWB Clinical Test Information

ASWB Clinical - Association of Social Work Boards Clinical Exam:

The ASWB Clinical Exam is a licensure examination designed by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) and administered by the American College Testing Program (ACT) that is used to determine whether or not an individual possesses the high level of knowledge related to social work procedure and technique that is required to work in a clinical setting. This exam is one of four ASWB tests that are commonly used by local licensing authorities to determine which individuals should become licensed social workers. This exam may or may not be required in order to receive a social worker's license depending on the type of social work you are interested in pursuing and the regulations of the jurisdiction in which you intend to practice. The ASWB Clinical Exam consists of 170 multiple-choice questions, 150 of which are scored and 20 that are not scored, that are broken down into 11 sections.

The 11 sections of the ASWB Clinical Exam include:

  • Human Development and Behavior (22%)
  • Issues of Diversity (6%)
  • Diagnosis and Assessment (16%)
  • Psychotherapy and Clinical Practice (16%)
  • Communication (8%)
  • Therapeutic Relationship (7%)
  • Professional Values and Ethics (10%)
  • Clinical Supervision, Consultation, and Staff Development (4%)
  • Practice Evaluation and the Application of Research (1%)
  • Service Delivery (5%)
  • Clinical Practice and Management (5%)

The ASWB Clinical Exam is scored based on the percentage of questions answered correctly.

The exam-taker will receive a final scaled percentage score that will be considered as passing of failing depending on the standards set by the jurisdiction in which the individual applied for licensure. The exam-taker will have four hours to complete the exam. To register for the ASWB Clinical Exam, you must have at least a master's degree from an accredited social work program, two years of social work experience in a clinical setting since the time you received your master's degree, and register for the exam with your local licensing authority. Once you have registered for the ASWB Clinical Exam, you will receive a letter with information about how to schedule a testing date at an ACT testing center. The registration fee for the ASWB Clinical Exam is $175; however, there may be additional fees and requirements for licensure depending on local regulations.

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ASWB Clinical Practice Test

1. In treating a client in crisis, the caseworker should focus on

a. the immediate presenting problem
b. a few specific problems in day-to-day functioning
c. a wide range of problems in day-to-day functioning
d. underlying personality problems

2. A social worker is interviewing a new patient who presents some symptoms of depression. The patient reports recent changes such as diminished functioning, marked weight gain, early morning awakening, fatigue, inability to concentrate, suicidal thoughts and headaches. The patient mentions that he started a new medication for a medical condition three weeks ago. The worker would first:

a. arrange a psychiatric consultation in order to have an anti-depressant prescribed
b. ascertain the prescribed medication and investigate its side-effects
c. proceed with a thorough psychosocial history and precipitating events
d. hospitalize this patient until the suicidal ideation passes

3. A social worker is utilizing environmental manipulation as a technique when he/she:

a. represents the agency at a health and welfare council meeting
b. uses a psychosocial framework
c. suggests the use of psychoactive medications
d. helps the client find more satisfying employment in a supportive environment

4. A diagnosis of Schizophreniform Disorder is generally applied to clients whose psychotic symptoms:

a. are related to substance abuse
b. are very long term
c. show a marked and continuing decline in functioning
d. are similar to those of schizophrenia and have existed more than one month, but less than six months.

5. A 15 year old female patient at a mental health clinic complains that for the past three weeks she has been uncharacteristically angry and irritable and has had difficulty concentrating on school work. She says that she feels "down in the dumps". Her appetite has diminished and though weighing 120 pounds a month earlier, she has lost 9 pounds. She has difficulty sleeping and has withdrawn from after school activities that she had previously found interesting and enjoyable. During the interview she seems constantly in motion, rising several times and walking around the room before returning to her chair. It is most likely that she is suffering from:

a. a drug induced depression
b. a somatoform disorder
c. a depressive episode
d. an adolescent behavior disorder

ASWB Clinical Answers and Explanations

1. A: The immediate presenting problem as it is perceived by the client is the only possible arena in which a social worker can intervene. Other responses will be perceived by the client as non-responsive to his or her concerns.

2. B: Medications can have powerful side effects and should be ruled out as a causative factor. 1. a psychiatric consultation is unnecessary at this time 2. the clients current mental state and inability to concentrate suggest that a psychosocial history will not be feasible.

3. D: Environmental manipulation suggests the employment of specific changes in the client's life that will improve their immediate situation.

4. D

5. C: The only other possible answer is 1, however drug use is not mentioned as a factor in the girl's life and no history of drug use is cited.

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Last Updated: 04/12/2017


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