There are lots of
ways to structure your preparation for the social work licensing
exam. Learning everything there is to know about social work is one
way to go (memorizing The Social Work Dictionary, the DSM,
all your MSW textbooks...). But that's not recommended. It would
take nearly forever, and there's only so much information you can
realistically retain. Better to find a way to get acquainted in a
general way with what you might actually expect to see on the
The exam aims to make certain that licensed social workers know
their way around the requirements of the profession. So, what are
those requirements? The NASW Code of Ethics has a lot to
say about that. Knowing your way around the code is a great way to
get exam-ready. Here's another: Take a look at the
NASW Standards for the Practice of Clinical Social
Work. Here--bullet-pointed below--are the basic building
blocks of clinical social work practice. Links go to explanations
from NASW. If any of these standards reads as alien to you,
then dig into the textbooks.
Standard 1. Clinical social workers shall function in
accordance with the ethics and the stated standards of the
profession, including its accountability procedures.
Standard 2. Clinical social workers shall have and continue to
develop specialized knowledge and understanding of individuals,
families, and groups and of therapeutic and preventive
Standard 3. Clinical social workers shall respond in a
professional manner to all persons who seek their assistance.
Standard 4. Clinical social workers shall be knowledgeable
about the services available in the community and make appropriate
referrals for their clients.
Standard 5. Clinical social workers shall maintain their
accessibility to clients.
Standard 6. Clinical social workers shall safeguard the
confidential nature of the treatment relationship and of the
information obtained within that relationship.
Standard 7. Clinical social workers shall maintain access to
professional case consultation.
Standard 8. Clinical social workers shall establish and
maintain professional offices and procedures.
Standard 9. Clinical social workers shall represent themselves
to the public with accuracy.
Standard 10. Social workers shall engage in the independent
private practice of clinical social work only when qualified to do
Standard 11. Clinical social workers shall have the right to
establish an independent private practice.
Chances are, you already get this basic, social work stuff--just
like you'll know the basic, social work stuff that comes up on the
exam. Good luck!
For realistic practice exams covering the above and much
more, sign up!