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Lawanda Passed the LCSW Exam: “SWTP was Instrumental”

lawanda passed the indian lcsw examSWTP was instrumental in building my confidence level after failing by 1 point the first time. Nailed it this time! Thanks, SWTP! - Lawanda, new LCSW

Congratulations, Lawanda!

If you're looking to pass the social work licensing exam, we're here to help. SWTP's five complete exams and two boosters (DSM & ethics) are a terrific way to learn the exam process, learn exam content, and get you set to face the real thing with confidence.

The ASWB exam can seem overwhelming, but it's just a collection of straightforward questions about social work practice. The material is learnable. The experience-170 questions in four hours-is something you can train to get ready for, like runners prepare for a marathon.

Practice tests are the best prep we know of. That's why the heart of the SWTP program is practice tests, thorough rationales, and links for reading on topics that you're looking to grasp further.

Get started with licensing exam practice-and get our free study guide-by creating your account.

Happy studying and good luck on the exam!

Nina Passed with SWTP: “It made the test so easy.”

nina passed the clinical social work examNice words via Facebook from Nina, new LCSW:

I passed my ASWB clinical exam today. The questions on your practice exams were very similar to the questions on the real exam. It made the test so easy. Thank you.

Congratulations, Nina! Great news, great to hear.

Looking to pass the ASWB exam? You're in the right place. Get started by creating an account. We'll send you our free study guide and you can get going with any or all of our five 170-question practice tests and two boosters (one all DSM, one all ethics).

There's nothing like realistic practice to get you ready to pass the licensing exam (especially if it's similar to the real thing, like Nina says). Here's hoping your exam day goes and nice and easy as Nina's.

Happy studying and good luck!

Social Work Exam Content: Self-Determination

downtownSelf-determination shows up multiple times in ASWB exam content outlines. Here's how self-determination appears in the clinical outline's Professional Values and Ethics section:

  • Techniques for protecting and enhancing client/client system self-determination
  • Client/client system competence and self-determination (e.g., financial decisions, treatment decisions, emancipation, age of consent, permanency planning)
  • The client's/client system's right to refuse services (e.g., medication, medical treatment, counseling, placement, etc.)

Three appearances? That tells you something. This is a topic worth knowing-not just for the social work licensing exam, but for social work practice.

Okay, so what's to know? Let's first open up the NASW Code of Ethics for basic principles. Here's the section, which appears right up top in Social Workers' Ethical Responsibilities to Clients:

1.02 Self-Determination

Social workers respect and promote the right of clients to self-determination and assist clients in their efforts to identify and clarify their goals. Social workers may limit clients' right to self-determination when, in the social workers' professional judgment, clients' actions or potential actions pose a serious, foreseeable, and imminent risk to themselves or others.

What does this mean in practice? Julie Fanning puts it nicely in her article, If I Were My Client I Would…:

Clients often make life choices we wouldn't choose for ourselves.  Sometimes people prefer to be homeless rather than live in an apartment.  Sometimes people will choose to cheat on their spouse.  Sometime people will stay in a job that seems to be completely unhealthy.  Someone could choose to not take psychotropic medication and still function in the community.   A client's religious or other cultural values might feel abhorrent to you but it is not on the social worker to change them but to meet the client where they are at and let them live their own destiny.  It can be frustrating for a social worker because you want so much for your client's to be successful.  Each of the clients we work with know themselves better than we know them.

If you were your client, you'd do things your way. But clients don't have to do things your way. They get to choose. That's self-determination.

How might this look on the exam? Exam writers might grab any of the examples from the above paragraph and throw them into a vignette. Like this:

After many months of effort, a social worker finds a Section 8 apartment for a homeless client. After seeing the apartment, the client says he prefers to sleep on the street. "I like the open air," he says. The social work is worried that the client's judgment is impaired and that he is putting himself in unnecessary danger. How should the social worker intervene?

Right? Thinking like an exam writer, what options would you include? One correct answer (the self-determination one) is required. Plus a couple of look-good-but-aren't-the-right-answer choices. And maybe one clearly wrong one. Something like these:

A. Convince the client to try the apartment out for a month before deciding.

B. Discuss the pros and cons of apartment versus street living with the client.

C. Bring up the client's decision in a group setting so he can hear from others in a similar situation.

D. Insist that the client try the apartment for his own safety.

How would you answer?

Taking the options one-by-one. A has "convince." That's acting on the social worker's worries, not the clients self-determination. Not the answer. B has "discuss"-usually a good idea (except sometimes in imminent harm situations where more decisive action is indicated). Put a pin in it as a maybe. Answer C involves eliciting help from group members. This might be an effective way to shame the client into a safer decision, but again, the client can make a dangerous choice. It's his choice to make. Finally, D, "insist." Pass.

That leaves B and C as the only viable answers. One doesn't involve shame or using others to bend the client to the will o the social worker. So, there you have it. The correct answer is B.

Got it? Great! Will this be on the exam? Very likely. Maybe not exactly in this form, but the basic concept is a crucial part of social work and something the ASWB will often test for. Now you're ready!

Find more questions about self-determination and many, many other topics on our full-length practice tests. Sign up to get started.

Happy studying and good luck on the exam!

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Ethics and the ASWB Exam

Social Work EthicsRegardless of which ASWB exam you're taking-Bachelors, Masters, Advanced Generalist, or Clinical-questions about ethics are going to take up a big chunk of the test (between 19-25%). The ASWB exam outlines (available on the ASWB site) each break ethics knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs, in ASWB-speak) the same way:

1. PROFESSIONAL VALUES AND ETHICAL ISSUES

2. CONFIDENTIALITY

3. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND USE OF SELF

In future posts, we'll start tackling some of the specifics, exam feeding fundamentals like informed consent, self-determination, and boundaries. But you already know where to find just about everything you need to know about social work ethics to prepare for the social work licensing exam. Yep, the NASW Code of Ethics. Exam-prepping isn't complete without careful review of this crucial doc.

Just reading the ethical principles and standards can be a little less than scintillating, though. To read about ethical principles playing out in social work practice, take a look at the long-running Eye on Ethics column from Social Work Today. Or tune into this two-part conversation on social work ethics from the Social Work Podcast (generally a great, free test-prep resource). YouTube has a collection of ethics-educations offerings as well.

And of course, there's SWTP. Our exams are loaded with ethics questions just like the ones you'll encounter on the licensing exam. If those aren't enough for you, we have a booster test that contains only ethics questions.

See you back here for more ethics exploration. Until then, happy studying and good luck on the exam!

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Anastasia Passed the LCSW Exam!

anastasia passed the lcsw examThanks to social work test prep I passed my LCSW first try! This was the only study material I used and it made studying so easy and manageable. I appreciate you all so much! - Anastasia

Congratulations, Anastasia! Great news, great to hear.

Reader, get ready to get licensed. Sign up to start with SWTP's complete set of five, full-length exams and two boosters. Next picture on this page? Maybe you. Good luck!

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