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Social Work Exam Question Making–Home-Based Services

dinnertimeWhere do social work exam question come from? They come from social workers like you-or maybe like you a few years from now. Exam writers are licensed social workers who, for a fee, agree to help generate new content for the ASWB exam. Where do they get their ideas for new exam content? Well, where would you get it from? From experience probably. And, if you ran out of experience to draw upon, where would you turn? Probably past questions, textbooks, articles…

Which is why we recommend studying as if you were an exam writer. When you're reviewing exam content, think to yourself, "How might this material be formed into a licensing exam question?"

Here's some practice. Take a look at this Eye on Ethics column, Boundary Challenges Outside of the Office - Home-Based Services. There's material there for several solid social work exam questions. Real world, ethics-based, tricky situations. Here's one we came up with:

A social worker in a group home for adolescents who do not have stable families. The social worker's clients gather routinely for meals in the group home's dining room. They invite the social worker to join them. The social worker should:

A. Refuse the invitation to avoid boundary crossing.

B. Accept the invitation and join in regular conversation.

C. Accept the invitation but refrain from overly engaging in dinner table conversation.

D. Politely refuse the invitation and return to other work.

How would you answer?

The article includes more info:

The program model includes having the social worker, who serves all of the group home's residents, join in meals occasionally to enhance relationships.

So, if you've read that, you can quickly strike A & D (refuse and politely refuse). That leaves joining the dinner and talking and joining the dinner and talking only a little.

Sure, social workers are generally  better off listening than holding forth. But holding forth isn't really "regular conversation." Which leaves one best answer: B. Accept and talk.

The actual, real-world response, according to the article:

The social worker is careful to avoid engaging in treatment-related conversation or disclosing too much personal information during the meal. Her goal is to engage with the residents informally and to talk about "safe" issues (for example, current events, sports, popular music, television shows) that do not involve deeply personal, sensitive, or confidential matters.

If you've worked an inpatient setting, you've likely joined clients in all kinds of activities. It's part of treatment-an important part. A question like this, given that experience, is a freebie.

So move on to the next Eye on Ethics column and come up with your own question. Does it seem like a real exam question? Send it in! Maybe we'll post it here. More free practice for your fellow exam-prepping social worker.

Happy reading, happy question writing, and good luck with the exam!

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Jasmine Passed the ASWB Exam in Michigan–“Your program was AMAZING!”

jasmine passed the clinical exam in michiganYour program was AMAZING! I passed my clinical exam with the help of this great program. This was the only program that the questions resembled the actual exam. - Jasmine

Congratulations, Jasmine!

The world needs more and more and more social workers getting licensed. We're very pleased to play a small part in helping make that happen. If you're preparing for the social work exam, we're rooting for you! Create an account to receive our free study guide (no purchase involved). Plus, you'll discover ways to get additional free content. We hope you'll stick around for our full-length social work exam practice tests. They're all balanced according to the ASWB exam outlines and have helped thousands of social workers successfully leap the licensing hurdle. You're next!

More congratulations, Jasmine, and everyone who has recently passed the test. For those still prepping, happy studying and good luck!

(Note: We'd just posted Jasmine's great testimonial when she sent in this picture to accompany it…deserving of it's own post, for sure. Looking forward to getting your pass-sheet picture soon!)

Laura (and Jasmine and Daniel and Janice and Jenni) Passed the Social Work Licensing Exam!

laura passed the social work licensing exam in mississippiI'm so glad I used Social Work Test Prep! Passed on my first try! Money well spent! - Laura (pictured)

Your program was AMAZING! I passed my clinical exam with the help of this great program. This was the only program that the questions resembled the actual exam. - Jasmine

Thanks for the help. I used 4 of the exams and was able to pass on the first attempt. - Daniel

I passed my exam!!! I'm so happy I took your program! - Janice

I wanted to let you know I passed my LCSW! I really appreciate SWTP and the practice exams were a huge help! - Jenni

Congratulations, Laura, Jasmine, Daniel, Janice, and Jenni! Thanks for writing. And to everyone who has recently passed the ASWB exam with SWTP, way to go! Cue the confetti and celebratory music. (I'm dancing as I type this.)

Reader, you're next. Sign up to get started with SWTP's full-length practice tests. You'll be glad you did. Nothing prepares you for the real thing like realistic practice.

More congratulations, all! And congratulations in advance to you, future exam taker (and passer!). Happy studying and good luck!

Community Organizing and the Social Work Exam

1963_march_on_washingtonSocial workers are not permitted to talk about what they encountered on the ASWB exam and we never ask. Which is how it should be. The social work exam changes fairly regularly. You could (unethically and unscrupulously) get someone to tell you exactly what to study for the test they took, then arrive on exam day facing an entirely different version of the exam. So, better--for your conscience and for your chances--to study a broad array of questions covering the wide range of material includes in ASWB exam outlines. (We just happen to have practice tests that are designed to help you do just that!)

One topic you may gloss over--and one that may not have been thoroughly treated in your MSW program: community organizing. The outlines hit the topic several times. Like this:

• Community organizing and social planning methods

• Techniques for mobilizing community participation

Community organizing is worth knowing! Happily, others have done the work summarizing everything you might need to know for the social work licensing exam:

Community Organizing (Wikipedia)

7 Principles of Community Organizing (ICPJ.org)

What Does a Community Organizer Do? (Social Work Degree Guide)

5 Functions of a Community Organizer (Social Work Degree Guide)

TMI? Maybe just speed read--bullet points only. Here's a free practice question that grabs some knowledge from one of the above (not saying which one : ) ).

Which of the following is generally considered a vital role for a community organizer?

A. Activism

B. Social Movement Building

C. Coalition Building

D. Legal Action

Have an answer?

You probably don't need to read up to work your way to getting this question right. If you think it through, it might go something like this: Activism is for activists (individuals). Social movement building takes organizations working together-in and outside of any the community. Legal action is for attorneys. Which leaves one answer for you: a vital role for community organizers is…coalition building (within the community).

How'd you do?

Right or wrong on this one, there's so much more to know and to practice. A great to time to start? Right now. Sign up join the thousands of social workers who've used SWTP's complete, 170-question practice tests to pass the social work exam.  (We'll send you our free study guide when you create a free account!).

Good luck!

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Social Work Exam Practice–Client Fired for Missing Work

Haymarket AffairHere's a holiday-themed free practice question to help get you ready to pass the ASWB exam:

A client tells a social worker that he was fired after no-showing for work on Labor Day. He plans to sue his former employer for wrongful termination. What can the social worker tell the client about his legal standing?

A. The social worker should refrain from advising on legal matters and refer the client to a lawyer.

B. Suggest the client find an attorney on his own.

C. Discuss other issues that may have led to the client's getting fired.

D. Let the client know that, in most states, employers aren't required to give days off on federal holidays.

What's your answer?

Let's do what we always do--take the answers one at a time.

A. Refer to a lawyer. Law is out of the scope of practice for social workers, but knowing a little something about law can come in handy. Let's put a pin in this one. It's a maybe.

B. Suggest client find attorney. This is less helpful than the first answer, so probably not the right one. Strike it.

C. Discuss past issues. This is tempting. "Discuss" is almost always tempting. Let's mark this as maybe also.

D. Inform client about law. Hmm, is this right? Is this an overreach for a social worker? If you're a social worker, particularly if you've worked in a residential setting, you've probably been asked to work holidays, even the big federal ones like Labor Day. So it can't be that no one works on federal holidays. Come to think, plenty of businesses are open on holidays. So this could be right. Let's maybe this one too.

That leaves three maybes (more than the usual two): Refer, discuss, or inform. There's no acronymed guideline that will give you the right answer in this case. In some questions, each type of offered answer will be right. Refer will be correct in a scope of practice question. Discuss will be right in a rapport-building and therapy skills question. Inform will be right in a more fact-based question. So which one is this?

Well, if you already know that businesses are not required to give days off on federal holidays, you know there's no reason to refer to an attorney. There's also not a lot to be gained by discussing the client's past job performance. Which leaves a best answer: D) Inform the client--tell him the facts of his situation.

One additional clue that this might be the right choice: the question asks what the social worker can tell the client about his legal standing. D is the only offered answer that actually does that.

As ever, one answer doesn't rule out the other answers. It's just the best answer. Think of it this way: a social worker has time to give one answer and one answer only to a client. Which should the social worker choose?

Make sense?

Hope this helps as you tackle more and more practice questions, and, eventually, the real 170-question ASWB exam itself. Speaking of practice, we've got a ton here. Hit Sign Up to create an account and get started!

Happy studying and good luck on the exam!

(PS Some Labor Day history here. Good to know.)

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