BBS Exam Changes

California FlagExam changes are coming in California.  Starting in 2014 [UPDATE: CHANGE POSTPONED TO 2016], the vignette exam will be retired and replaced by a new law and ethics exam, which will be taken during internship time.  The standard written becomes the "clinical exam," taken after internship hours are complete.  The clinical exam is likely to be administered by the ASWB--stay tuned!  From the BBS

Under current law, applicants must take and pass a standard written examination upon completion of examination eligibility requirements, including completion of experience requirements. Once an applicant passes the standard written examination, they are eligible to take a clinical vignette examination. An applicant must pass both examinations to be eligible for licensure [...]

Effective January 1, 2014, SB 704 requires applicants for licensure to pass two new exams: a California law and ethics examination and a clinical examination. These new exams would replace the standard written and the clinical vignette exams currently in place.

  • The California law and ethics examination will be taken during the registration period while the applicant gains experience hours.
  • The clinical examination will be taken once the registrant has completed all supervised work experience, education requirements, and passed the California law and ethics examination [...]

As January 1, 2014 draws closer, the Board will provide further information on how this will affect current registrants at the time the restructure takes place, as well as how it will affect those already in the exam cycle. The Board will also provide additional information on the new California law and ethics examination and the clinical examination.

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More Free Practice Questions

PaymentSWTP's free practice questions are here.  There were another 10 free practice questions in the now-old 2007 California BBS Candidate Handbook. Compared to the prep-course questions I've seen, these were pretty much gimmes. Here's hoping they're more like the actual exam.

Also in the handbook (current version linked here), an exhaustive list of everything you're supposed to know for the exam. The full list lasts pages. Treat it as a checklist, if you like. Not advised. What you need to know for the social work licensing exam, you mostly already know.  You know if from school, you know it from internships, you know it from work, you know it from common sense.  What's needed to pass the exam is sorting by-the-book knowledge from real-world-get-it-done knowledge, and applying the by-the-book to exam questions.  The other stuff?  Save it for the real world. 
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Cheap CEs

Continuing EducationBefore you get the pleasure of prepping for the LCSW exam, you've got to complete the application (CA app is here), which means, among other things, getting supervised hours...a passport photo...and a bunch of CEs. Here in California they want 7 hours on child abuse, 10 hours on human sexuality...never mind, the list is here. And you thought you already got educated.
A semi-thorough search of CA-approved online CE providers brought me to two cheaper-and-faster-than-other sites:
If you're budgeting time, know that 10 CE hours do not equal 10 real world hours. (The "find" function is your friend--it's like online traffic school that way.) Between the two sites, I got what I needed. See how it goes for you.
UPDATE: Happened to have online traffic school to do. Turns out, they've set up timed pages--20 minutes per. The whole thing takes forever. Social Work CEUs are much faster 'n' least for now.
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The BBS Makes Nice

Flag _of _California

I got my "hours approved" letter in the mail just last week. A big relief. Getting those hours done, those papers signed, and that application packet complete was a stress-inducing, stressy stressfest (your experience may differ). Looks like the California BBS has tired of the anxious, confused phone calls and decided to make everything much more clear on their web site. The steps to getting licensed here in the Golden State are laid out nicely here.

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