Inbox Item: AATBS Special

Heads-up for program shoppers: AATBS is offering 15% off prep packages and workshops through Feb 17, '09. Not endorsing, just saying. And Happy Valentine's/President's Days.
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Prep CD Showdown: AATBS versus Gerry Grossman

Record PlayerMy iPod is semi-crammed with social work exam prep audio. My commute is long. So I've just about made it through two sets of prep CDs--AATBS and Gerry Grossman.

In brief: The AATBS approach is to stuff an overwhelming amount of info into a small set of CDs. A sometimes maddeningly monotone voice reads off the essentials, 50 minutes at a time--DSMDiagnosis, Law & Ethics, etc. A hard listen. But...good for cramming in info that's likely to come up on the test.  Probably worth re-suffering through right before exam time.

The Gerry Grossman discs I have are a series of clear, calm, theory-focused half-hours.  Each takes an approach (e.g., Gestalt, Strategic Family Therapy) and breaks it down by history, assessment, interventions, etc.  There's a pause between each section--a gentle hand-holding that has little in common with the AATBS stream of facts.
Which is better?  Neither, both.  Completely different approaches.  If you can get hold of both, do.
Haven't heard the BTA or other course audio...yet.  Please feel free--companies or customers--to send them my way:  socialworkprep [at]  Thanks in advance.


UPDATE:  I finally called to talk to an AATBS advisor (who advises calling the advisors earlier in the prep process than I did).  Also advised:  Listening to the AATBS CDs over and over--as much as 15 times each.  The maddening monotone is intentional.  They want you to be able to listen without really listening.  Half-listen while you drive, half-listen while you exercise, half-listen while you cook...and just let it all soak in.
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Free Social Work Test Prep?

CoinCan you pass the licensure exam without laying out a lot of money? Maybe, sort of. You can save a bunch, turns out, leaning on the web for a lot of materials SWTP's Suggested Study Links make that easy.

The books you probably already have from school cover most of what AATBS or BTA or Gerry Grossman cram into their materials (think Corey, think Hepworth, Rooney, et al). The NASW Code of Ethics is sitting all over the web. Relaxation techniques, another part of the pay-program package, are another web-based, no-charge item.

The problem, if any, is with amounts. You'll probably need more practice questions and less other material.  You can probably track down the course books for free (a post-test friend?) or cheap (craigslist, ebay)--though they may be all marked up. So, if you've got it, this is where your money goes: online practice questions.

Done it differently? Let us know. Continued good luck to us all.  

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To Program or Not To Program

Three ChoicesYou can pass the exam without signing up for an expensive test prep program. Me, I chose to spend the money. It takes a real bite out of any MSW's salary. But, the argument goes, it's an investment. Like school. And you'll be paying that loan off forever. I'm in California. A few names kept coming recommended from LCSW friends and acquaintances. They were:

Berkeley Training Associates
Gerry Grossman

These pages will discuss these and other options in future posts. Short version: Word was the Gerry Grossman is more MFT-oriented...Berkeley was a little dry...In any case, I chose AATBS. So far, so good.

Ed Note: This was before SWTP offered practice tests. Now, of course, we'd choose Social Work Test Prep. You should too. Sign up to get started!

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